Saturday, November 12, 2005


It was finally time to return home. Back in the truck for more hours of driving. The drive from Colombus to Pensacola is pretty long, but after all the driving we'd done it was a breeze.

Along the way back I solidified a theory I'd been building on for years: the number of enormous "GOD" and "JESUS" billboards is directly proportionate to the number of "HOT XXX VIDEO ARCADE" and "TOPLESS BABES AHEAD." This ratio is easily seen on roadsides across our great country, most frequently in areas where there are few other billboards and long stretches of nothing. Then POP you see a huge angry sign on the horizon with a "direct quote" from God in huge all cap fonts and garish colors, followed closely by a huge ad for a strip club in the same colors and block print. It wouldn't seem like there's a direct correlation if they weren't so frequently positioned directly across a highway from each other and with no other signs for miles. I won't argue the chicken/egg fault for these things, but they are obviously connected somehow.

Along the road we saw some cool signs:
Dino World

And lovely homemade truck designs:

Truck art

We finally made our way back to Floribama. It suddenly seemed very charming to me, probably because I knew I was leaving soon.

We hit up the go-kart track, which is rad and covered in baby powder so you can peel out and screech your way around all the turns. It smells and sounds and looks like lawnmower racing, but the baby powder takes the edge off the aroma somewhat. I wasn't complaining though, as it was really fun and I only just barely made it in anyway:
Scraping by
Thank you Floribama humidity for giving me the necessary big hair to meet the go-kart height requirement.

I also wanted to go to Reggie's one more time before I left.
AYCE at Reggie's!

Reggie's rocks. I mean a half-fish half-pig mascot? Who wouldn't want to eat a delicious creature like that? Plus, shortening the term "All-You-Can-Eat" to "AYCE" makes it sound slick. I imagine it's pronounced like "ace" but with a southern accent. Besides, it's got a wraparound porch for outside seating and a table pre-stocked with fixings like hot sauce and pickled peppers. Once you're seated they bring you a bucket of icewater as big as your head.
Reggie's fixins

From the porch you can see the Blackwater River, which is all Florida swampy looking and you can just barely see gator noses poking out of the water as they lurk beneath the surface.

Gater crik

It looks desolate in this photo, but it's actually an interesting spot to watch for local culture. One time when we were there we saw a couple back up to the creek in a pickup with a flatbed trailer, grab a dead snake off the flatbed, and fling it in the water to the gators who were feeding there. The couple sported matching cutoff jean shorts, muscle shirts, and his n' hers matching mullets.

My last Floribama-style meal:
Pile o' meat

Fried okra and Texas toast are required eating, clearly. Anyone who hasn't had Texas toast: it's basically a thick slice of wonder style bread with no flavor "fried" on one side in fake "butter" and "cheese" food product. It really soaks up the palm oil flavor like a soggy yet crispy sponge. Any food that requires that many sarcastic quotes to describe is a-ok with me.

Inside the restaurant there are colorful signs with local sentiments about the recent bout of hurricanes:
Ha ha

And next week's menu:
Dumplin's, Fixin's, and Mullet

Dumplin's, Fixin's, and Mullet. And that's just the food. I'll miss the south in certain ways.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and head back to Hawai'i. Goodbye "palmetto bugs" (aka flying cockroaches), goodbye mullets (both food and hairdo), goodbye scary church signs.

Also goodbye to my sweetheart for a little while, which is incredibly sad.
my sweetie

My flight out of Floribama included a layover in Atlanta. At the airport I headed over to my Hawai'i flight and as I approached the terminal I heard an incredibly loud sound.
Worst Job
I didn't photoshop that, I swear. That genuinely is a Delta Airlines employee playing the steel drums at my gate. What steel drums are supposed to have to do with Hawai'i is anyone's guess, maybe they get a ukelele musician for their Jamaica flights. It's interesting that they have an employee designated to get you into a vacationey mood before you even get on your flight. On the bright side, it made me rethink all of the demeaning and humiliating jobs I've had in the past and they don't seem so bad anymore.

A few hours later, I was back on Oahu. Goodbye small town attitudes and fashion, hello modern urban sophistication.

Or not.
Honolulu High Fashion

Oh well.


At 8:11 AM, Blogger xine said...

#1 That glass of water's got NOTHING on your coke glass
#2 What the hell is up with Ohio being labeled CA on that map of scared Florida?
#3 What are dry lima beans?
#4 Where can I find a shirt like the guy in the last picture? rockin

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous elyse said...

that fried okra looks delicious.

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude with the shirt- I wanted that look seriously, when I was in middle school. Someone needs to bring back those shirts with the fringe.hg

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Hi Iomi!

Terry, Deborah and Micheal came to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with us. I shared your blog with Terry and we got a good laugh over it, particularly the map of the U.S. where Florida has moved.

My family thinks you should move here. You can come over for dinners. Also you could share your wacky sense of humor with us, the girls and us would love it!

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

Yet another great laugh. The final picture said it all, what are people thinking. I really do want you to come visit me and I can show you my neighborhood. Floribama, now there is a place we all must travel once in our lifetime, like Mecca, Varanasi, the Vatican or Jerusalem. Well keep it up, I wish you could find someone to pay you to do this, cause I sure enjoy your writting.


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