OMW Road Trip Adventures: Vol. 58
As always, when I’m on the road, there’s never a dull moment. Follow me if you can on this particular trip.
Unlike my last dozen or so trips out of town, which were of the 2-3 day variety, I knew I needed a week-long break. The 1Q 2011 stress nearly put me in Woodhaven Cemetary. With that in mind, being a Hertz #1 Club Gold Member has its privileges (they ought to give me an endorsement spot lml) and I got a good rate on a week-long rental. Perfect timing. Had I gone on Memorial Day weekend, I would have had to pay almost double. Since I wasn’t trying to deal with that trifle of a headache on I-95, I picked the right time to go.
I left home at 8:45 on last Saturday (May 21 — shouts to Harold Camping) and got to Hertz at 9:00 sharp via car service (livery cabs for the slow cats who don’t know what I mean). Of course I had two attitudinal chicks behind the counter who took forever to get my car situated (while this blonde chick walks in 5 minutes after I did, #1 Club Gold just like me and goes to her car immediately). I had to wait a good 15 minutes for them to find the car I actually reserved, only for them to tell me that it was not on the garage. You would have thought I had waited on a line with as long as this took.
In the end, I got caught in a gaffle. They claimed they were doing me a “favor” by giving me an “upgrade” from a mid-size to a full-size. Except I went from a V6 to a V8. That’s fine for my lead-foot, but NOT KOSHER with my wallet in mind. Gas was well over $4 in most of the Mid-Atlantic until I got into Virginia. Ridiculous. Then to add to the fact that I had to traverse the Triangle, Triad and run errands and cough up some money to take care of a couple of “situations”, I got to the point where I refused to even look at the pump while the gas was filling and my wallet was getting lighter. I probably cursed out a couple of gas stations in Raleigh alone, as I was out there 4 out of the 6 full days that I was down south.
Once I finally left Hertz at 9:30, I sped up Amsterdam and went to get my things from home and jumped on the George. No traffic, good deal. Sped off to Short Hills to cop more Rugby. I needed warm weather clothes. Got out there in 45 minutes, was in and out of the mall in 45 more minutes and hit 78 going back to the Turnpike/I-95 right before noon. Then got on the Turnpike at noon sharp. Good time marker.
I made it to “Wawshinton” in near-record time (for me). Three hours flat. No Jersey Turnpike traffic for people heading to the Shore, no tie-ups in that 110-mile stretch in Maryland which sometimes gets me, and no traffic in NoVa until I get near Fredericksburg. Some clown is facing oncoming traffic, having hit someone in the left lane. Traffic was backed up 7 miles, 45 minutes. NOT NEEDED when it was 93 degrees and sun beaming.
Once I got past that nonsense, the speed limit was 70 until Richmond, of course, and I made up some time. On the other side of Richmond, it’s 70 until you hit the North Carolina border. I only had to get gas once and strangely, I didn’t need to stop to use the bathroom at all until I reached my initial destination (Henderson, NC). I had stopped in Dale City, VA to get some fries and a drink, but I didn’t stop for the restroom until I got to my cousin Gary’s house about 220 miles/3.5 hours later. Miraculous. I usually have the bladder of an incontinent 76 year old with no prostate.
I had the ONLY headache upon arrival in Henderson though. I got there from Short Hills, NJ in 7 hours flat, including traffic, because I was on the flow with the pack on I-95 after Exit 143 in Virginia. This was a continuation of that stress I mentioned in an earlier column. I could have had a stroke and heart attack and probably wouldn’t have known. It sure felt like the latter with those headaches (which persisted until I got a Chakras Hot Stone Massage from Chakras Spa in Greensboro, NC on Wednesday).
I happened to run into my cousin Ant Jones and my sister while in Henderson, but I was antsy and on the move. I spent about an hour with them and then headed to Raleigh. I was craving New Bern Subs (formerly Miami Subs, but the same fare as before). For the price, it’s not bad fare at all. Every time I go to Raleigh, I go there at least once.
BUT BEFORE I GOT THERE:
I get pulled at mile marker 197 in Granville County (just outside of Henderson, a few miles from Vance-Granville Community College). Why? Who knows? I had my suspicions, because the clown yokel “Trooper” followed me for a good quarter mile, after breaking away from a pack of 3 troopers in the median that I had passed. He came off as a rookie. I was laughing to myself, because I knew if this dude tried ANYTHING, all I had to do was make a few calls to have his badge revoked — and if he had gone any further than that, I would have had grounds to sue the entire state of North Carolina. These clowns make up rules as they go along.
I have NEVER heard of North Carolina being an “Absolute Speed State”, as this guy asserted to me. “Who told you that you could do over 65 by even one MPH, sir?” I’m saying to myself “You fools need to focus on situations when people actually need your asses — I passed a good half dozen disabled vehicles back up the way, WHERE ARE YOU TO HELP THEM???”
Meanwhile, people passed me doing 80+.
I was doing 69 in the 65 from the moment I got on the road, as it had just gotten dark, around 8:30 PM. SIXTY-NINE IN A SIXTY-FIVE. People had warned me all week that the Highway Patrol was doing some sort of Click It or Ticket/Speed Campaign, so I didn’t play when I entered NC. I wasted 30 minutes with this douche, after he asked me “tricky” question after “tricky” question, trying to get a Sociology major to dry snitch on himself. Ha. Yeah, okay Opie. After all his Psych tactics, this bastard finally admitted (with my OWN reverse psychology and changing the subject to something that would make this prick jealous — aka my FBI procedural from last year, when I would have been this fag’s superior had I gone through it completely) that he only pulled me because he figured I was just another New York dude from Harlem transporting drugs. When he said it, I just nodded with that Phil Jackson smirk on my face.
It’s 9:00 or so at this point, and this guy, feeling accomplished and thinking he had me convinced that he had done me a “favor”, speeds off. Not only did this jerk try to tell me that a Miami Subs still existed on a part of Durham that I KNOW doesn’t feature one (I cut through US-70 to get to Brier Creek when I come down to get my phones at Sprint), but he had another trooper follow me 20 miles until I got off at Exit 178 to cut across to Raleigh.
The fare at New Bern Subs was great, as usual. I parked at WakeMed Hospital and just enjoyed the night air and people-watched. Then I hit 540 and caught I-40 to I-85 and headed to my parents. I arrived there around midnight.
After choppin’ it up with my parents for an hour or so, I crashed for the night, knowing I had a full slate the next day.
I got up after securing about 8 hours of sleep, organized my things, threw my swimming gear, my old Mikes (the XII’s that I’ve always played ball in forever) and some stuff to shoot some ball in and high tailed it to Raleigh. My homie Vilaysack invited me over to have a little BBQ with her family and watch some of the Heat/Bulls game that evening. Before I got there, I had to deal with Raleigh traffic, to get to Smoker Friendly and cop my Menthol Cloves (ha) on the stupid cheap. With my smokes secured in hand, I’m GOOD MONEY from here on out.
I ran over to Saks Fifth to get my splashy-splash on discount (thanks to you know who, as always). I refuse to pay full price for anything, so you can be fly and not spend ALL your money. You just gotta know people and talk to others. My man Wes at Genesis hooks me up every other season, and as you already know, I be in Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Five just like Cam says lml. But enough of that, I didn’t go down south to shop, and I still kept my spending at a VERY minimal rate, given that I need a good three stacks or so just to be able to clear my up front fees to move.
The food was great at the BBQ (thanks Chris) and the game was entertaining — at least the first half.
By the time the second half began, it was 10 PM and I decided it was good form to leave at that time. I had an hour and a half drive ahead of me and there was a storm brewing. Plus I had a business transaction to take care of (thanks Vada).
My old man and I chopped it up for about 3 hours that night, as we always do. I can talk to my father about anything, and I’m glad to still have him, because many dudes cannot say that. Plus, he’s good money and set the foundation for who I am today. If you don’t know my dad, you see me (minus my reckless, over-the-top swagger and aura at times) and you see him.
Monday, I get up and decide to chill a bit. I stayed around Greensboro for the most part that day. Of course the people in Greensboro and Winston-Salem who KNEW I was coming down were nowhere to be found SMH.
I lost my $350 Prada sunglasses that my man Wes at Genesis gave me a 40% cut for back in November. Some bumpkin with probably $150 of gear total saw me drop them (I was unaware they fell out of my pocket) and instead of being a good Samaritan, they run off with glasses that cost more than everything they wore last week combined. WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, B??? I just decided to go home and chill with my parents and talk with my father some more.
I copped some Marc Jacobs the next day, on discount, as I sweet-talked the chick at the counter. Good deal, the wallet is sewn for the rest of the trip after that.
I wanted to give my sister this Germany Soccer Ralph Lauren jacket that she was lusting, because it is yellow — her favorite color. Went down to Henderson and just chilled with them for a couple of hours, then saw my brothers and godmother out at my cousin’s crib the rest of that day. Just my luck, FOOD WAS THERE WAITING FOR ME lml. There isn’t a time that I am someplace that Pearl Glover is residing and I don’t eat. That’s part of the reason why I was such a jolly child ha.
Wednesday was to be a busy day, I had my massage, which took half the afternoon, including the relaxation session afterward. Tried to catch up with my titi and primo, to no avail, got the itch to go to Charlotte, but wasn’t feeling like driving. Caught up with a friend who I connected with on Facebook but had actually gone to junior high school with about 20 years ago. Hilarious how it works.
I made the rounds to the Greensboro colleges to see how they changed and then went to my cousins’ Tonia and Bobby and had dinner there, while talking with them.
Thursday was a great day overall, went out to meet my old buddy Tweety Bird ha “TCB” and one of her friends for lunch at The Pit. I hadn’t been up for long, and after an alarm scare at the crib, my stomach had more acid than the Coca Cola Plant first thing in the morning, so I didn’t have any BBQ even though I CRAVED it all week. SMH.
I left there, and got pulled by FOUR cop cars, just for being in Southeast Raleigh (google it) with NY plates and blasting Dipset. Yeah, I know, I fit the profile, but that nigga ain’t have nothing on me. He pulled me, walked me through some COPS (unfilmed) nonsense, had me pinned against the car no homo, arms behind my head and everything. Told me to sit on the curb while he tore up the car looking for coke or whatever. I don’t transport. “You carrying any weed, Michael?” Pssssh. “I don’t smoke, officer.”
And I don’t. 12/31/10 was the end of that. OFFICIALLY.
He appeared dismayed that he found nothing. Joke’s on you bastard. He said he was from Orange County (upstate New York that, is, not NC), so you should know better than to pull that stunt on another New Yorker, knowing how it feels. The other yokels, including one who looked like a real pig with a tight cop suit on, began clamoring and I told them to just tell me the best way to get to my cousin’s house, which is what I was out there for.
I finally get there and I see them, which is cool, since I rarely do. But I broke outta there 45 minutes later. That neighborhood ain’t wavy, son.
I caught up with V and her family again, before going to see my old UNCG roommate and his wife, who has always been a gem to me. They just had a baby in March and the little fella is going to be quite the character. It was good to see them and have good conversation like the old days at UNCG.
I figured since I was leaving Friday night, that I would get back early and just relax. Which I ended up doing, although I had the itch to go out and there were several other people who I hadn’t seen.
I got up late on Friday. The massage after-effects. Ran a couple of errands and then my father talked me into staying long enough for him to get off work and he, my mother and myself went out to dinner. Good times. I spent half the time laughing at the fact that 95% of the people in that Golden Corral LOOKED LIKE corralled steers, morbidly obese half the lot of ’em!
I left there and caught up with a friend and had great conversation and good times overall, before delaying my undesirable drive back at 4:30 AM Saturday.
I ended up on the car for 12 straight hours, before going out to Brooklyn to get some food, passing the Fleet Week festivities on the Piers and then Memorial Day events out in Downtown Brooklyn. That was good money. After I filled up the tank and took the car back to Hertz at 7 PM sharp, I hit a yellow cab and zoomed back Uptown, threw down my things and slept.
For 15 straight hours — 7:30 PM until 10:00 AM Sunday.
And now I’m back to the grind. I feel like a new man after that week, though. Thank God I made it back safely and thank God for my parents (and anyone who sincerely prays according to the Word of God in Jesus’ Name) because I came back to some good news, which will help the first two goals I have set forth for June come to fruition much quicker than they were otherwise going to. Every time I see my parents, and/or my aunt Phyllis and cousin Josh, I always come home to New York to some good news. WITHOUT FAIL. I wish I had been able to see aunt Phyllis, aunt Cynthia and Josh, but Josh and I are about to head to “FLARIDA” to get this money so it will be gravy in a few weeks.
Holla at me Josh!
What have you…