Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Lights All Went Out In Massachusetts 

Saturday, September 25, 2004

There are those who toot and those who are tooted at.

This was our first trip to the States, my first time at the wheel of a car where you sit on the left and drive on the right, and we were in Boston. My sources had tipped me off that Boston is possibly the worst city in the country for driving in. I don’t mind telling you I was a little apprehensive.

I had a practice drive up and down the rental company’s parking lot, and having not actually injured anybody after a whole fifteen minutes, not physically, I took my courage in my hands. This is it. With my heart in my mouth and a churning sensation just about everywhere else, I made my first intrepid left turn and skidded out onto the highway.

As luck would have it, nothing was coming the other way. Furthermore, we didn’t have to go through the city, just out of it, and I had an excellent navigator by my side.
The traffic was pretty frantic. Tooting reverberated all around the Ted Williams Tunnel, so much so that it surely can’t all have been directed at us. At one point a guy in an SUV the size of a double decker bus leaned out of his blacked out window and yelled something at me. I didn’t catch what he said, it might have been something about getting into the correct lane asshole, but he didn’t shoot us or anything, so that was, like, cool.

We checked into our hotel, wasted no time in peeling off our frankly rather sweaty clothes, and went for a swim around Plymouth Rock. OK, so it wasn’t the Plymouth Rock. This was a thoughtful and tastefully designed replica in the hotel pool, complete with water slides and a Jacuzzi set into the top of it.
We bubbled in the tub until we were pulpy at the edges like boiled potatoes, and then another couple joined us.
“I’m not getting up to any funny business,” Girlfriend nervously whispered in my ear.
“No. Me neither,” I replied, louder than intended. “Not with these fat biffers anyway.”

Carefully avoiding eye contact, we made our excuses and set sail for the bar. It was my first beer in a fortnight, having only just finished my course of anti-biotics. By golly it was good, and so was the next one. We enjoyed an excellent meal in a booth in an ersatz log cabin, then retired, dizzy and incredulous that we’d made it this far.

I had a patchy night, waking frequently, and when I did manage to sleep I dreamed only of guns and head on collisions.

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