Big font for big pictures.

It's nice to be back in my own house with my own bed and my own two pillows. I actually had four when we left, but I brought two on the trip because any sleeping between there and the hotel would likely take place in the car. Now, my problem is not so much with whoever left the pillows at the hotel, but the one who decided they must be brought inside in the first place. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a balcony, two couches (definitely more than we can afford)... I wonder if they have pillows?
It's not so hard without them, I didn't use them when sleeping anyway. I read at some dubious source some while ago that doing so can cause long-term neck problems. Never mind that people have been using pillows for longer than I know, and I still intentionally crack my finger joints and eat candy. At any rate, I now use pillows half-effectively to repel the cold air from my combination non-shutting window and hole in wall. Now to do so quarter-effectively will doubtlessly build character.

Oh, we went quite a way. We went through New York, we went through New Jersey, then on to Delaware, then on to Maryland, and Virginia, and North Carolina, and South Carolina and Georgia AND CALORADO! Alright, maybe we didn't go to Calorado. But we did go past Washington DC TO TAKE BACK THE WHITEHOUSE! Ikes. I realize that's a dead reference, but we actually returned the day of the [so necessary] Iowa caucas, so flups to you.

Raise your fist in defiance!  We shall overcome!  Eyes on the prize, people!
I'm not really sure what this picture is of. I didn't delete it from the camera, because I thought I might remember why I took it after seeing it full-sized. No. However, it's because of just such a picture that I later didn't have room for the "Towels do not reserve chairs, people do!" sign, so I'm still mentioning it here. Perhaps I was intrigued by the giant caterpillar on the ceiling. I don't know.

In real life, this sign is actually generated from voxels.
I probably could have read this sign had I not decreased the output resolution to allow for more pictures -like this one- to be stored. I can only END WOFTDRIT AND CALL AGNES and hope for the best.

I'm not too fond of its label art, but if I started drinking soda again I'd definitely try

DITE DR. PEPPER. I saw this at some rest stop in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina or Virginia. There's not a whole lot of difference apparent when you're just passing through, and that's likely why we didn't do anything other than that. Even the water, when the fountains were working, seemed to contain about the same lead-meat content at all locations.

Pennsylvania, where the pork is so good, it's almost kosher. We didn't go there. Although I've seen them as far north as Pennsylvania, which we somehow avoided, I'm (also) glad to say I did not see a single Shoney's until after Virginia. Virginia you can tell is where The South really begins just by the font on its welcome signs. (I decided it would be more economical and better for the environment to reuse some other website's picture for this, and also because I'm completely incompetent with a camera inside a vehicle) Additionally, the rest stops become less and less modern. You go from heated indoor facilities with shops and such to a few vending machines beside water fountains that get turned off in October. This is the fault of a gradual climate change, smaller cities being further apart, and the repressive efforts of a mysterious undead plantation owner known only as Master Pibb.

I have no respect for Maryland. It's bigger than Connecticut, but if you go the right way (or the wrong way, I suppose, since that one doesn't lead to Florida and worse, goes through Pennsylvania), you can be done with Maryland in less than 10 minutes. That's just pathetic. I'm aware that Delaware is smaller. I've been made aware, aware of Delaware. I just don't care. I wonder if you can still buy Nair?

There's nothing to do in North Carolina. Even North Carolina acknowledges that. Not long after entering signs start showing up saying stupid stuff like "SEE MICKEY FOR A MINNIE PRICE!" (I wonder indeed what price Minnie is going for these days) and then a telephone number or something. In effect saying "you're not going to stop. Just keep going. But call us when you get there."

My favorite road sign was in this state, though. It said EXIT 176, Gaston, and, seemingly as a complete afterthought, Gas. That sounds about right. Every town has to be named after something. Also, even though I was not driving and the person who was and likely everyone else on the road had no plans to stop, I found the arrow saying which side of the road the offramp is on quite helpful. What can I say, I'm a help nut.

(not actual photograph)

South Carolina had palm trees and a lot of places which insisted their fried chicken and biscuits were famous. That is all. But I have to wonder why if Professor Bojangle and General Lee and And Mama Gorbo and Aunt Jemima and Popeye and Cap'n Scurvy's chicken and biscuits were really all so famous, why the highlight of my trip was eating the Roy Roger's stuff I picked up back in New Jersey. Roy Rogers' are at most of the New Jersey rest stops. There used to be two around here, and then within months of each other both transmogrified into Wendy'ses, so I just assumed a corporate aquisition or some such thing had taken place, but I guess not. And remember that other page where I was complaining about Burger King frying with vegetable oil and then Pepperidge Farm changed the recipe for pretzel Goldfishtm and how about when all the stores stopped selling Wispa and Bonkers and I had to buy Milky Way and Starburst instead. If my tastes are simple, why are they so hard to fool?

"[The Georgia tourism bureau is] glad Georgia's on [my and whoever the guy standing by the sign is's] mind," even if only for the purposes of knowing which state must be passed through to get from South Carolina to Florida. That's not really anything to be proud of. And I'm certainly not impressed that they were the site of the 1996 Olympic games, since long before that Connecticut was the site of the 1994 special Olympic games. So ha.

Up in Florida slimy green animals seemed to be a theme. All manner of store that shouldn't is selling alligator heads, and every other billboard has a frog or a lizard on it. I even saw some with the Geico gundamed gecko on them. "Save on car insurance right from the get go gecko." What does that sellout have to do with cars, insurance, or their fiendish test-tube baby? I remember when it was all like "I am a gecko, not to be confused with Geico, so stop calling me!" And now that filthy whore is on their signs. I haven't seen such an offensive U-turn since the Budweiser lizards, once dedicated to eliminating the Budweiser frogs and all that they represented instead attempted to join their ranks (I'd make some comment like "now we see your true colors!" except I think they were the kind of lizards that actually change their colors). And how about when good ol' Gex abandoned the kids at widow Shepherd's orphanage to appear in mediocre 3DO games? Reptiles disgust me.

Other classes (reptiles, amphibians, mammals, those are called classes, you fool) weren't so much better; there were numerous instances of a mascot betraying its own species to food processors just to save itself. My favorite was advertised somewhere in the midst of a few scarcely noticable South of the Border billboards, it was a random barbecue place whose name escapes me just now (Fuller's Old Fashion BBQ) featuring a very coy looking pants-less cartoon pig on its sign, standing before a fire, who seems to say "who, me?" to the question which we don't need to ask. Yes, you. It was all you. You and you alone stole the cookie from the cookie jar. Just like the hunter, confronted by the duck who offered to reveal other ducks in hiding so that itself would not be shot, on my quad-yearly "prove you're not retarded" spiral bound cardboard booklet test, the correct answer to describe how I feel is "disgusted." Not offended, not aghast, disgusted. Pig, you sicken me.

To learn more about South of the Border, try
Roadtrip America or the creatively titled Roadside America websites. To learn more about pantsless cartoon pigs, don't. Take that statement however you will.

Back in swamp country, were the similarly sickening Peaden gremlins. Although they were selling air-conditioners, and thus not likely to turn in their ilk to make such things... I wish they would. Maybe we could use their skin to insulate homes, or something. I've never before been so glad that none of the wacky local businesses around here have properly funded graphics departments. The secret, it turns out, is to only distribute pre-expired coupons.

Before we go further (though it could be rightly argued we aren't going anywhere), I don't similarly regard those mutant computer-spawned M&Ms in the same traitorous category, despite their supernatural despisability, simply because if my mind made the vaguest connection between those objects and the actual product, I'd never eat chocolate again, quite regardless of the letters cruelly branded upon it. That should never have been one sentence.

Aw naw, you mean there's more?