Well, tomorrow we fly out to England, then it’s an overnighter and on Saturday we head to Miami. Naturally I am now immersed in preparations, last-minute special changes and panics. However, we’re getting there. Now in keeping with last-minute panics my friends have all been rather adept at instilling me with the most random of “Things To Dread”. Here I will list a few of the things I’ve been advised to avoid at all costs.
1) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Thanks to my boss for this irrational fear. Just before I left for the holidays he said, “You know Matt… just… be careful, yeah? I don’t wanna get a call saying ‘Hi, I’m in Guantanamo.'” I like to think it was his own special way of telling me that he valued my work and wanted me to be in one piece upon my return. So it was a sweet thing really. Thanks boss.
2) Losing all my money in Vegas, Nevada
Oh ho ho! No you don’t… not again. Last time I was in Vegas I did actually lose almost all my money. Actually it wasn’t so much on gambling as on all the little bits and pieces one inexplicably ends up buying and indulging in. Strange place. Suffice to say, despite us needing to go through Vegas en-route to the Grand Canyon we shall be giving it a very wide berth. Fool me once, shame on me…
3) Falling in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Seeing as we’re in the neighborhood… I shall do my best to avoid falling in the Grand Canyon. We visit it on the last leg of our journey. But I’ve always wondered how they stop people falling in… they can’t have railings around it, can they? Just remember — it’s not the fall that hurts; it’s hitting the ground. Wise words.
4) Getting lost in the Charles Manson desert, Death Valley (appropriately), California
A very dark idea indeed. Bleak, actually. AND we even have to pass through here on our way out of San Fran. Pretty disturbing. New rules: no hitchers, no stopping to take a leak, no camping.
Nobody likes Hurricanes. I’m guessing that we run more risk of this at the start of our journey (Florida) than elsewhere. How to survive a hurricane?
If you stay at home, make sure you have sturdy shutters securely locked to keep your windows (as well as everyone in the house) safe. If you do not have shutters, use heavy plywood and nail it to the window frame. Have your emergency kit handy and alternative lighting ready. Listen to a battery-powered radio for news.
(Thanks to secretsofsurvival.com for this advice). I think we might try to drive away quickly though.
6) Getting chased by the KKK
People hate the Klan more than they hate hurricanes. Justifiably. Scenes which spring to mind involving travelers and the KKK are: that “bridge scene” in Blues Brothers — even if they were up against Nazis (but hey: same difference), and in that George Clooney Flick Oh, Brother Where Art Thou… a musical with George Clooney: really good fun… and they outwit the Klan so it has a happy ending. I’m not out to outwit the Klan… if it happens then great, but “steer clear” is my overarching concern.
7) Falling in with Chicago Mobsters
My brother is trying to convince me of the benefits of this; I resist in my opinion that it’s something to be avoided. You never know who’s pulling the strings and the first one’s always free. Then you pay. Forgeddaboudit!
Naturally, if anyone has any ideas of what’s to be avoided I’ll happily add them to my list before we boldly soujourn into the unknown.