Take your half-finished Sudokus and throw them away. Numbers and logic won't help you where you're going. Take your word jumbles and your word scrambles and make confetti. You'll need confetti where you're going. Take your crosswords out of the glove box, fill in all the boxes with "Not Today," ‘cause guess when you're doing those crosswords? Today? No. Try never. This is a road trip, pure and simple.

Your preconceived notions of iced-dairy desserts were shattered today, but there's more to the melancholy. The next stop of the day is a Vermont cheese factory. "Where am I going?" you might ask. Out of this one horse town, that's for starters. Your country (tis of thee) is out there, waiting for you, filled with more horses and towns than any normal person could conceivably count. Are there more than five? Yes. Will you see them all? Naaaaye. Your spidey-sense is a tingling, and that means adventure. Coincidentally, the tingling sensation is greatest where the black widow bit you five minutes ago. Emergency room? Adventure doesn't wait for boring, old, spider antidote.

So grab your girl, your gear, your grub and go. Once behind that steering wheel, throw two handfuls of confetti. This signifies the beginning of the road trip. It also gives your Road Trip Buddy something to clean off the floor, a marked improvement in scenery when driving through Indiana.

Don't be shy about cranking the soothing sounds of NPR. Not everyone likes it, but that's all the entertainment you'll need, driver.  That Terry Gross has a voice like an overripe avocado, or a velvet pillow filled with butter. Hark! A yawn from yon passenger seat! E tu Road Trip Buddy? You pull out a pocketful of wadded up scraps with conversation starters scribbled on them. Your lady of the road will be impressed with these doozies: "Whatchya thinkin bout?" "What do you want to eat at your wedding?" and "Can you think of 20 names for a baby girl?" If you saved any confetti, you can also pretend to throw up the confetti if she says the name "Ethel."

And remember, remember, remember: write down highlights from your trip. But I know you never will (just like all those leafy gutters you said you'd get to), so I've gone ahead and done the highlights for you.

Eleven o'clock.

Vermont. Sitting in the parking lot outside of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory. Both of you are crying. You've already been through the tour and found out that Ben and Jerry are just a bunch of sellouts capitalizing on hippie-image. A crowd lingers around your car; the same post-menopausal has knocked on the passenger side window at least five times to see if anyone needs help. Yes, somebody needs help. Your preconceived notions of iced-dairy desserts were shattered today, but there's more to the melancholy. The next stop of the day is a Vermont cheese factory, normally cause for much anticipation and celebration (confetti). But no. Wrapped arm in arm, crying salty tears together, you commiserate. Road Trip Buddy just got her doctor's results: lactose intolerance.

One o'clock.

South Dakota. Custer State Park. The sign says no feeding the wildlife. Directly in front of you is a Mercury Mystique, inhabitants extending handfuls of bread to the expectant mouths of Feral Burros. For revenge purposes, you take note of their license plate (1JB PP7, New Jersey) in case you ever do make it into the FBI, but decide action is needed now. Rolling down your window to yell obscenities, the cutest Feral Burro you've ever seen comes prancing over.  If only you had some bread, you wouldn't have to find out that Feral Burros don't like the taste of confetti.

Three o'clock.

Michigan. You had heard that gas mileage drops when driving into Michigan. It most certainly did for you. But it's okay, because there's an increase in gas mileage when leaving Michigan. This strange phenomenon is caused by a predominant wind pattern that heads southerly into Indiana. Meteorologists don't fully understand why this occurs, but it is believed to have something to do with a giant sucking that originates within the borders of Indiana.

Five o'clock.

Wyoming. A herd of Buffalo surrounds your car. The herd adopts car as one of their own, and car rises quickly through the ranks to become Chief Buffalo. You and car both realize that in the past hours, you've learned a lot about yourselves, and to face facts, have grown distant. You turn around to go your way, and car does a three-point turn to go on its. As Chief Buffalo accelerates toward the horizon, you can almost hear Road Trip Buddy's fingernails frantically and hopelessly scratching at the window to escape. A lone tear trickles down your cheek as you remember your confetti stashed in the glove box.

America, America, God shed his grace on thee. In this denouement, you walk into the sunset, towards Mexico, where you've heard they sell prescription pills over the counter.

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