breaker one-nine, this is adult diaper rash



I’m on one of those drives that I recommend everyone take at least once in their lives: the desolate, beautiful skirt across the bottom of the country. Interstate 10 is not for the road-weary, nor is it for those without air conditioning, but it gives you a good sense of our country’s physical perspective that airplanes can’t equal.

Of course, it’s also a 2,000,000-square-mile golfing range if you look at it the right way. Back in the winter, when I knew I’d eventually be taking this trip, I daydreamed about thwacking the hell out of the ball at the most barren part of the journey, and I think I found the place: somewhere near the “Big Bend” of the Rio Grande, where you can go days without seeing Jonathan Q. Law.


Environmentalists, don’t worry: I only hit four balls, and I’m sure they’ll biodegrade in about 370 years. It was way, way too hot to hit any more, and the wind was blowing 50mph in the wrong direction. “Into the teeth,” as semi-pro golfer Block might say.

As for the Desert Southwest, say what you want about Starbucks and/or the Flying J Truck Stop (god knows I have) but if it weren’t for them, there would be NO INTERNET WITHIN 800 MILES. I bemoaned the lack of broadband down here two and a half years ago and nothing seems to have changed; Moore’s law must have melted in the heat.

Speaking of which, I have endured much heat in my life – summer in Kenya comes to mind – but I can honestly say I’ve never experienced this (check red arrow):


That’s right, 100 degrees Fahrenheit at midnight. I recommend to all of you on this road trip to stock up on saline nasal spray, because you’ll bloody well need it.

One more day on the road!

0 thoughts on “breaker one-nine, this is adult diaper rash

  1. Tanya

    So, what are some tunes that have perked you up over the last few days? I’m assuming you’re doing the iPod/Satellite radio thing…

  2. Martha

    Ian, I have to tell you, I’m impressed – nice take away, you’re staying on plane, left arm straight, good pivot position! I’d imagine a prairie dog about 275 yards away saying, “What the hell was that?!!”

  3. Piglet

    You want EVERYONE to have to drive through Texas at some point in their lives? Tell me again why you opposed Alberto Gonzales?
    If I EVER have to go into Texas, I’m going to make sure I have my passport updated. I know they don’t ask for you to show it when visiting from the United States, but just on general principles.

  4. Greg (not THAT Greg, another Greg altogether)

    As a native (n8v) of Texas, I can’t agree with Piglet’s sentiment more, except to say that it’s surprisingly beautiful country once you get past the close-minded blockheads that it seems to produce with regularity. I personally prefer New Mexico for both environment and politics, but driving through Texas is far better than driving through, say, Indiana.

  5. Ian

    The 100-degree midnight was in El Paso, TX (in the Barnes&Noble parking lot, actually). It’s going to be worse today, as I drive through southern Arizona.
    Tanya – I’ve been listening to XM Channel 43 (XMU) which has been playing some amazing stuff this summer. Mostly, though, I’m knee-deep into “The Mauritius Command,” book 4 of the “Master and Commander” series downloaded onto the iPod.
    Martha – I’ve been working on the left arm! Now I just have to keep the swing inside and not move my left leg.
    Piglet – Know thine enemy!

  6. Ian

    If I’d hit in the other direction, it would have flown into the windowshield of an 18-wheeler, who no doubt keeps a shotgun under his seat.


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