Road Trip!

So, I got back Monday from Wiscon, held yearly in Madison, Wisconsin. Nita, a student and friend, and I piled into my little hatchback on Thursday, 5/22, and headed east and north. We chattered the whole way (what a surprise) and, after I warned Nita that if she opined on the likelihood of me driving into a ditch one more time I’d dump her along the side of Hwy 20, things progressed smoothly.

I’ll say two things for Wisconsin: one, it’s pretty! The landscape changed just before we crossed the Mississippi at Dubuque and continued to be hilly with lots of green interspersed with honey-colored stone. Second, Wisconsinites seem to love 3D, representational signage. The first we noticed was this car wash octopus on the way into Madison:

And, since we loved it so much, here’s a pic of pus with Nita:

On the way home, we passed (and wondered how the hell we hadn’t noticed them before) cow signage. Well, one wasn’t so much a sign as some kind of weird homage/fountain/grotto thing:

It’s the second cow, though, sign for the Crazy Cow Saloon, that really got our attention:


Now looking at this, I can just imagine the Wisconsin Cow Signage Builders having the following discussion:

Earl: Well, she’s just about done. Beehive hair-do, makeup, dress, breasts — yup, that’s one craaaazy cow!

Bob: She ain’t very realistic, is she?

Earl: That’s the whole point, Bob.

Bob: I mean, you stand a cow up like that, you’re gonna see her udder veins pop out.

Earl: Jeezus, Bob, you’re right! I can’t believe I forgot the udder veins! What kind of Wisconsin Cow Signage Builder would I be if’n I forgot the udder veins?!

And what’s a road trip without mechanical difficulties? As we were approaching the car to pile in and come home on Monday, I saw a stiff, silver wire hanging low from behind the driver’s side rear wheel. Upon inspection, it was clear that it had sheered off at two points, one just about under the driver’s seat and the other somewhere around the rear axle. I pulled it out and put it into the car, then we went back into the hotel to call a Toyota dealership. Of course, since it was Labor Day, all the Toyota service departments were closed. I talked to a salesman named Kermit (I know, so cute), who said it *could * be the wire that forms the emergency brake system (later, a call to Nita’s boyfriend, who singlehandedly rebuilt a 1981 Camero, confirmed this). Now, we could have stayed one more day in the hotel and gone to a mechanic on Tuesday, or we could take our chances and get home. We got in the car and I made sure everything worked, including the brakes — meaning I chose a time when no one was behind us, warned Nita, and slammed on the brakes.

So yes, it was a very typical road trip: strange and fun.

I’m still nursing a cold I picked up at the con (I got off lucky — others got stomach flu), so I’ll blog about the actual convention tomorrow.


3 responses »

  1. Hi — I just tried to post a comment but got an error message, so I’ll try to repost.

    Anyway, great cow signage. Especially with the udder veins. And I’m so glad you got home safely, especially with the dangling wire. I hate driving under conditions like that; I’m always afraid the car is about to explode.

    I hope your cold gets better very, very soon.

    It was great seeing you, and meeting Nita, at WisCon!

  2. The sign pictures are wild–I’m still trying to determine if the signs say something about Wisconsonians (?) in general, or if you and Nita stumbled onto some bizzaro anomaly. Your pic looks great–take care of that cold.

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