Sunday, July 20, 2008


A little over a week ago, the odometer on Grandma McHanslaw (actually it was Grandma Strouselberg, reflecting my mother's maiden name) was scheduled to roll over to 90, so living relatives were summoned from all over the country to descend upon the sprawling metropolis of Peoria, Illinois for a weekend of geriatric revelry. Most McHanslaws, Strouselbergs, Gambolos, and Borlovskys (inbreeding was outlawed within the McHanslaw line over 40 years ago, so much to the chagrin of a few undersexed elders, our family tree has sprouted several new branches as of late) opted to make the journey in airplanes, though myself and Father McHanslaw opted to drive there instead of fly, as we are spendthrifts of the highest pedigree.

Mmm, yes. Quite. Hurrumph.

Anyway, I thought this ground-based sojourn across the midwest could give me great fodder for a blog post, so I brought my camera along in the hopes that I'd be able to take some humorous snapshots of a few of the hundreds of thousands of morbidly obese human beings that live in this part of the country. Unfortunately, I didn't plan for two fairly obvious problems with this scheme of mine:

1. Being that we were driving across the country via interstates for 99.8% of the travel time we logged during this trip, I rarely caught sight of any people, regardless of girth, who weren't sitting in their cars. Now, I don't know if anyone else has ever noted this, but unless you happen to be driving next to Mark Mangino, it's pretty difficult to look at someone driving a car and think to yourself, "wow, that guy is ENORMOUS!" (what with the doors acting as obstructions and all). It's even more difficult to take a picture of a potentially massive human being driving a car, then show that picture to another person and convince them that the man/woman in the photograph is indeed as large as you claim - as such, and to conclude my circuitous point, photographs of this nature would undoubtedly make for poor blog material (though all of that said, this interstate revelation leads me to extend my first official piece of advice for overweight Americans who are trying to make themselves look slimmer: Wearing vertical stripes doesn't work, wear a Toyota Camry instead).

2. The odds of catching sight of a true goliath at a rest area or highway gas station (the places where I spent the remaining .2% of my travel time) are pretty slim, as the true monsters of the Midwest logically spend most of their time lying in waterbeds at their place of residence, not driving out to the middle of nowhere to take a whiz in a public bathroom. This should have occurred to me long before we left, as science clearly dictates that people don't become unthinkably large by going places and doing things, they become unthinkably large by not going places and not doing things (or catching a really bad break in the genetics department). Still, I didn't think this would be an issue until we stopped off at our first truck stop in Nebraska, where I saw a couple of men milling about who were, at least by city standards, impressively rotund, but not a single citizen who fell into the "Holy mother of God, how the hell did THAT happen??" variety. Disappointment reigned supreme.

Note: I'm aware that I could have just photographed the impressively rotund men and posted those photographs on here, but that course of action would have brought with it a decent probability that some deceptively fast former offensive lineman who doesn't like having his picture taken would end up trying to destroy me, resulting in a scenario strikingly similar to the dinosaur park chase scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure (the only notable differences being that I wouldn't have been wearing a bowtie and my massive assailant would have probably smashed the dinosaur bone, or more likely a tire iron, over my head instead of over his knee).
Anyway, since I wasn't able to get the photographs that I was hoping for, I decided to take a stirring array of photographs during the 8 hour drive across the state of Nebraska, because I'll be damned if I'm going to make a cross country road trip in 90 degree heat without getting a freebie blog posting out of it. So, without further ado, please accept the greatest sights Nebraska has to offer:


I thought this was pretty neat. See, it's a flat plot of land with stuff being grown on it... very rare in this part of the country, or so I've been told. In the side view mirror, you can see that another car was following me at this time. Was the driver trying to kill me with his thoughts? I suppose we'll never know.


In the upper left quadrant of this photograph you can clearly see two alien spacecraft. Why would they choose to come to Nebraska, you ask? Five words:  Great Prices On Tapered Jeans.


Here you can see a truck. Trucks are bigger than cars, and they go fast! VRRROOOOOMMMM!!!


True story: I went to the bathroom not more than 80 seconds after this picture was taken. Also, at this time I feel somehow obligated to link to this classic, because it still is, and always will be, one of the greatest articles of all time.

Finally, I would like to close with what I would consider to be the quintessential Nebraska photo:


I have titled this one, "Who would have thought hell could be so green?"

God Bless America.


Shawn said...

On hell being so green...
It's honestly exactly what I would expect of a state where they are currently debating teaching Intelligent Design in public schools.
"Hmm, the earth appears to be flat, and my Bible talks about the four corners of the earth, so it must be flat indeed, and I'm gonna be a lazy fuck and not ask questions"
If that shit ever happens in Texas, Mr. McHanslaw, you just might get that national headline that I know you look forward to when you read my comments. Cuz I can guarantee you I'm gonna go off in a National Headline kind of way.

Faye said...

it couldnt have been as bad as indiana. i had to go there to get my sister, and i swear i have nightmares about fields of soy and corn.

Father Rhyme said...

I have nightmares about Gary, Indiana, but those have nothing to do with soy and corn. Or musicals, for that matter.