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Driving me crazy

I should know better by now.

After spending part of Friday dodging nearly every feathered creature imaginable on the backroads that snake through Jefferson, Burke and Bulloch counties, my faith is officially shaken.

Maybe those handy-dandy GPS navigation systems aren't the best way to go.

I know, I should have learned my lesson the first time. The soothing GPS voice in my mom's Cadillac led me up a mountain and into the backdrop of Deliverance 2 while in search of a gas station in Tennessee. (Of course, it didn't help that my wife's cell-phone GPS was telling us to go in the opposite direction the whole time. It was right, the Cadillac of GPS systems was not.)

Maybe I should have learned my lesson that time in LaGrange, when the GPS took Billy Hobbs and I down a dark side street to a dead end overlooking the interstate instead of taking us to the interstate. Close, but no cigar.

Or maybe I should have learned when Miriam and I traipsed over part of California in search of one God-forsaken gas station.

But no. I have that Pete Smith-stubborn streak embedded deep in my soul.

So when Mir and I took off for Statesboro last Friday, we listened to her cell phone GPS, which did get us there. Of course, we apparently had the "Nature Trail" or the "Count the Buzzards and Crows" option checked. (Eight buzzards, one turkey and 27 crows for those playing along at home.)

Still, I'm just happy to be somewhere that is plentiful in gas stations and any discussions on just how purty my mouth is are the least of my worries.

Speaking of traumas, my father is back in action despite the scar on his chest. On a Thursday in late May, his doctor said he was progressing good, and he could even start driving in a few weeks. So Dad drove to Wal-Mart the next day. Then drove to Jekyll Island a day after that.

My father never had been a good listener.

I helped him pack the pick-up with fishing rods, a bevy of books and the trappings he, my mother, sister, brother-in-law and nephew would need for two weeks at the beach.

Including a loaded cooler that Dad swore contained no beer.

I popped the top, just knowing I'd find a couple of cans of beer and reveling in the idea that I'd get to chastise him for breaking the rules of his cardiologist.

But there was no beer, a fact that puffed up Dad's scarred chest with a little "I told you so" pride.

Then what about the vodka and bourbon in there, I asked.

"That's not beer," he said.

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride: "He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means."

Then again, you should probably never get into a semantics battle with my father.

Web posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009

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