Notes on Another Trip to DC

Some Sunday nights are pretty average. Like this one. Did some writing. Did some grocering. Watched some Adventure Time. Dined on potato soup. Attempted to exercise my booty to optimal.

That king of thing.

Some Sunday nights you hear Mavis Staples and Bonnie Raitt sing Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and you smile so hard your face hurts. Aand it almost makes up for the fact that Mavis doesn’t sing You Are Not Alone. Almost. And for the fact that when Bonnie sings I Can’t Make You Love Me as an encore, there’s a woman really tryin’ to move her extra inventory standing nearby shouting, “Water! One dollar! Water! One dollar!”

Like last Sunday night.

We were in Annapolis. Sandy Point State Park. It was a place to see, even without the tunes. Our car was parked off-site, and the fancy “shuttle” was a school bus. I haven’t been on a school bus since high school, probably when I went to the symphony and City Center Mall in Columbus my senior year, where the whole thing was always paid for by a guy who went to my high school and then got rich off potato chips and gave back every year by sending a bus-load of high school kids from a tiny town out for a night of culture in the big city. I didn’t realize until I was on there that I had forgotten the jostle of a school bus without enough people on it. I even got to use those little pull-tab springs to put the window down.

That’s livin’ right there.

The night and morning before, we were in Alexandria, which I may very well love as much as Charleston and New Orleans. The traffic around it hurts my head, but there’s little to complain about once you are walking those narrowish streets and looking at the old all around you.

Plus, they have a Le Pain Quotidien and a La Madeleine on the same street, which is like food heaven, and Le Pain Quotidien had a quinoa and spelt scone that brought a tear to the eye and a ginger-grapefruit tonic that brought some serious pleasure to my sour-sensors.

The night before, we tried Z Pizza for the first time. Not the best experience. Apparently, the motto at that one is ‘Service with a scowl.’ Wouldn’t have minded my first time with Z Pizza to have happened at another Z Pizza, but this exchange did happen –

Customer: Can I get a large pizza?

Employee: We just ran out. You can order small or extra large.

At which point, the customer ordered two smalls of the same pizza at extra expense to herself without question.

For those of you who are, as we were, scratching your heads in confusion, what they had run out of were large boxes. Boxes. Not large pizzas. And, apparently, improvising was above everyone’s pay grade.

We also had our pre-paid room swapped for us with this dramatized scenario.

Them: We don’t have any king-size beds. Are two queens okay?

Me: Since the room is pre-paid and I can’t get a refund, I guess.

Them: Good. [By the way, we swapped your room to put you right next to the large party of high school kids and the teenagers beside you are going to keep running across the room and slamming into their door all night, until you call the front desk. At which point, they will only be loud in other ways. By the way, they will also get up at roughly 6 a.m. after this shenanigans, so don’t plan to sleep.]

Me: I hate hotels.

So, the entire point of this silly bitching is that the hotel stay was so rough the night before that we cancelled our Sunday night reservation, left Annapolis at 10 p.m. and drove all the way home.

On the plus side? That sleep was fuckin’ awesome.

Right before we made it home, though, something happened. I had heard, of course, of Carrie Underwood’s song Jesus, Take the Wheel, but, somehow, until 3 a.m., driving just east of Raleigh on May 20, 2013, I had never actually heard it.

As soon as it started, I kind of saw where it was all heading, i.e., having never heard it, I could still name that tune in five words. Yeah, it’s just that kind of a song.

So, the first verse is an over-dramatic tale about a woman driving with a baby that reaches its climax when she loses control of her car on the ice, then throws her hands in the air and prays “Jesus, take the wheel.”

To which I say, Yes. Someone needs to take the damn wheel. If you’re sliding on ice, throwing your hands in the air, not the best course of action. And, also, really? Someone writes a song called Jesus, Take the Wheel, and kicks it off with a literal steering wheel?

Have mercy.

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