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Write-a-Thon, Day 8: OSI – “An Alternate Universe in which My Father is the GPS Voice Guy”

In addition to the Clarion Write-a-Thon, I’m also participating once again in the fun that is One Single Impression. If you enjoy poetry and awesomeness (and I know you do), why not pay them a visit?

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The prompt this week over at One Single Impression is “Roads.” When it comes to poetry, many people have a formed reflexive association (thanks to literature-loving, fence-building junior high English teachers everywhere) between the word “roads” and Robert Frost, whose 1920 poem, “The Road Not Taken,” has inspired generations to embrace individuality and also to create those horrid “Successory” things. So it’s not all good…but I digress. For me, the word “roads” has many associations: travel; Cormac McCarthy; Mel Gibson, back when he was just regular crazy and not batshit Hitler-style crazy; the many, many times I have been forced to avail myself of the services of the fine folks at AAA; and, of course, the time-honored, well-loved Ohio tradition of discussing the best way to get from point A to point B.

Ohioans don’t just like to give directions (although many of us will run several miles, OJ-in-the-airport-style, for the chance to do so), we love to talk to each other about the best way to get somewhere, particularly if we have a “secret” route that will allow us to arrive at, say, the dentist’s office, three minutes earlier. I have personally observed epic debates between my father and grandmother that lasted for HOURS as they argued over where Skeeter Thompson’s house was, and whether it was better to take Old Route 32B to get there or cut across Old Man McGillicutty’s field and hop onto Hound Dog Boulevard (these details may not be 100% accurate – I tend to zone out after the first 90 minutes. Also, it must be noted that my father’s family is from Pennsylvania, the one place where they love to discuss the route from A to B more than Ohio).

And so, with these thoughts in my head, and with apologies to Mr. Frost, I give you:

An Alternate Universe in which My Father is the GPS Voice Guy

What’s that? Gas station?
Hell, we’re practically there.
Now listen up, kid.

What y’wanna do
Is head down to the old barn
Y’know, that blue one.

Skeeter Thompson’s barn!
Remember? Next to the field?
No, the old mill field.

Cookie Weaver’s mill!
Out on Route 25A
Good fishin’ out there.

So, anyway, go
past three stoplights, then take a
left on Hog Spit Lane.

Drive ’til you get to
where Carter’s Lumber burnt down
Back in ’58.

Turn left again, then
it’s smooth sailing for about
Thirty-five miles.

What’s that? Well, sure, yeah
You COULD go two blocks over
To the new Speedway

If you wanna pay
Seven more cents per gallon
Go on, Diamond Jim.

What do I know?

I’ve only lived here
forever, only know
these goddamn roads like

The back of my hand.

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4 Comments

  1. and I thought you would say like the lines on my palm..
    very realistic poem .. yes, we must atleast know all about the roads meandering through the towns we live in.. a good reminder..

  2. Terrific – I can hear the directions!

  3. That is an original voice. I liked this very much.

  4. @Ramesh Thanks! My Dad always helps me to remember that even if I think I know where I’m going, there’s another way to get there. 🙂

    @Tumblewords Thanks! My Dad should be in commercials, he really should.

    @Sandy Thank you! Dad is quite a character.

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