First a history lesson. Back in the fifties we had a president named Dwight David Eisenhower. He was known at that time for three things: 1) Being the commander of the ETO (Eastern Theater of Operations) during WWII, 2) Having heart problems that introduced Dick Nixon to a taste of the presidency, 3) The Interstate Highway System. The last one was supposed to transport troops across the country at lightning speed to make sure those Commies couldn’t invade us on either coast. A secondary use was that it would facilitate the movement of goods across the country. A third effect was it would kill off a lot of beloved state highways. The system was simple; odd routes went north and south, even numbered ones east and west. In New England where I live we’re in the I-91/95 / I-84 corridor. I-91 basically goes from up here to Florida. I-95 is a shortcut for New Yorkers to get to Connecticut counties along Long Island Sound and Long Island. I-84 basically is supposed to go west from Boston to some freakin’ where. I love I-84. I’ve driven on it between Manchester CT where I went to school and New Britain where I live. It also aided a lot of us when we were eighteen to get to border towns in New York state where the drinking age was eighteen, That was before the State Police tightened up the borders and some people in CT got morally lax and bought beer for under aged kids, of which I used to be one. That’s another story for another time. The federal government built these interstates and created new sports like the Labor Day or any holiday DUI/fatalities pools, road rage, who could most creatively flip off driver in other lanes and lip reading the profanities from your fellow driver when you passed him.

Friday I took part in all three of the above pastimes. It started on Monday when my ill-fated Toshiba laptop ate a CD. I was burning CDs to the library to load on MP3 players. I had purged the treacherous pile of CDs that were occupying a wall in my bedroom. I got boxes from Office Depot and loaded them in and stacked them neatly in the front room. On Saturday and Sunday I had sorted out all the CDs I wanted to load. Mostly Greatest Hits compilations and a few CDs by artists who didn’t do the Greatest Hits route, like Patti Smith. I had got Windows Media running and was loading and ripping as fast as I could go. I got to the Forty Licks album by the Stones. I got the first disk ripped and loaded the second one. It didn’t get around the spindle. When I closed the CD drawer it was sticking out a bit. I opened it to fish it out but the computer ate it. IN went on-line for a solution but when I got past using straightened paper clips and went into screwdriver land I knew it was the time to call the go-to guy. We played phone tag until Thursday. He got hold of me and I explained the problem. I had a image in my head of him trying not to bust out laughing. He said bring it in on Friday. I hit the highway about one thirty. Eighty four was a tad slow. The overhead signboards they put up gave me the 411. There was an accident near exit 48. I got past the exit and made it into Hartford. One thing I hadn’t done was pay attention to the traffic going in the opposite direction. anyway, in Hartford I got through the mixmaster and headed for I-91 t0 Springfield. My mantra was “Exit 32B”. I hit it. In previous attempts I grove right by and spent many happy hours driving the back roads near Windsor CT. I recrossed the Connecticut River and took the proper exit. A left turn, going through four stop lights, past the McDonalds and Governor’s Highway. I found the shop. There was a note on the door. The go-to guy was on a call. He left a phone number. I stalked around the parking lot. I got into a conversation with another waitee. I could tell by his speech that he was hearing impaired. I was somewhat pissed I hadn’t kept up with learning ASL. But we got the number onto paper and I went to a hardware distributor to make the call. I got f*****g voice mail. Talked to the HI guy and got into my car. AC on MP3 player going I sat for about forty five minutes. During my wait I learned an interesting lesson. Men, when they read a notice that says the door they want to enter is locked they will pull on it at least five time before they’re convinced that it’s locked. At least that’s what the Pillsbury Dough Boy who was trying to carry a couple laptops or the guy who pulled up in a tricked out Mazda did. The guy in the Mazda went to great lengths to make a call on what I assumed to be his equally out cell phone. It came down to waiting, or who would leave first. Mr. Mazda left first with chrome wheels spinning and cheap muffler job reminding me he was leaving. The Dough Boy held out for thirty minutes but I guess he ran out of cell calls to make and the was no breeze blowing through his open windows. I left at three thirty. I got back on to I-91 without getting lost (another story for another time). Traffic was horrible. It was crawling. The signboard told me that an accident on I-84 near exit forty eight was the cause of the back-up. It was twenty freakin’ miles away. There were asshats all over the road. I contributed. I flipped off enough people to fill my quota for the next six years. My language was colorful and creative combining mechanical and physical feats heretofore unthought of. The oddity was the most courteous driver on the road was from Massachusetts, that much maligned breed. He let me into and out of lanes as I don’t do all that well when there’s a lot of slow moving traffic and I can’t read the signs quickly enough. I made it to Hartford and back onto I-84. I approached exit 48. I wished I was in the days when I drove a Ford Galaxy with an Interceptor engine that drank $1 gas a cup at a time and my twenty year-old brain said I needed a Louisville slugger under the front seat in case of emergencies. I passed the State Police car that preceded the accident, then came the ambulance. It was then I really wanted a baseball bat. To climb in the back and finish the job and punish whoever for slowing down traffic. I saw it was a motorcyclist. I rode a bike when I thought I was invincible. Bikers think cars not seeing them or hating them cause accidents. Car drivers blame multi-horsepower crotch rockets driven by people who think they’re invincible. They’re both right. As for the interstate system? If we have to rely on it to move troops, we’re screwed. The go-to guy called and explained he had to deal with a major municipal computer malfunction. I told him I’d bring the laptop by the next morning. Sans accident I made it in about fifteen minutes.

I called Best Buy. I was looking for an external disk drive. The woman who answered the phone sounded lovely and was helpful. She was cheerful and I kind of got a crush on her. It’s a TV crush, The kind you get on a person who you know rationally you’ll never meet or even be in the same county with, but you hope.

Speaking of TV crushes, my new addiction is Orange Is the New Black. I got it on Netflix and have avoided binge watching it. For me it’s a throw back to the Berlin Drive-In. we spent Saturday nights trying to smuggle as many people and as much beer as we could in the trunk of some friends parent’s car. The movie fare was exploitation flicks with a lot of gunplay, really colorful characters and the occasional nudity. Did I mention the breasts? Yep, an acre and a half lot with a screen filled with hormone-raging teen aged boys on the cusp of serious manhood. Serious manhood? That’s when you got a girlfriend and went to see Love Story. OITNB is kind of like that except on TV. Aaand with Laura Prepon, you know Donna from That Seventies Show. The girl we all crushed on. She was tall, red-haired and was smart. At least that’s what attracted me. Kate Mulgrew is on-board as a Russian Alpha female. Kate’s a bit chunky with bad red hair. She’s got competition you can see it. And then there’s the screwdriver.

Over the past six or so weeks I’ve given $5 to the CCSU JV cheerleaders, $5 to the Newington Volunteer Fire Dept., $10 to Fill the Boot outside WVIT when they blocked traffic. I’m not complaining, though when the cute little JV twinkie said, “Thank you , sir.” it made me feel old. The money would have been invested in Miller Lite, so it goes.

Please visit I’m lonely. Exercise your creative muscles.

See you in the funnies.