Wednesday, May 02, 2007

country roooooooooads, take me hooooooooome

that has been the theme song of the past three days, a.k.a. "how many miles can I put on a rental car while I drive through the backwoods of Arkansas and the boonies of Texas to interview John Deere owners about their tractors and mowers?"

the answer: hundreds and hundreds. all driven by me. all driven in crappy rental cars (our Arkansas car -- a Ford minivan -- was affectionately referred to as "the crappy lunchbox" because it looked like a big, boxy rectangle, our Texas car is a Chevy Impala that drives okay but is extremely uncomfortable to sit in for extended periods of time).

I've met more hunters than I've ever met in my entire 26-year lifetime, I got to drive a riding lawn mower (that was fun), I checked into a crappy roadside hotel and then checked out a few hours later and made my travel department put me up in a swank hotel in downtown Little Rock when I realized the first hotel was around the corner from a state penitentiary (also when my interviewee said "ooooh... yeahhhh... make sure you lock your doors at night"), I drove around for 40 minutes in a desperate attempt to find a decent expense-account lunch that wasn't a) McDonald's b) Burger King or c) Sonic (I love Sonic, but come on... if you want to sit at a table and prep for a business meeting you don't want fast food) and had to settle for Pizza Hut, I drove past a sign that said "Penitentiary Area - Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers," I interviewed a man who leaves his John Deeres in the garage but parks his cars in the driveway, I met another man who prefers to drink a six-pack while driving his riding lawn mower, I had an interview where the man put some Skoal into his lower right cheek as soon as our interview was over, I nearly got eaten by a Doberman Pinscher (the sign on their gate had a silhouette image of a Doberman that said "I can get to the gate in 2.9 seconds. Can you?") then realized he was a big baby who wanted to lick my face off, and I've met some lovely people who have truly proved the age-old adage that you can't judge a book by its cover.

it's been good times, people. it's a long cry from some of my past biz trips (e.g. flying international business class to Munich, staying in the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach, long jogs on the Santa Monica shore and cruises on the Mexican Riviera) I'm exhausted and sore from all the driving in shitty cars, but I can't say it hasn't been fun. I'm too brain-dead to write much more, but I will upload pics soon. yee-freaking-haw!


At 2:25 PM, Blogger L Sass said...

This whole trip sounds like an episode of some sitcom or something! Hee. I hope you had some good tunes (including John Denver, of course) to accompany the trip.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Erica said...

who knew you could find so much love for red-state america? glad you had a good time!

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

where's your john deere hat??? glad you got out of staying in fleabag no-tell motel when you found out there was a state pen around the corner. holy crap!


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