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2002-02-26 - 9:02 a.m.

Boston's JamaicaWay. THE single most dangerous road in the U.S. Complete with an unlimited number of rotaries(roundabouts), narrow narrow lanes, curbing one inch from your wheels, huge oak trees two inches from your wheels and cars going approx. 1,000 miles an hour.

There's one point on the stretch. And it's the road I have to most often take to get home from ANYWHERE in Boston. There's one point on the stretch, where I'm very often tempted to stop the Cutlass and cry out I CAN'T DO IT I JUST CAN'T DO IT.

Some day I will have to be airlifted off of that road. And it won't be pretty. The National Guard will be necessary. The Marines might be needed. And someone's going to have to drive that Cutlass out of there for me.

By the last rotary of the stretch, I'm usually so exhausted that I have to turn the radio off, drive incredibly slowly in the hopes that all the cars will pass me and I can enter the circle alone, alone, alone. I analyze the approach to it in great detail. If there are lots of cars zooming around quickly, I get in the far right lane and attempt to skirt the edges of the rotary. If there are a few cars all going a regular amount of speed, I'll get in the center lane and zip around the rotary as easy as you please. I think about this a great deal.

Which is the thing about Boston driving. You're either required to think a great deal, or not at all.

There really is no in-between point.

Today. My Doyle's Pub calendar informs me that Feb. 26 = 1807 Victor Hugo b. and 1932 Johnny Cash b.

Happy Birthday Mr. Cash. I love you. Even with your weird little Native American period. I mean honey. EVERYONE in the south is part Cherokee. You don't have to sing about it. You just know it. Hell. I'm one-sixteenth Cherokee. That just happens. Comes as part of a set with your southern birth certificate. I love you Johnny Cash even despite the fact of your massive overuse of a horn section during most of your career. Even though you never return my many many phone calls, emails and/or letters. You don't make stalking easy man.

My mother once stood behind Johnny Cash in the check-out line at the Kroger's in Nashville. She was not stalking. Intentionally. But standing behind him at the Krogers Which is funny because of course you call it THE Krogers. And of course you pluralize a store's name. That's just funny. Standing behind the Man In Black at the Krogers in Nashville. He wrote a check. And carried out his own groceries.

To his black caddy.

That's class man. THAT IS CLASS.

My mother also once ran into Ms. June at the nursery. She bought a bunch of plants that my mother didn't think Ms. June needed and then Ms. June yelled a lot at the staff. Ms. June is not so much class, but Johnny loves her and so that's ok with me.

Plus she's a Carter. As in the Carter Family. And it's nice that Johnny is a Carter by marriage. Ties everything all in nicely.

And could be classy if you thought about it.

But I don't.

My Cutlass is nasty. I mean nasty. I mean. I realized today that if there were a blizzard. And I were trapped in the Cutlass. I would have four days of reading material, water bottles and half-eaten muffins.

That is in the category of So Not Good.

I keep meaning to do something about it. But I don't. I don't know what it is that I'm such a mess in the Cutlass.

How do people keep their cars clean? There's got to be like a theory behind that. Probably involving something like... cleaning.


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