The Open Road

Dateline: Somewhereopen road storm ahead in the Deep South

I am writing this dispatch from  a dark room within a seedy hotel just off  of Shrimp Boat Lane in the low country town of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.  Through the grimy windows I can see the booms of the shrimp boats swaying above the saw grass and palmettos as they wind their way down Shem’s Creek towards the open sea.

Actually the room ain’t that bad. I am taking a little vacation down South so I don’t expect to be posting much over the next week. I’ll be looking for blues, barbecue and beer (with a shrimp or two tossed on in for good measure.)

One thing of interest; I am extremely impressed with today’s new automotive technology.  My wife’s van must have some sort of virtual voice hardware that I didn’t know about. It persistently communicates important information to the driver,  including warnings, using what sounds like a woman’s voice. The voice is so realistic that you’d swear that the person speaking was right in the car with you. 

Occasionally I would here things like; “Chris, you are going 80 miles per hour” or  “Chris, you are drifting into the next lane” or “The current speed  limit is 65” or “You’re following that car too closely“. Utterly amazing.

There was a design flaw, however, that results in the driver (at least this particular one) paying little or no attention to the warnings. The robotic voice they chose sounds an awful lot like my wife’s!  They’ll  have to get that fixed.

(I wonder how the car knew my name?)

  1. #1 by Steve on August 30, 2007 - 5:35 pm

    Wow, what kind of car do you have? Mine does the exact same thing….

  2. #2 by Christian Beyer on August 31, 2007 - 8:46 am

    Dateline: Isle of Palms, South Carolina

    It is raining now, a not completely unwelcome change over yesterday’s weather. Although it was sunny and gorgeous, the damp heat of the Carolina coast took it’s toll on some members of our party as we explored the side streets of Charleston.

    The food is good, plentiful and cheap, if you avoid the tourist traps and follow the locals. After wasting $60 in a ‘fine’ dining establishment recommended by the hotel desk clerk (I know better than that!) on Shrimp and Grits , a Low Country favorite done poorly, we smartened up.

    We ate simple but flavorful wraps at Brent’s downtown by following the stylish business women into a small, narrow and deliciously cool shop on Broad Street. Quickly assembling limited fare imaginatively and carefully, their primarily white collar clientele mingled with workmen in a line that snaked out the door. Only open from 11:30 until 3:00 from Monday through Friday – this was true culinary genius!

    We consumed mass quantitities of authentic South Carolina vinegar and mustard based barbecue (pork, of course!) accompanied by fried okra, rutabega, various beans, hush puppies and hash over rice at Momma Brown’s. Served on paper plates and washed down with lots of sweet tea, Momma served her food in an old grocery store front. (No good BBQ joint would waste good money on buying (or cleaning) china or silverware- all the effort goes into the food.

    I found the beer, ice cold Dos Equis on tap, in the very colorful and eclective dive called the Acme Cantina. Here we spent some of the hottest hours of the day sequestered with the amiable company likes of the more illustrious local bikers. We love bikers, they are exceptionally friendly, unassuming and ribald. Especially the ladies. They also know where the best food and the best music can be had, in places you never see advertised in the tour guides.

    Now, where is that umbrella? At least the rain has washed the seagull poop off of our van. (BTW Steve, it’s a Saturn)

  3. #3 by Ambrosia de Milano on August 31, 2007 - 4:48 pm

    So now you’re eating food that is condemned by Scripture? Is there no end to the debauchery?

    BTW, some of the best food we had while residents of North Carolina was at Wynn Dixie–I recommend the catfish and macaroni.

    Ambrosia the Pure

    (now where’s that cheeseburger?)

  4. #4 by Ambrosia de Milano on September 4, 2007 - 10:04 pm

    Can I call you David Hasselhoff?

    Or maybe just Dave.

  5. #5 by Christian Beyer on September 4, 2007 - 10:37 pm

    As is often the case, Ambrosia, I don’t get it. What are you suggesting; that I consider a singing career in der Vaterland?

  6. #6 by Ambrosia de Milano on September 5, 2007 - 6:17 am

    David Hasselhoff was the human star of Knight Rider–his car talked to him.

    Dave is a reference to the HAL computer in 2001 a Space Oddesey. The computer took over the ship.

    Need some other lessons in cultural literacy?


  7. #7 by Christian Beyer on September 5, 2007 - 8:02 am

    Ahhh. The ‘talking car’ angle. You are more subtle than Ruben Israel.

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