Some times you’re holding hands, smiling and singing. Some-times you want to throw the love of your life out the window.
Either way you two are stuck together, so you might as well enjoy the ride.
Such was the case for Zac and me this week when we traveled to Jeff Cook’s house in Fort Payne. (I just hate name droppers.)
It began as a peaceful cruise through the country. Then Zac unleashed his inner 12-year-old just as we were leaving Cullman County.
“Now we’re in Blount. Let’s smoke one. Kidding!” That was followed shortly by “Ha! Marshall’s after the Blount!”
Speaking of marshals, Zac threw out an obscure line from “Tombstone” around Dodge City because as he put it, “Dodge City makes me think of Wyatt Earp and and Wyatt Earp makes me think of ‘Tombstone.’”
He also got a kick out of Snead. “Smee. What about Smee? Smee’s me. What about me?” he shouted, a reference to the movie “Hook.”
Seconds later, he suddenly crowed like a rooster in tribute to Robin Williams/Peter Pan.
One of his more memorable one-liners was “Let’s count the Dollar Generals!”
There were also random screams of “Cow!” and one “Puppy!” which was a nice change of pace.
I gave Jennifer Smith and her road trip pal Darian updates on our whereabouts, but I let them in on some of the hilarity too.
About an hour and a half into the trip, I sent them this message: “Now he’s talking about bream urine and stealing planes. If I totally lose my mind before making it to Fort Payne, you’ll have these texts as evidence that it was justified.”
To Zac’s credit, he was a mature adult the whole time we were in Fort Payne. I, however, could not control my inner 12-year-old at Jeff’s house.
Yes, we’re on a first-name basis. Actually, he probably doesn’t know my name, but I’ll say we are anyway.
Jeff’s house is called The Castle. From the outside, it looks like a place where King Arthur might have met with his knights.
Jennifer, who is cousins with Jeff’s wife, gave us the grand tour. I personally wouldn’t have let a redneck like me loose in The Castle if I were the Cooks.
I was able to keep a cool detachment around most of the memorabilia. However, I took leave of all of my senses when we arrived at what I will refer to as “the Dolly wall.”
Although there were probably about 100 autographed pictures on it, I zeroed in on the one of Dolly Parton. When I pointed it out to Jennifer, she casually mentioned that Dolly had been at The Castle for Jeff and Lisa’s wedding.
I had a Fred Sanford episode and kind of blacked out after that. I remember some bedrooms, a studio decorated with Jeff’s Star Trek stuff, a pool in the shape of a guitar.
Every now and then I would come to, turn to the person behind me and say, “Dolly was here!”
Eventually we made it to the living room, which was full of people waiting on the Christmas concert dress rehearsal.
Jennifer talked to Jeff for a little bit. I tried not to look directly at him and dreaded the moment she introduced us.
To my credit, I did not call him or myself “Dolly.”
I was only slightly less of a goof later during on impromptu interview in the kitchen with the biggest celebrity I have ever met.
What Jeff didn’t know is that I had realized the batteries in my recorder were dead a few minutes before he walked in. Jennifer bummed two AAA’s, a pen and a notepad from Jeff’s pantry for me.
This is a good example of why I seriously love her and not just because of all the crazy, cool stuff we have done together.
After I floated off of cloud nine and we listened to a few Christmas songs, Zac and I hit the road again. We again had a peaceful cruise until he let me behind the wheel just past Gadsden.
Then our conversation went from a couple’s chorus of “Last Christmas” to something like to this:
“Um, if I stuck my head out the window right now, I would be staring at the white line.”
“I don’t always like the way you drive either, but I keep it to myself.”
“Might want to slow down. That truck is just getting going again...You know what? I’m just gonna lay my head down.”
“Put your head wherever you want as long as you shut up.”
Road trips really are a good metaphor for marriage.