My husband and I are epic road trip royalty. We drive cross country all the time traveling from theatre to theatre. We go eighteen hours a day listening to Harry Potter books on tape and eating huge amounts of gummy bears. It’s not that things always go right. They frequently go wrong, but as we have survived breakdowns, getting lost, and the state of Texas, I consider us winners.
We weren’t always great at cross country drives. It did take some practice. And there was a bit of a learning curve. Our first time driving from Florida to Arizona on I-10, we thought we knew it all. We had the car packed up to the gills, but seeing out the back window is a luxury we gave up on a long time ago. Everything went really well until we hit the swamps of Louisiana.
As we began driving over bridge after bridge, marveling at how very close to the water our car was, people started honking at us. We were going the speed limit, but they kept honking. And making strange hand gestures. I couldn’t figure out why they were being so rude. I had friends from Louisiana, and they were always nice people. Why was the road suddenly littered with meanies honking endlessly for no good reason? And then someone held up a sign in their window: “Your trunk is open!” Well, poop.
We pulled over, and sure enough, our trunk was wide open. We hadn’t been able to see it since the back window was blocked. Apparently, we have a nice little thing in our trunk so you can break out if you’re kidnapped by the mob. My shoes apparently thought their lives were in danger and tried to break free. One hiking boot and one tap shoe were lost in a misguided bid for freedom. It was pretty funny except that we were driving to Arizona to open a show where I really needed my tap shoes. One emergency shoe order later, the damage was repaired.
We now drive with a “just in case” bungee cord on the trunk, though it’s never popped open since. I suppose that tap shoe just really wanted out. I still think of that tap shoe sometimes. In my mind, it was eaten by an alligator. The shoe now travels the swamp seeing all the things a bayou has to offer. And someday when the gator dies, its stomach will be cut open, and someone will find a lone teletone tap and wonder about its great adventure.