I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY NAMED THE ROAD THAT: While we couldn't improve on the Cleveland 2015 Fangboner Road, we did happen to be in a construction area when the Needmore Road exit came up.
Later, as we made our way out of Cincy via Siri (actually a Garmin, but we call her "Siri"), we were in Hamilton, finding ourselves at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Black Street. Hmmmm...
THE DAY'S RUNNING JOKES: I had been researching MWN earlier in the day, and in a story to be developed there, learned that northern Indiana's favorite cuss word was A-hole. And we had plenty of opportunities to use it.
Since Siri chose to route us through Bucksnort, Ohio on the way down, we twice ran into patches of the intense bouquet of cow manure. The first time came just as AC/DC came on KC's stereo, and I responded, "OMG! Every time with AC/DC! Angus, take shower, a-hole!" From then on, bad smells were synonymous with the former leader of AC/DC.
SEEN ALONG THE WAY: Our first trip to Cincinnati so long ago included our first sighting of the giant statue at Solid Rock Church, which due to its coloring had been dubbed in story and song "Big Butter Jesus":
Only a week our so later, the statue had been hit by lightning and destroyed:
In this form, it had apparently been rechristened Terminator Jesus. But the Church raised donations and rebuilt it, with a somewhat grayer cast:
which I then dubbed "Cream Cheese Jesus" after the resemblance to the package of Philadelphia brand cream cheese in my refrigerator.
Just after leaving the construction, we were slowed to a crawl by what looked to be a horrifying accident, but apparently wasn't quite so bad as it looked. As I looked up the story this morning, the driver of a silver car (Which was on the tow truck flatbed as we passed) struck a semi-trailer (which we never saw) to burst into flames in the other lane. This prompted another driver in an SUV (which was on its side in the median, with a row of its back seats sitting alongside it) to hit debris, and then a light pole (which we also never saw). The driver of the semi is I guess in critical condition despite having escaped the cab before rescue workers arrived, and everybody else was relatively unharmed, which is really amazing.
|That's the car before we arrived, still framed from WHIO TV video|
WTH IS GOING ON UP THERE?: So we hit downton, and immediately the lanes closest to the stadium area are at a standstill from the football stadium on. I text Laurie back at mission command in Fort Wayne to learn a Luke Bryan concert is starting at the same time, transforming Cincinnati into one of the biggest clusters this side of Mexico City. So we abandoned the close lanes and began looking for the nearest parking lots. After passing several posted "FULL: MONTHLY PATRONS ONLY", we finally found one a few blocks away near Fountain Square (though we didn't know that or care at the time. Our pathetic attempt at remembering street names evaporated swiftly in the heat as we made our way to the stadium... and that arrival time is another story.
AND WHAT WERE THEY PROTESTING?: As we approached, along with the signs of the much smaller group of homeless we ran into, we had a group holding up signs that read: "New heavens and a new earth Oct. 7" and "Salvation ended May 12th, 2011." Okay, so I have posted about these people before, and I won't waste the time now other than to point out two things: First, you guys really don't get the whole "Nobody knows the day and time, not even the Son, but only the Father" thing, do you? And second, Why would God close the doors to salvation four years before ending it all, and why are you guys passing out pamphlets even if He did?
Just as stupid IMHO was the group of African Americans at the gate of the stadium protesting the mascots (IOW, they didn't like that the Indians were the "Indians".) My opinion, when I see real native Americans at the stadium who have the brain-deadness to tell me, "I am offended that you are taking a racial name that applies to my people and using it as symbolic of strength and bravery", then I might listen. Until then, please go away. Me? I did the Atlanta Braves' Tomahawk Chop on the way in.
AND JUST AS WE GOT THERE: We had to go through the security scan. A sign tells you what to take out of your pockets and what you can leave in, and coins were on the "leave in" side. So I left them in and got pinged. So I went to the guy with the wand, and he pinged the pocket I had change in.
He: What do you have there?
Me: Change (as I reach in to get it).
He :You must have something besides that...
Me: (Showing him) A doggy poop bag...
He: (Laughs and passes me).
And as we walked towards the main entrance a roar went up. KC Looks at the TVs and says, "Michael Brantley (Indians) just hit a three-run homer!" He's the Indians fan, I'm the Reds fan.
DEFINITION- NOSE BLEED SEATS: That's where we were:
|From my phone|
Also, never decide not to take the elevators to the second deck, particularly when the temperature and relative humidity are both hovering at around 90. By the time we reached "row P", I was ready to just lay on the steps. If they hadn't been so steep I'd have slid down. I swear we saw a vendor about go over backwards.
WHAT ABOUT THE GAME? Cleveland was up 9-1 by the seventh, so we abandoned ship and headed to see if we could find a bar near our parking garage. Or the parking garage, for that matter.
The second was easy, the first we got directions to a place off Fountain Square (see, I told you we'd get there) called the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. Very cool place. Brew their own beer. KC had a light lager, I took their seasonal wheat. After having a Yuengling at the game that was great for the 3 minutes it was cold before transitioning straight to hot, skipping lukewarm, it was refreshing. I also had something called the 2 AM- a burger with hash browns, bacon, and a fried egg on it. It was the bomb. Highly recommend the place.
HEADING HOME: We rode out the mass exodus from the ballpark there, then found the car and re-entered Cincy traffic just in time for the Luke Bryan people to start heading for their cars. Pedestrians are easier to get through, though, and soon we were on I-75, watching lighning flash all around. And then big drops of rain start to hit.
Then it rained harder. I started to roll up my window (no AC) as KC shouted, "Captain, we're taking on water!"
Then we couldn't see.
We hit an exit, which we couldn't really see, that took us onto another interstate we really couldn't see, then another exit following cars with their flashers on, finally braving a rapidly ponding turn lane into a local John Deere dealership. I called mission command, where Laurie told me that by time lapse radar our storm "had just popped up out of nowhere"; KC got a text message that Auburn (somewhat nearer to home) had had a tornado while we were gone,; and the windshield fogged beyond all hope. Eventually the rain cleared a bit, the windshield took a bit more, and we escaped Noah's deluge to again start for home, which we made about three AM.
The shower we got on the way down wasn't near so difficult. Apparently Lake Celina is big enough to make its own weather systems, and we got caught in one just south of the lake. Thankfully you can see through a downpour a little better in the daylight, and we had the added amusement of two motorcyclists directly ahead of us.
In closing, as I type this, I am dealing with day four of the French Spammer Comment Club, which has resulted in probably 200 rejected "comments" and 1250 page "views" in the last week. Man, if you guys could be as persistent in your wars, you might have saved us a lot of trouble in 1944-5.