Select Page

I know many of you ladies out there reading this may roll your eyes when I say this….

But as a man, I don’t need directions when I travel someplace.

I just don’t need them and won’t use any other alternative devices for help either.

I don’t need a GPS, or some crazy thing talking to me in an English accent in my vehicle giving me directions and shouting like the Queen of England has been shot “Recalculating!”

I don’t use my cell phone, Google Maps or anything of the sort in preparation for a trip.

What do I do when I am traveling to a place that I am unfamiliar with?

I look at a paper map…..

EDITORS NOTE: God Bless you Mr. Rand McNally…..

That’s right a paper map

I look over the details, memorize them if you will and off I go on my journey.

I know that this exasperates many of my friends and they have pointed out on numerous occasions that this lone piece of eccentricity may explain why I am single and live in the woods alone with “Doc” the World Famous Black Lab.

I have rarely, if ever had a problem with my own navigational process and I always get to my desired location without the use of electronic “assistance” or anything with a computerized English accent.

But there are those rare occasions when Mr. McNally was unaware of construction zones and other obstacles that would impede the progress of a trip.

Take for example….

Last week “Doc” and I were traveling to meet some literary agents, script writers and the like for an upcoming project in Nashville when I encountered the dreaded sign on the interstate that simply said “Detour”.

Not a problem I thought, until after thirty minutes of driving around in a perpetual circle through small rural roads and in and around the same small rural towns.

As much as I hated to admit it, I was going to have to stop and ask for directions.

I asked my trusted navigator “Doc” the World Famous Black lab and he agreed, in fact he gave me the look that said, “Daddy you are lost as Hogan’s Goat”

So with that I spotted two gentlemen standing outside a convenience store talking and I wheeled in into the parking lot and exited my vehicle while reminding “Doc” not to play with the radio.

I gave both gentlemen a “Good Morning” and then I asked them…..

“How do I get back on the interstate from here?”

That seems like a simple question doesn’t it? I certainly thought so. Straight and to the point without a lot of fluff; just tell me how to get back on the interstate from this particular location.

They both looked at each other and one man said or asked me…..

“Do you know where Ole Man Preston had that horse farm?”

What, no you see I am not from here and I just need to get back on the interstate towards Nashville. Can you tell me how to get back on the interstate from here?

The same man said rather matter of fact…..

“Ole Man Preston’s place is across the road from where that big ole barn burned down”

Clearly I wasn’t communicating very well so I repeated that I was NOT from HERE and that I just needed to know how to get back on the interstate from this location.

Apparently the “light” went off in the other man’s head when he said that he “Understood” and then he proceeded to ramble off the most convoluted set of instructions I have ever heard since I saw a Chinese plumber on YouTube replace a bathroom toilet.

Now the first man was asking in the middle of the delusional ramblings of the second man’s “instructions”, “You sure you don’t know where Ole Man’s Preston place was?”

EDITORS NOTE: I was sure at this point in the conversation that these two men were the product of a brother-sister marriage.

I knew things were getting out of hand when I heard “Doc” the Black Lab playing with the radio in the vehicle while the two misdirection twins in my presence were pointing and talking in circles.

EDITORS NOTE: I will tell you what you already know….

I am quite sure Lewis and Clark got better directions from the damn Indians on their journey across the country than I did on this misadventure.

My head was begging to hurt as the two men in front of me began arguing with each other on what was the “best” way to get back to the interstate, I thanked them for all their help (I use that term loosely) and I slowly backed away until I got back to my vehicle.

With that Doc and I were gone…….

But not until I changed the radio back to my channels after Doc’s playing around with it.

I stopped somewhere down the road at a Tire Store and asked for directions back to the interstate (again) Believe it or not I was once again rewarded with some confusing directions and odd navigational points but thankfully none of them involved Ole Man Preston or his burnt barn.

EDITORS NOTE: Now I understand why NASA doesn’t employ Tennesseans.

Here I am fortune for two things

“Doc” and I left early for this trip and secondly I always carry a compass in my vehicles.

“Yes” I said a compass…..

I knew that I was north of the interstate, so I pulled off the side of the road and with my handy dandy compass figured out where “South” was and we headed in that direction and guess what?

After nearly thirty minutes, there it was, the interstate with a sign “To Nashville”

We made our appointment on time and I might add with some time to spare and I will tell you something else. I learned quite a lot about on this trip.

Not only am I hard headed about modern navigational technology and refuse to use it, but I am also blessed with the innate ability to find the village idiot(s) in any town I happen to venture into.

O’ and one more thing……

I still found the interstate without ever seeing Ole Man Preston’s burned barn or his old horse farm or any of the other notable points of interest I was directed too, just so you know.

Take that Christopher Columbus

RTR
MEB