Except, we haven’t gotten there yet!
You guys know the classic stoner movie where Karl Penn and John Cho (Sulu!) get amazingly high and decide they want “something different” for their munchie food, which sets them on an epic journey to a White Castle restaurant. They end up going to jail, riding a cheetah, and being saved by Neil Patrick Harris playing himself (duh).
I hadn’t seen the movie myself or even gone to a White Castle until I met Tracy. I know—I am astoundingly lacking in pop-culture knowledge. Tracy began fixing that by making sure we hit up a White Castle in Iowa on a trip before the pandemic.
Fun fact: Karl Penn is a vegetarian and ate veggie burgers during the shoot; these days White Castle serves its own Beyond Burger option (which I didn’t get because it takes them forever to make because who in the world goes to White Castle to order veggie burgers?). Okay, that fact isn’t fun, but now you know.
(And a shout out to all the vegetarians who get dragged to places like White Castle by their friends and get to order non-meat items these days. This was not the case when I was a young ‘un and not eating meat. Now get off my lawn.)
Why am I going on an on about this movie? It’s a legit way I can frame Tracy and my attempts to stop at roadside spots on our trip. We keep trying, and no dice. We see not just taco trucks, but shrimp shacks, crawfish stands, trucks with oysters in the bed (ha!), and, here, a guy selling “Sweet Taters” out of his truck, and on weekends he upsells to tourists so changes to sign to “Sweet Potatoes.” Which sign would make you want to stop?
Now that we’re really in the south, its boiled peanuts I want to stop for. We’re camped outside of Tallahassee without any trails nearby, so we’ve been driving out to find trails, and I want—really bad like I have the worst case of the munchies—to get boiled peanuts, the real kind I know from living in Georgia, that’s been stewing in a cast-iron caldron all day being stirred in the hot sun by some sweaty guy with a huge stick. I do, I really want that.
But, like Harold and Kumar, we’re repeatedly thwarted. One guy’s wagon is open by the side of the road, but we’re on our way hiking and don’t want the peanuts to sit all day in the truck. On our way back, he’s closing up the truck but says he’ll be open tomorrow. Tomorrow he’s not there.
One guy’s store sign says he’s selling peanuts and bait, but after we pass him, turn around, and bravely stop and I walk in, he tells me,
I ain’t got no hot ones. Just cold.
The way he says “co-weld,” real slow, with this sad frown and creased brow, makes me really not want his cold peanuts sold with bait. So we drive on.
We still have three days left here at Coe Landing though, so there’s time for Neil Patrick Harris to do some ecstasy and save the day.
PS: Anyone know what bird this feather might be from? I found a handful of them by the side of a trail, where a critter may have gotten to the bird, but these was no messiness except these neat feathers that came straight from the bird’s body. They shine in the sunlight, iridescent green and black.
PPS: WHEW, AND HURRAY!