How to Complicate Your Life


The Authoritative Guide
Chapter 1
Business Trips

When spending your first night in a new town with a 6:30 AM wake-up call, it is best to loaf around your room for several hours before deciding at 10 PM that maybe you should eat dinner. Proceed directly to your car, without a map (this works best if you have yet to explore your surroundings), and take off in the opposite direction from which you came to the hotel, thus ensuring that your route back will be as unfamiliar as possible.

The fun really starts if you're lucky enough to be staying about a half-mile from an unavoidable on-ramp to a highway with which you are not acquainted. Don't panic, just merge.

Whatever you do, don't take the first exit. Stay with it and just let things flow.

Above all, pay no attention to which direction you're headed on the highway. North vs. South, East vs. West, ignore it! There's nothing like that all-or nothing decision on the way home.

When you do finally find an open restaurant (nothing like using that Corporate American Express at Denny's), have lots of coffee. Sure, you'll be in bed before it kicks in, but don't dwell on matters which will only simplify things.

On the way home, when you finally break down and decide to buy a map, wait until every hood in the neighborhood is there to buy their Newports - thugs have an extraordinary reputation for being especially kind to obvious out-of-towners.

At midnight, when you get back to your hotel and discover that your eyelids won't close, and at 2 AM, when you're still tossing and turning and watching re-runs of Cheers, you'll know you've made the most of your interstate excursion.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on March 23, 2004 6:11 PM.

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