Thoughts from the interstate

So I just got back from a long road trip. Very long. 11 different states, and over 2,000 miles traveled in 12 days.

My butt is sore and my credit card is beginning to melt.

So while my family was sleeping through the miles and miles of interstate, I had plenty of time to think. Hours upon hours, actually.

Some things that I thought of, and thought a lot about:

  • If you happen to be driving on an interstate, and you are in the left lane with nobody in front of you, and someone behind you, move the hell over. “Slower traffic keep right” means you, buddy. I am clear that you are scared to do more than 65 in your 1993 Ford Festiva, but I rented this Dodge Charger, and I enjoy driving it fast.
  • Arkansas: what the hell are y’all doing? Interstate 40 has got to be the most incredibly boring stretch of road anywhere. It felt like I was driving on a treadmill. Seriously. Crossing the Mississippi River into Arkansas was pretty cool, then it was nothing but flat fields of unknown crops and big rigs for two hours, followed by 30 minutes of Little Rock suburbs, followed by two more hours of big rigs and some hills with rocks, then Fort Smith, then thank God, Oklahoma. Y’all need to step it up, Arkansas.
  • And along that line, the same goes for you, Mississippi. I seriously think I took a nap on I-20 between Jackson and Meridian. Yawn.
  • This whole interstate-numbering system is ingenious. Probably the only thing the government has ever done well and hasn’t screwed up. I am astounded how much sense it makes.
  • You drive a big rig? You are going 59 but the big rig in front of you is going 58? Then you need to slow down. For crying out loud, step on it a little bit more if you are going to try to pass that other guy. Otherwise, it takes you 5 miles. Hurry up, I’m looking for the next rest stop so I don’t throw a P.E.
  • Why are we called “Ambulance Services” instead of “Paramedic Services?” We don’t deliver an ambulance, we deliver a paramedic. Well, I suppose we do sort of deliver an ambulance, but there is a paramedic in it. I didn’t think too much about this because it gave me a headache.
  • Teamwork is awesome. We hooked up with two other cars just outside of Saint Louis. The license plates sort of indicated we were going in the same general direction, towards Nashville. We made the trip in just a hair under 4 hours. It was roughly 300 miles. We would each take lead on the trip, about twenty minutes at a time, and it was easy to move past traffic as a group, since we were keeping up with each other. I enjoyed that part of the trip, and especially enjoyed the few glimpses of the attractive brunette passenger in the gold-colored Murano.
  • If you are not a law enforcement officer, you have no business trying to determine how fast other cars on the road should be traveling. Pulling alongside a slower vehicle and matching speeds is only going to solidify your position as asshole of the month, and reinforce understanding of why you were always picked last for kickball teams. I do not own this car, I paid for the extra insurance, and I have seen enough television shows to know how to perform the PIT maneuver. Move over, buddy.
  • Pink Floyd is excellent music to drive to. That’s all there is to that. CarTalk podcasts are pretty cool, but Pink Floyd is better.


Y’all stay safe out there.




  1. You’d think the government wouldn’t screw up a good thing like the interstate numbering system, but recently, we had a highway expansion between Carson City and Reno, so they changed the highway from US 395 to I-580 (Interstates get better federal funding). There’s already an I-580 from San Francisco/Oakland to Tracy, CA and it runs East to West, as all even numbered highways do (odd numbered highways running North to South). Well, the one in Northern Nevada runs North to South, and no one seems to know why they bolluxed the whole numbering system. Someone at the USDOT should be fired!

  2. Some interesting thoughts. I agree with Pink Floyd.

    Back to our profession: I strongly agree with your naming issues. You may have seen a few tweets and blog posts regarding the strong misnomers within our profession.
    You may be interested in the naming conventions of International Paramedic:

    And wait until Monday – I’ve got a post you might like in the pipeline that has been brewing for some time now.

    In the meantime take a rest, that trip sounds tiring!

  3. I heartily agree with both the PF and the Car Talk.

    Another left lane note: stay out of it after dark. That’s where all the wrong-way drunks are. Ever do a highway head-on in the right lane?

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