Smells Of Kentucky

Danville Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 16 › view all entries

Miles Traveled: 130                                

Roads Traveled: I-75S, SR-922S, SR-4W, US-27S, SR-34W

Time on the Road: 2.5 Hours  

States Crossed: Ohio, Kentucky                                                                     

Tanks of Gas:  .4                                       

CD’s Listened to: I put my phone on shuffle and transmit.                                                                                                           

Smells Of Kentucky

The Drive

               I have yet to be able to explain the smell of Kentucky in a way that truly reflects the complexity of the ambient odor.  It is a touch of fresh cut grass, a pinch of sulfur, a smidge of baled hay, a touch of hot engine grease and of course, manure.  Mostly, it is manure.  MMMM…Who is hungry?  I know I am!

               Going beyond the aroma, there were a few signs that caught my interest.  All of them were for little shops on the state routes.  Several of them were oh so clever in their titles, yet barely worth mentioning.  However, when I saw the tanning salon, “TanFastic” it reminded me of my Dad.  No, not because of his North African heritage, but because when I was a kid he would say the strangest things around us when “swearing, but not really swearing because my Mom would get upset that he swore in front the children.”  It was his own language that would allow him to get away with swearing in front of us.  For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about;  here are a few gems from the Verbal Collection of Phil circa 1985: “Nuckin’ Futz”, “Futher Mucker”, “CD”, “Some-A-Da-Beach” and my all time favorite, “AMF Award.”  Should you need translation on some of the acronyms just let me know.    The best part of Phil’s vernacular was that he was surrounded by a household of moderately to severely dyslexic human beings – like we couldn’t figure out the mystery.  

The Town

               Every small town in every state has their own motto or marketing tag line.  Nearly every suburb of Cleveland has one too. Shaker Heights’s motto is “A city is known by the schools it keeps” and Willoughby Hills’s motto is “Where the city meets the country.”  So, I would like to suggest to the people of Danville, Kentucky that they should switch their motto, “Just a nice town” with Willoughby Hills’s motto.  I am not making this suggestion due to the intention of the motto (the transition of urban to suburban to rural).  Danville is definitely located way outside the ring of urbanization.  However, the younger citizens have not realized this yet.  I have never seen this many white kids influenced by hip-hop culture without having a single person of color in the town.  Gangsta Rap blaring from two-tone candy painted sedans with a rural white boy behind the wheel was not an uncommon site in Danville.  Can you say, “cultural identity issues?”

Fun Fact about Danville, KY and Centre College: the last Vice-Presidential debate was held at Centre College.  Centre is currently campaigning to host one of the 2008 Presidential Debates on its campus and at the moment, it is looking good for them.  So, here is my query: If the past Vice-Presidential candidates can suck it up and stay the AmeriSuites (which is probably the nicest hotel in Danville) for a few days why is it that the icons of rock cannot seem to bring themselves to camp out in a normal deluxe suite (as opposed to a penthouse suite) for a few days in Cleveland?  The hotel situation is supposedly the entire reason that the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductions take place in New York City instead of in Cleveland where the museum and Hall of Fame are actually located.

The Campus Experience

These students were a bit out of control.  I thought that I drank like a champion during my collegiate years.  I mastered Beer Pong, Flip-Cup, Circle of Death and Viking.   However, deep down I feel that the majority of these students would put me under the table.  Every day I was greeted with a story from the night before.  Although there were different characters in each day’s story, the story itself involved some form of grain alcohol, some form of cheap beer/liquor/wine, Red Bull and a trip to the hospital for an injury.  Some of the injuries involved a bunk bed, a ceiling fan, shrubbery, oh and of course, one of them involved being charcoaled at the ER.  During the daily alcohol induced rundown, I was educated on two recent inventions in the world of drinking games.  The first of which I don’t think that even my stomach and tolerance level could handle, behold the glory of The Franzia 500.  Here is the premise: There are 500ML in a box of Franzia.  You assemble a team of 5 drinkers.  Each drinker is responsible for drinking 100ML of Franzia in a relay type fashion.  You drink for speed, no funneling allowed and no one on either team is allowed to break the seal at any point during the Franzia 500.  The second game isn’t only dumb, it is downright hilarious in a very dumb way.  The game is a take on the Tim Burton classic, “Edward Scissorhands” and has been dubbed Edward 40-Hands.  I am sure that you can see where this is going.  You get one of your moronic friends to duct tape and then unscrew a 40 oz. bottle of beer to each of your hands.  Your mission is then to drink both 40’s as fast as possible.  As you can imagine, since both of your hands are occupied you can’t do anything else, including smoke, until both are gone and someone un-duct tapes you.        

The blurb above should tell you a good deal about the type of student that was in my class.  They were fun, loud and outgoing.  For some reason inexplicable reason I had a lot of athletes, football players mostly, in my class.  This fact is a good one to keep in mind while reading the next segment.

While in Danville I realized that I had not done laundry in a bit and that I was at the end of my allotted underwear supply.  I did make an attempt to find a laundromat and much to my dismay, I couldn’t seem to find one.  I was then left with two options: One involving the bathroom sink and one involving the Wal-Mart.  I have definitely washed my clothing in the bathroom of many hotels and hostels.  However, I was feeling a bit lazy that week and opted for the boy alternative of just buying new.  The most potentially embarrassing moment of my life nearly came to fruition.  With new undies in tow, I got in the shortest checkout line.  While in line, I noticed three of my football boys in the line next to where I was standing.  Just as I spied them, Myrtle, the oldest checker in the history of Wal-Mart (she should have been transferred to “greeter” status like 5 years ago) came to relieve the speedy teeny-bopper that was working at my line’s register.  She proceeded to take FOREVER to individually scan and bag all of my items.  It was like watching the Owl in the old Tootsie Pop commercials.  During the whole process, all I was doing was wishing that she would hurry up before the football team noticed me and my purchases, for that matter.  Fortunately, Myrtle the Turtle, got my last item in the bag just as one of them turned around, saw me and came running over to say hey.  The whole incident was entirely too close for comfort.  I must state for the record that I am not embarrassed about buying underwear at Wal-Mart.  The potentially embarrassing moment would have been when those three students found out that their 30-year-old teacher chooses to rock Wonder Woman Underoos.               

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