“Back in the day” I was a kid, there was MAD Magazine. It was incredibly funny. In the same time frame, there was Howard Johnson’s, a large chain of motels with restaurants. There would be signs on highways: “20 miles to Howard Johnson’s.” “15 miles to Howard Johnson’s.” etc. Their color theme was deep orange and obnoxious turquoise (I happen to like those colors, but these were GARISH.)
Put MAD Magazine together with Howard Johnson’s, and you got a wonderful parody. Of course, they had cartoons of the whole thing. Dad driving, Mom in the front seat with him, little boy and younger little girl in backseat.
Boy: Dad, I’m hungry. Can we stop to eat? Dad: Johnson-Howard’s, Johnson-Howard’s, only 250 more miles to Johnson-Howard’s. It’s the only place to eat! It’s the only place to eat!
Boy: Look Dad, it says “Joe’s Diner – Good Eats.” Dad and Mom in unison: Johnson-Howard’s Johnson-Howard’s! Only 125 more miles to Johnson-Howard’s. It’s the only place to eat! It’s the only place to eat!
Boy: Look Dad! It says “Clyde’s Crabshack.” Dad and Mom in unison – with totally glazed expressions on their faces: Johnson-Howard’s, Johnson-Howard’s! Only 15 more miles to Johnson-Howard’s! It’s the only place to eat! It’s the only place to eat!
In the Johnson-Howard’s Restaurant: Dad: I think I’ll have the Texas Steak. Mom: I think I’ll have the Alabama Pork Chops. Suzy: I want the Little Mary’s Lamb Chops. Boy: I’ll have some Jack-the-Ripper jello. Mom: Johnny, I don’t think you have the true Johnson-Howard’s spirit!
Well, in true Southern style, the Ol’ Curmudgeon is counting off the days: Only 2 more days to Johnson-Howards! For us it’s a phrase full of many meanings and a shared, rich background of “200 miles to Rock City” and “15 miles to Stuckey’s,” and, yes, “10 miles to Howard Johnsons.” Today, he woke up saying, “Only one more night to Johnson-Howard’s!” We are both READY to get home with Emmy and settle down to our “Normal” lives (or what passes for “normal” in our household).
Today will be another run-through of THE TEST. Then go to the Center for lunch (packed) and more work on the special cues and any cues that are a problem out in public. (Under!! Leave It!! Negotiating elevators!!)
Have a happy day! More later!