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LA, Part 5

“At last, Alas
It is a boring song
But it works every time.”  Margaret Atwood

The people of LA have become, through intense and persistent dosing, conditioned to the poison of traffic, much like tube worms located near oceanic vents . The only thing that stops the bastards from seeking electric pleasure everywhere and anywhere are steep hills and utter emptiness – in these places they lose momentum and tend to wander around slowly without any perceived purpose or function. Sans the constant noise of their cars and the frenzy of speed, they are like bees with a dead queen decomposing in a tree trunk. Their god is, apparently, limited by physical constraints -- If they could dream of a bigger god, the world would soon become their oyster, and the rest of us would rubbed out, and our purpose reduced to being a large and greasy take out container for their toys and baubles. And we would all have to listen to a Door’s song every other hour, forever.

The traffic was horrible from the Getty Center to Santa Barbara. Two-minutes at 90mph, desperately trying to keep up with the flow, then a panicked two foot slam on the brakes -- followed by 30-minutes of stuporous semi-stop. Repeated for 40 miles, as if needed.

We drove back on Highway 101, because I liked the downhill start. Tons more pretty, hours more time – a real trade off that always seems like a good idea when starting, and kind of a drag the last 60 miles.

We planned to stop early and gas up, but since we spent most of the time until Santa Barbara as above, we ended up going to Buellton on fumes with a bright orange gas warning light flashing for the last 30 miles.

In Buellton, we ate at Split Pea Anderson's – the southern link of that famous roadside attraction. The other link is in Santa Nella, close to the Pacheco Pass turn off to the Bay Area. The place is sprawling, with random nooks crammed with foodstuffs, crap and souvenirs – all wonderful in exactly the kind of way you would expect. The food is average – the soup of the day is split pea everyday.

Our next stop – because now that we didn’t have to stop for traffic random times not of our choosing, we made extra stops because, fuck em – was a small place Mary remembered just off the Avila Beach exit. It was sort of a combination petting zoo and local market, it had many different kinds of goats, cows, roosters, and ice cream. I’ve added a couple of pictures to give you a feel for it. It was a fun stop.

I tried to talk to a worker about renting a goat for the day for my Christmas photo, but stopped just short of getting into trouble. Here’s the word picture for your walking around dream:

"The goat and I are sitting comfortably on a couch -- a TV dinner is on a small table in front of me. The goat chews on hay quietly. The camera is focused on both our faces as we stare intensely at an unseen TV. We are dressed casual."

We finished with strawberry shortcake and then headed home on an almost lonely highway. The End.


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