InterroLoop: Day 4 – Florida

Today was my first day where I drove more than 500 miles and it was… dull.  The most common feature of the route were the omnipresent pro-life billboards.  There were three main billboard themes:

  • The billboard that attempts to prove the life of the fetus “abortion stops a beating heart”
  • The billboard that gives alternatives “pregnant and scared?  Call us.”
  • The billboard that tries to establish the commonality of abortion “every 92 seconds, someone has an abortion”

The last was my favorite as three different figures were presented: one every 20 seconds, 3200 a day, and 1.3 million a year.  I have no strong view of using billboards as a way to sway the public but at least get your facts straight as it takes a good bit of fudging to get these numbers to jive.  The billboards started affecting my driving as clouds started to look like little fetuses.  These billboards contrasted strongly with two other types: one from a man offering cheap vasectomies and this one:


I probably should have cropped it. Oh well.

Driving into Tampa was nice as it had a legitimate skyline and I hit it as the sun was setting but I failed to be adequately prepared with camera in hand to capture it.  The person I knew in the area was Bob Tyler/Leezard:


Florida seems like a bad place for beards

My actual host was a fellow named Mason/Earle Johnson who was a student of classics excited that he’d just scored a 1916 textbook on the topic which included lovely anachronisms as the dominion of Canada and Rhodesia.


The Earle of Tampa

We went to Steak ‘n’ Shake after an hour or so of conversation that was more a delicate arrangement of non-sequitors and I met Luis Bishop Lopez whom everyone calls “Bishop”, a name further abbreviated by his family to “Bish”.  He’s owed me 12 dollars for about 8 months now and I was delighted to receive it.  I’ve not included a picture as he’s one of those people that perpetually poses and I simply didn’t have the patience to wait for something more candid.  The restaurant was as mediocre as I remembered from Columbus except for the part where I couldn’t safely differentiate the smell of chili from the server’s odor.  I think it was the chili, I really hope it was the chili.

After returning to Mason’s, his dog Daisy took a fancy to my socks and spent 40 minutes attempting to relieve me of them.  I found this funny until I realized that my sock supply was quite finite while on the road and that they are a precious resource.


Daisy, the Hellion

The evening wound down over a game of Dominion that appeared to be a four-way game of solitaire with a National Geographic documentary on Shark Mountain (which is not a mountain made of sharks) running in the background.