Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

12 September 2012

Close Encounters of the Amish Kind

I got lost yesterday.

I followed a DETOUR sign than took me to a dead end road on a country lane inhabited by the Amish.

(Is it "THE" Amish or just Amish??  Hmmmm.  I put "THE" in front of a lot of words that probably don't actually need it. #uncomfortablemomentofselfrealization)

Anyway, the state of New York apparently decided that it would be a really, really good idea to rip up ALL the roads on EVERY thoroughfare of EVERY town/village between Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties at the exact same time.  Basically, if it's a main route between Point A and Point B, they tore it all to pieces and couldn't figure out how to put that shit back together.

Massive road construction on one itty bitty stretch of road that happens to be the ONLY way to get to Canton has been torn up since APRIL.

Last Friday they decided that, for shits and giggles, they would also rip up the road in front of the post office in my town, which also happens to be the main road that takes me to the high way I need to get on to go ANYFREAKINGWHERE.


It took me 27 minutes to figure out how to get out of town yesterday.

You know what would have helped?

My GPS.  The one Dan got me to help me find my way around upstate NY.

Would you like to know where it is?

It's in Dan's truck, because he likes to set the destination on it and then go a different way.  It's his little way of proving he's smarter than the GPS.  Every time it says "recalculating..."  he laughs like an asshole.

Meanwhile, I'm driving around like an old blind woman heading aimlessly down streets that don't go anywhere, because everyone has lived here FOREVER so they don't think anyone needs road signs.

There are no road signs.

Okay, there are some, but not very many.

And when you ask for directions, people say things like, "Take the old Hermitville road down to Amish Corners and turn left at the town barn..."

So I drive and drive and drive and drive and you know what?





So back to the 27 minutes it took me to find my way out of town...

This set me 20 minutes behind schedule.

I had to get Javi to the vet and I gave myself an hour and a half to make the 60 mile drive.  I figured I'd hit a small delay in Canton plus I needed to get gas, so I left my house confident that I would arrive in plenty of time to pee and fill out paperwork.

Oh, what a fool am I.

Road work in Canton backed up traffic for 5 miles.

It took me over an hour to creep forward 5 miles.

An hour.

I was over an hour late to the vet.

I was the last appointment of the day because they were closing for a staff meeting and luncheon.

I held the meeting up for over an hour.

I had to pee so bad I thought I was going to die.

I was so embarrassed  at my lateness that I couldn't bring myself to ask any of them to hang on for a moment while I went to the bathroom or correct any of the four people who pronounced both mine and Javi's names wrongs.

When the appointment was finally, mercifully over I called Dan from the parking lot.

Me:  *bitch moan bitch moan I have to pee fucking traffic bitch bitch bitch complain crampy bloated PISSED OFF bitch moan*

Dan:  "Why didn't you go to the bathroom at the vets?"

Me:  *long-ass diatribe about how I'm not rude*

Dan:  "That's dumb... if you have to pee, you have to pee."

Me:  *further ranting and raving about not wanting to face the traffic jam again and how there's no place to pee for 20 miles and it'll take me over an hour to get there*

Dan:  "So take the back road."

Me:  "WHAT back road?"

Dan:  *stupidly*  "Use your GPS."

*longgggggg pause*

Dan:  "Oh yeah."

Dan:  "Okay, here's what you do.  Turn left instead of right coming out of the clinic.  Go 5, 10 miles up the road until you come to the exit for Farmville.   Remember when we went to go look at the Amish 10 years ago?  That's the road.  So keep going down that road 6, 7 miles or so until you come to the Hooterville exit.  Take that and it should bring you out just above the country store.  Remember when you bought the pumpkin butter?  You don't?  What do you  mean you don't remember?  Remember??  We went for a drive one time when we came to visit like 9, 10 years ago?  Come on, Dani... pull your head out of your ass!  You have to remember!  Anyway.  Follow your road signs... it'll bring you back out to Route 11.  Then you'll be just a few miles outside of Frog's Breath."

Me:  "Okay."

(You all got that, right?)

Dan:  "Just remember... follow the signs."

Me:  "Okay."

This all would have been amazingggg advice if only there had been any signs.

There were no signs.

I drove 15 miles up one way and 15 miles back down again, looking for the exit to Farmville.

There was no exit to Farmville.

Finally, I took an exit that looked like it had Amish somewhere along the way.

Weird Al's "Amish Paradise" floated through my head as I slowly drove along, keeping an eye out for horses, buggies, and pale-eyed children looking creepily at me from the sides of the road.

"Danny isn't here, Mrs. Torrence..."

There was no Hooterville exit.

There was no country store.

There was, however, another fucking DETOUR sign.

I took it.

I drove along, waiting for another arrow pointing me in whatever direction I need to go, but none appeared.

The road narrowed.

The pavement was replaced by dirt and rocks.

I looked for a place to turn around where I wouldn't wind up in a ditch.

Fuck.  Me.

I kept going.

And then, without any warning, the road ended.

Directly in front of me was an Amish farm, being worked on by Amish who wouldn't look at me.

"I don't see a woman in a red car... do you, Amos?"

I sat there in my car, windows down, music blaring.

They ignored me.

"Is she still looking at us?"

This was my golden opportunity... my moment to break the barriers (that only exist in my head) and show that I am a Friend Of The Amish, that I came in peace.

If only I had an offering...

I looked frantically around my car, spying three empty Smart Water bottles, a half-eaten bag of Good n Plentys, and a small furry black dog.


I need to clean out my car.

I toyed with the idea of saying something self-deprecating and amusing, like "We need to stop meeting like this!"

For once, my brain worked faster than my mouth and I kept mum.

The Amish kept ignoring me.

"Maybe if we don't look at her she'll go away."

Finally, awkwardly, I made a 27 point turn and headed back towards whence I'd come.

I glanced into my rear view mirror for one more look...

"Look away, English!!!"

As I retraced my route back to the detour sign that had sent me straight into Deliverance, a single thought popped into my head:

"Shit... I should have asked them if I could use their bathroom."


  1. I'm gonna buy you a road atlas for your birthday.

    1. Can I have Good n Plentys and vodka instead? Please and thank you?

  2. Man, it's a shame you didn't have a GPS in your car. I mean, then they could have told you to turn onto the different roads, which probably didn't exist and were having construction anyway. You live in a magical land.

    I always referred to them as "the Amish" so I think you're good.

    How's Javi?

  3. Holy crap, we are secret twins, just so you know.

    I could get lost in a closet, and if anyone touches my GPS, they will die a horrible, horrible death. If I can find them. Which isn't guaranteed.

    I have gotten lost on the way to work (where I have worked for 5 years and always take the same route) more than once.

    I am glad the Amish didn't eat you (hey, I said "the" in front of Amish, too... are you sure it isn't a thing? We talk about THE New Yorkers, and THE Californians...).

  4. I have to make TWH stay ON THE PHONE WITH ME until I reach someplace that looks vaguely familiar because one time I took an alternate route and ended up in another state. My sense of direction is shit. Obviously.

  5. I often try to rely on my phone's GPS to get me out of those situations. My phone lies to me. It takes a sadistic, fervent glee in placing me directly in front of a burned out building and telling me that I've reached my destination. It once took me to the water treatment plant and told me it was a furniture store.

    In other words, don't rely on the GPS...

  6. They did that to the roads here back in June. For a solid month it was IMPOSSIBLE to get anywhere in under 30 minutes. And then they tore up my street and blocked off every single way out to the main roads. Good times.

    Why do all men think in miles?? I know there's a meter in the car to calculate that but seriously it's so much easier to give directions in names and landmarks. Though in fairness I suppose he did try to give you some landmarks, even if they turned out not to exist...

    Glad you got back ok in the end! (I'm presuming you did, since you did a post about it.) Just remember--it could have been much worse than Amish. You could have gotten lost down some dark narrow street in Newark and been forced to get directions out of the ghetto from a hooker.

    I needed like 4 valiums after that.


  7. You should have just peed on their lawn. I mean... They aren't allowed to talk to you anyway, right? Or is that choice. Damn, I'll have to consult my "Living with the Amish" Handbook.



  8. I too am a directionless mofo. Many, many years ago, when I still lived in Texas, my boyfriend and I decided to drive to Corpus Christi and spend the day at the beach, which was about a three hour drive. I drove, because my loser boyfriend didn't have a car. About ten minutes into the trip we had a major fight, and then didn't say a word to each other. I drove along for about two and a half hours, hella pissed off, and not noticing I hadn't seen a single sign for Corpus. It didn't dawn on me I went the opposite direction on the highway until I started seeing signs for Mexico.

    Pathetically truest story ever.


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