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Driving through Alabama is a bit frightening to me.  Why?  Because everywhere you look, there are threats and entreaties to join the good side:  become a believer.  I don’t know about you, but I never want to be threatened or scared into becoming a believer in anything.  And yet, in southern Alabama, there exists a threat like none other:  a large billboard on the side of I-65 North:  “Go to church or the devil will get you.”

Labor day weekend, my friend and I drove straight down through Alabama, on our way to Florida.  I warned her about the large amount of churches and iconography we would see.  But there were a few new ones I’d not seen before.

We stopped halfway to Montgomery for fuel, and to use the restroom.  We chose poorly:  the exit we took off I-65 had just one Shell station, and it was poorly kept.  I was terrified of the restroom:  my OCD does not appreciate a dirty restroom.  I pulled myself up and went in anyway; I will leave out the gory details.  As I was leaving the ladies’ room, I noticed a memo posted on the door; this memo was about keeping the ladies’ room clean (!!!) and had a picture of Jesus on it.  I was a little taken aback.  What does Jesus have to do with a clean bathroom? And do I really want a picture of him in there?

Today, I saw this article on Carnal Nation:  http://tinyurl.com/mb6nl4.  The Alabama Supreme court has upheld a ban on sex toys being sold in the state of AL.  Of course, you can still sell/buy them for other purposes– legislative, judicial, law enforcement…  So basically, if you work for the government or are a cop, sex toys are ok.  But for the residents of AL…  Looks like you’re out of luck.  I’m not sure of the connection between morality and sex toys.  Does owning a vibrator make a person immoral?  How does that happen?  What’s so immoral about sex?

So basically, we can threaten others about their belief systems, make them think they are going to hell if they don’t go to church or clean the restroom, but if someone decides to pleasure themselves, use a toy in the privacy of their own home, they are immoral?  Threats are moral, but private acts are not?

Seriously?

No, I’m not speaking of a church revival.  Far from it.

This past weekend, my friend Joanna and I hopped in the car, early Saturday morning, and tripped on down to Panama City Beach.  We got to our hotel room to find  a stunning view from the 7th floor balcony.  We walked down to the ocean and found the water to be perfectly warm and calm, crystal clear.  We went out to dinner that night and bought a bottle of wine.  We made a toast to ourselves for taking time out of our uber-busy and packed schedules to take a vacation and relax.  Let me just say, we are some damn smart chicas for doing so.

Sunday was spent on the beach.  Rented chairs, books, perfect weather, and the entire ocean at our feet.  Once I got into the water, I did not want to leave.  We had the honor of being entertained by a young man trying to surf on the edge of the waves, right in front of us.  Each time he crashed, he dove into the water, acting as if nothing had happened.  His shorts were barely hanging on; we were ‘treated’ to many glimpses of his ass-crack and pubes.

Monday was spent exploring Seaside, a manufactured community made famous in “The Truman Show.”  I love Seaside for its quaint shops and arts and crafts.  My favorite bookstore ever is in Seaside:  Sundog Books.  They have an eclectic selection and I find something I like each and every time I go in.  Well, okay, so I read a lot and can usually find something in a bookstore.  But this small, privately owned store has just a perfectly chosen collection.  Not to mention the fantastic notebooks.  Joanna and I both bought several new notebooks.  These are a must for writers.  Not an indulgence, mind you, but a necessity!

Some other highlights from the trip:

Bought a bottle of Bitch Wine at Modica Market.  Fun!

Favorite billboard in AL:  “Go to church or the Devil will get you!”

2nd Favorite sign in AL:  “Jesus is Alive!”  [Joanna’s response:  maybe he’s single! To put in context, we were discussing failed relationships…]

The cats were a tad upset that I’d gone off and left them for the weekend, but I had the hot neighbor come and look in on them.  Bless his hot little ass!  I so needed this weekend, it was the most relaxing and fun holiday I’ve had in years.

One last thing:  we had a long talk on the way down to Florida about how women tend to take care of others but not do a good job of taking care of their own selves.  WHY do we do that?!!  Joanna told me of a piece of artwork she has in her home with the definition of selfish:  Being more like your self.

We all need to be more like our selves, eh?

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