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in my mind i'm going to carolina 
how reality sideswiped a thousand miles of expectation
by Megan Thome
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continued from page 1

rule 3 Nicknames and pseudonyms are strongly encouraged for the following reasons: one, to more sufficiently identify and complement our physical transformation, and two, to throw law enforcement officers off track.

reality 3 We chose old-man names. The blonde? Fred. The African queen? Al. Me? Clyde. And the law enforcement officers were members of the Charleston, S.C. fire department. Hunkalicious. The spontaneous street interviewing that I was doing with my video camera landed us an invitation to slide down the fireman’s pole. Despite the innuendo, we climbed to the second floor, were straddled by a law-abiding beefcake and took the leap down the brass into an applauding crowd of even more all-American beefcakes. Sheer glee.

rule 4 The driver is the DJ. That's final.

reality 4 All but, I’d say, 80 miles of our 1,000-mile road trip was driven by yours truly. I like to drive as much as I like licking toilets. And no amount of old-skool hip-hop was going to make my 5’11" body fit better into our eight-miles-on-the-odometer, silver Mitsubishi Spyder convertible.

rule 5 All roadside oddities are of interest, such as flea circuses, the biggest anythings in the world and, of course, midgets.

reality 5 The most notable oddities on the trip were, disappointingly, ourselves.  Fred and I developed a pink-speckled-jellybean-like rash as a result of shellfish and sunshine. It was quite impressive. Al showed us how her stomach muscles can relax to the point of looking seven months pregnant. And at one point, all three of us piled onto a rickshaw that was built to hold only two. Onlookers gawked at the poor sweaty guy pedaling uphill to take three Cleopatras to dinner. Once again, being cool was virtually impossible.
. recommendations
1 Eat pizza at I Love New York Pizza in Chapel Hill, N.C.
2 Rent a headset at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
3 Get a $5 nail polish change at Best Nails in Charlotte, N.C.
4 Patronize the annual Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.
5 Dine at Garibaldi’s, a bistro in historic Charleston, S.C.
6 Be nice to the concierge at the Historic Downtown Holiday Inn, Charleston, S.C.
7 Spend an afternoon at Folly Beach, S.C.
8 Listen to "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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