Must Love to Travel
by Solomon Philbrick

Online dating is such a pain in the ass. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even more annoying than the real thing, though since I’ve never really dated all that much I wouldn’t know. I’m sure you’re all shocked by that revelation.

Anyway, as if it isn’t hard enough to find smokers in this Godforsaken land of health freaks, everyone out there wants to travel. I have personally seen enough of this large ball of dirt to know that I don’t like most of it, and that’s why I stay in one place. Why on earth would anyone want to leave a sunny coastal strip in California to go and visit exotic places and see exotic people? Hell, if you really want to see that kind of thing just drive to L.A. There’s all sorts of exotic down there, and it won’t even cost you plane fare to go. I can name several places where one can even get some really exotic food poisoning right here in town from some of our really exotic restaurants.

Lufthansa.jpgThat’s not enough, though, for the modern sophisticate. I read through the goofy profiles and it seems like everyone is all ready at any moment’s notice to pack up all their junk and jet off to some hellhole or another. They list all the wild and crazy places they’ve been or would like to see, which I assume is supposed to be impressive but really just gives me a damn headache. I can only imagine loafing around one day doing my favorite thing (meaning nothing) when potential girlfriend destroys my precious tranquility with the idea of flying to Papua New Guinea for two weeks, dragging me away from my house and my stuff. Folks, there’s a reason why I live where I live. I chose it. I like it. Seeing it every day doesn’t bother me a bit, any more than eating a medium rare steak with a baked potato every night for a year would not grow tiresome. I know what I like and I stick to it. Is that boring? Yes, but I am rarely in for any unpleasant surprises.

I find the travel destinations even more odd. I can understand London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, or any old major city in a post-industrial nation. Those places have cool buildings and museums and stuff. If I had a teleporter I’d go check them out, but sitting in a metal tube for a twelve hour nic fit is not my idea of a good time. The four hours it took to get to Chicago were pretty uncomfortable, but I managed. Tripling that sounds like a very bad time. But I digress, as always. Since Western Europe now has a “been there, done that” air about it, everyone wants to go somewhere new, at least if we define new as a rare vacation spot. So I constantly see things like “I would love to go to West Africa” or “I’m about to go to Guatemala for a week!”

Eh, no thanks.

What is there to see in those places? Nature and poor people. As far as nature goes, there is
plenty of it right here in the States. We have big trees and a huge coast in California. If you like mountains, we have Colorado. Alaska_737.jpgIf you’re looking for something more interesting, there’s this little place called Yellowstone. Ever heard of it? I hear it’s quite nice.

As for poor people, I’m just going to be un-p.c. and say that there is nothing cool about them. When I say poor people, I don’t mean those neighbors of mine who stack six people into a two bedroom apartment. They at least have electricity and television like civilized people, and every few weeks I even see them grilling burgers by the pool. The poor people I’m talking about are the ones who live in houses made out of old tires and dung, no teeth in the family and a life expectancy of thirty. That’s not interesting. It’s depressing. The fact that they might worship rocks and hold ceremonies presided over by a sacred goat does not reveal some mystical relation with nature, it just means that they’ve never seen the inside of a classroom or even a book. When wealthy Americans go over to places like that and pay the locals a few sheets of funny money, it isn’t honoring them or helping them out as much as it is rubbing their noses in their own poverty. The only time that poor people are really interesting is when they’re stealing your wallet.

I like to keep my ugly Americanism right here at home, where I can be unpleasant to my fellow Americans. They seem to understand it and return the favor in kind. Now that I think about it, I guess it’s no wonder I don’t have a girlfriend.

Philbrick just got his money back from

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