My last post was the announcement of my Hugo nomination. Seven days later, and I’m still unable to write anything that feels appropriate after such a personal milestone. I considered writing a book review, but that seemed… slight. I thought about weighing in on the Christopher Priest hilarity… but I think I missed that boat. I started to share a pearl of editing wisdom, but I worried about coming across as pretentious.
It hasn’t helped that I was laid up with the flu from Tuesday through Sunday.
The flu came about after a ‘vacation’ to Gatlinburg, TN. In fact, I’m certain of it. Gatlinburg is a tourist trap in the Great Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee. The area is a beautiful place. The locals were nice.
But the humanity… oh the humanity…
It felt like a million people were crammed into the town. Dave Matthews would have yanked out his fiddle (or whatever the hell screeches in half his songs) and played ‘Ants Marching’, because all us humans were like a bunch of pre-programmed ants going from one tourist destination to the next. It is from one of these fellow ants that I’m certain gave me the flu.
My spouse and I reached Gatlinburg around 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. It took us 90 minutes to cover the last 11 miles to reach our hotel. A bit shell-shocked, we agreed on the spot that if we can’t walk to it, then we would not see it, because the traffic was just too much. It seemed a good idea at the time. All the tourist pamphlets indicated there was plenty to do and see. The sites were a mixed bag of neat (“Hey, that placed is named Cooter’s, after the guy in Dukes of Hazzard!”) to depressing (the Ripley’s museum of world records was the lamest thing I’ve ever wasted time on). Naturally, plenty of people have been telling me if we’d ventured out in our car to <here> or <there> we would have enjoyed ourselves more. But the humanity… oh the humanity…
There is nothing more disappointing than a disappointing vacation. Next time, damn it, I’m going to lock myself in the game room and play Dead Island for 72 hours straight!