Although the concepts are related, there is a wide gulf between embarrassment and shame. Embarrassment is when you are seen getting stuck outside your hotel room stark naked. Shame is when you are seen getting stuck outside your hotel room totally starkers except for a condom and a Hitler mask.
At least you were using protection.
This subject has come up because I have received an offer of sponsorship to travel to NecronomiCon in August commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Old Gent’s birth in the town he loved and wrote about and did walkabouts and just SO MUCH LOVECRAFT GOODNESS.
Ahem. Anyway, while I do not as yet have a ticket for the event as such, machinations are going on behind the scenes to allow me to attend as a guest writer or perhaps I will have to sneak in, Land Shark–like, pretending that I am delivering a Candygram or something. I have reason to believe that all will work out, which is good, because the tickets are $400 and I hear hotels in the area, scandalously, are charging people for staying there overnight.
So what’s the embarrassment/shame connection? Well, the aforementioned travel sponsorship is on Greyhound Bus Lines, known mostly as the preferred mode of travel for dishonorably discharged veterans, old people who don’t trust “aeroplanes,” and parole recipients. A lot of people think of Greyhound as “last resort travel,” which maybe it is, but it sure beats paying $500 to sit in a coffin-sized “seat” that can also be used as a flotation device for all those large bodies of water between Nevada and Rhode Island.
Also, I don’t trust aeroplanes.
Plate glass windshield, no seatbelts, speeds of up to 17 miles per hour—much safer.
Some people would feel embarrassed to “ride the dog” across the country, what with all the poor people cooties and whatnot, as if they themselves are members of that tribe. And other might feel ashamed to take a Greyhound for (as the bus line puts it) 2D, 20H, 35M there and another 2D, 22H, 30M back. (I assume air resistance is responsible for the longer return trip, because science.) Maybe they think that it’s beneath them, or they will have to be near ethnic people, or some other reason involving public toilets.
Here’s the schedule:
|(START) – LAS VEGAS, NV||02:40 PM||→||ST GEORGE, UT||05:45 PM||→||CEDAR CITY, UT||06:40 PM|
|PAROWAN (E), UT||07:05 PM||→||RICHFIELD (E), UT||09:05 PM||→||GREEN RIVER, UT||11:20 PM|
|GRAND JUNCTION, CO||01:40 AM||→||GLENWOOD SPRINGS (E), CO||03:50 AM||→||VAIL, CO||05:05 AM|
|FRISCO (E), CO||05:50 AM||→||IDAHO SPRINGS (E), CO||06:40 AM||→||DENVER RTD MARKET ST, CO||07:30 AM|
|DENVER, CO||07:35 AM||→||GOODLAND (E), KS||12:20 PM||→||HAYS, KS||04:05 PM|
|SALINA, KS||05:35 PM||→||JUNCTION CITY (E), KS||07:00 PM||→||TOPEKA, KS||08:15 PM|
|KANSAS CITY, MO||09:25 PM||→||ST LOUIS, MO||02:25 AM||→||INDIANAPOLIS, IN||09:45 AM|
|DAYTON TROTWOOD, OH||12:40 PM||→||SPRINGFIELD (E), OH||01:35 PM||→||COLUMBUS, OH||02:35 PM|
|ZANESVILLE, OH||04:40 PM||→||WHEELING, WV||06:00 PM||→||PITTSBURGH, PA||07:15 PM|
|RS SLIDING ROCK, PA||09:15 PM||→||PHILADELPHIA, PA||02:00 AM||→||(TRANSFER) – NEW YORK, NY||08:30 AM|
|WHITE PLAINS, NY||09:30 AM||→||STAMFORD, CT||10:05 AM||→||BRIDGEPORT, CT||10:45 AM|
|NEW HAVEN, CT||11:20 AM||→||NEW LONDON, CT||12:30 PM||→||MOHEGAN SUN CASINO, CT||12:55 PM|
|FOXWOODS CASINO (E), CT||01:10 PM||→||(END) – PROVIDENCE, RI||02:15 PM|
Yes, that’s right: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and finally Rhode Island. Epic? Yes. A brave man facing the possibility of sitting next to a smelly person for hours, if not days, on end? Certainly.
Or possibly, y’know, being that person? Mon Dieu, oui.
However, I am not embarrassed, nor ashamed, nor grossed out to be taking Greyhound allllll the way across the country and allllll the way back. I actually think it will be an unforgettable (in a good way) experience. And quite appropriate for the Con that celebrates all things Lovecraft. To wit:
- When HPL went on a trip down to Florida (as well as New York and other destinations), he took the good old long-distance bus.
- Since I will be writing a series of dispatches for Shoggoth.net about the Con, I will have a great place to tell of my adventures on the road. Also, since all coaches come with Wi-Fi and power outlets now, I will be able to write and sometimes surf (maybe, just sayin’) during that long 2D, 20H, 35M trip. So it’s also a writing trip.
- Lovecraft didn’t care for New York, and I am scared shitless of NYC, so it’s like sharing one mind with the Master. (Except for the racism, but hey, close enough.)
“Say, why is this colored fellow sitting in the front of the bus?”
“Oh my god, Lovecraft, shut the fuck up and find your seat.”
I’m also not ashamed, &c. to be riding the dog because it’s a kind of cool way to see America in a way you don’t when you’re flying (of course) but also that you don’t while driving a car, since (for many of us) we must mostly keep our eyes on the road while simultaneously trying to keep those same eyes from closing for sleepy time and death.
So this is what I shall have at the end of this journey (other than a sore back and ass) is missives for my dear readers at Shoggoth.net; some work on my novels and some short stories; and the ability to sleep sitting up, Joseph Merrick–style.
Let the wacky roadtrip hijinks begin!
And when I say “wacky roadtrip hijinks,” of course I mean “staying quiet while strictly observing all Greyhound policies and Transportation Security Authority regulations.”