Giligan's Island Redux

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this little town
Aboard this Toyota…. something that rhymes with trip.

So it’s not as good as the original Gilligan’s Island lyrics, but I’ve had a rough couple of days. Saturday, Rachel, proprietress of, and I were scheduled to speak at a paranormal panel at a library in Hardin County, Ky, which is a three-hour drive away from Paducah. We decided to ride together to be environmentally responsible and because we have fun when we get together. We have similarly sick senses of humor. And because I’d never been to this library branch and had no idea how to get there. However, Rachel and her husband, Clif, have made several trips to Radcliff.

This becomes important later.

We started our trip about four hours before we were due at the library, figuring that would give us extra time to arrive. We took off down the interstate, Clif tells Rachel, be sure to tell me when to turn onto the West Kentucky Parkway. Rachel and I start talking about books, interesting little publishing anecdotes, etc. The next we know, she says, “Hey what’s that building doing there?” I look up and say, “I think we’re in Clarksville.”

As in Tennessee.

From there we managed to drive up to Bowling Green, only to realize we’d taken several more wrong turns (each of us leading the car astray at least once) and would never make it in time. We called the library to explain our mind-boggling ability to take a wrong directional choice in any given situation. We pleaded, groveled and begged apologies, then rescheduled the event, which had been plagued with other complications… that were in no way related to our collective dysfunctional internal compass.

We headed for Nashville, thinking it would be easier to just catch the interstate and head back up (through Clarksville, ironically enough.) to Paducah. We stopped at this great aquarium-themed restaurant (you know how I love captive fish.) We were still having a pretty good time together, an adventure, despite the fact that we’d accomplished nothing but have lunch that day. We departed the restaurant knowing exactly which way to get the interstate to get to Kentucky…

Famous last words. Rachel and I started talking again and then I said, “Hey guys, did that sign say, 15 miles to Bowling Green?”

And that’s when I started hyperventilating a little bit.

Long story short, we called my husband, who thought I was teasing him when I explained that I was in Bowling Green at the time I was supposed to be returning home.

“Did you put Toonces the Driving Cat behind the wheel?” he asked, because he loves to reference obscure Saturday Night Live characters.

After he figured out, A) I was NOT kidding, and B) I was just this side of panicky, he stopped teasing me and explained the fastest way home from Bowling Green. And every time we approached an important turn, Rachel and I shut the hell up.

Right around Princeton, Rachel says, “Oh, no.” And I thought, “If she forgot something important in Nashville, I am getting out of the car and hitchhiking home to Paducah.”

“I jinxed us!” Rachel said. “This morning, I sang the Gilligan’s Island theme song and joked about how funny it would be if our three-hour tour turned into us being lost all day!”

Then, I spent the next hour trying to figure out which one of us was Gilligan in this situation.
Final answer: We were all equally guilty of wearing the goofy white hat at some point during the day.

The lesson in all this is that one, stuff happens. The most reliable people on earth can screw up big time and sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it but apologize profusely. And two, if you're going to get lost repeatedly, and spend ten hours in a car with people, make sure it's people you have a lot of fun with.


Denise said…
oh no! my twin sister and I are infamous for this. We started a trip from St Louis to Indianapolis and started talking and somehow ended up more than half way to Chicago. Had to stop and buy an atlas to figure out where to go next. We both have GPS units now to interrupt us and tell us when to turn!
Heather C said…
That is too funny!!! It looks like one of you needs to invest in GPS. :) I am awful with directions so I think they are 1 of the greatest inventions ever.
Daelith said…
I couldn't help but laugh since hubby and I did this ourselves Saturday while out on the Harley. Thankfully we were only an hour off.
Gina G. said…
Okay - Molly and Rachael - I've lived in Tenn and Ky...went to school at Austin Peay State University (Let's go PEAY) in Clarksville and at Murray State University in Murray Ky (you go near Paducah to get from APSU to MSU....and you ended up in Bowling Green? Wow - that's sum conversation ladies! Women of the South can sure spout some knowledge when driving is all I'm sayin.
Gina Growe who lives in Springfield, IL where her family refers to her as having "Northern Aggressor Ways"...that would be my potty mouth that isn't at all potty when near any family member.

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