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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 3

rule 8 Missions for this trip include, but are not limited to the following:

  • skinny-dipping in Lake Norman.
  • if we happen upon a Shag-like dance contest, one of us will find a partner, enter and win.
  • if we happen upon a "finish-our-64 oz.-steak-and-get-it-for-free" offer, one of us will do it.
  • find any of NASCARís finest.

reality 8 Well, we achieved 25 percent of missions. We found Lake Norman, but were afraid that little lake animals would crawl into our nether regions. We didnít happen upon the next two missions. As for the last, Fredís plan to marry me off to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. didnít quite materialize. Despite her belief that weíd be perfect for each other, fate put me no closer than the eighth row above the start/finish line at my first-ever race in Charlotte, N.C. He was within spitting distance, but my sweaty glutes and the black tire dust on my face failed to win him over.

All told, we navigated the Carolinas very well in spite of the rash, the stench and the concerned doubt from random strangers over whether girls could travel by themselves. However, Iím still wondering what happened to our guidelines. If you break the rules that were created to break the rules, are you indeed your rebellious alter-ego or are you right back where you started? Is it like two negatives make a positive or is it two wrongs donít make a right? Perhaps a little of both.


Megan Thome is a senior copywriter and documentarian of the human experience. A rat once invaded her 500 square-foot apartment and ate 17 pairs of her pretty underwear. She currently resides in Americaís Heartland but lives in a world of her own.

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