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10:12 p.m. - July 22, 2007
Meander Indiana!
You know what this state needs – it needs a reason for people to drive around in the cornfields.

Well, they’re not going to do it themselves, are they?

Since I’ll be leaving soon, I’ve been exploring the area of my birth and my youth. It’s kind of a nostalgia trip, because when I was in high school I did a lot of this too. Then, I was going 65 down a gravel road trying to stay on the bumper of some girls in the car in front, while listening to ZZ Top, Tom Petty or Billy Idol on Q95.

(I would say Bob Seger, but every time he came on the radio we switched to Z96. Moose and I were sick of him then even.)

So yeah, I know the area in this county and some of the surrounding counties.

I recall when I got a new car (it was an Escort GT that I named “The Chick Magnet”. No, really, I named an Escort “The Chick Magnet”. I was either being ironic or delusional – you decide) and Moose and the Jenster and I took off in it and somehow wound up in Wallace, Indiana.

That’s not someplace you normally wind up. You either GO to Wallace for a reason, or you don’t need to be there. But there we were, on State Road 341 heading toward 234 and wondering if we should cut through Alamo to get home.

Yeah, good times.

Just like driving down a road you don’t know, with no guardrail and a ravine (oh, excuse me, hollar) on your right and on the left you see a herd of goats and an honest to goodness longhorn steer. And then you see a donkey and you go, “What an ass!”

(I’m full of it today, aren’t I??)

Anyway, I thought of a game that Indiana should play. It’s the “MEANDER INDIANA” game, where you have 30 days to earn points by driving through as many towns as you can. You have to show proof that you were in a town. Some of the towns may be little specs on the map at the intersection of two country roads, and one or two may NOT be on some maps. But they’re there.

How can you prove you were there? Well, a photo by a road sign or a church or landmark, or you could make people stop and buy a t-shirt at a designated place.

You know, a shirt could say, “NYEAH! I’ve Been To Stringtown And You Haven’t!”

(Yes, Stringtown is the name of a town – in Fountain County. It’s not on the Rand McNally map, but they have Stringtown Road and a Church of the Nazarene there. Oh, and in Kingman, the street signs are ORANGE, and they didn’t waste any metal. If a street was just “OAK” or “PARK” then by gum that’s all the bigger they made the sign.)

Each town gives you a certain number of points.

10 points for easy ones (relatively) like Crawfordsville, Greencastle, or Shelbyville. They’re close to the interstate and all.

20 points for towns off of the beaten path a bit, like Delphi, Attica, or Oolitic. Places that you have to go a bit to get there but it’s not too difficult to get to.

30 points for towns like Young America, Kouts, or Vevay where you have no reason to go unless you want to go there. (You get 10 bonus points for doing your David Bowie impersonation while in Young America).

50 points for towns that no one in their right mind would go unless, well, they had to go there for legal reasons. Examples would be Yeddo, Domestic, Solitude, or Center Square. No, Paul Lynde was not born in Center Square, Indiana. (Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk).

So, go out and find Farmers Retreat, Scipio, and Millhousen. Take over Cuba and Carthage. Go dancing in Disko. Go research why New Mount Pleasant replaced the old one. Answer me this: Why is Boundary City five miles from the Ohio line and four miles from the Randolph / Jay county line?

Who’s with me? Let’s MEANDER INDIANA!

Oh, and I’ve been to Stringtown (in Fountain County, mind you) and you haven’t. NYEAH!


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