North Carolina: The Home of Cigarettes. Okay, technically that's not actually the state motto, but it might as well be. The picturesque forest that runs along I-95 through North Carolina is covered with cigarette factories, and everyone in the entire state either works there or uses the product. I think they kick you out of the state if you don't.
We saw a billboard that said, "North Carolina: We Support the Military More Than Any Other State." I immediately thought, "North Carolina: We Like to Kill People Too!" Perhaps that was uncharitable of me.
We drove through North Carolina quickly, stopping only once, to see the Girl Who Is Prettier Than Me. When I was in junior high and high school, I had two best friends, Caroline and Anne. Caroline was the pretty one, Anne was the daredevil, and I was the smart one. Every guy we ever met would have killed to get with Caroline, and she could have given a rat's ass about any of them--she just wasn't that interested. But for all that, she got knocked up when we were seventeen, and I lost track of her during college. I admit I was secretly a little happy when she got pregnant--she might be gorgeous, but at least I got to go to college.
So anyway, I hadn't seen her for ten years, and then about a month ago, Anne told me she had moved to North Carolina. I wrote her, and we arranged to get together for lunch. It was good to see her, but I was rather bitter by the end. You see, not only is she still the Girl Who's Prettier Than Me, but she is happily married and has not only one, but two beautiful daughters. Looks like I really did waste my fertile years getting an education. Damn it, and damn that pretty girl.