Tow #2

The streak has broken. I got my second tow of the trip.

I’m sorry to report that after experiencing better than 99% positive and friendly people, and only three deliberately (but grade-school) obnoxious people in the entire country, I finally found a person who I would be willing to drive 100 miles out of my way in an electric car to go around.

Leigh Coble is reason enough to avoid at least Water Street Hotel & Marina if not Coombs Inn & Suites in general. Not only that, but I was actually unlucky enough to run across the paths of several people in Appalachicola who managed to confirm it wasn’t just a single chain smoker in the midst of her third day of quitting or simply having a royally terrible day.

When you take what amounts to a random sample of interactions in a community the size of Appalachicola and three of four of them are as bad as I experienced today, it’s reason enough to avoid the place.

Weather wise and scenery wise, it’s a pretty nice (above average, if there’s such a thing) place. However, you can go almost anywhere in the U.S. and find people more consistently friendly and receptive to visitors.

I actually even (there’s a first for everything) asked the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce whether I might have smelled bad or something. I’ve never met a more grotesque combination of personalities outside of a Stephen King novel. Appalachicola–a place one resident called “Redneckville,” and a place the reporter from the local paper (Lois Swoboda) said, “well you should have known better than to bring an electric car here.”

With a sneer, no less. 🙁

“You just have a bad attitude,” she said.
Really? After I walked in with what I thought was some lemonade from the lemons I’d gotten earlier: thinking the guy at the Chamber of Commerce had righted me after I was left reeling in the wake of Ms. Coble, and ready to spin the story off as a “there’s good people in every community, just look” contrast between how to greet visitors and how not to.

I thought long and hard on this one, but in the end I feel obliged to report “responsibly” rather than with a Pollyanna “everything is grand” Cheshire Cat smile plastered to my face. Blaming someone or excusing them (as suits Lois’ fancy) based on whether they live in town or not.

I guess it got real today.

In other news, check out the beautiful pricker bush that loomed so large on the side of eastbound route 98 that I saw it at 50 mph and went back to take some pictures of it.

I guess what God or that pricker told me before I even showed up is that there is beauty even in the biggest and thorniest of prickers. If I know me, I’ll be sorting this one out for hours.

Long enough to wait for a tow truck from Tallahassee to deliver me to the capital with a good measure of diesel fuel on this most instructive day of the whole trip so far: day 194.

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