Chattanooga Ooh! Ooh!

THE ROAD, Tenn., Day 1 -- Fans of the classic Broadway show tune, "I've Gotta Be Me," immortalized by Steve Lawrence, Sammy Davis, Jr., and countless popular performers, will note the special lyrics warbled by me as our vacation mobile withdrew from the bubbly state of Georgia into bladder-bursting Chattanooga.

"I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta go pee, I just gotta go pee
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta go pee!!"

I've been bellowing that little ditty for decades, pretty much on the hour.

"Do you have to go?" asked Donna.

"What gave you that idea?" I countered.

"Your theme song was a hint, and your hands are bending the steering wheel at 10 and 2."

"Yeah, I should alter the act."

"The demonic beads of sweat on your brow spelling out 'DRAIN ME!' is new."

"Thanks for noticing. Yes, I have to pit stop!"

"Then, turn off at this exit."

"You mean, thataway?" I was incredulous.


"But, I thought the Grand Canyon was our first thataway."

"We won't be there for two days!"

"I guess I could hold it -- or, certainly, this car."

"Are you crazy?"

"It's a rental."

"Take the exit!" Donna ordered. I heard it.

"So, now you're telling me we're eight thataways to home."


"Our itinerary, as you argued for the defense off blog via highlighted atlases, View-Master® slides, and notarized receipts in quadruplicate, is to visit seven thataways."

"Off blog?"

"Seven delightfully scenic destinations."

"The Shell station is not scenic."

"It is if you gotta pee! Beauty."

"Mike, go potty. Make your happy noises and don't send me a postcard."

"I'm watching you, missy, and tabulating, "Eight Thataways to Home."

To Be Continued

With apologies to Walter Marks and, of course, Slim.

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