Previously on Adventures In Trivia: After buying a trivia win and Munchkins, we buy cake and wine for our bereaved friend Meredith.
When we set off for Meredith's house, Caroline said she wasn't sure but Meredith might live in a sketchy neighborhood. Of course, as the driver, I needed more detail.
Caroline: "Go east into the city, then turn north."
Me: "Seriously? Shit." We all know if you are in the middle of downtown Saint Louis, and you keep heading east, you will be found dead in East Saint Louis. However, if at the last minute you veer off and turn north, you will only be maimed. North Saint Louis is our second worst neighborhood.
Of course, that's if you're headed in from the west, and we were on south 55. The "sketchy" neighborhood we were headed for is home to safe places like Ted Drewes, Cherokee Street, Mom's childhood home, and my Aunt Nancy's house. But, I've never approached the city from the south, and it was dark, just about midnight, and we still had the high drama buzz going from The Win, so ... this was not destined to be a relaxing trip to Meredith's. it could have been, in the daytime.
The first exit from highway 55 was terrifying. The exit ramp was decorated by an oil drum propped up on a platform of two by fours. I don't know why. It spooked me. It must have spooked us all, because with every intersection we passed we got more and more giggly. We didn't really know, but as Caroline said, "Come on, we're three college educated women. We can get to the hood."
Finally we got to Meredith's and we executed a smooth operation in which I slowed the car so Caroline could get out and run up to the porch while I turned the car around. I picked her up headed the opposite way without hardly braking. It looked a lot like a drug drop.
Of course, then when we sped off we were so relieved we got even more giggly.
I was thinking about Aunt Nancy anyway, since we were in her hood, and I remembered how she would bellow "Old Man River" whenever we crossed a river. I thought, "I should belt out 'In the Ghetto,' that'll be funny." And it would have been funny if I could have gotten past the breath I had to take to sing without cracking myself up. Finally I just choked out my plan.
The route of 55 to Broadway to Meramec was a new road though, and you know I love those. And to bookend the Oil Drum Altar I saw on the way in I saw a giant Native American statue on the way out. What's up with that? Marcia said it was just the entrance to the antiques district on Cherokee street, but it looked very forbidding.
Eventually, Caroline said, "Marcia, ask Siri what's the fastest way from the ghetto to Chesterfield." The non-stop Mojo had worn us out.