We are having a little crisis here in the Hagmobile. Stace is reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas and I am reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. Both are audio downloads from Audible that we have on the iPod… so I guess technically we’re listening to them but you know what I mean.
“The Count of Monte Cristo” was written by the same French dude who wrote “The Three Musketeers” and “Twenty Years After” — both of which we also have. Stace says “The Count of Monte Cristo” is a story of betrayal and revenge. There’s lots of action and it’s completely engrossing. She says it’s one of the better books she’s read in a while and insists that I will love it. She’s usually right about that sort of thing.
“The Pillars of the Earth” was written by the same guy who wrote “Eye of the Needle” and “Lie Down with Lions” along with several other spy thrillers. I always liked Follett’s other works, but I have to say that “Pillars of the Earth” is spectacular. It really is a must-read/listen book. It is all about the building of a cathedral in a small market town sometime around 1140 in England. I know it may not sound like much, but I am finding it hard to put down. It has all of Follett’s usual mastery of tension and pacing, but adds an incredible richness that I don’t remember his other books having. Granted, it has been decades since I read his spy books so I may be slighting them unintentionally. Anyway, the cast of characters in Pillars is huge and diverse. The plot is sweeping and will at times:
- piss you off
- make your heart skip a beat from the tension and make you wish desperately that the guy reading it would read faster for god’s sake
- make you pound your fist on the steering wheel and burst out with something like “oh yeah! that’s what I’m talking about!” or some such
- break your heart
All this and I’m only about a third of the way through the book. In fact both books are very long. This is part of what’s causing the crisis here in the truck. Let me explain… traditionally whoever is driving gets the iPod. Obviously because the non-driving Hag can find lots of other things to entertain themselves while the driving Hag is pretty limited in entertainment choices. This typically works pretty well. In part because usually one of us is reading a book that we’re only luke-warm about and often that could be said for both of us at the same time. This makes it easy when one of us is at a pivatol point in their book for the other one to hand off the iPod for some extra listening time.
Right now though… well both of us are completely swept up in our respective books. So yesterday when we stopped to get something to eat at Panera’s I took the iPod with me into the service plaza and only paused it long enough to place our order. Same thing just a bit ago when I was picking up breakfast at the IHOP. It’s not just me though. After breakfast — just a few minutes ago — Stace said, “Oh good are you going to write a post? Then you won’t be needing the iPod will you?” And grabbed it up and carted it back to the bunk with a wily smile.
I think the worst sign though is what happened last night. We had been driving a short little 700 mile FedEx run into Chicago. Stace had driven first as she usually does, and I took the second leg. I started driving somewhere in Ohio and before I knew it I was easing into Chicago. This is what started running through my head:
How can we already be in Chicago? I haven’t driven that long at all. What’s going on here? Seriously! I’ve only been driving a couple of hours. Is Stace cheating? She is isn’t she?! She’s hogging all the miles! She must have driven way past half way. I don’t know who she thinks she’s kidding with that… hogging all the driving… why does she get to drive all the miles? How can we already be there? How am I supposed to go to sleep without finding out what happened to Jack? Look at her back there in the bunk acting all innocent… acting like she didn’t drive like 500 miles and only leave me 200 to go. Well I’m not putting up with that crap… I’m going to drive all the miles tomorrow so I can listen to my book. Two can play that game, Missy…
You can see the problem. Maybe we should get a second iPod. Or one of us should stop and read a crappy book. Or TWMNBN should give us more miles for the next few days. Or something.