101 – Code of the Road


Governor Patton of Kentucky presenting Layton and Dennis with honorary Colonel's Certificates

It’s something people know, when they come of age

The code guarantees and everyone honours their word

What happens on the road is never to be heard.

The code of the road is an age old unspoken contract between travelers that says what happens on the road stays on the road.  When some people are away from their hometowns, their commitments, obligations, at war or on adventure, away from all those who know them, some folks indulge in indiscretion. Those traveling with them accept this understood contract guaranteeing their secrecy.  A guarantee forever honoured by all those who venture out on the road.

This is a commitment that I take seriously, however I am also a writer and the fellows I traveled with should have known better than to include a writer in their road adventures.  I’m sorry guys, I have no filters.  The good news is no one I know reads much of what I write. So here is the unabridged secret of our trip.

Some thought that four non-drinking guys, north of fifty, would not have much fun or would never get carried away while on the road.  Aw contraire.

We were only in Kentucky two days when one of my fellow travelers came back to the room early one morning telling us with excitement that we had to see what he had stumbled on to while exploring the hotel.

This was our most conservative member, a fellow who is happily married and would normally do nothing that would jeopardize the strong relationship he has with his wife, yet already the road was seducing his values. 

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Bob asked.

“For sure we should! I’m not passing up the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” answered Dennis.

“I don’t know,” Bob, stuttered, “Tell us again what she said.”

“She made me an offer you won’t believe.  She said I could have all I wanted and when I told her about you guys she said you could come too.”

“But what if someone finds out?”  Hoss asked.

“Who is going to find out?  I looked around there is no one here that knows us and none of us will tell.  You know the code and all.”  Dennis was almost bouncing at the thought.

“But if my wife found out, she would …” Hoss was interrupted by Dennis.

“Come on,” He said, “If any of our wives found out there could be trouble.  But they won’t, we will stick together on this.”  He sounded so sure you could see the others beginning to give in. “Come on this is our once in a lifetime road trip.  A time to forget who we are and taste the forbidden fruits.  I’m going, are you coming or not?”

Dennis’s enthusiasm was becoming infectious and as he turned and headed out the door the three of us followed closely behind.

For the next four days, our mornings began the same way.  As soon as we showered, we rushed down to see the woman.  True to her word, she let us have all we wanted.

Without a doubt, she was in charge of the best buffet I had ever seen. Southern bisects smothered in thick gravy topped with fresh peaches or oranges and a side plate piled high with crisp bacon.  She welcomed us warmly, the spread was unbelievable and the side dishes of fruit filled crepes, new pastries incredible.  Even now, I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

So, this is what it has come to.  Walking on the wild side now consisted of eating all the things we shouldn’t, afraid that someone might find out and tell our wives.

Afraid our doctors might find out we have not been following their advice.  Afraid they will know we did not follow the Canadian Food guild.

What ever happened to wine, women and song?  What will be next, racing wheel chairs recklessly down the halls? 

Time levels all things, yet sometimes I still catch myself dreaming of that thick gravy. My wife suspects something when she sees the smile, but I will not weaken and tell her.

I know I shouldn’t have told you either as you were not there with us, but could you imagine that you were, accept the code of the road and not mention any of this should you run across any of them?  

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