The Great Migration Part IV: The Finale

With all of the medical poking and prodding done, the hop across the pond behind me, and with a job picked out, it was now time to move across the country and start my new career.

I had landed a job in New Jersey and it was now time to pack up and move from my base of operations in Florida.

Wife and I were apprehensive at first. I had spent the majority of my life in the Southeastern United States. In fact, I had never been farther north than Tennessee. As a kid, I was always told that people from the Northeast were rude, spoke too fast and should be feared because they were smarter than us.

I fully expected to arrive in New Jersey and be intimidated by their hyper-advanced culture.

I didn’t have time to worry about this though because Wife and I were busy preparing for the nineteen hour drive ahead of us.

We had packed the car with enough provisions to feed a caravan full of 18th century pioneers. The car looked ridiculous, but we really wanted to avoid a situation like this…

Thank you Oregon Trail for teaching me the values of preparation, packing and giving me a healthy fear of amoebic dysentery.

The trip to New Jersey went well for the most part. Wife and I, being control freaks and planning gurus, left very little to chance. What we didn’t count on though, was Other Cat. Other Cat had not been taking the whole, “let’s move to another continent and start a new life” thing very well.

Being a six pound creature, Other Cat is ultimately driven by the singular desire to hide and not be eaten. So Other Cat lives in a constant state of idling fear and paranoia that is accented with occasional spikes of abject terror.

Wife and I had spent the past several years reassuring Other Cat that we are loving and caring human overlords. We had actually gotten to the point where we could pet Other Cat without her trying to run away in terror.

All of this was shattered when the movers came and systematically removed all of the furniture. Without any hiding spots, Other Cat began to head toward psychological meltdown.

Every time we moved to a new location, Other Cat would slip into psychosis and meow all day and night.

I awoke several times in a crappy motel room with Other Cat meowing at full volume inches from my face, imploring that I use my magical human/god powers to fix the situation.

The only good thing through all of this was that Other Cat found each move so traumatic that she forgot the previous move.

So on and on the cycle went, from one motel room to another as we made our way to New Jersey. Other Cat’s mental collapse had come to a crescendo when we finally moved into our apartment.

Unlike all the motel rooms, this apartment was completely unfurnished. Our furniture was still being shipped across the country. Other Cat’s hiding places had been reduced to a card table and an inflatable mattress.

Her sleepless meowing session lasted for four days.

Other Cat eventually relented before I had to revoke my PETA membership. I think she eventually passed out from exhaustion and slept for a few days straight. By then, the furniture had arrived and she had plenty of places to hide and feel safe.

Once I was a fully rested and functioning member of society again, I began to explore my environs. New Jersey was certainly not the land of the future I had thought it to be, but the people are surprisingly nice and friendly.

All of my preconceived notions were dispelled, until I got on the highway. The personality transformation in the other motorists was instant. The moment they got behind the wheel, these New Jersey drivers turned into these awful creatures of hatred and insanity.



People drove like they were trolling internet forums; mean, petty and obnoxious. The average spacing between cars was roughly 7 feet, the speed limit was just a suggestion and the merge lane became another opportunity to pass.

It felt like everybody in New Jersey was racing on the road to some finish line and winner’s circle that I was somehow unaware of.

At first I was taken aback, but I thought of my years driving on the autobahn. I asked myself, “what would a German driver do in this situation?” The answer; turn up the techno, stomp on the gas and show everyone how well an Audi can handle at 240kph. I reached down deep and harnessed my inner German and began practicing precision aggressive driving; I haven’t looked back since. I have, however, factored in speeding tickets into my monthly budget. Hurray for multiculturalism.

I guess since I’ve been such a world traveler over the years that my move to Jersey has not required much adjusting. I’m still trying to figure out what a turnpike is… I’m pretty sure it’s when you take a normal road, put it in New Jersey and then make it all retarded. Wife and I are doing well. I like my new job and now I’m finally starting to get the time I need to devote to the blog.


P.S. Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

P.P.S. Stay tuned for more amazing brain funnies from the underwhelmer.

29 thoughts on “The Great Migration Part IV: The Finale

  1. I love all of your illustrations, particularly the memory timeline for Other Cat. Glad you finally got settled – even if it is in New Jersey. I can say that, because I was born there 😉

  2. Our cat did the SAME thing on our cross country move. It was at its worse in the car, though. She meowed for 10 hours straight EVERY DAY, every second in the car. Even with kitty valium. Even under threat of death. She came very close to being tied to the roof. Of course, that wouldn’t stop the meowing either. She was a fricking Banshee.

  3. Haha, that’s a pretty accurate assessment of what a turnpike is.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Oregon Trail should be used in the hiring process of anyone being considered for a management position. I mean, it says something if there entire budget is spent on ammunition and half the party dies of dysentery on day 2, right?

  4. Welcome to my world, sir. I wonder how long it took for you to conform to our evil antics on the road? My first day driving round these parts involved watching a car rapidly reverse on the shoulder, apparently being chased by another rapidly-reversing vehicle. Also there was a full can of beer thrown. And I live on the Pennsylvania end of things.

  5. Nice to hear you’re going to be back more regularly, congrats on the job and on finally settling into the new place (as much as can be done, it always takes a while to fully settle).

    7 feet between cars? Lane driving? What is this paradise you crib about?? 😀 Where I am, I aim to keep 7 inches between me and nearby cars and the only driving lesson my dad ever gave me was “assume everyone else on the road is crazy and wants to kill you.” Worked pretty well so far actually… I’m still alive and I haven’t killed anyone… that I can remember…

  6. Ah, WELCOME TO NEW JERSEY! You think the turnpike is hell, wait til you hit Rt. 78, Rt. 80 and the Garden State Parkway!! Can you say “WHITE KNUCKLE”? The average speed on those routes is approx. 75mph. The GSP is narrow, from the days of 60’s and cars only did about 45mph. Toll booths are game of hit AND miss! A real crack shoot! But the speeds on that are equally just insane (the narrow lanes make it even more of a challenge!)! I’ve heard Connecticut drivers are worse!
    I would do anything to move back to NJ (I’m in PA now…..hate every minute of it). At least you feel alive there. You’ll get used it… long as you maintain 65mph or faster. 😀
    But really, NJ is a lovely state! Approx. where are you living? If you want more facts on NJ, check out the “Yes, I’m a Jerseyite” page on my blog. It’s a humorous, yet fact fill list of the state.
    LOVE YOUR CARTOONS! They’re hysterical! Aw, poor kitty! Mine probably wouldn’t fair well either. I mean the poor thing cowers when company comes over, can’t imagine what he’d do if we moved! Do they have kitty psychologists? Other Kitty may need counseling!

    • Thanks royko861. I’m in the Princeton area. It’s taking some time to get used to everything… not just NJ, but the US too. Glad you like the cartoons, I do what I can. 🙂

  7. Wow! What a journey…from the Autobahn to retarded highways…You cleverly make the frightful so funny…Glad you, wife, and kitties survived it. Looking forward to more adventures about USA/Joisey life.

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