Z … Zzyzx


Interstate 15 is a long road and most of it is boring. Of course, some people are more easily bored than others.

“Are we there yet?” asked Dave, the elder boy by twenty minutes.

“Don’t be annoying,” his younger twin Dan advised him.

“Then where are we, middle of nowhere?”

Dan glanced at the road ahead. “Zzyzx, stupid, just read the sign.”

“What sign? That green and white one? That’s gotta be a joke, there’s no such place.”

“Sure is,” Susan interrupted from the front seat. The boys regarded their mother with deep suspicion. She had been known to tell them wild, fantastic stories with such conviction that they had repeated them at school, with humiliating results. No teenager likes to find his gullibility exposed.

“No such place,” Dan repeated.

Dave supported him. “No such place. Who’d live in a place with a name like that?”

“Chub protectors,” Susan suggested, winking at Dwight.

“What’s a chub protector? Dan, you ever hear of a chub protector. She’s kidding again.”

“Yeah. Next thing, she’ll be trying to make us believe it’s a hospital for obese people.”

“No, really, a chub is a kind of fish. The ones that live in the desert are nearly extinct, so your Federal government pays people to protect them.”

“Sure, sure, the little fish swim in the sand, haha!”

“Don’t talk to your mother like that,” Dwight broke in.

“But she’s telling us lies again, wants us to look stupid.”

“She’s trying to educate you. Pay attention.”

“I’m not going for it.”

“I’m not biting either. Get it, Dan? Not biting, like a fish.”

“Dwight, do we have time to turn off? Only take half an hour.”

Dwight swung onto the off-ramp, turned right onto the dirt road. “OK, gang, who’s going to predict what we find?”

“Desert rats,” Dave guessed, “All shriveled up, living in derelict trailers, mumbling to themselves about how Zzyzx sucks.”

Dan thought for a moment on how to contradict his brother. “Eccentric billionaires, hiding from the press. With Hollywood starlets and big cigars. And humming to themselves about,” he switched to his mock-European voice, “Ze zweet zmell of Zzyzxess.”

“Actually,” Susan laughed, “It’s stranger than that. It’s an oasis, with an abandoned health spa as well as the chub protectors. Palm trees, big empty hotel, hot water pools, whole schmeer.”

The boys giggled at the thought. “Why the stupid name, then?” asked Dan. “Dad, tell Mom to invent a good story for that.”

“Easy,” Susan told him without a second’s hesitation, “The snake-oil salesman who promoted the whole thing wanted it to be the last name in the road atlas. Isn’t that obvious to you boys? Look, here we are.”

Dwight drove slowly round the ghost town, paused to let them read the official signs. “Never doubt your mother,” he told them, “She knows everything. Now let’s get back to the highway.”

As they pulled up the on-ramp Dave asked again, “Are we there yet? I mean, like, back in the real world?”



Also find these older posts…
A … Angst
A … Autonomy
B … Bear
C … Corporations
D … Doggerel
E … Elephant
F … Francis
G … Gamechanger
H … Hope
I … Introduction
J … Judgment
K … Kelemenope
L … Liberty
M … Morning
N … Nuts
O … Old Friend
P … Potholes
Q … Quasimodo
R … Review
S … Snoozers
T … Topsy-Turvy
U … Unrequited
W … Weather
V … Vicious
X … Xorxoxa
Y … Yukon

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IP Doorman

Copyright 2016 Flight of Eagles

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Writer of Kern.

4 thoughts on “Z … Zzyzx”

  1. Years ago with our first A-Z Challenge I also used Zzyzx Road for my “Z” post. I enjoyed your take on it, along with the story. Congrats on making it to the end. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. 🙂


  2. It’s a few miles off the I-15, somewhere near Baker [I can never remember exactly where, but somehow I never miss the sign]. Baker is halfway between Barstow and Vegas.


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