Literary Quotations, Revised to Explain the Very Good Decision to Take a Pandemic RV Trip

Herman MelvilleMoby Dick

“Call me Crazy. Some weeks agonever mind how long preciselyhaving little or no appetite for air travel, and nothing particular to interest me or my family in quarantine, I thought we should rent an RV and see the farmland part of the Midwest.”


HomerThe Odyssey

“During the packing, the children spake unto me, saying:

‘On the bed are seven backpacks, whereof the seven are for Legos only, and nothing else, no pants or socks; no grown-ups may remove Legos, but verily they may set foot repeatedly thereon.’”


Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is probably going 55 in a 70MPH zone, but honestly, anything faster was just asking the thing to tip.”


Ernest HemingwayHills Like White Elephants

“The hills across the Great Smoky Mountains were steep and fog-covered. Even if on the passenger side there was no shade and no phone charger and the salted cashews had run out in Kentucky.”


Charles DickensGreat Expectations

“Ask no questions, and you’ll wind up in the KOA with the most frightening reviews and greatest density of Confederate flags.”


Khaled HosseiniA Thousand Splendid Suns

“Desperation can move people to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism. And in some cases, with startling idiocy, as in a fumbled attempt to re-attach the thingy on the shitter.”


Jane AustenEmma

“Indeed, I am very sorry to be right in this instance. I would much rather have been warm at night than right about the fact that the generator won’t run unless we have at least a quarter tank of gas. Also, there is no power, so I can’t make spaghetti in the microwave.”


William FaulknerThe Sound and the Fury

“Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. And by them I mean my two older children absolutely bludgeoning each other over the last Z Bar.”


George Orwell1984

“Always eyes watching you and the many hungry, grating voices in the back seats enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, I thought we could bond as a family, but there was no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”


F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

“In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since we passed the 2,000-mile mark. He said ‘Checking your oil is cheap insurance.’”


Joseph ConradHeart of Darkness

“To scrape the top of an RV that’s supposed to fit under most overpasses is the unpardonable sin. No one may know of it except the AAA service person and the passing rubberneckers, but you never forget the thumpeh? A blow on the very heart. The fact that AAA needs back-up to dislodge the vehicle just makes the kids standing in the ditch whine more maniacally.”


Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.

You must travel it by yourself.

And at the end, back at the rental counter, you alone must be stiffed on insurance for the whole overpass incident.”


Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was easily the worst of times, it was the age of meager research, it was the age of what else is there to do though, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the summerfallwinterspringsummerfallwinterspringsummerfall of despair.”


John MiltonParadise Lost

“What hath night to do with sleep?”