My dad loves trivia. Each time you see him he'll have a new trivia question for you. His favorite as of late is "What is the only state capital without an airport?" The answer is Annapolis of course. Why they don't have one is even more apparent: Annapolis is in the Bermuda Triangle. Some will argue that that's not true, given the established coordinates of the Triangle. To those people I say, "Shut up. I'll explain." If you are within 10 miles of the MD capital region, you will inevitably find yourself at its core, staring at the capitol building. As they say, all roads lead to Annapolis. Unfortunately, those roads are all veritable one-way streets because once within the capital's grasp you cannot go back. If you are foolish enough to follow the scarce signage that indicate the direction of one or more highways nearby, you will instead end your journey in a parking lot. After noting your folly and choosing to return and take the opposite direction, only to again end up in the same parking lot, you finally begin to realize just how sinister this city is. You, like I, come to the conclusion that the only reason Annapolis has a population at all is because these are the people who have never been able to find a way out of the city, gave up, and bought property there instead.
Mark Austin (you remember Mark) was touring with Janis Ian a few years back. He and his lovely wife Whitney (seen together with Janis in the photo on the right) kindly invited me to a gig in Annapolis since I'm a fan (of his, not Annapolis) and I live within a reasonable distance of the locale. A quick learner, I refused to drive home alone after the show and instead waited for the Austins to finish and pack up. If the city was to capture me in its Death Star-like tractor beam, I wasn't going down alone. After circling that cursed capitol (it's a lovely building by the way--the oldest in the country and likely the source of all this evil) and ending up in the Parking Lot of Despair, Mark parked, walked back to my car and said, "OK, you saw those signs for the highway too, didn't you?" I gave him a knowing look--one that assured him that this was only the beginning and that he shouldn't plan on seeing his family again anytime soon. After much prayer and fasting on all our parts, we managed to get out, much to the chagrin of the city. I have not been back.
For those of you wishing to visit historic Annapolis, but also wish to leave it at some point, I give you this advice: pay no attention to signs promising a highway exit in the near future. These signs are a trap, designed to get you to the Parking Lot, which is really the entrance to the city's digestive tract. I suggest you instead pull into traffic, close your eyes, and let the car wander as it may. Within at least two hours you will be free, either by backroad exit or by virtue of an ambulance. Either way, you've won.