Wednesday, January 25, 2011
Today, my friend, Jeff J and I drove up to Iowa to do an improv show. I had been excited to go to Iowa, but I went to the western part of the state, where I don’t know anyone. It was an event for about 1400 teenagers, who are the best people to perform en masse too. I was filling in again for the same group I went to Baltimore with back in December, right before I moved home. Basically, the event consisted of us doing improv, and a speaker. I think the speaker does pretty well for herself, she just flies around and speaks at things. People do that for a living. I think I could do that. I just need to figure out what I should speak about. I’m not really an expert at anything that I could speak for an hour on. I guess I could speak for an hour on these subjects: crackers, yogurt, smoothies, sinus infections, The Golden Girls, continuity mistakes in TV shows, sunscreen, and Iowa Hawkeye football message boards.
Let’s focus instead on the road trip. I love road trips. I love stopping off for gas. I love stopping off for snacks. I love not stopping for bathrooms (I prefer, instead, for a method I call, “Throw Caution to the Wind”). Caution equal urine in that saying.
10 Things Overheard on a Road Trip
-I’m going to try to attempt this without the obvious ones like, “Can we pull over?” or “I have to pee,” or “Brian took all of his clothes off because he imagined they were made of fire ants.”
1) “Here, hold my sleeve.” It is a fact that once driving your body temperature goes up 15 degrees, making the coat you were wearing now feel like an electric blanket. Successfully taking your coat off in the car cannot be done without the help of the front seat passenger holding the right sleeve of the coat while the driver wiggles out of it.
2) “Ooh, I love this song.” This is always said right before the alpha male, or female, changes the station, just to put you in your place. In fairness, the driver is the DJ of the car and the passengers are just people in the club making requests.
3) “Stop reading all the billboards out loud.” Everyone does this at some point. For me, it is from three minutes to one minute before I fall asleep.
4) “That guy was looking at us.” It is common road courtesy to look at the person passing you in the left lane. There is no real reason for it. Whenever we’re in the right lane we do it, and whenever we’re in the left lane we notice it and judge it. Rules of the road people. Invariably, when it is done to you, it is done by a mustachioed man, who looks like a he might be a serial killer. Also of note, if you notice it, it means you were looking too.
5) “Which side of the car is the gas tank on?” If the road trip is long enough, the non-owner will eventually pull into a gas station during their shift. Jeff J and I joked that we just recently learned about the arrow by the gas gauge. The worst time this happened to me was a few years ago while driving to Colorado with my sister and brother in law. At about 4 in the morning, Bob, my brother in law, driving my car stopped to get gas. Instead of flipping the switch for the gas, he did the one for the trunk. I had to be woken up to remedy the situation, because we had two bikes on the trunk that I had spent a long time in the rain attaching. It was not my most polite moment.
6) “Can you reach that for me?” Not only is the driver the DJ, he or she is also the king, and the passengers are just the loyal servants. “Reach me that bag of beef jerky!” “Fetch me my bag behind your seat, no not that one, the black one, no the dark black one. Reach in the front pocket. No, the front one. Other side.” “Entertain me!”
7) “I almost remembered a pillow.” This will be the bane of your existence for the entire trip if you almost brought it, but didn’t quite. Everyone knows that a coat, or a sweatshirt feels like a pillow made of cushiony goodness for about 32 minutes, until it transitions into feeling like a piece of Earth made from igneous. Also, physics will not allow a garment to squeeze between your noggin and the window in such a way to provide you with comfort.
8) “Have you seen my debit card?” With all of the drive-thrus, gas stops, and paying for Runts, your debit card is in and out an inordinate amount of time. It’s usually just in a different wallet pocket, but occasionally, it’s slipped between the seat and the center console, where only women purely bred for such retrieval purposes can rescue.
9) “You need to get new wipers.” This is said by the passenger that you didn’t want to come, probably your friend’s cousin. He’ll say it a lot of the course of the drive.
10) “I wonder if anyone actually puts gloves in there.”
Any to add?