Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Some Thoughts on Road Trips...

Following up on the previous post, I thought I'd pass on some of my personal musings regarding "Road Trips." First, let me point out that the quotes are significant. Just because one makes a long distant journey by car, it does not necessarily qualify as a "road trip." The criteria is varied and somewhat subjective I admit, but legitimate nonetheless. This train of thought can be traced back to my first road trip, which many of my friends know all too well. Since the story has been repeated and exagerated ad naseum (how's my latin spelling doing?), I'll just hit the highlights for the sake of the uninitiated. I roped several of my good friends (most of whom have commented on this blog in recent days) into driving from Dunbar, WI to Mecca...ah, I mean Greenville, SC one fine Easter Sunday. The goal was to make it by Monday morning in an attempt to encourage (and perhaps sit in on) one of our most esteemed professors who was defending his dissertation under less than favorable circumstances. The short of it is that we threw the trip together in less than 48 hours, made it in a car that never should have been driven that far (may the summit rest in peace), managed to get legitimate class cuts through less than ethical means, saw a WIERD looking moon that we eventually came to be recognized as a good omen from the Lord and has since come to be known as a "Road Trip Moon," watched Hayton eat an entire ice cream scoop of butter that was on his pancakes (he thought it was ice cream), and enjoyed the distinct pleasure of having yours truly halled before the dean of Grad studies at the aforeto alluded to institution to give an account of what in the world we were doing on their campus.

This trip set the bar high, to say the least. While not all of these circumstances are required to constitute a "road trip," extreme circumstances and crazy occurences DO make up the sine quo non. Perhaps another illustration will prove helpful:

I was given a Chevy Astro minivan and told that the transmission was in rough shape and could die any day. We drove it for over six months and never had a major problem, so why not take it on a "road trip" right? Last Christmas, me, my wife and the Baylors did just that, again heading from VA to NH with a midnight pitstop for sleep in Jersey. 1) We got lost on the eastern shore and ended up in downtown Philly making U turns in the ghetto around 1am which was not too disconcerting because 2) we were traveling with my .40 cal Glock and 12ga. pump in the back. 3) The van began to have issues 30 minutes into the trip. This may not sound to bad, nor necessarily qualify as a "road trip" but remember, that was just on the way up. While home my father in law's mechanic, checked out the tranny for us, but didn't get back with them until after we'd left for VA. 1 hour into our journey home, we got a call on the cell from my father in law who informed us that his mechanic said that the astro would never make it back to VA in one piece. We deciede to give it a shot anyway. 1 Hour later, it began to make groaning noises. The good news was that it wasn't the transmission; the bad news was that it was the heater. The heater core had frozen (though we didn't figure that out until the next day) and we drove for 6 hours with no heat (Think - New England in January). We stopped at Target and bought long johns. Dawn wrapped up in my coat, her coat, a blanket, my winter hat and the long johns, and still couldn't stop shivering. My feet were numb after the first hour. When we got to the Jersey turnpike we found out there was a two hour back up for traffic. The sun was down and the temp was dropping so we finally gave in and got a hotel room. During the night, the heater core thawed and we had heat; however, that was when the transmission started acting up. But just as we accessed Interstate 64 in VA, the moon began to rise and...sure enough it was that same "road trip moon!" I let out a whoop and told Dawn I was sure we were going to make it; the Lord had assured me. And we did, and the van lasted another several months. DEFINATELY a "road trip." Incidently, we traveled back with not only the 12 gauge and Glock, but had added an AK 47 to our arsenal (a xmas gift from my uncle and probably enough to send me to jail for a few decades).

Why do I bring all of this up? Remember my trip to NH (see previous post)? The time constraints alone would have caused me to categorize it as a road trip: 1) Trying to make it to a graduation 13 hours away when the drive should take 12 (ever see the traffic on 95? I hit gridlock in NYC at 3:30am, but more on that to follow). 2) I went up and back in 48 hours, 24 of which was spent on the road. 3) New England was experiencing flooding and it rained for the full 11 hours and 15 minutes I was on the road. However, all of that aside, my drive was a "road trip" because of what happened on the George Washington Memorial Bridge in the Bronx, NY. As I alluded to above, I was on this bridge from 3:15-3:45 am stuck in traffic. Everyone was jockying for position and I was locked to the bumper of the Tractor Trailer in front of me. The van and chevy suburban behind me were jockying for position so much so that I could hear metal scrapping on metal and the chevy busted out the window of the van. Shortly thereafter, the van ended up behind me with the chevy just ahead of and next to me when we came to a dead stop in gridlock traffic (at 3:30 in the morning? only in NYC). It wasn't long before I heard a van door slam and the guy behind me was out and pounding on the window of the chevy just a few yards from where I was sitting. He was screaming over an over "You broke my #@$!# window!" while pounding on the passenger side window of the chevy. When he realized he coundn't break it with his hand, he ran in front of me to the side of the road and grabbed a rock, came back and alternately pounded on the windshield and the passenger side window of the chevy with the rock! When that still failed to break it, he threw the rock down and attempted a flying karate kick to break it (I'm not lying!). He neglected to factor in the fact that it was raining and his shoes and the window were wet. Needless to say, he landed on his butt. Undaunted, he attempted another flying kick, this time aimed at the review mirror, which he suceeded in snapping off. With a few more fist pounds on the window and choice expletives, he returned to his van apparently satisfied with his handiwork. Believe me, I coundn't make this crap up if I tried!

Qualify as a "road trip"? Definately.

16 comments:

Luther's Stein said...

I think we ought to add to the following qualifications to the definition of "road trip": 1) seeing a trans-gender person (i.e. victor), 2) someone flying off the handle over bad theology (i.e. Hayton on expository preaching . . . I believe the phrase "barf up their sermon" was used), 3) little sleep -- or being forced to sleep in close quarters with a friend (I believe you and Hayton shared a bed on our trip), 4) finally, and most importantly, getting the finger at least once.

LMLogan said...

all I can say is WOW! Thank the Lord w/ all that carlessness :) He kept you safe!!

smlogan said...

you're a freakin mystic, mihelis...
you and your 'road-trip moon'.

as for your spelling...
you are the only guy i know who can't spell, but will likely obtain a ph.d. (baylor being a close 2nd - as far as the spelling is concerned).
your latin was even better than your english in this post...at least, at first (see 'wierd' [for some reason, the blasted phonetic rule "i before e, except after c" doesn't apply here], deciede, and suceeded for starters).
as for 'sina quo non' (i thought it was 'qua') i couldn't help but laugh at the remembrance of the guy in senior seminar - who, during our discussion of the "sin unto death" closed us out by asking: "but what about the sin of qua non?" do you remember that crap? Davey's face was priceless!
it was all i could do not to lose it.

love your story, bro.
of course, if you accept baylor's additions, i'm pretty sure that i take a road trip every day...
1/4) ocean view is full of 'unsavory sorts' (barker and baylor will testify); as for receiving the bird, count on it; 2) i'm usually flying off the handle about baylor's theology at some point during my day (which is not much unlike that of the man he supposses he is different than, Joel Osteen); 3) every night my wife and i sleep uncomfortably close to (one wall away from) our rather angry neighbor (your wife can attest to this; ask about the last time she and the girls were over).

but what can i say, man - you win with the best stories. up to now, you're experience with Davidic Covenant Banner Worship was your best (in my opinion); but this has to rival even that.

thanks for the laugh,
logan

robertlhall said...

sweet stories. I have experienced a few road trips myself. Somehow Baylor has usually been with me on those. He is a wimp when it comes to road trips.

Oh, and logan sees the bird every day when he is driving because he is giving it to someone.

smlogan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
smlogan said...

watch your back, rob...

NWMihelis said...

Baylor, your additions almost merit an additional post. I had nearly forgotten. For clarification, I don't remember barf up their sermon, but I distinctly remember the phrase "flush the pulpits." Yes, Hayton was sleeping too close for comfort, crawling up on me once or twice if I remember corectly. I had forgotten about recieving the finger to the tune of "This little light of mine" (almost worthy of another post here). Finally, it appears you forgot, as I had, having either prostitutes or their patrons pounding on our door at 3 in the morning. Thanks also for making sure Uncle Vic got an appropriate shout out!

NWMihelis said...

Logan,

Thanks for the proof read...I'm already planning on sending you the first draft of my dss :-)

smlogan said...

you know i'm there for you, nate -
although lindsay has assured me that my obsession with correct spelling is becoming annoying...
so i formally apologize.

smlogan said...

you know i'm there for you, nate -
although lindsay has assured me that my obsession with correct spelling is becoming annoying...
so i formally apologize.

smlogan said...

you know i'm there for you, nate -
although lindsay has assured me that my obsession with correct spelling is becoming annoying...
so i formally apologize.

smlogan said...

you know i'm there for you, nate -
although lindsay has assured me that my obsession with correct spelling is becoming annoying...
so i formally apologize.

Abby Turner said...

WOW - that was hilarious - I could visualize everything that was going on - I can't even imagine all of that. After our last roadtrip from Kentucky to NH, we decided that we would only fly from here on out!!! It's worth the extra money!

NWMihelis said...

Logan,

No apology necessary,I get a kickk out off it (yes that was intentional). Actually, it's the repeat postings that drive me crazy :-0

smlogan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
smlogan said...

i'm with you there;
i don't know what happened...
i'm sure i only hit "publish" once.
oh well.