After our short Christmas break – about 10 days for Laynni and about 3 weeks for me – it was time to hit the road yet again.
Laynni had already flown to Mazatlan to meet up with her parents, Tahnni, Gordie and the kids. From there they drove up to LA, and it would be in Anaheim, the capital village of Sir Disney’s empire, that I would meet them shortly after New Year’s. I left on a bleak, cold Sunday morning in January and couldn’t get my ass south fast enough.
The following events take place in real time.
Sunday January 4th 2009
Arrive at Andie’s drunk, disorderly and angry about breaking self-imposed curfew by nearly 6 hours.
Roll off my air mattress on to the floor of Andie’s basement and engage in futile attempts to clear my throat of dry phlegm, cat hair and self-loathing.
Discover that shower does not have the power to cleanse soul.
-39!! As they say, though, at least it’s a dry cold.
Neither a stern stare nor the power of my mind succeed in increasing the cargo capacity of our CRV.
12,000 kilometre journey begins with a determined look and suggestive stroke of my moustache.
A very large man in tight sweat pants leaves a toxic deposit in the bathroom of the Rosetown Dairy Queen – I brave it with only my HazMat toque for protection. It turns out to be woefully insufficient.
Open fields. Blink. Elrose. Blink. Open fields.
Forced to swear at four different drivers in six minutes while attempting to completely and totally bypass Swift Current.
Passed three cars in 150 km – only two returned my farmer wave, although the third may have been asleep.
Crossed international border into United States. No, I do not have any fruit. No, I do not have any firearms. Yes, I do plan to buy some Obama-wear.
Settled in at bar in Malta, Montana to watch the second half of the game. Local fans show their support with passionate Sea of Denim.
Tarvaris Jackson throws another interception, now just one year away from being known as “that black guy that used to play for the Vikings, you know, the one that always ran around in circles and closed his eyes before he threw”.
According to local motel clerk Havre, Montana is in no way connected to Brett Favre, and is certainly not pronounced “Harve”.
Monday January 5th 2009
New day. New blizzard. Montana still sucks.
Overheard in Great Falls Subway:
Employee: “Oh, how cute. Boy or girl?”
350 pound young woman in ill-fitting sweats holding baby and pushing two other kids in a stroller: “Boy. Just 2 weeks old.”
Employee: “Wow. I didn’t even know you were pregnant”
Obese woman: “Yeah, well, I didn’t even gain any weight”
Employee: “Oh, you’re so lucky.”
Obese woman: “Yeah, I know.”
Reluctantly bypassed “Grub-Stake” restaurant despite their sign proudly advertising GLAZED HAMS and PACKAGED LIQUOR.
#1 Reason People Come to Montana – Fulfill Lifelong Dream of Becoming a Rancher.
#2 Reason People Come to Montana – The Wind At Home Isn’t Nearly Bitter Enough
You can’t spell Montana without “Mo”.
Checked into motel in Downey, Idaho. No, really.
Tuesday January 6th 2009
Crossed border out of Idaho just 90 minutes shy of the all time record for time spent in Idaho as a tourist. In my defense, the record-holder’s car broke down – and he was attacked by a cougar.
Warmer, slushier, dirtier – a possible new motto for Utah?
Blizzard in Salt Lake City gets my bike mighty dirty.
Chowed down in Beaver, Utah. Yeah, baby.
You can’t spell Mormon without “Mo”. See what I mean?
That sound you hear is the collective tightening of 100 million sphincters as Christmas credit card bills are opened across America.
I’m treated to seven variations of “Don’t bike and gamble! Ha ha!” as I push my bike through the Four Queens casino on the way to my room.
Wednesday January 7th 2009
The only place in the world you feel guilty for not drinking a beer and betting on something during breakfast.
Flare another short iron off to the right of the green. Miguel, profession motorcycle racer, adds helpfully “Oooh, you can’t miss it there.”
One, two, three….four, five, six…seven, eight, nine…ten, eleven, twelve…and they all disrooobbeed….for the X Burlesque tittie show!
Thursday January 8th 2009
Local Fremont Street drug dealers standing just feet from where I dropped my toque claim they “dint see nuttin, mang” before turning away to respond to their pager.
I’m treated to seven variations of “Don’t bike and gamble! Ha ha!” as I push my bike through the Four Queens casino on the way to my car.
GPS Judy guides me smoothly from freeway to freeway through LA, coaxes me gently into the hotel parking lot in Anaheim and tragically spurns my inappropriate advances.
Already in hotel pool with Dupre children, lightheaded from repeatedly blowing up faulty water wings.
Somewhere, probably nearby, Scott Baio is having sex with a woman he doesn’t love.
Friday January 9th 2009
First child appears through groggy half-closed eyelids. Slightly later, the waffles were ok.
The fabled Gates of Disney are penetrated and immediately a crowd of grotesquely oversized cartoon characters appear, pointing and my wallet and whispering to each other behind giant fuzzy hands.
Wired up on cotton candy giant fuzzy Stitch loses control – first picking his nose and rubbing it on Goofy’s signature, then roughly attempting to sodomize Handy Manny just the way old Walt would have wanted (i.e. while wearing mouse ears and using his one free hand to purchase a DVD ‘Loaded With Special Features’)
Kobe Bryant sinks game-winner with 3 seconds to play.
After a very uncomfortable backstage moment I learn that he was actually pointing to the crowd in general, not literally summoning me to his dressing room in just an overcoat.
Saturday January 11th 2009
The waffle maker is my bitch.
Laguna Beach – Impressive mansions, beautiful ocean views and fine art galleries. However, a surprising lack of second-hand stores, only partially offset by that rock with the weird sticky patch.
“The Dupres Go To Laguna Beach” is pitched as an hilarious family romp. Fox says to “take that artsy stuff to HBO”.
Disney’s Princess Parade saturates the market with tiaras, leading to a disastrous shortage of “Princess” miniature license plates.
Big Thunder Mountain Denounced as Fraud. “It brought me right back to where I started” complains disgruntled Canadian.
Sunday January 11th 2009
Family heads north, leaving a trail of destruction and tiny forts made out of cushions.
Nicholas Cage finds the perfect way to land another role as an action star, then brushes his teeth three times trying to get the taste out of his mouth.
Final nail settles into Giant coffin. Crying gives way to dull sobbing after a couple hours.
CNN, “Your Recession Station”, reports that the Supreme Court has made it official – it is now legally binding to use “The Recession” to explain anything you can think of, such as why you lost at Trivial Pursuit, or the large butter stain on your sweatpants.
Taunting the sad, pathetic Charger fans of Chula Vista serves to distract from my own personal anguish for a time, but eventually I stop, realizing that taking pleasure in others pain is not a long-term solution to my own depression. I also began to worry about getting shot in the neck.
Motel 6: Six pillows, six little soaps, six bedspread stains.