How NOT to Take a Road Trip

With the ides of May readily approaching, and either midterms or six weeks of co-op left in the wake, it is time to find some excitement. The weather is finally looking nice and the last few weeks have probably gotten you into an appallingly mundane routine that severely requires some breaking. That's right, my friends, it is time for the oft celebrated, yet rarely as good as you imagined Road Trip. Before you go jumping into your roommate's 1994 Honda Civic with the ceiling fabric limply hanging from the interior roof, there are some things that you may overlook that can make your highway adventures less than glorious. First of all, it doesn't really matter where you choose to go on a road trip. The true beauty of the trip is always in the various situations that arise from cramming 3-5 friends of varying interests, hunger cycles and musical tastes into a compact sized vehicle for extended periods of time with as little money or direction as possible. Clearly, the people you choose to join you are the most crucial aspect to the trip.

Once out on the road, there are several obstacles on today's highways that may impede a timely arrival to your destination. For one, there are the roads themselves. One thing I have learned from traveling the various interstates across this country is that the numbering system is crucial to a successful road coordinate system. No two highways should have the same number. And two highways of the same number should never, I repeat NEVER intersect. Once while heading to visit friends at another school, I found myself heading north on route 283 and was confronted with an exit for 283 East and 283 West. You may ask yourself, "If we're supposed to be heading towards north-western Pa, do we want 283 North, or 283 West?" The correct answer is that there is absolutely no reason to go to north-western Pa, so turn around and go home immediately. I learned the hard way.

Another problem I have with the modern highway system is the road signs. The one that always boggles my mind is the "Speed Monitored by Aircraft." I may only have been driving for five years, but I have never heard of, nor seen anyone that has been pulled over by a fighter jet. Sure, they can see you doing 85 mph from an altitude of 5,000 feet, but they're going 500 mph, so I would expect that Ice Man might have some difficulty busting you.

Then there are the unforeseeable complications that arise without warning on the highway. First and foremost is the post rest stop need to urinate. If there is an empty container lying around, the in-the-car pee is always an option for the guys. However, females find themselves in a bit of a bind when nature calls on the interstate. Girls, unless you are double jointed, drive a convertible and have a boat load of self-confidence, then you are shit out of luck. So just pull over, grin and bear it. The grin is to add an element of confusion to the motorists who slow down to gape at you.

On one particularly lengthy trip, I found myself driving continuously for several hours on a road that had no shoulder for about 15 miles due to construction. Suspiciously, I started to eye the empty Sprite bottle I had finished two hours earlier. At first, I cursed the bottle for causing me this dilemma. Then I pondered whether or not it could help me out the pickle I suddenly found myself in.

Driving eighty miles per hour on a curvy highway, one hand on the wheel, the other desperately trying to steady a makeshift urinal Sprite bottle, most of my concentration was on my aim within the car, not outside. Not too safe. I was about 98% ready to start peeing until I considered the possibility that I had more than 20 ounces of liquid to dispose of. I did have three bottles of water before I left. That's like 36 ounces of liquid. If operating at anything less than a 70% waste efficiency rate, I would find myself in some mighty trouble. The only thing worse than having to go was the thought that I would start to go, fill the bottle and then have to stop. Even the thought of a premature urination termination stings really bad. It only made me have to go that much more. Let's just say that I was never so happy to see a White Castle, even if I did have to crawl my way into the restroom.

Let's also discuss rest stops along the turnpike. These sub-quality establishments have you in the unique position that anything that closely resembles a piece of food is looked at with a hungerous fervor and no regard for cost. I don't care how exciting a fix-ins bar may look, just because you eat it doesn't automatically make it food.

There's also a unique blend of characters soliciting the highway rest stops these days. I can't help but feel that everyone in these places is the weirdest bastard in whatever hill village they hail from. Upon entering, I feel like I have unfortunately stumbled into some sort of geek-freaky twilight zone. If there are socially awkward, mutant looking aliens disguised as humans observing us down here, they're all at the rest stops. And working at the DMV. Some sort of traveler's obsession, I suppose. Which does make sense, since they do fly billions of light years to watch us behave like morons. Don't they get Fox in outer space?

Wherever your travels may take you or whatever adventure awaits you out on the open road, I must leave you with a final word of advice for the not-so-smart travelers out there. You had better have a totally sweet ass if you're going to be mooning someone at any point on your trip. Otherwise, the only person looking foolish is the dumb bastard hanging his/her morbidly grotesque ass out of the window of a speeding vehicle. "Yeah, you really showed them who is boss, you hairy, bulbous assed freak."

No comments:

Post a Comment