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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Minnesota, Day One: It's All Over but the Cryin...Or, It's Just Started and the Crying

Well, my brother moved to Minnesota, and we drove there in a truck. The end.
Yeah, right, stuff happened, and you're gonna read about that stuff right now, so here's some stuff that happened, okay...
So I went to work on Wednesday with a headache. It was funny, though, cuz it felt like someone was driving a railroad spike through my head, with intermittent pauses to allow trains to drive over it. I laughed heartily at this humorous turn of events and promptly drove my head through my computer monitor, but by the time someone came by to check on the noise, I was already in my car on the way home. For some reason leaving sparking wreckage behind did nothing to heal my head, so I went to Racetrac gas station/fine dining establishment, got a 1600 ounce cherry coke from the two mile selection of fountain drinks, then went down to the CVS parking lot to buy a bag of crack. Only one statement in the previous sentence wasn't a slight exaggeration, and that was that I went to CVS to buy some crack. Actually, I did that the day before, but in the interest of creating a reality show like artifice of real life following a clear narrative, let's say that I stopped by CVS on the way home for a bag of crack. I devoured the white stuff off my fingers, but the full bag was more than even I can handle.
Oh, by the way, in this case, crack means Hershey's Cookies n' Cream Drops.
These were known as Cookies and Cream balls/bites in the late 90's/early 00's, until Hershey discontinued them due to their addictive properties. I don't know why they brought them back, and flattening them and making them even glossier has only hightened their considerable powers. My cousin, The Rabbit, and I used to sit in the car eating bags of those things and neglecting our school, friends, and families. It is possible that without their discontinuation, I would have dropped out of college, not married, and never had a child. Speaking of child:
My son was so overjoyed at my departure that he cried the entire time I packed my stuff into the Penske truck. This gives mixed feelings. The first is:
A. Aw, man, I feel like crap leaving my kid here without me for five days. I love that little guy, and it kills me to see him sad like this. But the second is,
B. Woah, awesome, my kid actually likes me!
Since I am incredibly shallow, of couse I leaned toward the second one.
I found a surprise immediately upon entering the truck:
Yes, this stupid dog. I'm just kidding, the dog is okay, I guess. He stayed on the floor and he didn't poo in my shoe, so I guess he is alright. Also, he didn't bite me, but you don't expect a dog called "Goofus," to take a chunk out of your flesh, even if he weighs as much as a junior college linebacker. I'm not even lying, my brother really named his dog Goofus. Goofus, the cowardly hound.
Well, we left, because St. Paul, Minnesota is 1,211 miles from Baton Rouge*.
*This is the only real statistic in this Travelogue*
To counter that, here is a problem for all you math freaks. Going 0 miles per hour from Baton Rouge to St. Paul, a distance of 1,211 miles, the journey would take approximately 0 hours. That's because, as everyone knows, the sum of every math problem involving zero is zero. Because my brother and I knew we wouldn't see each other again for a while, we decided to go for a speed of about 65 mph, so that we would have time to talk. Awesome.
So, Goofus and my brother and I hit the interstate and made for the glorious HWY 61. Then we talked about awesome guy things like Zelda, or will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark? Finally, we made it to the beautiful town of Tallulah, Louisiana, where the Popeye's manager wears a stopwatch around her neck to time her employees. Also, we gassed up the truck, which you can tell from this picture is so large, simply driving the length of the truck nearly got us through the entire state.
We left Tallulah, powered through the beautiful northern portion of our state (LA for life, dawg!), and entered into the nightly wonders of Arkansas. A few cities in, we visited a local restaurant called Sonic, and I ordered a regional dish known as a "hot dog." Swiftly re-entering the truck so that Goofus would not suffocate or get lonely and start writing horrible dog-poetry, we got back on the road.
Nearing our first-day's destination, we began to grow tired. I nibbled some crack, but by that point, my tolerance level was so high, it did nothing. After passing several wandering deer that were just asking us to swerve over the shoulder and put them out of their doe-y misery, and also have us die in a tree-collision fireball that would surely make our corpses unrecognizable, we decided there was only one way to survive the last leg of that day's journey: punk it out.
In went the Slick Shoes CD. Out went our tiredness. The Arkansas interstate begged for mercy, so we gave quarter and stopped at my brother's in-laws' house in Russellville. Man, what a beautiful town, even at night. Also, my brother's in-laws are so nice, sometimes I think they are putting one over on me, but they aren't, they are really that nice. Also, every time I type brother's in-laws, I want to type brother-in-law's in-law's, and I don't know why.
I went down to a bedroom in their basement, which is setup more nicely than most people's living rooms. It is an older home, and I am pretty sure the basement is haunted.
That night I had a long dreamless sleep, when suddenly my wife entered the room, and I reached out to touch her, but the moment I made contact I woke up in the darkness, alone.


Ashleigh said...

1. I used to love those York bites. Have they brought those back in any fashion? They were my crack.
2. Was this the Popeye's that we stopped at on the way to Charlie and Stephanie's wedding, at which I decided I'd call Fox "Biscuit" because biscuits are delicious?
3. I heard there were Whoopie Pies, and you haven't even addressed them, so I'm kind of upset, especially since I really love Whoopie Pies and would like to eat one this very minute.

Neal said...

Hmmm, what does this lady time her employees doing? Taking breaks? How long it takes to get a customers order? Sounds lovely no matter what, but I am curious.

And I suspect your brother's dog did write poetry about me after he left, something about how I was the sum of all evil in Minnesota, given how suspicious he was of me. I'm sure Pumpkin countered with how my shoe was one of the better spots to rest a dog's head, ever.

Funny thing about music that is supposed to wake you up. Hard rock would do it for most people, but that stuff actually makes Jessica sleepy. Go figure!

Nicholas said...

1. They have them in a way...they have a candy shell now, I think. I haven't tried them yet.
2. Yes, the same Popeye's. I was actually referencing that time, since Charlie and I didn't eat until Arkansas this time, but I completely forgot that's where Biscuit came from!
3. There were Whoopie Pies and I ate a whole lot of them. They were messy and I just didn't care. I'll reference them in the next entry just for you.

Neal: She times them as soon as the order is taken! It is not only the fastest Popeye's in existence, it is also the ONLY Popeye's with good service.
Oh, there is more dog to come. I still think one of those Renaissance dogs rubbed on you when you weren't looking (probably a jousting dog), and he smelled that on you and got territorial.
Poor, Jess! I used to put Fox to sleep in the car to Demon Hunter. Haha!

Jessica said...

Sheesh, Neal, tell people how to put me to sleep. Punk definitely wakes me up and gets me going (ska, too), but anything heavy makes me sleepy. I do not know why this is so, but it's handy to know for concerts.

My crack is cotton candy, but since so few places have good cotton candy (and I've never seen good cotton candy at a gas station), I'm okay usually. Except for gummy things. I love gummy things, too. And salted nut rolls. Yum. Okay, I just have a sweet tooth. Sue me. ;)

Now we just need to meet Crystal and Fox next! I kind of want to be one of those little, old people who have never spent the night away from their spouse except that one time I was in the hospital for something I don't know about yet. I can't imagine how it felt leaving those two special people for five days. :( My own feelings on this are weird, because for years I thought I would marry an OTR truck driver and be okay with that. However, then I met Neal and realized I wouldn't.

Also, Goofie hated me, too, when I got up to leave. Did I get residual Neal territorialism? ;)

Nicholas said...

Jess, your weakness is out!
My 2nd cousin used to have a cotton candy machine, and it was so good I couldn't wait to put it in the little cone. I haven't eaten that stuff in so long, but I guess I can use "getting it for Fox" as a personal excuse to have some.
I really want to bring all three of us up there in the spring or something. If we can get the money/time combination together, I definitely am going to try my hardest to make it happen.
Neal could totally be a truck driver. That would be really awesome, actually. Maybe you could set yourself up a little bunk in the cab to keep the streak going.
I think Goofer actually liked you right when you came in, but after he saw you sit next to Neal for a while, he realized you were bad news!

Neal said...

Don't fear the Neal, Goofus, Don't fear the Neal.

Heh, I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a truck driver. Driving long distances didn't use to bug me much, but I'm tired of it now. All those ten hour one way trips to see my girlfriend and then fiancee on weekends or breaks added up or something. I don't mind doing it sometimes, but having that be a job? Yeesh, no thanks.

I'm not a big fan of cotton candy like Jessica, but it is nice how it melts in your mouth. I wish we could find it more easily for Jessica, that's for sure.

It'd be cool to have you guys visit: you can check out more of the awesomeness that is Minnesota. We don't have enough room in our apartment for three people to sleep in, but our apartment is definitely visit friendly, we've had another married couple and their kid over before.