Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Peeing Like An Astronaut: Tim On Tour, Part Three

Thoughts from Day One (Friday): Pensacola to the New World Brewery (Tampa/Ybor City, FL)

From our last installment:

Because nothing better prepares you for a 500-mile drive than whiskey drinks and no sleep.

Actually, you know what would've prepared me better for Day One? Punching myself in the dick and eating a live rat.

I'm tired & just slightly hungover. None of the entourage (which I'm dubbing the Deadly Fists Of Kluster Fuck after the fact) have spoken to each other since last night (a.k.a. 3 hours ago), we haven't made one move in a logistically sound direction, and already I'm worn the hell out from being "on tour". It's about 7 in the morning. First stop: my job.

I pat myself on the back for killing two birds with one stone and dropping my car at the Pep Boys across the street from my office, thus getting the oil changed while taking care of a little business and avoiding about six hundred phone calls later. I rescind my pat on the back when I remember I have to get my oil changed in the first place because we're taking not one, not two, but three different vehicles. None of which is a van or even a particularly large car. DFKF's old van has long since stopped its struggling, Jason's van has proven un-roadworthy for this kind of mileage, and Andy B's got some side-travel for down south. Renting a van or an SUV has now become an obscenely expensive non-option, with gas nearing four ridiculous dollars a gallon on top of the rental fees. Hence, three times the risk that things aren't gonna go as planned.

And with perfect timing, Pep Boys does exactly what I'd forgotten they would do: call me and tell me everything that's wrong with the car. Everything that's wrong with the car that they could uncover in the hour they've had it and from what they observed by pulling a plug from the bottom of the car and draining fluid from it.

Man, the drive belt on your alternator is cracked, you'll need to get that replaced, you need four new tires and struts immediately, and your fuel filter? Y'know that's nuclear powered, right? You won't get very far and that plutonium's gonna spark up and you'll blow up the entire city. We can get it all fixed up by 4 though, and it'll only be about $2,600.

Thank Christ, now I've got something to occupy my mind with for the entire weekend besides trying to remember Deadly Fists of Kung Fu's set. Kiss my ass Manny, Moe and Jack. Take my thirty dollars, give me my keys. I have rocking to do that will be delayed no further by your automotive extortion.

What could delay the rocking? A fucking moving downpour on our caravan for the loading of the equipment and the first half of our travel, that's what. Aaarrrgh. My spirits are only slightly bumped up when stopping at the Tom Thumb near drummer Andy B's place and stumbling upon the Trough of Half Price Snacks. I almost thought it a mirage, because no one in the store seemed too interested in it, the fools. Combos, Cheez-its in the "fiesta" configuration (nacho cheese flavored in a triangular shape!) and in their traditional box,Famous Amos cookies. All dirt cheap and made to be stuffed into my belly (and in Jason's as well, as he's my co-pilot for this leg). I pay about $3 and walk with a bag of junk that weighs as much as a good-sized frozen turkey.

The gear loaded without being soaked, we set off to the sunnier Tampa area. Due to the weather, we're actually going to be cutting it close (supposed to be there about 8:30 local time, plus they're an hour ahead of us), so Zac shoots a call to our friends in Nessie (more on them later)--everything's peachy. Wet, and slow, but peachy.

Jason and I stop at a Whataburger in Tallahassee to unload some urine and pick up lunch (moving lunch--we are indeed in a hurry). Jason hits the bathroom first while I order. When he returns, I head for the facilities. Immediately I realize that somehow the bathroom is located in outer space. I know this because it's pitch black and freezing. (Apparently, Jason didn't feel he needed to warn me that the lights were dead because all of their voltage was directed to running the A/C in the room.) I think about turning back, but once more, "gotta make time". So I fling the door open as far as possible, throwing hallway light into the room. I try and commit to memory as much of the room (and route to the urinal) as possible and manage to commence peeing before the door finally closes. Before I'm finished, I ask myself: How do you know you're even peeing in the urinal and not on the floor or your shoes? How do I get back to the door now? (My memory has failed me horribly. It won't be the first time today.)

That's way more than you needed to hear. Yet again, To Be Continued.

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