Wednesday, August 10, 2011

nebraskapalooza part 4

“What is happening here?
Something’s going on, and it’s not quite clear.
Somebody turn on the lights!
We’re gonna have a party, starting tonight!

Oh, what a feeling!
When we’re dancin’ on the ceiling!
Oh, what a feeling!
When we’re dancin’ on the ceiling!”

-- “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Richie. THE greatest song from the 1980s, that DJ can no longer deny he has ever heard. I saw that head bobbing and hand tapping the beat while this song was pulled up on the iPod champ. It’s ok. It’s a sweet f*cking song! (59-14 on the Jukebox in The Basement, for the next time you’re up on the pool table …)

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As always, I forgot a few highlights from Day Three of “Nebraskapalooza”. Thankfully, unlike when I totally whiff on remembering things in a typical recap, I had notes this time. Four random things I meant to mention and totally forgot to in Part Three:

1. “You have really long arm hair!” We were out on Brock’s boat, prepping for some water skiing, and Kellie just randomly says that to me. That sparks a three minute long stare-down by everyone at my arm hair. Uuh girls? It’s arm hair! I mean Jesus, if I go three days without shaving I look like a lumberjack, why wouldn’t I have long arm hair?

2. From Day One: on the drive up, once we got the iPod going, well, I’d put some country on there, because for some reason, I’ve been on a country kick this summer. (First time since summer of 2007. I know, it makes no sense to me either.) Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” comes on, and we got the KJ Seal of Approval! “Ooh! I like this song!” Whew. I mean, if you can’t have “Country Girl” randomly pop up on a float trip, and not encourage said country girls to “shake it for me”, then it’s not gonna be a really fun floater.

3. At Joe’s for dinner on Saturday night, Dusty was doing with the empty coke cans what any sane, rational, normal person would do: he was building a pyramid. Kellie’s mom gave him the stare of death when he started stacking them up. Such a stare, that he immediately tore the pyramid down. Beth’s response? “I gave her permission to call him Dustin Reid, and to give him the look”. Glad to see my mom isn’t the only one who drops the full name when she’s pissed off.

4. In the lovely community of Gering, good luck finding a stop sign. Or a left turn signal. I mean, can you imagine how f*cked up traffic would be in south KC if all our four way stops … had zero stop signs? That’s Gering folks! Not a stop sign to be found! It was explained away as “well, the main route knows it has the right-a-way”. Which is lovely, but what about crazy ass Texas-style drivers like me, who think they always have the right-a-way? Confusing as hell.

Although as Dusty’s aunt noted, we drove through the intersection of U Street and First Avenue every day. The “U First” intersection. I'm guessing she won't be the next great comedic mind to come from the metro area ...

And now … the conclusion to “Nebraskapalooza”.

Sunday, August 7th:

* I woke up at 7am. Again. Christ, I swear, it could be -15 outside, not an ounce of light anywhere from a massive blizzard falling, and my space heater could be turning the winter bear cave a healthy shade of 90 degrees, coupled with me popping 4 Benadryl and a handle of Crown, and I’d STILL wake up at 7am. It’s ridiculous.

* Rather than infuriate the sleeping roomie, I quickly showered, packed up my bathroom stuff, grabbed the laptop, and headed down to the lobby. There was one other guy there sitting at the tables by the pool. He saw me approaching and says “the wife kicked you out too, huh?” I just rolled with it.

* DJ called about 8:30 to let us know he’d get us at 9. In the mother of all upsets, he was not only on time, he was 2 minutes early!

* We headed back over to the Boasheao’s for one final get-together before everyone set off on their various ways home. DJ’s mom and aunt were off to see Estes Park for the day. The four of us … were about to embark on a lovely 9-10 hour drive home through the finest flat country Nebraska and Kansas have to offer. Good times.

* On the way out of town, we stop by the farm so Kellie can say goodbye to her brother. Shockingly, Wade is awake. And enjoying his roommate’s Reece’s ice cream for breakfast. That brought back memories …

(steve) (opens freezer)
(steve) (angry) what the f*ck happened to my chunky monkey?
(steve) (walks into main room)
(steve) (sees empty ben and jerry’s carton)
(steve) god d*mmit dusty!
(dj) shut up stevo! I’m trying to sleep!

* In a rare “good call!” moment, DJ turned right headed out of the farm, instead of left (where we’d come in from). Good call, because we wound up running into Bill, so Kellie got to say goodbye to her dad one last time too. I was happy for that.

* I then spent the next hour attempting to sleep in the back seat. Now, if you know me well, you know that I can literally fall asleep anywhere, in any position. I slept the whole drive home from the float trip last summer with my head halfway down the seatbelt as a pillow. In high school, I got mocked because I literally slept on half a bus seat, curled into a ball. The first floater I went on with Heath a few years ago, I literally used a tree root as a pillow. I can sleep on anything and somehow get enough rest to awake ready to go.

I could not fall asleep in the Nitro. When we got to I-80, I just gave up, and decided to be social again.

* Which prompted one of the funnest road trip games imaginable: name those movies! Someone would throw out a well-known actor, we’d all list as many movies of his as we could, and then confirm on IMDB or Wikipedia that they starred in said movie (and note the ones we missed).

We rocked the joint on it … until we hit Denzel Washington. Somehow, we whiffed on Malcolm X, and even though the title track by Public Enemy was playing on the iPod AS WE WERE NAMING DENZEL MOVIES, we whiffed on “He Got Game”. I’m not sure who was more apoplectic over missing that one, me or Dusty. We both were beyond embarrassed.

* One “make fun of Stevo” moment I keep forgetting to mention: last month, I took a day off when my dad had to watch “My Special Little Guy” all day, to help him watch Ayden. (Dad’s health is not good; watching a three year old is not a good idea for him.) So we went to this dinosaur themed restaurant out at the Legends for lunch named T-Rex. I kept calling it “trex”. Not “T (pause) Rex”, but “trex”. Apparently this is a mispronunciation. Also apparently, everyone found this funny. I include it, because either I’m a f*cking idiot, or I’m a f*cking idiot. I’m leaning towards me being a f*cking idiot.

* On the drive from Gering to Lexington (where we stopped for gas and lunch), we passed a friggin spider monkey! I sh*t you not, a freaking spider monkey! That prompted the “hey, it’s Marcel!” jokes.

* Even more amazingly, on the drive south on US81, we passed a freaking fan boat, like what you’d see in the swamps of Florida or Louisiana! I’m telling you, we lived a lifetime on this road trip.

* We stop for gas, fill up, decide to hit up the KFC and Taco Bell for lunch … and let’s just say, this was about the shadiest, sh*ttiest, you insert the adjective here, KFC / Taco Bell combo ever. For starters, there were bugs of some kind everywhere around the entrance. Disgusting. Then, the “volcano tacos” that Dusty ordered, not only did NOT come in a red taco shell as advertised, they really didn’t come with the hot cheese sauce either. And to top it all off, the chicken strips I ordered were ice cold. I ate one. KFC / Taco Bell in Lexington, Nebraska, you’re on my sh*t list. I am NEVER eating there again. And I know three other people who share my opinion.

* The construction zone at Ofallala was shockingly decent, like on the drive up. What was not shockingly decent, was the construction zone between Grand Sandbar* and York. We got stuck behind a chick in a Honda Accord with Wyoming plates who literally was driving 30mph in a 65mph zone. There was literally a mile between the car in front of her, and her, when we exited the construction zone. I hope she rolled her vehicle and died a fiery violent death.

(*: I know it’s Grand Island, but come on, it’s an island in Nebraska. Grand Sandbar.)

* We get to York, and DJ’s hip is hurting*. So, Kellie decides “girls in the front, boys in the back!” Whatever you want, ma’am!!!

(*: funniest line of the day: when we were ready to pull out of her folks driveway, Kellie goes “my ass is hurting!” I know it was from the water skis the day before, but DJ and I just look at each other with a “you gonna say it, or me?” look of “who wants to get smacked by her first” recognition. Somehow, we both kept quiet. Aah! Married life has roo-eened some of your sense of humor, sir.)

* We ride girls up front, boys in back all the way to Salina. About the only two highlights on this stretch were …

1. Dusty noting how yellow the corn – stalks, tassles, etc – was. The answer is “yes” to the obvious question you’re going to ask at this point.

2. In response to some random question asked of him, DJ notes “well, one day equals four in Dustyland!” Now, I love that he’s finally recognizing Dustyland as an actual place – Brett and I have been arguing that for seven years now. But again, the answer is “yes” to the obvious question you’re going to ask at this point. God bless it, I love that guy.

* We stop for gas in Salina, and from the “not even I can make this sh*t up department”, Dusty and I head in to use the bathroom and get some food, and there, in a very prominently placed and highly visible sign on the door, is an ad for “Asian Massages! Upstairs! Open 7am-10pm!” If I ever make it back out to western Nebraska, and flooding forces us to go the long route again like this year, I am SO pounding that Asian massage!

* Have to do it.

(norm) it’s not a massage parlor like you think it is sir.
(norm’s boss) so they don’t have sex with clients there?
(norm) oh, is that what you think a massage parlor is? Then yes, it is a massage parlor like you think it is.

* The only highlight of the last two some odd hours driving home, was the rainbow that the rainstorm left behind. It was really neat to track it developing across the sky. Other than that, I got nothing, yo.

* We got into the Casa de Jones’ driveway a little after 8. I was sitting on my bed, beer in hand, by 8:45, and passed out by 9:30.

The road trip of a lifetime. I thought the best roadie I’d ever go on with “The Kid” was to Indy for the 500 in 2006, and God knows that was an experience in and of itself. But this one … this one might top it. It’s at least in the ballpark. Which is probably why it took four posts and 41 typed pages in Word to relive it. I could definitely do this again next summer. Except without Wade’s dance mix. Wow, was that epically awful …

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