D, B And The Car Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Saturday, 05/04/13

9:00 AM ET

Dave begins the day with, “May the fourth be with you.” That may sum up this trip perfectly, or it may be totally irrelevant. I don’t know. I can’t see into the future.

We take our bags out to the car and Dave opens the trunk. He has owned this car for two months, yet the trunk is completely full, requiring my one small piece of luggage to be forcefully squeezed in. The trunk contains the following:

  • One (1) bowling ball
  • One (1) football
  • One (1) basketball
  • One (1) Horseshoe set
  • Two (2) pairs of Sock ‘Em Boppers
  • Twenty-four (24) Pack of Mountain Dew
  • One (1) Styrofoam jousting pool accessory
  • One (1) growler (more on this later)
  • One (1) funnel (same here)
  • One (1) Frisbee
  • Two (2) tennis rackets

I ask Dave why all of these things are in his trunk. He explains that he had transferred them from his previous vehicle. That was it. A simple answer to a simple question. A few minutes later we’re heading West on I70:

2013_05_04_04_Laughing

9:30 AM ET

Dave and I run out of things to talk about. Only twenty-six hours to go. Luckily, we flip the car, giving us plenty to discuss:

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10:00 AM ET

We stop at McDonalds for breakfast. We have ourselves a certified road trip.

10:47 AM ET

The first thing we see as we exit Ohio is a place to buy fireworks. We must be in Indiana.

11:12 AM ET

Dave claims that his car is getting better gas mileage in Indiana than in Ohio. Apparently he got a degree in gas mileology at Gas Mileversity and is a professional gas mileoligist. Who knew?

2013_05_04_06_Gas

11:48 AM ET

St. Louis, here we come. Only 226 miles to go.

I take back what I said earlier. It’s raining. Now it’s a certified road trip.

1:24 PM CT

Hour two of rain as we slip into Illinois. We have lost the Sirius signal and have switched to Dave’s extensive collection of music on his phone. I have no idea what we’re listening to.

Do you know what a “growler” is? I didn’t. From Wikipedia:

A growler is a glass or ceramic jug with a capacity of 0.5 US gallons (1,900 ml) used to transport draft beer in Australia, the United States and Canada. They are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-out craft beer. The exploding growth of craft breweries and the growing popularity of home brewing has also led to an emerging market for the sale of collectible growlers.

Dave’s growler was filled with Mountain Dew:

2013_05_04_07a_Growler

2013_05_04_07b_Growler

2:37 PM CT

Missouri achieved. Gateway Arch sighting unlocked.

It is cold here, mid-forties. I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I never claimed to know what I’m doing.

3:16 PM CT

We stop for a late lunch at Schlafly Bottleworks in the great city of St. Louis. It’s a brewery:

2013_05_04_08_Schlafly

The clouds continue to cover the sky and provide a chill in my bones.

3:54 PM CT

I am now in command of Dave’s new car. It’s a great ride. My foot doesn’t even need to touch the gas pedal to make the car go over the speed limit. All I have to do is suggest the activity and the car just seems to know:

2013_05_04_09a_Driving

5:45 PM CT

Dave and I count more bulletin boards for adult bookstores than for Christianity. We’re not convinced this can legally be called the Bible Belt.

7:15 PM CT

We drive through our originally planned stopping point, Springfield, MO. We feel that we have enough energy to make it to Joplin, maybe even Tulsa. We’ll see:

2013_05_04_09b_Driving

8:30 PM CT

Joplin looks like a nice place to stop for the night. Despite the fact that we have driven South it continues to be cold and I continue to be underdressed:

2013_05_04_10_Sky

9:19 PM CT

The bar attached to the hotel has fifteen televisions showing various sporting events, including the NCAA men’s volleyball championship. Our waitress informs us that she doesn’t think men should be allowed to play volleyball. She’s also not a feminist. We have learned many things today.

10:04 PM CT

After dinner we retire to our room. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter begins on HBO. Dave and I are men, and we shall partake in the manly art of watching this film before we sleep.

Tomorrow: D, B and the Car Episode 2: Judgment Day

– Ben

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