Earth Traveler

Riding in Cars with Boys – pt 1

Posted September 5th, 2010

“Life is a highway.”

Thus spoke the great philosopher Tom Cochrane. As you may know, he then went on to say that he wanted to ride it all night long.

However, unlike Mr. Cochrane, I don’t really want to ride it all night long. Mainly because I have bad night vision. And it just seems more practical to drive during the day.

Now I’m confused. What the hell was I talking about? Oh, right. Highways.

I hit the road from California to North Dakota to work on a documentary with my inaccurately named associates Jerry and Nelson. And I figured I’d tell you about what went down, because I’m back in LA and I really don’t have anything else to do. Except lots of laundry – ugh.

Before you get started, you might want to WATCH THIS just to make sure you got my earlier joke and to set the mood.


We started off about an hour and a half later than we had wanted – which I think has happened with every road trip ever in the history of road trips. Being able to leave whenever you want is part of the benefits of the road trip.

One of the most difficult things about a road trip is actually getting out of the city. And this trip would not be an exception. We stopped in Pasadena for some last-minute supplies and equipment and Peets Coffee.

While Nelson and Jerry got some technical gear set up, I went inside for the caffeinated refreshments. I ordered my usual venti Iced Latte. “Do you mean ‘large’?” Of course I mean “large.” Time to start worrying less about other people’s flaws and take a look in the mirror, Mr. Guy-Who-Works-at-a-Coffee-House.

Nelson had requested “any sort of ice blended coffee.” So I told the guy taking my order that I wanted to get some sort of blended drink that GIRL would really like. “Chocolate?” Yes. “Whip cream?” Yes. Oh, SHE is going to love this… And HE did.

One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I have a secret fetish for Arby’s roast beef sandwiches. They’re quite possibly my favorite fast food. I’ve loved them ever since I can remember. When I was younger they had these commercials where they said Arby’s stood for “America’s Roast Beef, Yes Sir.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that Arby’s actually just stands for R(oast) B(eef). Once I figured that one out, I spent hours and hours trying to figure out if Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr. meant something clever. They don’t.

Anyway, I kind of know where all the Arby’s are near me. I also know that there’s an Arby’s in Baker, California – a remote city near the Nevada border. So I casually suggested a food and leg-stretching stop there. Jerry, who was driving, agreed and soon I would be consuming my delicious Arby’s sandwich.

But Jerry drove right past the Baker exit. I’m not sure what happened there. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I didn’t want to let on that IT WAS A BIG DEAL.

Well, if we were near the Nevada border, then that means we were near Nevada and if we were near Nevada, then we were near Vegas, Baby, Vegas! And we HAD TO stop there. It’s a moral imperative.

We wound up getting gas and, of course, I really wanted to go to Arby’s. But then Nelson uttered a phrase I have never in my life heard from another human person: “I’ve never had a Big Mac.”

So, we had to go to McDonald’s and shove some of that delicious good/badness down his throat. I guess, I actually shouldn’t be telling you because “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But I’m pretty sure that phrase is really only supposed to apply to activities involving hookers, strippers, gambling, alcohol and drugs. So, I’ll leave those parts out of the story here.

We got on the road just in time for RUSH HOUR. Yes, Vegas Rush Hour. Where were these people going? Where were they coming from? I thought people lived out in the middle of nowhere because there isn’t any traffic.

A friend texted me and recommended a great place outside Vegas for Yard
Lizards (n. slang. A truck stop prostitute.) But we were behind schedule and had to drive on through to Utah.

We ended up in St. George, Utah. There are a LOT of motels there. I’m not sure why. It seemed like the only thing to see in that town was other motels.

We chose the Motel 6 (and by “we” I mean Jerry). But there were some idiots in line in front of us making me wish I had brought some sort of firearm. And while we waited I noticed that the Rodeway was $3 cheaper for the night. Screw you, Motel 6 – and idiots.

We set up all our gear first thing. Bunch of computer nerd stuff, so I won’t bore you. Blah blah blah laptops, hard drives, firewire. Blah blah blah.

We were an hour ahead with the time zone change and it was getting late and we were very much in need of food.

So let me tell you about Roberto’s Taco Shop. This is quite possibly the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. And the portions were cheap and huge (or should I say: ¡GRANDE!) Maybe this place is why there are so many motels in St. George.

Back to the motel and it’s time to get some sleep. I’m feeling a bit dehydrated but the water in the room is milky gross. So, no thanks.

Oh, also, I had to share a bed with Nelson, so burrito style bedding all the way. I hoped, for his sake, that I didn’t accidentally mistake him for my special lady friend… “Accidentally.”

In Part 2, these questions will be answered:
What happened next on the road trip? Where did they go from there? Did Nelson and Jed make inappropriate contact in the night? What is all this nonsense about Jed having a girlfriend?

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