Earth Traveler

Riding in Cars with Boys – pt5

Posted September 29th, 2010

By this point you’re starting to get an idea of how long this trip actually took. There’s really no way to accurately gauge how long a journey feels when you’re in it – except by clocks and calendars.


The next morning we decided to skip the free continental breakfast. Don’t get me started again about these continental breakfast atrocities – their bagels had enough preservatives to embalm a adult sized adult moose.

However, there was a legit bagel place in Fargo. I found it on The Google. I insisted that we stop there before we got into shooting so we could avoid the similar near-cannibalistic experience as the day before. Jerry and Nelson agreed, though that probably was because they realized that if we had to eat each other, I could easily overpower either of them.

We also had to stop at Target. There’s a Starbucks there and they also had the bug bite cream I very much needed after being bitten by some of the local, pigeon-sized mosquitoes.

There was something else I needed to get. And Target seemed like it was as good a place as any – with the added benefit of Jerry and Nelson not knowing I was getting this “something else” because they were off getting their own things.

I had arranged to meet my special lady friend out of town after the first week of shooting. And, in order to “maximize” the enjoyment of that trip, I needed to make sure I was fully prepared for any and all activities. (Hint: Condoms)

I’m not sure why I still think that buying those is embarrassing. It’s kind of something a person should brag about. Anyway, I guess I just didn’t want Jerry asking me all kinds of intimate questions like he had been doing for the last week with Nelson about his girl.

Anyway, I thought I was being all clever and stealth when I snuck off to buy my unmentionables. When I got in line to buy my items, I knew Nelson was around somewhere and I kept looking for him like a drug mule at airport security.

As the cashier finished up with the lady in front of me, I spotted Nelson headed right for me. Faster, cashier, faster. Nelson arrived and my secret purchases were still in the open, so I made a slick move to block his view and pointed out some bug spray I thought we should get. As he looked away and grabbed the bug spray, the cashier scanned my items and dropped them in a bag – out of view. Mission accomplished.

Back on the road, we finished off all the bagels during the 200 mile drive to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. We shot a 20 minute interview and then drove the 200 miles back.

It was around this time that were notified of Nelson’s constipation.

We had dinner at Italian Moon Pizza. But we all ordered salad – maybe out of solidarity for Nelson’s “condition” but probably more so because Jerry and I did not want to suffer the same fate.

I talked Jerry into getting the same room for two nights in a row and using that as a sort of headquarters. So we didn’t have to load up and unload again the next day. We were definitely getting smarter as we moved along.


We had sort of a late wake up. Not for my usual, but for this trip and certainly for almost all other people in the world. Tragically that caused us to miss the continental breakfast. So we added a full day to our life-expectancies.

After doing some nerdy technical film equipment stuff, we went out for bagels and coffee. I have to admit, Fargo was actually starting to grow on me. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to live there. No man should have to go more than a couple blocks to get his coffee.

The girl at Starbucks asked me if I was sure I didn’t want any flavoring in my iced latte. When I said no, she looked at me like I farted on her favorite grandmother’s face.

On the way to our first stop, we got lost. We were on 13th Street South and then all of the sudden it was 13th Street South-West, then 13th Street East – all in the space of about a half mile. When we called ahead to our stop to get directions, we encountered yet another local that had no idea how to give directions.

People in Fargo act a little like they’re better than everyone else and that it’s some sort of badge of honor. This comes from them trying to convince themselves that being there is a good idea. It isn’t.

Then we drove all over the local area making stops in progressively smaller towns. Like Nome, North Dakota, which is just two streets intersecting the highway.

We stopped for lunch in Lisbon (not the one in Portugal). There were two places to eat: Subway and the Pizza Ranch. The Pizza Ranch had Wifi! It also had some sort of smell that was so bad, Nelson was willing to lift his self-imposed Subway embargo.

We accidentally skipped dinner. Oops. Again. I just get wrapped up in “we need to just get this one shot” and ignore thoughts like “my stomach is eating itself.”

We took Jerry to do some laundry since he was going to be sticking around in Fargo after Nelson and I left. The laundry place had a tanning salon in back – which is a bit odd.

Also doing laundry was a black guy – the first black guy I had seen in almost a week.

I know there are some who don’t like when people use the term “black.” I’m not really sure how it turned out that that is an offensive word. I am “white” but I am not actually white. I’m more of a pink-ish color. I don’t get offended at all by being broadly labeled chromatically.

And then there’s this “African-American” thing. I think it’s a little presumptuous for anyone to say that someone is American just because they are in America. Also, what about in other countries? I’ve never heard of an African-Canadian or an African-Frenchy, and I know for a fact that those countries don’t just have white people.

Anyway, Nelson and I were standing near the entrance to the tanning salon area, so I turned to Nelson and said, “looks like she stayed in there too long.” Nelson didn’t get it, until he looked and saw the black girl coming out of the tanning area.

Back at the motel, we had some late-night cheeseburgers and Nelson and I packed to get ready for the flight out of there the next morning.

In Part 6 these questions will be answered:
Will Jed even know how to function when he wakes up before the sun has come up? Will Jed consider wearing adult diapers after the air turbulence on his flight? Where the hell is Jed flying to?

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