Monday, January 18, 2010

The worst road trip EVER.

Okay. Maybe not ever. But it sucked. And here's why.

Part of this residency requires that we provide costumes for the kids of the program. This is obviously not something that we could have prepared for ahead of time, so we had to drive back to Shakes & Co.

We left The Hamptons on Friday afternoon, around 2:45 p.m., which was maybe not so smart. Friday + rush hour = just plain dumb. We drove the length of Long Island, and thankfully only hit traffic by Great Neck, which for those who don't know LI very well, is on the Western side, close to Queens, and is therefore practically a suburb of NYC. Anyway, we thought that this was understandable, and expected to clear traffic once we cleared the Throngs-Neck Bridge, which would skirt us past The Bronx and Yonkers, and all points North.

The traffic lasted for 2.5 hours. Kelley had to pee so badly, we had to exit blindly at New Rochelle at the "Ghetto Getty," as Allissa put it. I saw a car accident across the street, and a large man exit a hummer and start yelling at another guy in a van. The large man hit the white van from behind, but it looked like the van had just stopped, inexplicably ... anyway. There was lots of swearing. Lots of yelling. The cops finally arrived. The toilet at this Getty could have been something from a horror film, where the chanting incantations of some monster/serial killers name would materialize in the flesh and wreak havoc on New Rochelle.

This could only be an improvement.

Anyway, I asked to drive. And the traffic continued. And continued. We finally opted to take an alternative route, but not before we overheard part of a CB radio conversation over the auxiliary channel (we were playing our ipods) of the radio. It went something like this:

*gurgle gurgle* "your black ass!" *gurgle gurgle* "on the highway" *gurgle gurgle* "you don't like my truck?!" *gurgle gurgle*

Add in a Jamaican accent, and you'd just about have it. It was really hard to listen to the podcast we had been enjoying about the crappiest jobs the comedians and story-tellers were waxing funny about them.

So we finally made our circuitous way to the alternative route, which involved jumping on no less than 4 country highways. While I understand the awesomeness of GPS units, they kind of drive me crazy when they add 5 extra steps that are completely unnecessary. And give you the general 1,000 ft. area of an address, instead of the exact location. Ugh.

Oh. I should probably mention that our automatic volvo (the same one previously posted about with the tire problem) had lost its 5th gear. We couldn't really go above 65 mph at any given time without risking dangerous heat to the swiss cheese engine that was currently running. I swear that a hamster had been given the job of operating the engine in this car single handedly. And the hamster ran away. Far, far away.

On top of the missing 5th gear, neither the speedometer, nor the odometer were working ... most of the time. Occasionally when the wind blew a certain way, or a snappy song came on that the speedometer liked, we would have about 3 minutes of an operable speedometer/odometer ... and then it would fail again.

So here we are, driving on the back highways of Connecticut, no way to accurately judge our speed, except to not go faster than the fastest car, all the while struggling to stay below 65 mph so that the engine didn't over-heat and blow up; on highways without road lights. I don't know if any of you have ever been driving in New England, on the back roads, at night, without street lights - but it's dark. Crazy, dangerously dark. Add in some "Caution: Deer" signs, and we have ourselves a party.

We drive, and drive, and drive. Stop for gas. Note that the car is becoming more and more vocal. And start coaxing the car into just getting us to Lenox. I was not below petting the dashboard ... repeatedly.

We reach Lenox at about 10:00 p.m. That's 7.25 hours of driving a 4 hour route. When I finally parked the car in the company lot, it shuttered to a stop with a clang. It did what we had asked it to do; it took us to Lenox.

We have another company car now - a giant hunter-green buick with cushy seats, an operable speedometer/odometer, and an actual 5th gear. What it doesn't have ... is an auxiliary port for ipod listening enjoyment. Ah well.

On the plus side, we made it home in time to watch the rather droll and flat Golden Globes. Does anyone else think that Ricky Gervais was completely sauced?

And I made this fire!

"Ugg! Me make fire!! RAAAAAAAAARRRRR!"
This blog post is brought to you by:

Garmin GPS
Ricky Gervais
Getty Gasoline
Vitamin Water


Anonymous said...

This is a test...
the comments are working again!