Monday, April 9, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Long Drives

I have spent hours upon hours in a series of 15 passenger vans. I bring this up because I heard someone say to me last week, “I have a three hour drive tomorrow. That’s a really long drive.”. Well sir, I have driven from Spokane, WA across Montana and North Dakota into Fargo. That was a long drive. The drive a few weeks ago from Kansas City to San Antonio was no picnic either. The problem with long drives like that isn’t really the driving itself, which is just tedious. It’s that the brain starts to rebel due to inactivity.

After you have listened to everything you want to listen to on the stereo (which happens surprisingly fast to a guy with 25,000+ songs on his iPod), you start to come up with little games to kill time. One of our favorites in the Cowslinger days was “Hide and Go Kill”. Generally Leo would close his eyes and count to ten, while Bobby would try to hide in the van. If Leo found him, he would give him a severe beating. It may not surprise you that Bobby found it challenging to come up with a sufficient hiding place in a 15 passenger van loaded with gear to find safety from Leo. For example, Bobby curled up on a back bench with a jacket over him usually didn’t create more than 3.2 seconds of a barrier to being roughed up. That also happens to be about the best hiding place you can come up within 10 seconds in a moving vehicle.

While that game provided some brief amusement, The Boys creation after that was a real favorite. Bobby or Leo would blow their nose into a Kleenex. They would sit across from each other, one in bench #1 and one in bench #2. They would open their mouths and attempt to toss the used Kleenex into the other’s mouth. This was a very popular game until Leo actually successfully threw the Kleenex ball smack dab into Bobby’s mouth. I will probably always remember that look of shock and horror that swept across Bob’s face when it registered that Leo had finally made a successful throw and the used Kleenex was resting on his tongue. I don’t remember anyone playing that game again after that.

The one game that always had traction though was Dare Leo. I would usually come up with a question. “Leo? You think you could drink a six pack of Zima before we get back to the Cleveland City limits?” Then you set the stakes. With the Zima challenge, we were driving back from somewhere South on I-77, West Virginia probably. We were right around Salt Fork on a Sunday morning when the challenge was agreed upon. If Leo could finish a six pack of Zima and a couple Zima 40 oz appetizers to boot before we got back to Cleveland, he would be given a carton of cigarettes. Leo was all in. “No problem. I don’t have anything to do today anyway.”

You would be surprised how difficult it is to knock back six of those things, especially on an empty stomach. Leo was well within striking distance when we pulled into gas up in Canton OH, with two Zima to go in the hour or so left on the drive. I think the 40 oz Zimas knocked back in rapid succession hit him harder than expected. I say this because he decided to go to the bathroom and was seen staggering across the parking lot filled with churchgoers filling their tanks after services. Most of the people pumping gas pretended nothing was amiss, but they all stared out of the corners of their eyes. It was a real scene.

The bathroom at that particular Speedway was one of those ones with a separate side entrance, and you had to ask for the key attached to the grimy piece of wood they kept at the register. Leo had on his gig clothes from the night before, and he swayed his way to the bathroom like a man sailing on rough seas. I remember hearing a little kid saying “Mommy! Mommy! Look! It’s a drunk cowboy!”. It’s probably not something you see a lot of in North Canton on a late Sunday morning.

He was in there forever. We were sitting in the van waiting, the gas paid for and engine running. Bobby hopped out of the van, and said “I’ll go get that asshole!” while walking to the bathroom. I was sitting shotgun absentmindedly looking towards the bathroom door, when I see Bobby open it and keel over laughing. He moved to the left, and I could see in the little room. Leo, for some unknown reason, had taken off all of his clothes and was sitting on the toilet in that filthy restroom completely naked. Bobby, with absolutely no compassion for the drunk Leo we had created, swung the door open wider exposing Leo to the churchgoers screaming “Look at Leo! Look at Leo!”.

It took Leo awhile to get it back on the rails, but he eventually emerged back from that bathroom. Not only that, he knocked back the rest of those Zimas before we got back to Cleveland. He got the smokes at our next practice. I paid for them myself too. That guy earned those Marlboros.


At April 10, 2012 at 1:06:00 AM EDT , Blogger JETSTREAM PARKING said...

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At April 12, 2012 at 2:17:00 PM EDT , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Oh man.....that is good stuff.....Mommy, mommy, look it's a drunk cowboy!!!

At April 13, 2012 at 8:54:00 PM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Son. He ain't no cowboy.


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