Blog Archive

Road Trip Blues . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It was 1:30 a.m. and my brother and I were driving west on I-10 out of Houston when I began to seriously regret eating the sirloin burger from Jack in the Box.

We had taken a road trip from Austin to Houston and back again to see Tom Waits in concert. The show was easily worth it as Waits wasn't touring in Austin, and it had been more than decade since he'd been anywhere in Texas that was vaguely close to where I was living at the time.

But as the sirloin burger sat in my stomach like a lead balloon coated in six different kinds of cheese and the darkness felt oppressive, I began to wonder if I could survive work the next day. The six Heinekens which were consumed at the concert weren't helping matters either.

This is the problem with road trips - the coming home is lousy.

On the drive down, optimism reigned supreme as my brother and I discussed new script ideas, plotted other concerts to attend, and espoused the collective merits of Marissa Miller.

The return trip was bleak.

Three hours of darkness. Three hours of halting conversation punctuated by long silences of evil contemplation, which would be followed by complete conversational non-sequitors. I recall snapping out of a daze near Lulling to bitterly wonder:

Who the fuck eats turnips anyway?

There was no answer. At least none offered.

Whereas the ride to Houston was generally filled with a positive view of the universe, the world had suddenly turned against us. It took 30 minutes at Jack in the Box for unknown reasons of sloth. There was nothing on the radio. Construction zones were abundant.

It's also a peculiar breed of person who is out that early on a weekday. When we stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break, there was an older man in the bathroom who was chanting or muttering to himself - loudly - in the stalls and it gave me the Fear.

Inside the store itself, a bleached blonde hovered with glazed eyes around a box of Nilla Wafers. She was staring in the direction of the box when I entered restroom, when I left the restroom and for all I know, she might still be looking for any shred of wisdom that could be found on the box of such snack treats.

We finally hit the Austin city limits around 2:15 a.m., and I got to bed around 3 a.m. before getting up at 6 a.m. to make the gym as a punishment for my hubris. Ugly.

My head hurts, my eyes look like cracked walnuts covered in red jell-o and I'm strongly considering pulling a George Costanza and trying to sleep under my desk today. But it was worth it. I think.



  1. Gypsy Says:
  2. That sounds brutal B but I have to say it's late here on a Tuesday night (almost Wednesday) and that burger looks delish enough to have as a midnight snack.

    Sorry you're feeling poorly and what kind of masochist goes to the gym after a night like that anyway?

  3. JLee Says:
  4. Ouch. Unfortunately, out of all this story, I keep dwelling on the turnips...WHO EATS THE TURNIPS FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!???

  5. Miss Ash Says:
  6. I am the queen of non-sequiturs!

    As for the gym.....seriously!! You seriously got out of bed 3 hours later to hit the gym....I feel like a lazy mother fucker now! I got home at 8pm last night and was too tired to bother.

  7. Gypsy - Brutal is a good description. It was fun for about six hours or so, but then the last 3.5 were hell. Ha. It goes that way sometimes I guess. I have no idea about the gym as my wife asked me the same thing and I have no good answer.

    Jlee - Exactly. Everybody knows what they are, but who buys and eats them? Questions. Questions. Ha.

    Miss Ash - I enjoy non-sequitors and find them pretty damn funny in general, so you're fine with me. Ha. I did hit the gym on 3 hours of sleep, but felt awful. I thought it might help fight fatigue, sweat out toxins, etc. I don't think I was correct.

  8. Heff Says:
  9. Costanza had his moments. Good luck with it. I just hope you don't later try his famous food/sex/television combo.

  10. Wendy Says:
  11. Oh, my dear, I live vicariously through you. I remember rock concerts and barfy 2:00 a.m. drives and scary people in convenience stores. It all seems creepy now, but when you are 40 you will think it was The Best of Times.

  12. Heff - That was another great idea, but it just went too far. We all try to reach beyond our grasp on occassion, eh?

    Wendy - I wish I could live vicariously thorough someone whose head didn't hurt right now. I think the key to doing it as you get older is spacing these things out because the recuperative powers are not nearly as high with each passing year. And I'm sure I agree with your last thought too (my problem is closer to instant nostaliga or something like that and I plan to post about it one day).

  13. You're making my upcoming Zoo Concert tomorrow night seem down right sensible... there's a noise ordinance that makes it shut down at 8:30 and when I heard that I said "That means I can be home by 9:00!" And I was happy. I agree with Wendy, you'll be glad you did these things when you're older. Even the road trip sounded fun.

  14. nobich Says:
  15. ok I hate to tell you but the Turk who's staying with me actually drank (as a soft drink ) "Hot Turnip Juice" I tried it & it was the most disgusting thing in the world except for the "Fermented Carrot Juice" he drank the day before. urgh. sorry I'm reliving this on your comments page.

  16. Anonymous Boxer - That sounds excellent about the timing on your show. If you can get the music & still get home at a reasonable time, then things are fine in my book. And it was completely worth it for the concert road trip. It's hard to turn down things like these - the stories and experience alone usually make them worthwhile. I just wish I had some sleep and no conference calls scheduled today. Selah.

    Nobich - OK. That just sounds nasty. I've heard of the carrot juice before, but the turnip seems to be pushing things over the edge. You are a braver person than I am for trying such a thing. Let's put it behind us now. Ha.

  17. Ro Says:
  18. There's a reason why late-night road trips are a staple of the psychological horror film! I can just picture the gas station and its creepy customers ... I guess you didn't go to see what was around back?

    Incidentally, I eat turnips. Does it make me a bad person? ;)

  19. The Troll Says:
  20. Concerts: Useless and expensive waste-of-time.

    Tom Waits: Voice sounded like shells being ground into road-filler back when he was among the living. I doubt if it's improved since his demise.

    Turnips: Yummy morsels of delight as are turnip greens!

    Marisa Miller: Never heard of her, but if that's her picture, she has many good attributes.

  21. Ro - You're definitely right about the creepy gas stations setting as this one fit the bill. Luckily, I didn't go anywhere near the back of the joint or I'd be buried there (or possibly inside someone's freezer in small parts). Small favors, eh? As for the turnips, I knew there had to be someone out there. Ha. I don't think it constitutes a character flaw, but I've just never seen anyone actually consume them.

    The Troll - I'd have to disagree about concerts. The good ones are memorable events for a lot of various reasons, although you are right that the prices are way too damn expensive (and with gas through the roof, I've read they are only going to get higher). Waits sounds about the same except 10 years rougher, another turnip fan is suddenly shooting my question all to hell and that is Miller and I just discovered her as well (but I won't forget her now).

  22. vivavavoom Says:
  23. ouch...brutal, but well written entry. felt right there with you. pull a costanza and take a bunch of walks...and some aspirin.

    Any word on the screenplay?

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  26. Vivavavoom - Thanks. I'm glad I was able to convey some of the way I was feeling. Ha. And I did take aspirin and I just posted on a screenplay update - good timing on your question.

    Elmer - I appreciate the inquiry, and I'll look into it soon. Thanks.


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