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Mormania: Part 1

2002-08-21 - 6:03 p.m.

8/20/02

9:30 a.m. – Booo! “You are now leaving colorful Colorado!” Colorado definitely rejuvenated us – despite how my bug-addled brain may have made it look last night when I posted in the deep recesses of the Grand Junction Ramada. Wyoming truly left us broken husks. Colorado tended to our wounds and wrapped us in nice warm Ace bandages. Well, I don’t know how therapeutic the cheese water was . . . I wish I could have gone to Mile High Comics in Denver. It’s supposed to be one of, if not THE, largest comics stores in the world. But this trip definitely doesn’t afford a lot of leisure time. “Look, I’m going 100 mph and I’m steering with my knees!” – Tim Curtis.

9:45 a.m. – I talked to McLaughlin last night. Told him we were getting closer to San Diego by the second. He seemed excited to see us. Either that or he was high on heroin. I’m guessing the former. We’ll get to meet his girlfriend, so that’s cool. At one point we’ll have to take her aside and quietly say something to the effect that if she ever hurts him – physically or emotionally – or breaks his heart, we will find her and kick the shit out of her. Waitaminute . . . we’re only supposed to say that to our GIRL friend’s new boyfriends! I get confused. Anyway, McLaughlin seemed busy but he did say he was going to be meeting up with Jon that night to hang out. He said he'd inform Jon of our not-quite-imminent arrival. I told him we’d love to see Jon if he has the time. I haven't (nor do I imagine Ben and Tim have) seen Jon in ages! Apparently Jon has ceased his globe-trotting, pizza box sculpting, Cuban coupling ways for a bit and has settled down upon that sleepy little burg known as L.A. (not LA, but L.A. - there's a difference, not a big one, but it's there) Every time I talk to someone I get a different story on what exactly Jon is up to. Though I don't believe Jimbo's tale of Jon being immersed in the world of celebrity pet taxidermy, I guess we'll just have to see Jon and ask him ourselves. Either way, we’ll have fun.

10:00 a.m. – That John Fogerty must have been one hell of a traveler. Either that, or he just studied maps a lot. We’ve already gone through Lodi (we didn’t get stuck), and now we’re headed towards Green River. Now, for your reading pleasure, and because I don’t want to have to keep trying to commit this story to memory (or the “Cats Rule, Dogs Drool” Garfield mini-notebook), I present this verbal exchange I had with this skankanator at a Dillon, Colorado gas station yesterday:

Scene: 7:45 p.m. In one of the many valleys of the Rocky Mountains, entering a gas station –the “Gas N Go!”, looking for a drink. Our hero, Zach, is dressed in tan shorts and a red shirt. The shirt has the Shelburne Shipyard insignia on the back and on the front says “Shelburne Shipyard – SSY”. Our hero has no idea what that means – he just likes the shirt. He chooses a beverage and goes to pay for it, and encounters a Skank of the highest degree on the other side of the counter. She is roughly his age; her hair is styled in a way that suggests it was popular in 1985. In truth, it was never popular. She has the pallid embalmed looks -covered with acres of make-up- that make Zach think not-so-fondly of Star, who is dwelling back at the Fox Run Mall. Ben, one of hero’s traveling companions, is on his way out of the store, having just made his purchase. Tim, the other traveler, is in the Gas N Go bathroom.

Skank: (loudly) “Oh maaaan. I thought your shirt said ‘Shelburne Shipyard Sissy!’ Ha Ha Ha.”

Zach: (uncomfortable, not-so-loudly) “Yeah. Well. Ha Ha. Nope, it doesn’t. Yeah, just SSY. Not sure what that means, but not sissy. Ha Ha. Here ya go.” (hands Skank money for the beverage)

Skank: (in a conspiratorial, though still not very quiet whisper): “Ya know, I used to have a shirt. It said ‘Hot Stuff’ . . . right over the boob.” (grabs her own left boob to, apparently, illustrate to Zach what she meant by “boob”)

Zach: (horrified by her skankosity, but trying to save the situation through some quick wit) “USED TO? I still have mine. Ha Ha.”

[Ben, starting to lose his composure, exits]

Skanky: “ . . .yeah. Anyway – guy come in here few days ago. Was wearing one a them Keystone shirts – ya know?”

Zach: (having no idea, but announces confidently): “I do.”

Skanky : “Yeah, it said “I go down easy”. I like the sound of that.”

Zach’s Brain: -Just Run. Run Fast.-

Zach: “Yeah. Well. Um, I guess my Shelburne Shipyard shirt can’t really compare to that. Well, you have a good night.!”

Skank: “Oh baby, you know I will! You have a fun time too!”

[Zach leaves, off to tell Ben how the rest of the conversation went after he left]

-Outside the gas station, 3 minutes later-

Zach: “So yeah, and she’s just like, ‘Oh baby, you know I will’ and I’m puking all over my shoes.”

[Tim approaches Ben and Zach with a white (well, whiter than usual) look on his face, Zach tells Tim his story and Tim silently listens]

Tim: [almost sadly] “She, she asked me about my shirt (a blue Niketown shirt). She asked me where this fantastic ‘Niketown’ was. When I told her I didn’t know she just stated singing to me!”

Ben & Zach: “What was she singing?”

Tim: “She was singing ‘Funkytown’, but instead was singing the words, ‘Won’t you take me – to NIKETOWN!”

10:30 a.m. – Well, we’re now at Green River, Utah. As Ben said, “Look, it really is green!” The rock formations out here are really fucking awesome. I am getting annoyed at the lack of adjectives I can come up with to describe all this cool shit we keep seeing, and I apologize for words like “fucking awesome” and “cool shit” being so prevalent. I wonder if these entries are making any sense. I’m not really getting to proofread them for sanity, let alone grammar. I usually just write in the car all morning in a race against time before the computer goes dead. And then when I try to fill in the blanks at night at the hotel my brain has been flex-capacitated so much that I usually just end up typing “Goo goo, ga ga, feet hurt.” It was interesting to be in Colorado for when Terrell Davis played his last game as a Bronco. You’d think the Pope of Footballtown had been shot! Wow. I think it just went from 88 to 101 in about 20 seconds. We’re getting towards a lot of desert area and it is dry and really fucking hot. Yeah, I can hear all you ass clowns now “But it’s a DRY heat – no HU-MID-I-TY.” Fuck you. 101 is 101. It’s not like the “dryness” of it makes it feel like a breezy 70. I not like hotness. I blame the Mormons. Then again, what don’t I blame them for?

11:00 a.m. – We just got out and took pictures at these huge rock cliffs outside of Green River. We even found a salamander to play with. Tim offered Ben $30 to catch him. But he didn’t. I got a picture of him trying. I did see a fire ant. Just one though, not a mound. Ben took a picture of me pissing off the cliffs, but Tim went ape-shit when Ben tried to take one of him. Ok, it’s not like Ben was 4 feet away – he was like 100 feet away. Tim said, “My mother told me it was wrong to let people take pictures of me pee.” Whatever, PRUDE. I guess Utah is rubbing off on him. Soon enough he’ll have a harem, swear off soda, and eat jello like it’s going out of style. After Green River, there’s not another town for like 100 miles. I like it though. I hope I see more salamanders or lizards in general. I like lizards.

11: 45 a.m. – Still haven’t reached a new town since Green River. We’ve stopped at several more scenic view/rock formation areas though. The sand by one of the cliffs we were just on was just like ocean sand. Very strange. Tim just got annoyed at me for taking a picture of fire ants swarming around their hole. Whatever. I have tons of film. I want to take pictures of EVERYTHING – no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Who knows? Maybe the fire ant will be our favorite picture. But probably not.

11:57 a.m. – On a more positive and much less cryptic note . . . Bob Marley plays in the background while I write and while Ben and Tim . . . well, while they stare ahead. And we passed by Moab too! Moab! Shouldn’t that cad Moab be at the Gentleman’s Club with General Noseworthy? I should mention that after being forced into labor pains yesterday because of my searing knee pain, I was awarded the front seat for the second half of Colorado. So that was nice. Especially driving through a lot of the old Gold-digging Towns. We drove through Golden, CO. And their high school is the Golden Gold-diggers! How rich! Oh – how puntacular! The front seat also returned to me God-like control over the music for the first time since Illi-friggin-nois. Lots of national parks in Utah. It is really extremely beautiful in Utah. Then again, I haven’t run into a single Mormon yet either. I bet their weathervanes started spinning around with an unnatural red glow and all their soda (or “pop” as they incessantly say out here) suddenly becomes unnaturally sweetened when I hit the state line. That’s the way I like it. State’s welcoming me as the Anti-Christ. Hell, at least I BELIEVE in God – wait until they meet Tim.

12:41 p.m. – Well, we’ve started to see some tricklings of civilization. Tim has been explaining to us the concept of a “Jack Mormon” – someone who used to be Mormon but now isn’t and breaks all their rules (i.e. – drinking, smoking, nutra-sweet, and not having lots of wives). I decided I’m going to go into next gas station we come to and exclaim, “Fuck dawg, where be the Diet Coke?” It’ll blow their minds. We are very excited. We just saw our first official MOBILE tumbleweed. It was a-blowin’ around somethin’ fierce! We loved him. And now he is gone. Oh well. We just passed Penguitch, Utah, which makes me laugh. It sounds like a Penguin Sandwich. Mmmmm, sandwiches. I’m hungry.

1:00 p.m. – Well, it looks like we’re going to get to St. George, Utah and actually have us some leisure time. We’re due there in about 2 hours. Then it’s time to do some laundry because let me tell you – it is a reekfest around here. I’ve tricked myself into believing that if I don’t wear a shirt for a whole day, the next day it will be clean. That is NOT true. While waiting for laundry, I’m hopefully gonna get to write some more postcards and Ben and Tim are gonna play basketball. At least they better – there needs to be justification for this basketball of death that keeps leaping from its backseat perch and bonking me in the noggin. We’ll eat and rest up in St. George and then in the morning it’s off to the Grand Canyon and then Vegas! Uh-oh, just got my first low-battery warning . . . it’s only a matter of time before this bitch quits . . .

1:09 p.m. – We’re about at Rt 15. We took it briefly back by Wyoming/Colorado. We took 90 from Mass to South Dakota, 385, then 18, then 25, 76 to Denver, then 70 from Denver to Grand Junction, and we’re still on 70 until we hit 15. Then it’s 15 all the way to San Diego. Wasn’t that interesting? Aren’t you glad I shared? I am.

1:20 p.m. – I just sliced my knees off. I figured it wasn’t worth keeping them anymore. The pain was too severe. I guess I’m on my way to becoming Oblong. Wait . . . now I think I’m going into shock . . . oh shit . . .

1:40 p.m. – We’re knee deep in Beaver. Beaver, Utah that is. We went to Magic Mark’s Mini Mart and while the mini-mart itself was par, Magic Mark was decidedly sub-par. Magic Mark kept trying to con us into getting new tires. Ben said no. Several times. Going to Subway now. I’m gonna drink all the Nutrasweet I want and flaunt it like a son of a bitch.

*******And then, after Beaver, everything went horribly wrong . . .

It's been real,

The Dragon King

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