1. Saturday, August 12, 2006

    because the best laid plans of mice and men 

    always get fucked up beyond repair, i do my best to make casual outlines so that i will never be disappointed and so that Life can jump in an improvise with me.

    when you think about the sweetest memories of your life, your greatest accomplishments, your fondest hookups, rarely did they start with a playbook diagram or even a to-do list.

    the plan was to drive from one end of the country to the other. thats all.

    when people started asking questions i started making shit up. oh i will go up Route 66. but even i knew that i wouldnt be going on the blue highways for much of this journey, its not like i was retired and had absolutely nothing going on in my life.

    so then the plan was take route 66 to madpony’s house, then head to minnesota, then down to wrigley then under lake michigan and up through the motor city to see where motown was borned. then party with all the crazy canadians in toronto, then take in a red sox game with karisa’s brothers, then ny, then dc, then whatever until memphis and then eventually vegas and then back home.

    part of the plan was to write the greatest novel ever about traveling around the country at 113 yrs old kissing girls, drinking, hearing tales, telling tales, and not saying no to anyone who asked anything. this is because i had a theory that i was bored of my dumb life because i stayed at home too much, fucked cheerleaders too much, and said no too much to new opportunities.

    so if a peg legged moustachioed 80 yr old woman wanted me to make out with her inbetween diaper changes i was going to say yes if only because it would make good copy. i even warned karisa before i left that she might lose respect for me but she didnt know what i was saying and said i know who you are tony, i will always respect you.

    but as much as this WASNT a spiritual journey to find out who i REALLY am, i had a faint idea that i am not the person who she thinks i am. and hopefully i wouldnt end up as lame as i was ending up.

    so the first yes that i uttered was to the manager of the automotive repair shop in pomona. a man i had never met. i went in for a $15 oil change. he said i needed a transmission flush, some new spark plugs and wires, and an oil head thing – the shiny thing that says Nissan on it in your engine. $240 later i was behind schedule and well off my America on $69 a day budget, but i didnt say no and just like in the video games sometimes its good to use some of your wrenches on something other than Speed and Acceleration. someone somewhere gets that reference and now loves me.

    if you remember, though, the mechanic who performed all those upgrades forgot to either screw the oil filter on tightly or forgot to put the oil pan plug on tightly and 8 hours later my oil light turned on and i found out that i had been driving with only a taste of oil in my shit.

    no worries we thought, just fill that shit up, tighten everything and roll on.

    this morning i checked under my car in phoenix where i had spent the night and there was no leaks. this afternoon outside of a wal*mart i checked under the car again and saw something dripping but alas it was only the A/C’s condensation. whew.

    and six hours later after i had rested at the Burger King here in Flagstaff i checked the oil and wtf there wasnt any in there! so i went to the local Napa Auto Parts store where two women looked at my car and we put oil in there and they checked the oil and they said tony its a good thing that you never changed the name of that blog because this engine has had it – look the new oil that we just put in there has turned black which means the inside of your engine is tore up and the valves are fucked. you will need a new engine.

    i said, but how did i drive it all the way up here? and they said someone loves you and She wanted you to be safe. our advice is to buy a case of oil and head back home and then sue the guy who forgot to tighten the oil stuff. but if the car locks up on the way it wouldnt surprise us. carry a lot of water and make sure your cell phone is charged because you very well might die in the desert like common scum.

    they didnt say that last part but they should have because i was about to cry right there and i never cry. i tried to call the pomona shop but it was 5:50pm and they were closed and had no answering machine. they didnt want to hear about their fuckups.

    so i drove around Flagstaff, a gorgeous town on top of a mountain, with the radio off, and i felt sorry for myself and i wanted to hate someone but i couldnt hate the manager for upselling me because i probably did need all that shit, and i couldnt hate the mechanic because i met him and he was nice and it was the end of the day and he was probably thinking about what he was going to make for dinner or something. he didnt mean to ruin everything in my life, namely my pulizter and nobel prize and rightful ascendency into the hall of fame of sex.

    i looked for the most expensive hotel in town and found it and when they told me how much i looked for the second most expensive hotel in town but it was booked up so i just looked for someplace next to a dairy queen and found like ten. and when i got into the room the beds werent made and there were soda cans everywhere and i said Lord if youre testing me im going to fail. i fail all tests. my gpa was like mel gibson’s blood alcohol level: 1.3, Job is the guy you should test not Tony, tony’s gonna do something very drastic and creative.

    this is the road trip ive always wanted and it was over after one fucking night basically. heads need to roll even if its this bald one.

    so when i told the hot chick at the front desk that id like a room whose beds were actually made she was all oh that will be ten dollars more. and i smiled and said let me take you to the best meal in all of where are we? and she said if i didnt just get engaged id say yes. and i didnt tell her this little tale because its not little i just said thats good i didnt want to eat anything anyways. and she said yeah me neither. and later i was all what the hell did she mean by that.

    and i got my new room and i set up the laptop and i put my head down to cry but my body was all fuck that, negro, and i fell asleep instantly. i woke up twenty minutes later slightly refreshed but still bummed out, now more than ever determined to do something drastic so i went to a local chinese food store and i ordered the appitizer sampler, and five other dishes. to go. and the lady said ten minnie. so i went next door to the gas station and i filled my car up with gas to kill some time. after i paid the lady inside, i returned to my car and this kid in a beatles hat said hey can you get us an 18-pack of bud or coors?

    and i wanted to say your taste in music is almost as bad as your taste in beer but technically i hadnt gone backwards to LA yet so the yes game had to be played. and when i got back to them i totally imagined getting busted by the cops in some fucking sting but i didnt care. everyone famous has a mug shot. and its not like coors has anything but water in it anyways. your honor there was no alcohol in those cans, who are we kidding,

    but i wasnt arrested, infact i was given three dollars for my troubles which would have been fine if the kid didnt say what he said when he gave me the money.

    he said, “thanks, you know it sucks to be twenty.”

    and ive never hit a stranger in the mouth before and then swiped his illgotten beers.

    but it was the right thing to do.