Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-twenty-three: Tour Diary volume eight

Posted by ilbebe on June 7, 2012

Thursday, January 11, 2001. I woke up sometime early and tossed and turned- perhaps my body was unsettled by sleeping in a bed for the first time in a week. Official wake-up time for our bunch was 10:30ish. We argue aboot [Ha! I use Canadian vernacular to stunning comic effect.] plans for the day, O/K being in favor of Victoria, R leaning that way, me wanting to explore Vancouver, and G indifferent. We decide to eat and talk it over.

We go to The White Spot, we all get butterscotch martinis. [How Capote of us.] I have a shrimp sandwich, and start making lots of obnoxious comments about Canada as the martini takes effect. We find out that the ferry does not run from Victoria to Port Angeles at this time of year, so Victoria plan is nixed.  [If I recall, the reason we wanted to get to Port Angeles was to visit someone’s Grandparents, off of whom we could mooch for a little while before maybe going back to Seattle and trying to score a show. I guess I don’t remember exactly what our intent was because it doesn’t matter, as you’ll soon find out.] After eating we hit the “Dollar Surprise”, O is entranced by a logbook entitled “My Trip”. R gets shot glasses, Me: a postcard, St. Paddy’s green plastic hat, and a Canada back scratcher w/made in China sticker intact.

The group decides to appease my half-wasted-off-one-martini ass by heading to Gastown, ye olde part of Vancouver. As has been the case, getting there is a bitch, due to bad directions and ill-calculated “I’ll follow you” schemes. I am reminded of how funny the Canuck crosswalk guy is. We park in Gastown, O, R and K go wandering about. [For reasons I don’t recall, G and I stayed with the car. This, as you may have noticed was an ongoing theme of the trip.] I encounter a guy in a Raiders parka who rides up on a bike and talks my ear off about weed and hypercube theory. The rest of the gang returns to find me talking to this maniac and are unimpressed. Having seen nothing in Gastown, we leave, bound for Burnaby and Simon Fraser University. [Simon Fraser U was a school that played HSU in basketball. The standard taunt when they came to play in Arcata was “Cah-na-dah. Caaaaaaah-na-dah.” We were heading there solely to cause some ruckus on the campus of our semi-hated rival.] Loooong drive across town to get to Burnaby. Passing through Chinatown, we see a sign on a building: “Hangovers $9”. ???? Many yellow light fiascoes. [i.e. K blasting through yellow lights, forcing R to blow a red in order to stay together. It may be hard to remember, but in the pre-cell phone era, following someone in traffic when you had no set destination required the lead car to remember to not fucking run yellow lights,  as it was of paramount importance to stay within sight of each other. Sheez.]

We arrive at SFU 45 mins later, decide its an Aryan-producing labratory/factory. [Everyone we saw was blonde.] 3-way stop sign tickles G’s fancy. [Further evidence that road mania/sexual frustration was beginning to really skewer our thought processes. Also, G was still hitting the Nyquil pretty hard.] Throw the hazards on at an exceedingly bad place to take pictures in front of the SFU sign. We’re politely admonished by campus security. We then attempt to leave the country.

Canada has grown fond of us and does not wish to let go. We drive endlessly in the wrong direction, stop at Mohawk gas station, keep blundering along. R”s car dies again, is resurrected. I suggest group suicide as tension rises. Rush hour envelopes us along CA-1. After regrouping and getting a map, O and the Ks ditch us in a very pro move. I call “Let’s head west” and all of a sudden they’re gone. R is pissed. I devise a route and we start to traverse it, ever so slowly. [This is really the apex of everything that could go wrong going wrong: losing half of crew while in Canada, and having no way to contact them. Basically we’d been lost in rush-hour traffic for more than an hour and, perhaps subconsciously, I forced Ryan to look at the map with me while we were stopped, and when we looked up, the other car was gone. I was greatly relieved for the newfound autonomy this schism granted us, while R was pissed and worried and G was just exasperated and wanted more Nyquil.]

G screams to be released from this lame-ass, hockey-obsessed land while R stews and I pepper the air with asinine comments. Canadian pedestrians are consistently reminded they’re Canadian by me yelling, and I start counting cripples. “Where’s John Candy when you need him?” We finally pick up CA-99 south, head outta Vancouver, stop for duty-free beer, denied, try to change our currency, denied, I punch a machine. G admonishes me. [There was no discrimination at play here, it was just past closing time for the duty-free and casa de Canuck cambiar.]

“Let’s get the hell back to the US.”

US Customs lady is mean, but brief. Any idiot can get into our country, we had more problems entering Canada. Stop in Bellingham for victory cigarettes and phone calls. Thoren’s new place is too small, but Nathan’s well of generosity is seemingly never-ending. Destination: Olympia. We listen to TASOH and, inexplicably, spirits rise. Hit a tire, take a wrong turn in the middle of Seattle, nothing can faze us. [The wrong turn in the middle of Seattle was actually a pretty dramatic, multi-tiered detour which found us practically fucking crossing Lake Washington before we got righted.] We’re still carrying a buttload [now there’s a word I don’t use any more] of Canadian currency. Maybe we can make it to Portland…

Hit Oly at 9:45, less than 3 hours from Bellingham. [It just occurred to me that one of the strangest things about this day was being that far north shortly after New Year’s and having the sun set at like four o’clock. By the time we got to Oly it felt like waaaay past midnight because the sun had been down for so long, but apparently it wasn’t.] Nathan sez hello, we head into town for $ and phone calls. Chuck’s not home, we’ll stay in Oly. Back to Nathan’s, R buys his tamboura and receives a lesson. [Yes, our fearless and ostensibly broke leader overdrew his bank account so he could buy a fucking tamboura, which is a droning, stringed, gourd-based Indian instrument that’s about four feet tall. How we were going to fit this fucking thing into the Maxima was not of R’s delusional concern.] We cook pasta, I talk w/roommate Justin about the art of songwriting and Japanese folk music. Many intelligent questions and pretentious statements are spoken. Mmm Mmm pasta. [Yes, this was the pasta that R grabbed from his parents on our way out of Arcata. I guess I have to admit, I was gald to have on this strange, strange day eight.] Nathan returns from his homework cave to share pot and hilarious pot stories. That guy is great. Plus, his floor is carpeted! And he keeps the heat on at night! USA! USA! USA! [Keep in mind that this all happened a few months after the 2000 election, which is to say my patriotic sentiment here miiiiiight have been a little sarcastic.]

Notes from bottom of page:

-“That guy’s fat and Canadian, but he’s no John Candy.”

-New name for the tour: “Bad directions and stifled erections”

-G: “Are you sure this is the road to America?”

Me: “If it’s not, you can jack me off.”

-“California” pick-up line did not work at all. Punch Casey in face at next contact.

-This tour has also been one of weird bathrooms

-Coldplay/gestalt (word)/Kraftwerk/Cat Power

[Apparently these are notes on things to check out. holy shit, I had never heard of Coldplay when I left on this tour. Ah, innocence…]

-As of yet, none of us has gone to Beaverton to make dream catchers

-More “sidewheelers”: double teamer, anal reamer, orgasm screamer, unemployed beaner, parking meter, rodeo arena, window cleaner, Jewish Christina, fold-away sleeper, rave scener, overweight teamster, math teacher, puke heaver, basket weaver, horse stealer, girlfriend’s beaver, drunk preacher, Wally Cleaver, jungle fever, carabiner, tarot reader, amp’s reverb, Quimby seeker, cock teaser, clit pleaser

[Note the ever-increasing percentage of these that are crude and sexual, and draw yr own conclusions.]

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