Monday, November 17, 2008

Sons Of Susan Get Lost In Inertia - or - My, What A Nice Van You Have

Today, Chicago got its first snowfall. It didn’t stick around very long, but it never does. It was peaceful and beautiful and quiet and the whole of Chicago seemed to slow down and say, “Hey, I know that the next five months are going to be hell on Earth, but that’s kinda pretty.” It reminded me that I still haven’t written about the wedding that marked the end of the warm weather and the beginning of the cold weather. So without further ado, here is a recap of a part of Ryan and Hadley’s wedding as I remembered it a few days after the fact. Unfortunately for Ryan and Hadley, this part of their wedding has absolutely nothing to do with their wedding, but more to do with how I got there.

October 25th, 2008

Holy crap. Where to begin. I guess I have to make a list because lists are the best way for me to remember what actually happened while also aiding in the construction, demolition, embalment and the eventual resurrection of a time line of events that I don’t exactly remember, but have proof of their happening.

8am – woke up after 4 hours of sleep to meet Caroline for coffee
8:30am – Meet Alan in big white van that smells of beer, butt and Neitchz.
8:31am – Alan, Caroline and I wait for Mike in a parking lot at which point I cue up Surfin’ Bird by the Trashmen on the van stereo.
8:32am – Madness takes over as the volume knob on the borrowed van is cranked up in a way that would make nipples want to fall off and become sustenance farmers.
8:33am – Surfin’ Bird is dubbed the official song of the next 48 hours. Parking lot dance party / conniption fit ensues, onlookers take interest but do not interfere. Overcast skies, slight drizzle, light winds from the west, 85% chance of awesome.

8:34 – Everybody’s heard about the bird.
8:35 – Mike loads gear into van while Surfin’ Bird is declared the best song in the galaxy.
8:38am – Alan, and his new huge orange tinted sunglasses that fit over your normal glasses which have peripheral lenses in the ear pieces so you can see your ear hair growing, and also which come with a convenient clip that attaches to your sun visor so you don’t have to look for where you stashed them on your last road trip or last week’s visit to the old country buffet, gained a new persona. Van Guy VanDriver. When we would pass another van, he would say things like, “Hey, nice van, I have a van, too,” and, “My van has the power window / power locks / powerless passenger upgrade. What do you think about that, other van guy?”
9:30am – Picked up Freddie. Also picked up a rented digital P.A. system that I still haven’t paid for. With the successful assembly of 5 of 6 of the Sons Of Susan in a van, which was packed to the gills with equipment, instruments, and an exorbitant amount of clothing for one overnight trip, we headed to Michigan to play a wedding for our musician / alcoholic friend, Ryan. He was marrying his sweetheart and partner in crime, Hadley. In a world of darkness, sadness, and deadly sin, they are truly made of awesome. They are beacons of love and bacons of hope in a loveless world of single, bass playing people named Obsquatch.
10:00am – Overcast, drizzling, 70% chance of pointless arguments and tasteless humor.
10:01am – Obsquatch notes that, “the world truly needs more truly mad scientists like Nicola Tesla.” Discussion of Tesla’s positive vs. negative effect on the world followed including a discussion on whether or not he was responsible for an explosion that destroyed five hundred thousand square acres of land in Siberia in 1908, or it was aliens. The point was not brought up that Tesla might have been an alien, which would make both Van Guy VanDriver and me right.
10:27am – Freddie’s Jokes Are Horrible. Thus begins the “Every Bit Of Humor That Escapes Freddie’s Mouth Is Hilarious And Terrible” chronicles, or E.B.O.H.T.E.F.M.I.H.A.T.. Part 1 – “Why does Michael Jackson like twenty-eight year olds? Because there are twenty of them.”
10:32am – Groaning continues.
10:43am – The van that Van Guy VanDriver is driving at breakneck speeds, is equipped with XFM which is just like the real radio but a lot more expensive so that you don’t have commercials to cue you when to change the station. We began to play the radio game, where you get one point for being the first person in the Van of Terror to name the tune and one point for naming the band.
10:44am – Got sick of playing the radio game.
11:03am – EBOHTEFMIHAT Part 2 – "Liberace was great on piano but he sucked on organ."
11:15am – Everyone is happily forced to wear Van Guy VanDrivers Sunglasses. A photo was taken but because we were going so fast, time and space bent around us and the image is slightly altered. The sheer levels of awesome that were prevalent in the Cosmic Van of Radness also effected the photo.

11:20am – Van Guy VanDriver mentions, “my phone is so smart, it knows when we cross a time zone and automatically switches back an hour.”
Obsquatch responds, “That may be smart, but in a Terminator way because it just wants you to age faster and die off so that it can spend your hard earned money on internet porn.”
Van Guy – “My phone is so smart that it knows that you don’t ever need to spend a dime to get internet porn.”
Obsquatch – “Every phone knows that, but your phone is such a dork, I saw it playing Magic The Gathering in the high school cafeteria.”
Van Guy – “Nooooooo! Why, smart phone? Don’t you know that’s social suicide?”
12:30pm – Partly cloudy, windy, 90% chance of crappy food and indigestion.
12:31pm – We are burger KINGS!

I had a Burger King Veggie Burger with Chicken Fries, a truly confusing mix of vegetarian and carnivore fair. I also think I went back for a second burger called “Death by Bacon.”
12:35pm – In my mind, I renamed my second burger “Regrets by Bacon,” and relinquished control of my window to Van Guy.
1:07pm – Caroline suddenly shouts out, “I’m getting sick and tired or all these mother fucking snakes in this mother fucking van!”
1:45pm – I invented game I call Existential Rochambeau. Caroline and I got really good at it. It is just like paper-scissors-rock, except you make up what ever you want to use besides paper, or scissors, or rock because those three things always loose. The winner must me unanimously agreed upon which was easy when it was “Mushroom Cloud vs. Carebears” and "Van Guy VanDriver vs. Bad Pirate Impersonation" but got tricky at “Darth Vader vs. T-rex” and “Robot Dancing vs. Origami” and even harder at “Pez vs. Queen.” To clarify, it turned out to be all the Pez and all the Pez dispensers in the world vs. Queen and the legacy they left on Earth. Initially, Queen was declared the winner of this epic battle, but after mulitple appeals and numerous long distance phone calls, Pez eventually won. It was a long and arduous battle involving multiple member of my family and the, up to this point, totally forgotten 6th member of the band.
2:26pm – Van Guy VanDriver goes 87mph in a borrowed van that was given to us under the condition that we keep in around 65. The seat belts in the back do not work and I became a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, and Shaker all at once just to make sure I got one of them right in case the van suddenly transformed into a sub-sonic flaming ball of death.
2:34pm – Van Guy VanDriver pulls into our hotel and we meet up with the 6th Son of Susan, who was dearly missed during this road trip. The wedding is hours away and showers are needed, but before debriefing, this photo is snapped and the madness is frozen in time, forever.


  1. i have faith that i will see you someday soon and there may or may not be a book belonging to me on your person. no sweat.

  2. This is Erin from Montpelier! Had dinner with your parents tonight and they showed me your blog. Sorry about the job-- something better is coming! Find me on Facebook HERE.