Sunday, August 10, 2008

tour entry 2: lost at sea


So we went down to Bentley's, but the coffee shop had already shut down. Undeterred, played an impromptu show in the parking lot of this bar called "Dirtbag's." The bouncer stepped outside, wearing very baggy shorts and two large diamond stud earrings. He listened to us for awhile and asked us to come inside and play a show... we of course agreed. This would be the best show ever, of all time, anywhere.

But then word came down from up on high... the manager said not only could we not play a show at "Dirtbag's," but we weren't even allowed on the property. Which included the parking lot. "We can't have guys like you associating with Dirtbags." I'm not sure the bouncer knew how that came out. He didn't seem too incredibly self-aware or to have much sense of humor.

Oh well. We videotaped our performance and it will be a youtube sensation, I can just feel it.

We drove to a hostel nearby that was kind enough to let us sleep on their back porch for ten dollars a head... we drank beers and sang songs and saw the whole west coast spread out before us... our minds spread to the pacific and then northward. Perhaps the world would be our oyster.

But perhaps this oyster would be from Long John Silver's. In other words, a rancid oyster, a smelly stale, over-fried clump of batter, with maybe a few curly hairs from the "chef" thrown in for good measure. In other words, maybe the world would be our oyster, but our oyster's expiration date had long since passed. Maybe the world would be a pretzel shaped oyster.

None of us could sleep too well that night. Seems flies had overtaken the back porch of the Roadrunner hostel, and had taken a liking to our faces. We all woke with the sun and limped our vehicle (now nicknamed "Uncle Buck," in reference to the fine John Candy film and the slumping station wagon featured in the film) to Pep Boys. For four hours, we writhed in the waiting room. Willis played a great Blind Willie McTell song surrounded by shiny hub cups (are they called rims?).

The mechanic replaced the hoses that had sprayed like madness the previous evening. Our rear axle had lost its protective rubber "boot," and could no longer remain lubricated or protected from the elements. In his broken English, our mechanic Saul told us to fix it very soon. He then squirted the thick thick oily goop all over it and wished us well.

On our way out of Tucson, we stopped at a donut shop. God, I hate donuts. Took one bite and off into the trash. They had these things called "photo cakes" wherein they took some pre-selected photo and somehow engraved into a cake's icing, to make for some extra special birthday treat. Some of the cakes were just strange to me, though... like the screaming shirtless pro wrestler, veins popping from his neck and popping off his biceps. He was either trying to be intimidating or maybe he was just screaming in agony. He was wearing these very very small shiny red shorts that were in no way intimidating. And I just sat and marveled at these cakes and wondered what child would want an aggro-steroidy-glistening wrestler screaming back at them from their birthday cake.

We took to the highway and things seemed fine, for a bit. Willis bought a translucent plastic hat with retractable sunglasses built-in.

But a horrifying noise came crackling from beneath our rear axle... we had run out of luck, if we ever had any to begin with. I called AAA and we were picked up from Quartzsite, Arizona, an hour or so later... our driver Stan told us all about his tours of Iraq and killing people and war in general, his wife who divorced him and screwed him out of all his funds while he was away fighting the war. We kind of bonded with the guy. Will called him "the biggest hard-ass I ever met."

He dropped us in California, our vehicle still not working but we could only get towed 100 miles as per my AAA account, so we called Maverick and he saved our asses, as usual. He let us piggy-back on his roadside assistance account and that got us all the way to L.A. That was the bumpiest ride I have ever taken. Ever. It was like those exercise belt machines you find in gyms that you kind of strap yourself into and then the thing shakes violently. I was never quite sure about those things... were they supposed to shake the fat off your body? Is it possibly to exercise without actually using any muscles? Well, this teeth-chattering tow truck ride didn't much feel like exercise either, maybe just an exercise in withholding screams of terror. The driver played screeching glam metal the whole way, through a crackling speaker right behind our heads. Still, we all three managed to pass out on the drive. I awoke and felt the tremble of our tow truck descending into L.A.'s glowing valley. Willis and Will remained asleep; their heads shook violently back and forth, sometimes bumping into one another.

Pulled into town and headed straight to Echo Park... missed our pool party, but arrived in time for some killer karaoke by the pool... Willis sang some steely dan and I sang a song by Travis Tritt. Will watched and laughed.


here are some thoughts by Will Patterson:
The idea of powering a tour on vegetable oil seemed to me to be very funny. Although we have not broken into grease traps (yet), we have still managed to run in to some extremely strange and funny situations. In New Mexican city Truth or Consequences, aka "T or C" on highway signs, we hooked up with a dude who truly blew my mind. I have seen many of his type before: dressed in Camo shorts, a large brimmed hat, sunglasses, and impressive dreads, but he was much different and productive than any other new-age hippie I have ever met. In a renovated RV lot, he and his wife had a plethora of wondrous inventions and projects, all which sustained his life's needs. He showed us this crazy LED plant growing system which emitted red and blue light but only used a fraction of the power of normal grow systems. It seemed very simple to me yet, I would never be able to invent such a thing. In addition, he showcased all of his gardens, solar power systems, and innovative housing technique which used recycled trash. He actually had a 30 foot tall volcano he made using the same material. It required twenty gallons of vinegar, ten pounds of baking soda, and one gallon of red ink # 5.

When we left T or C, me and Willis embarked on a new series of exquisite corpse drawings. We drew imaginary turned out quite nice. By the way Willis really sucks.

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