Monday, April 30, 2007

The blog entry to end all blog entries! Part I

It can't really end all blog entries...I mean, it's Part I! What about the other parts? This title is preposterous! It's self-defeating! It's ironic!

When we last left our hero, he had just quit his job and took off for Minneapolis to audition for Last Comic Standing. It was time to get the hell out of Indiana, and there's nothing like a little life upheaval to get you motivated. Additionally, if there is no danger of starving to death, I'm just not happy, so wind meet caution and here we go.

I love road trips. I love driving. I love myself. I love driving on road trips by myself. This particular trip took me north through Chicago, Southern Wisconsin, and into Minneapolis on the eastern edge of Minnesota.

The first stretch of this trip can be summed up in two words: Toll Road. This particular toll road is brutal. And it’s not the total price of the road that’s so wickedly cruel. It’s the amount of stops. You can barely drive 5 miles on this road before having to pull up to a booth and shell out anywhere from 15¢ to $1.50. When I’m on the road, I want to go. Let’s f’ing drive, man. All these stops are momentum killers. Oh, I like to make stops, but my kind of stops involve caffeinated beverage purchases, refueling, bladder relaxers, and deep knee bends; none of which you can do at a toll booth. The Toll Road Barons want you to purchase their speed pass, so they make paying with cash as annoying as possible. They don’t even post how much to pay at each toll booth until you get all the way up to the window! I could have had exact change ready, you assholes! Exact change!

Ah...the open road!

One of Satan's merchants

Wisconsin didn’t have toll roads, fortunately. They did however have cops. A lot of cops. Before I left, my dad continually referenced Wisconsin as one giant speed trap, and I discovered how right he was soon after entering the state as I saw three state troopers on a single off ramp ready to stop any speeders that an additional cop was shooting with a speed gun from the bridge above. I don't have any pictures of the Wisconsin fuzz, because I was too paralyzed with fear to think about photojournalism. However, I'm pretty sure that outside of their cruisers they all look like the guy to the right.

I went through two crazy rainstorms in Wisconsin. They were hard, heavy, lasted five minutes each, and the sun shone the whole time.

It's raining if you can't tell.

Once the rain stopped, I experienced a much more pleasant force of nature.

Nathaniel saw this picture and said something about Jah.

Who's Nathaniel? I hate qualifying everyone I write about as "a friend of mine" or "this guy I know" or "my deformed friend." This is his Myspace. Go make friends.

I arrived in Minneapolis a day early, so I got a hotel room and relaxed. (It's a little embarrassing to reveal how early I arrived considering what was to happen...) The next day I went over to the comedy club and saw that no one was lining up yet. So what does one do when they’re in Minneapolis with time to kill?

One goes shopping.

Here are some of the highlights of my visit to the Mall of America:

I couldn't fit the whole directory in the shot.

I rode the horse bush.

Learn proper grooming at a young age.

I want to be cool!

Well...not that cool

Obligatory weed joke

Now where is that ferris wheel?

Ah, right next to the Starbucks

No, the other Starbucks

This one has better coffee anyway.

For your heavy shopping needs

Who starts in the mailroom these days?

If it weren't for mannequins, I'd have no idea how to dress!

Am I the only one a little turned on right now?

If I had a time machine, I'd go back to the time of prohibition and get hammered.

Now, where is the exit?

Check back for Part II coming very soon (maybe tomorrow) in which I discover hair in an interesting place, wait in line with hundreds of migraine-inducing comics, make a major decision out on the road, and risk my whole roll in Vegas! ...hmm, I may need a Part III.


At Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 9:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dan said...

I think maybe you shoud give part II the shaft, and move right on to part III anyway.

At Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 9:30:00 PM EDT, Anonymous megan said...

joel next time try to pay attention to the signs on the side of the road so you can see the cost of the toll before you pull up. there are usually about 2 of them before each toll that tell you....just incase that whole exact change thing bothered you or incase you took forever and it bugged the shit out of the chicago driver behind you who cant figure out why the hell you dont know how much it costs when there are 2 effing signs before each toll. or better idea, blow them all in the ipass lane and pay online later. legal and fantastic. i hate living in chicago :)

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