Unwholesome weekend.

5 Feb

Last weekend my trip to Kankakee, IL started a lot like this other weekend. My car does not want me to have any fun. It all started when I left the headlights on and sickened its already weak battery. An hour later AAA was on the scene and revived it. (I made the mechanic promise me I would make it to Kankakee. He said something about waiting until morning to pick up a new battery, just to be safe. What?) I let the car idle for a while to strengthen its baby cow legs while I made an incredible cup of coffee for the road. Within ten miles, the low battery light came on. I shook my fist and reluctantly turned off the stereo and the interior lights to conserve power. I listened to my iPod on headphones instead. Is that illegal? I don’t know. I noticed that when I can’t see the speedometer I like to drive 90 mph. That is illegal. The battery light turned on and off for about an hour and then it wouldn’t go away. I left the car idling while I refueled at a rest stop and went to the bathroom. I hope that slightly negates my reputation for being risk-adverse. Or maybe it reinforces it because I didn’t want to risk a dead car. No one stole my stuff and no interlopers in the back seat. I stopped three more times to idle with my headlights off. That seemed to keep the battery light off for an extra twenty minutes to three minutes. During one of these idling breaks, I called my mom to tell her about my awesome cup of coffee and when she found out I was on my way to a weekend with the Wisconsin people she said, “Remember last time when your car crapped out on you? Don’t tell your car who you’re going to see! Ha Ha!” I didn’t mention that I was already in the middle of another unfortunate car event. She worries.

The last thirty miles of the trip were the most eventful. Google Maps said left when they meant right. I got back on track with a few phonecalls. About ten minutes from what I thought would be my final destination, all these crazy warnings lit up. Anti-lock Brakes! Regular Brakes! Check Engine! Something else! Your Battery is Dying You Asshole! I wish I had thought to take a picture. I am convinced these extra warning lights drained the final life from my battery. Why not flash a single, more efficient warning: Your Death Imminent? At half a mile to go my headlights and all the dials on my dashboard died. My car miraculously drove zero miles an hour with zero gas in the dark and coasted to its death in front of what Google Maps assured me was my final destination, The Fairfield Inn. It was not the Fairfield Inn. It was a townhouse on a dead end street. I managed to communicate my location to Lucia and was promptly rescued. We pushed the car into a snowbank and left it cold and alone to ponder its obnoxious penchant for drama.

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Friday night improved considerably upon arriving at the actual Fairfield Inn. The Wisconsin crowd offered me beer and snacks. They are a good-natured people. We headed to the Village Pub. They keep a schedule over the bar there so you can efficiently hit on your favorite bartender.

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A fight broke out! I was jostled and accidentally snapped this fist.

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The naughty crowd was tossed and I believe our group took over their pitchers.

Back at the hotel, Kermit antics happened. I could post more, but that is Whitney’s territory.

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On Saturday, I got a new battery and then a local boy, Todd, volunteered to give us a tour of the Kank. He really outdid himself. The attractions included Lucia’s old apartment, Todd’s old apartment, the world’s oldest Dairy Queen, a gazebo donated by Letterman…

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…anecdotes about prostitutes and meth addicts, a real live car accident, and The Tiny Tap – a pretty small bar but bigger than Todd’s hand gestures implied.

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The next great thing that happened was the party bus. If I ever go out again without a party bus it will be because I’ve let the dream die. Whitney commandeered the stereo.

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(I’m sorry I made impossible song requests. You were more patient about that than you were about Todd’s snoring.) The rest of the evening was a blur of happy times.

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Kermit was a generous drunk.

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And popular with the ladies.

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These two could be none more adorable.

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My favorite spot, other than the magic light of the party bus, was The R Bar. This picture is blurry but Whitney wouldn’t let me retake it because he had already sacrificed his dignity by standing with his hands up like that.

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He does look like a chump.

On Sunday I drove myself home. The familiar low battery light, now powered by a brand new battery, appeared on the dashboard. And then the brake light. What the hell? Oh, and there was a blizzard. At one point I didn’t see another car for about twenty minutes and I thought maybe I had veered off the road into a cornfield. I would like to think driving through a blizzard with a slowly draining battery with my iPod cranked up makes me cavalier, but it probably just makes me stupid. My plan, if my car went dark and dead again, was to run into the woods and hide from the very large truck that was bound to flatten it. But I made it. And I’d say the sweet memories of the Kank were worth even the nasty chills and nausea that hit me today like the truck that didn’t hit me yesterday.

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5 Responses to “Unwholesome weekend.”

  1. Loud 02/5/08 at 10:58 am #

    Excellent recap…makes me miss the party bus again.

  2. Lucia 02/5/08 at 11:59 am #

    I want to do this again!!!!
    except the part about your car. That is super sad.
    Next time in Iowa City so you don’t have to drive.

  3. sister katie 02/5/08 at 9:23 pm #

    so f-ing funny!

  4. Laura 04/10/08 at 12:37 pm #

    Was that a party bus in IOWA CITY? Im looking for one but am having a tough time. IF it was in iowa city what was the name of it? or number?

  5. Laura 04/10/08 at 12:38 pm #

    itsthelaw8622@aol.com is my email

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