Ever since I got my permit I loved driving. It has always been a relaxing activity for me. Originally it was just the ability for me to get away and have freedom from staying put. Now a days I love it for the ultimate escape from work. The car is the one place that I can't be asked to jump onto my computer and send something out. Traveling via airplane isn't safe anymore. Want me to tweak that big presentation? Sorry not now guys. O, I need to be on this call? Sure, I am happy to jump on, but I can't take any notes. Behind the wheel is a place to relax. That is why this week we are sitting down and having a little chat about one of my favorite activities. Road trip!
The road trip is arguably the most manly and American of all vacations. Taking the open road. Seeing the country at the ground level. If you are so fortunate as to have people in the car with you, the conversations tend to be awesome. When driving it makes it a part of the trip in a way that hoping on a plane never can. When on a road trip there are however some rules and roles that that everyone needs to follow. Next time you get ready to gas up your ride, keep the following things in mind:
Pretty self explanatory, but it pretty much the most important role. Driver needs to be someone who is alert at all times. Carries the responsibility of getting everyone there in one piece. Outside of having a license and not driving like an old lady, the only real requirement is stamina. The longer your driver can be behind the wheel the faster you get to your destination. Sometimes you need to be able to swap out the driver and have him take a break. Personally, the only way that this happens when I road trip is if we are trying to drive straight through the night.
Robin to the Driver's Batman. The Co-Pilot basically takes care of all the things that the driver needs but can't do because he/she is driving. Need to have an address punched into a smartphone/GPS for directions? Got it. Hey can you hand me some of the beef jerky? Got it. Change the song. Got it. On top of this your job is to make sure that the driver stays awake. This could be car games, playing music, conversation.....basically anything but falling asleep. As mentioned before the exception to this rule is if there are only 2 people in the car and you plan on driving through the night somewhere. If the Co-Pilot is to drive while the Driver takes a nap, then it is acceptable for them to get a little shut eye themselves.
Your job is to bring anything possible to the table. If you can't bring something positive/interesting don't do anything to ruin things. No complaining, no snoring, no talking on the phone, and worst of all no excessive farting. Backseaters need to be prepared to at any point step up and be ready to fill in at either of the two front seat roles. You can also feel free to nap at any time.
Rule - Don't be a dick about your bodily functions
We are all human, we get it. Sometimes you are just going to have to pass gas. Let everyone know that you are about to do it, apologize, and crack the window. Just don't make a habit out of it.
Rule - Be smart about your bathroom stops
The driver is the person that ultimately controls the stops, but he needs to be respectful. Announce when you are likely going to be stopping for gas so people don't have to ask if you can stop. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way though and if you can give a heads up to the driver that you need to go the problem should be resolved fairly quickly
Rule - Avoid gas station bathrooms
Try to go to a place where food is served. In general I try to go to a McDonalds. While I hate them as a company and will never give them another penny of my money ever again (another story for another post), they do manage to consistently ensure a clean bathroom across all of their franchises. There is one at almost every stop. The prep has always stated that she would keep an eye out for Cracker Barrels. While those giant truck stop/resturant/shopping center bathrooms are typically fine, most gas station bathrooms are horrible horrible places where horrible horrible things are done. Spare yourself the need for a Purell bath and take the extra two seconds to go across the street.
Rule - You are never too old to play games.
Make a sign and try to get a reaction. Get a truck to honk the horn. "Would you rather". All solid options to get a good laugh and make the time go by. Just make sure that the Driver is being safe and you are good to go.
Rule - Listen to as much of the radio as possible
With everyone having a smart phone that is loaded with all of the music your little heart desires, this rule becomes a little less important, but it is still a good idea to turn the playlist off from time to time. First off, no matter how large of a playlist you have, the ability to preserve it never hurts. Once a song gets played on a road trip it has officially be played. Avoid repeats at all costs. By listening to the radio you can extend it a little bit with stuff you might not have thought of throwing on. Plus you get the added bonus of learning what is going on in the local area from the commercials/traffic updates.
Another overlooked radio feature is AM. AM stations can sometimes be reached across a couple of state lines. One of my favorite roadtrip memories happened while listening to Greg Maddux pitch his way to his 500th win on WGN 720 while I was in the middle of Ohio. If you are in the car with sports fans you can find a sports talk station just about anywhere.
Rule - If your drive is over 3 hours, it is acceptable/encouraged to eat food that you would never eat otherwise
Jerky, slim jims, combos. These are all terrible things for your body that will be cemented to your colon for the rest of your life, but dammit it is a road trip and you are given a free pass to go for it. On a road trip to Alabama this past summer I saw my friend consume a pickled sausage. It was glorious/disgusting. I myself am a beef jerky man. It is the only time that I really allow myself to eat it. When selecting my beef jerky I particularly enjoy trying to find the most random gas station brand that I can find.
Rule - Be a seeder
Those those who are not in the know, a seeder is someone that enjoys sunflower seeds. Throw em whole in the left cheek, eat the seed and move the shells to the right one. Spit when appropriate. I tend to keep an empty plastic bottle on hand for these occasions. This is great to pass the time and also works as something to keep the driver awake as well.
Rule - Don't freak out if we hit traffic
It is about as useful as complaining about the weather. Unless you can offer a smart way around it, drop it. We are all in this together.
Rule - Have Fun!
This is a road trip! There is a reason that they say that the journey is more memorable than the destination.
Ok lets start the weekly stuff...
Movie Trailer Time - Breaking Dawn Part 1 (November 18th)
For some reason I have seen all of these movies and have not liked any of them. All these movies are poorly written and filled with a ton of staring. Regardless of my accurate opinion of these movies I have accepted that you like them and will be seeing it. If you force me to watch it I will try to be patient, but understand that the 130 minute torture session called "New Moon" nearly killed me. If you do choose to go and see this with coworkers it probably will be for the best.
PS - If we are not seeing this movie together I am considering eating a ton of White Castle the night before it premieres, getting one lone creepy ticket to a watch party, and openly farting White Castle toxic onion farts the entire time.
What the BF is listening to - Midnight City by M83
This song snuck up on me. I first heard it on spotify, then it was on the ending credits to "How to make it in America" as Ben and Nancy got it on, and now I am seeing it all over the Victoria's Secret commericals. Expect to hear a lot more of it soon because it is good. Gave the rest of the album a listen to on my way down to Purdue this past weekend. First time I saw and just listened to a full album of music in a long time.
GAME OF THE WEEK - Lions at Bears (November 13 - Fox afternoon game)
Yes another Bears game. After this past Monday the Bears are looking good for their post season hopes. Right now they own the last wild card spot and have tie breaks against the Bucs, Falcons, and Eagles. If they can take this one they are back in total control.
Pick - Lions +3 - Bears win this in a close one, but do not cover the 3 points. If you are so inclined to place an "investment" I would consider the Steelers -3 against the Bengals. I just don't believe the hype behind Dalton.