Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, May 21, 2006


Meisters, Part I

I went on a Spring Break trip one time in my life. That was enough.

I went to a very, very small high school in rural Ohio. My graduating class was 82 students strong. We weren't really big enough to indulge in cliques. Half of the people who played sports were also the popular people and half of the popular people were also the brains. We didn't have a really huge druggie population, although I suppose anyone you would've labeled druggies probably wound up going to the county vocational school. (Not to say that a number of non-druggies didn't go there also.) Anyway, I say this by way of explaining that my particular group of friends didn't really have a label. I guess you could probably say that we were Nice Guys. That probably comes closest.

Senior year, we got it into our heads that we should put together a Spring Break trip. Since I'd been to Myrtle Beach a couple of times as a kid, I thought that would be a really awesome destination. So we planned. And we planned. And we anticipated. And we used a primitive clip-art program to put together a humorous picture of what we assumed our trip would be like, featuring a guy surfing with a naked cheerleader and a keg on his surfboard. We dubbed ourselves the Kegmeisters. I booked us a hotel on the Northern end of the beach, near the place where I'd stayed with my family as a kid.

We looked into renting a car, as none of us had a vehicle that would, A) hold all five of us or B) get there at all. Unfortunately, renting a car when you're eighteen is not actually possible. Oh, I suppose a Kennedy could do it, or the offspring of someone with diplomatic immunity. But we were a bunch of hicks, so we came up absolutely snake-eyes. Fortunately, my buddy Jason was able to do some work on his rolling whaling ship and he figured that, as long as we packed some extra oil, it would do the trick.

So, after my exchange-student brother Alfredo put in the necessary five hundred pages of paperwork to get permission, and after we'd had the older brother of a friend purchase enough beer and--God help me--wine coolers to halfway fill the enormous trunk, we loaded up and headed south.

The drive down was fairly eventful. Jason's car had a couple of exhaust issues, and we discovered that, if the passenger side window was down, fumes just sort of blew right into the car. We spent a couple of hundred miles learning that lesson. I had a great time playing DJ with my shitty Radio Shack tape recorder and about eight cassette tapes, ranging from Guns and Roses to Motley Crue. When were about eighty miles from our destination, close enough that we were starting to see signs for the many area attractions, we had a bit of an incident.

Most of us were dozing at the time and were awakened by hard "thud", as if someone had thrown an apple at the side of the car. We had about four seconds to sit up and utter variations on "What the fuck was that?" and then the car suddenly tilted dangerously to the left. I looked out the rear window in time to see what looked a lot like our tire bouncing down the road and into a ditch. Jason, who was driving at the time, managed to keep us from crashing and pulled off to the side.

As it turns out, the rear driver's side wheel had had its bolts sheered off and the whole thing had been what I'd seen bouncing down the road. Luckily, we'd come to rest in the front yard of a very friendly teacher, who was nice enough to call us a tow truck and drive us down the road to it, as we couldn't all fit in the truck. Unluckily, the repair took a huge chunk out of our funds, so we returned a whole lot poorer than we'd intended.

But we eventually made it to Myrtle Beach, where we have the sort of Spring Break you'd expect a group of nice guys to have. I'll explain in more detail tomorrow.