Spring Break: Part 1

Posted By on April 2, 2006

“Nobody Ever Reads The First Title Up There, Do They?”

.: I planned to update this site several weeks ago, but various obstacles arose that prevented me from doing exactly that. Plus, it certainly doesn’t help that I take about five hours to write one post. Nevertheless, I will try to cover most of what I was going to post then and now. Why don’t we start with my spring break shenanigans, shall we?

Spring Break

.: Two weeks ago my brother and I were about to drive to Austin to pick up my dear friend Geoff and his cousin Mat. Before we could leave my apartment complex, however, my sister demanded she ride along with us. Her reason for tagging along? Our mother was going to treat us to dinner in Austin and my sister wanted the free meal. Had she read the fine works of Robert Heinlein, she would have been familiar with TANSTAAFL, or the idea that the existence of a scheduled and unrecompensed form of eating is a logical impossibility.

Fig. 1. Enjoyment levels for Dallas & Cody and Celia.

.: Her misadventure began at the start: she actually brought her textbooks so she could study for the three or so hours we’d be in the car. Presumably she thought my brother and I weren’t going to do anything that might be considered distracting like, say, talking to each other or listening to music at a reasonable volume. Her next problem surfaced right as we picked up Geoff and Mat, but I had pointed it out to her well in advance of this mini-road trip: there are only four seats in the car. Also, my sister can be a trifle bit annoying in close proximity, and while this may seem more of a problem for those around her, that is not always the case. For every annoying thing she said or did, my brother and I simply did whatever we could to make the trip less enjoyable for her, which had the inverse effect of making the trip more enjoyable for us (see Fig. 1).

.: However, once Mat and Geoff were in our company, we were all able to pretty much ignore Celia for the rest of the trip back to Waco, with the notable exception of the seat number problem, as mentioned earlier. I forgot what we did for the rest of Saturday night, but I’m pretty sure if it were at all interesting I would remember it, so it’s probably best for this blog entry that I don’t.

.: The next day, Mat, Geoff, Dallas, and I learned what was worse than being in Waco during spring break: being in Waco on a Sunday. Sunday, you see, is the day when all of Waco’s denizens stop being interesting and instead go to their churches. This means every conceivably interesting place is closed, except for Hastings, wherein we bought the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

.: For those of you who grew up without Nick at Nite, Alfred Hitchcock Presents is one of the greatest shows to ever grace television. Each episode was a mystery with a plot along the lines of Man fired from job, man kills boss, man shows up for work next Monday, boss is alive. Only, unlike the Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits, each episode had a realistic explanation or conclusion that didn’t invoke any supernatural hooey. Even the crappy episodes were graced by Hitchcock’s droll introductions and epilogues. Also, some of them are ripe for a MST3K treatment:

Setting: old western kitchen. Two feuding cowboys have been threatening to draw their guns on each other for nearly the entire episode. At this point in the show, they’ve sat down and are eating breakfast — guns still ready to draw.

Cowboy One: I won’t draw until you draw.

Cowboy Two: My hands won’t move until yours do.

Cowboy One: I already told you mine won’t move first.

Me: I hope whoever wrote this piece of shit episode was blacklisted.

Dallas: It was his critique of the Cold War.

.: In the end, the cowboys agree not to shoot each other until the clock strikes twelve. An old lady in the same room seeks protection by removing a heavy cross from the shelf upon which the clock sits. The clock doesn’t chime and the lady convinces the cowboys it’s a sign from God — she did remove a cross, afer all. Later, we learn that the clock won’t work properly unless it’s on a perfectly level surface, and removing the heavy cross caused the necessary shift in weight for the clock to cease functioning. “Boo!” we yelled at the screen. Then Alfred appeared:

“That was disappointing, wasn’t it?”

.: At least he admits it.

Fig. 2. Back row left to right: Ian, Cody, Geoff. Front row: Galago senegalensis.

Dallas and Dallas

.: Since Dallas had work on Monday, he had to leave Sunday night. So on Monday morning, Geoff and I left for Dallas — the city, that is. There we met my old friend from high school, Ian. Mat didn’t want to come with us, because he had a paper to write or some bullshit like that. I understand why he’d want to make up an excuse: Dallas is just such a cool city, and someone as uncool as Mat would be uncomfortable in such hip surroundings.

.: While in Dallas, Ian, Geoff, and I (Fig. 2) struggled to choose among the many avenues of excitement and adventures that laid before us. Should we get a slurpee from 7-11, or should we go to the Half-Price Books and look at old cassette tapes? Both? Okay, now what?

.: Now, Ian goes to some stupid college in Iowa — the name escapes me, but what matters is that he lives in Iowa. As a treat for returning home for spring break, his parents cooked for him nothing but spicy meals, since the spiciest condiment one can legally buy in Iowa is ketchup. Normally I’m a fan of flavor. I don’t necessarily like eating whole jalapenos, but I do like the flavors and juices they add to a dish. Sure enough, when we all sat down to eat some sloppy joes, Ian’s dad procured a tiny bottle of habanero sauce and offered it to all who dared. I dared.

Fig. 3. Artist’s representation of log entries.

.: There is a scientific scale one can use to evaluate hotness; it’s called the Scoville Scale. Although these numbers are somewhat meaningless to you without their proper context, I’ll simply say that on the Scoville Scale, jalapenos rate around 2,500 to 8,000, while chipotle is slightly higher at 5,000 to 10,000. Habanero rates 350,000 — and that’s just the lower boundary.

.: From there, the story took the predictable turn towards a half-eaten sloppy joe, humiliation, and a blistered tongue. I tell this story not to entertain, but to educate and warn: if someone hands you some habanero sauce to put on your sloppy joe, politely decline the offer; then, when they’re not looking, grab the bottle from them and squirt its contents into their eyes, ’cause they were most likely only offering the stuff to see you suffer.

.: One last thing about the trip to Dallas: Ian can be a pretty funny guy. His sister, Kayla, was grounded while we were there, and she had to keep a mileage log in her car detailing everywhere she went. Since Ian left his car in Iowa, he borrowed hers a few times but decided to write down a few log entries of his own, lest he break continuity (see Fig. 3).

Back in Waco

.: When Geoff and I returned, we quickly discovered that we had done everything in Waco we could do, meaning we stayed indoors for the rest of the night. I thought of something we could do that wasn’t necessarily Waco-specific: record our conversation. That’s right, reader, if you ever wondered what I sound like, your musings will be answered definitively right here, right now. All you have to do is click the following link.

Cody Cobb, Celia Cobb, Geoff Smith, Mat Woodyard:
A Coversation
Recorded on March 14, 2006.
10.3 megabytes | 26:47
radio edit short.mp3

.: Among the facts you will learn after listening to this short program:

~You can get carded for purchasing Root Beer.

~Christina is a dirty slut.

~You can get away with anything on radio, but it never amounts to much.

~The rules of The Game (if you already know about The Game, you should be cringing right now).

~Celia has no understanding of humor or irony.

Next Time

.: Since this is a good break in my spring break happenings, and since this post is already far too long, I’ll continue my shenanigans in the next post. Until then, you better listen to all 26 minutes of that mp3 up there. I spent quite a bit of work editing out all the crappy bits, so you should at least be thankful that I spared you from 20 minutes of extraneous crap.

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6 Responses to “Spring Break: Part 1”

  1. Aimz says:

    The greatest 26 minutes of my life! Ok, thats not true, but eh, you can think it is.

  2. surrealMom says:

    I am your greatest fan.

  3. Mat says:

    Lesson learned, Celia ruins everything.

  4. Julia says:

    Your writings never cease to entertain.

  5. susan says:

    still waiting for part 2, eh?

  6. Celia says:

    Mat only made up an excuse because he didn’t want to scar you for life. I, however, have no such qualms, and as you can observe from the chart, actually derive much pleasure from making you shudder. The truth is that Mat really wanted to stay in Waco so that he could sleep with your sister…. multiple times and in multiple places. The couch and chair you are sitting on in the header picture especially brings back fond memories. :-)

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