Essays · PG

$pring Break 2k16: The Kiddos of Destiny take D.C. Part 1: The Plan

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This story is so appropriate that a Menonite family would find it rather tame. Yes it’s PG, but that’s only due to the borderline nature of my humor. 

3/14/16: a Monday

Written in the present for some strange reason.

Melissa Lieffers, Shea McCollough, Jon Hall, and my wonderful self, Clark Hubbard are all sitting around a lunch table in Cobrewhahaheeheehoho, discussing our plans for Spring Break. It’s Monday, and I have a French project due in forty five minutes, which I have not yet begun.

“My flight was cancelled last night,” says Jon, reading a text from Danielle Lisk, the fifth member of our little group, “so it’s gonna take another 2 flights today to get home.”

“That’s a bummer,” says Shea, undoubtedly picturing Steve Martin and John Candy trapped in the airport in the classic, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

“It’s not, not funny” chuckles Jon, stealing one of my freaking fries. Yes, I did get two baskets of curly fries, but I did not explicitly state that you could have one, and America has not yet achieved Marx’s fifth state of Socialism.

“Poor Danielle,” says Melissa, her face downcast. Melissa is the only one at this table who is not a terrible human being, and has what some refer to as “feelings.”

“Alright,” says Shea, “but we really need to finish planning this trip.”

The five of us began planning $pring Break 2K16 a couple weeks ago, but much like the modern feminist movement, we hadn’t accomplished much. Originally we had planned to leave Thursday night, stop in Franklin (my hometown) for the night, and then continue on to Maryland. From there, we would hit up D.C., New York, and other places. We still aren’t sure what other places, but due to a quiz Danielle has that could “determine her GPA and thus her entire future” or something dumb like that, we have to move our departure to Friday morning, and save Franklin and/or Nashville for the end of the trip.

“So we’re going to drive from Jackson to Maryland from 10 to 1,” says Jon, “and we’ll visit D.C. Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday.”

It should be noted by whatever sad, friendless soul is reading this that I don’t remember this part of the conversation, because I was talking to my hamburger. Jon is normally quite fascinating, but raconteurs don’t come more eloquent than Deluxe cheese burgers from Union’s cafeteria. Luckily, I record all of my life on a video camera, so I was able to look back on lunch and determine what Jon said. Also, regarding the hamburger, it should be noted that “deluxe” is actually dining hall code for “not deluxe at all.” 

“So we’ll go to New York on Monday or Tuesday?” asks Shea, who really wants to go see the railing that Buddy the Elf ate gum off of.

“Supposedly.” says Jon, “We will figure that out.”

I hereby propose that our mantra for $pring Break 2K16 is “We will figure that out,” as it is the one phrase that embodies our ideals and mission. Hearing no objections, the mantra is solidified.

“We also need to figure out what else we’re bringing” says Melissa, being practical for absolutely no reason.

“A speaker” says Jon, “and not the John Piper kind.”

“Yes,” I say, “a speaker is more essential than Shea for this trip.”

Even Shea nods, agreeing with this statement.

“We also need lots of coffee,” says Jon, “and a teapot.”

“A teapot?” I ask. “Don’t forget crumpets and your monocle.”

Shea, who has somehow become the scribe of the trip types “Crumpets, Monocle, and Clark’s sarcasm” to a document entitled “All the necessary [Expletive removed.]”

After a few more heated arguments, we have a very rough list of items we will bring, including: books to read aloud, matching floral shirts, my purple stuffed bear named George Orwell, coffee, and Danielle’s car.

“Oh,” says Jon, “I’ve also talked to my parents, and the guys will be staying in the basement. We’ve got weights down there, so we’ll be buff by the time this trip is over.”

We all laugh more heartily than a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup, and turn to discuss the music for the trip.

“I swear if we listen to more than one Sufjan Stevens album in a row,” I say, “I will grab the steering wheel and end our trip incredibly quickly.”

“We’ll try and split it up evenly” says Shea, “but we will need to get more albums together.”

In constructing the Spotify playlist for the trip, we have established a short list of rules for what music is acceptable. I have pasted the rules below for the curious reader.

Rules for $pring Break 2K16 Spotify Playlist

  1. No songs that Danielle wants.

Yep, that’s pretty much our only rule. It’s really her fault for solely listening to such hedonistic, materialistic songs as “Buy me a boat” and “Capitalism is endorsed by Jesus.”

After a few more minutes of discussion, we disband, and decide to meet tomorrow, and discuss plans to go shopping later. 

3/17/16: A Thursday. Also St. Patrick’s day. 

Written in the past tense. It’s hard to write in the present.

The Scene: Sexy Kroger. Like every other Kroger, but sexy. We were all five shopping for food for the trip, which includes peanut butter, jelly, various meats, breads, chips, salsa, and grapes. We didn’t need to buy any more fruit, because we “borrowed” apples and oranges from Cobrewhahaheeheehoho. 

“A day without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze” said Shea, reading off of a poster next to the cheese section. At this, Jon, Shea and I all hugged each other in the cheese section of sexy Kroger. It was a good time, and we shortly checked out, and headed back out to Danielle’s SUV, Bessie.

It’s proper name is an SUV, but it’d be more appropriate to call it an SUX. This automotive monstrosity is as old as us, and has the turning radius of a cow deprived of the majority of its mental faculties. Bessie is an abomination unto Henry Ford, and doesn’t even have a device capable of playing music, outside of a spotty radio. Danielle told us the car had six seats, but that was a lie. The “sixth seat” is 8 inches wide, and it would take an unhealthily skinny pixie to sit there comfortably for a quick crime spree, much less a 13 hour car trip to Maryland.

After the brief trip to Kroger, I was already having second thoughts about bringing Bessie, but once we checked out, I had a chance to drive the car myself. I slid into the driver’s seat, and looked at the dashboard, trying to find the switch to turn on the lights. This is normally an easy task, but since the car is so old, everything was written in middle english. I suppose I should be grateful that it wasn’t written in Greek, or Atlantean, but I’m a cisgender middle class white male living in America, so I need to exaggerate my problems. Once I managed to solve the enigma machine which was the light switch, we started driving.

I thought my life was taking a while to get going, but that’s only because I wasn’t comparing it to Bessie. If you stomp on the gas pedal, then you can probably get from 0-60 in about fifteen minutes, providing you drive straight off a cliff, and gravity is at double its normal strength.

After driving back to campus, I decided out of the goodness of my own heart to bring my car, Watson, a 10 year old SUV which is better in every way than Bessie, unless you’re judging solely by how much the car’s name sounds like a cow.

“Clark,” says Danielle, “you’re such a babe.”

“A chivalrous knight” says Melissa.

“A blossoming sunset” says Jon.

“A crunchy raspberry” says Shea.

“A shiny rabbit” I say, complimenting myself for the fourth time in as many minutes.

We all parted separate ways, making plans to meet in the morning after Shea and Danielle’s tests. TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE ACTUAL TRIP.

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