Thursday, September 08, 2005

I Am Cannabian (Part I)

DISCLAIMER: “LIES! LIES! They’re all lies. Please take everything you read here with a grain of salt…well, maybe a kilogram of salt. Can you buy a kilogram of salt? Anyways, bear in mind that the author of these lies is a storyteller and a complete dorknik to boot. He has created fictional characters, subversive plotlines, and manipulated data to suit his personal needs. In essence – he’s full of crap. Enjoy.”
~ The Female Companion

It has officially been one week that has passed since I have returned from my vacation to the East Coast, and it’s only now that I’ve had a mind to put pen to paper and assemble together some of the fond memories, realizations, insights, and other assorted brain droppings from this journey that are still rambling around in my short term memory like a marble in a soup can. Mostly, this past week has been about catching up on my missed ZZZ's by napping in front of Judge Judy.

It was another monumental journey of firsts for me. This time, having already successfully completed trips by both plane and train, it seemed only for me natural to therefore make this leg of the journey by automobile. Why not? So far, it hasn’t been as bad as the movie made it out to be, but I haven’t exactly picked up any fat traveling salesmen along the way either. Live and learn, baby. After conquering the Rocky Mountains of Jasper, Alberta, and braving the dangerous Redneck State of Texas, and not to mention the trip to the heart of America's mainland in Spotsylvania, Virginia, I decided to tackle the Canadian Maritimes on this year's particular adventure.

I guess I was just curious to discover the opposite side of this, somewhat mysterious as it is alluring, side of my country. By mysterious, I mean that we already have the Mighty West or the ‘ol West, the Deep South, and the Great White North…so just what the fuck is the East called anyways? The Slow Coast? This I just had to discover for myself.

So with this excited anticipation, the plan was formulated to drive cross-country from St. Catharines, Ontario all the way to Antigonish, Nova Scotia to attend this years Evolve Festival for three days – a total of 4,217 km’s round trip. Only a mere drop in the bucket for most truckee’s, but an eternity behind the wheel for me. But what better way to see the country firsthand. Plus, it will be nice for once to make the whole trip all within my own country’s borders and not have to worry about being held up at the border while Custom’s officials run lab tests on my baloney sandwich.

Also among the firsts in this vacation for me was the opportunity to travel with a female companion for an overly extended period of time. Surely this in itself would prove to be a valuable lesson in life whether it be either positive or negative in result. For a devout single bachelor such as myself, committing oneself to spending large amounts of time in a cramped compartment with a member of the fairer sex while cruising at 120km/hr is quite an experience just in itself. Traveling with another male (as was originally the plan) is no problem at all and would be the much more natural of situations to deal with. We would just burp the alphabet, play “Name that Fart”, and pass the time by scratching our packages and inventing new descriptive adjectives to insult other drivers with – simple. However, in the presence of a female, as cool as she may be, things are bound to be a bit more complex – or so I had thought at the time. To ensure as successful a journey as possible, my “Prime Directive” in essence had become to make my female companion as comfortable as humanly possible. Sure it meant that I had to relinquish certain amounts of my masculinity; but what the hell. Besides the chance that I could be cornered into a lengthy detailed conversation developing ovaries and ultimately careening the vehicle headlong into an oncoming tractor trailer in a sudden pre-menopausal meltdown, or the stopping every 20 minutes or so to drain puny, weak female bladders, what did I have to lose? The deal had been sealed. Albeit, there would have to be some minor alterations* made to the journey’s preparation and planning stages prior to the car trip itself. But I pride myself on being an accommodating and adaptable kind of fella; so I could deal with that.

For example, it wouldn’t be uncommon for two dudes to just throw their shit in the backseat, pin up a road map to the dashboard, and hit the road willy-nilly, and propel ourselves on nothing but greasy roadside burgers and Styrofoam cups of highly-caffeinated coffee. But with a female in the passenger seat, it’s a different ball of wax altogether. Now, instead, you have to spend on entire afternoon organizing the car to comfortably accommodate the bevy of books, guides, cosmetic bags, purses, lotions, balms, napkins, Handy-Wipes, snacks, sweaters, jacket, pillows, box of Power Bars, travel beverage, special clear condensation-free Algina water bottle, etc, necessary for the trip. Heaven’s forbid, vital travel provisions should be out of immediate arms reach. I’m surprised she didn’t go so far as to enlist the television crew from Trading spaces to do a complete auto-makeover on the entire front seats! Also, instead of surviving on those curbside fast food surprises, we now have an assortment of breakfast bars, rice cakes, granola mix, and even fresh fruit for fuck sakes. How unmanly is that? Likewise, since my female companion also happens to be on a diet (God bless her britches), our weekend’s worth of camping supplies were a bit more planned out than I am normally accustomed to. Instead of the usual package of hot dogs and case of cheap-ass canned beer, I have to contend with veggie burgers, bean sprouts, tabouli, carrot sticks, and cubed watermelon. I could survive months on that kind of bounty! My only real fear is that all this healthy eating will be a shock to my rugged, manly, outdoor persona and serve to have my bowels working inconveniently overtime. Nothing says “out the way, it’s a’ coming!” while on a dead sprint across the festival grounds in the direction of the porto-potties like a spicy mango chutney and salsa wrap. With no handy hot dog buns to sop up all the acquired grease and intoxicants in my digestive system, I feel a bit trepidatious about being a possible loaded weapon ready to go off in a heartbeat. But, c’est la vie…who doesn’t mind a little Russian Roulette with their bowels once in a while? It’s a journey of firsts after all.

Since this substitution for a female companion occurred, I also noticed a significant difference in the camping equipment that I was planning on bringing. Since the time I was still expecting to travel with another male friend, and in keeping with the established Prime Directive, the pile of camping supplies and geegaws accumulating in the middle of my living room floor almost quadrupled in size**. We now had two tents, blow-up mattresses, bedding, shower stuff, toiletry items, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, camping grill, propane tanks, cooking equipment, food cooler, beverage cooler, lawn chairs, knapsacks, a complete beading kit; shit, throw in a television set and central air conditioning and I wouldn't even have to leave my apartment in the first place. Red Green would be ashamed of me! Life was so much easier to plan for when I was just expecting to show up bleary-eyed and road-weary, party like a Greek god, and just simply drop in the dust and pass out with my flashlight stuck up my ass. Now, it’s all “UV sunblock-this” and “Cocoa Butter-that”. I even had a shopping bag full of pre-cut garden salad for fuck sakes! Aren’t there enough twigs, roots and berries in nature to provide for salad if truly necessary as it is? My little jaunt up and down the side of a mountain taught me that on another trip.

Doesn’t anyone eat hot dogs anymore? I implore you!

It was all a bit overwhelming to me at first, I admit. I almost lost my cool regarding the spicy cucumber dip, and then again with the matching flannel sheets, but I was able to maintain my excitement and was still anxious to get moving and see the odometer flicking in front of me like Multiplication Table flash cards. So, after fueling up on caffeine at Tim Horton’s and safely securing away my adequate stores of pot within easy grasp, thus began our journey to the promised land of coastal shores, lobster, and people who…talk…really…slow…eh.

And we peeled out onto Hwy 406, Timmy's in hand, with the Beta Band blasting on our rental car stereo. The early morning sunshine that cascaded through the windshield in front of us before breaking into a kaleidoscope of color fractiles on the dashboard promised only adventure.

"If there's something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud it'll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light"

(to be continued...)

* And by “minor adjustments”, I mean minor adjustments on par with attempting to remodel the Sistine Chapel with salmon drapes and a mirror ball.

** Less than two weeks in total.


Blogger K. Restoule said...

A road trip with a female? You poor thing. You realize that females are a totally different species.


11:18 PM  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Sooo...did you have a good time or not?

9:24 AM  
Blogger crazytigerrabbitman said...

>>Sooo...did you have a good time or not?<<

My female companion has advised me to respond, ahem, as quote: "Yes. Absolutely. I had a wonderful time Yes sir, no doubt about it."

The good/fun parts come out more in Part 2;) I did have a great trip and we plan to go back for a longer time next summer. Although, being the unappologetic antagonist I am, I can't help but be gritty in detail.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Well, then; I hope you write part 2 soon.

5:35 PM  

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