(Cross-posted from Scooter Quest)
Currently the US Olympic Scooter Quest Team is parked at a Sleep Inn in Brunswick, Ohio.
Day Five will present many challenges, namely: Pennsylvania. Have you ever looked at the map? It’s a big state!
Day Four presented a challenge I hadn’t considered: Dustin’s scooter, Stella, seized. I’m reminded of a phrase from the Agatha Christie murder mystery Ten Little Indians, “…and then there was one.” I continue to have a sinking feeling being the only scooter left. It’s like I’m in a horror movie and all my friends are dead. I know the murderers are still on the loose and they’re coming for me… It won’t be long now!
Of course, this fear is rather pathetic as I’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure a safe journey. Shirley was properly broken in, she was thoroughly combed over last week by the experts at Scooterville (on short notice no less, so special thanks for making Shirley a number one on your to-do-list), and I take care of her… Although, I recently added too much oil, and that may be why my fuel economy has been so low as of late…
Speaking of fuel economy — wow! Getting from Minnesota to Ohio has cost me roughly $65. That’s great!
What else… Hmm…
While I’m driving Shirley, the only real way to pass time is to think about stuff. I now present to you, Thoughts from the Road with Mike…
–I figured out what I want in a woman.
–Instead of displaying advertisements, all billboards should be painted a single solid color. Occasionally, in the middle of the billboard, a word of inspiration could appear.
–While driving through the suburbs of Chicago, I thought I saw Amy Poehler. Then I imagined that her and I had a love affair that involved kissing. And only kissing.
–The first ride of the day always sets the tone for the rest of the day.
I’ve decided, much to my chagrin, that driving through Wisconsin has been the best the Midwest has had to offer. Madison, Wisconsin, was great and seemed like a place I could “settedown.” Of course, Grace, the beautiful server from Hawk’s Bar, helps that thought process. Although, not all of Wisconsin was great. Racine was a piece of shit. I hated that coastal village of low-income housing.
Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio have all been bad.
Just over the border in Illinois, Shirley was parked at a gas pump. Everyone had just fueled and we were determining our next route. I turn around and see a 50+ year-old woman in an SUV parked behind Shirley. She wanted my spot. So I looked around and saw the five other pumps she could fuel at and walked over to her SUV, this is what happened:
ME: I just want to let you know, we’ll be a while yet.
SUV: What are you doing?
ME: We’re figuring something out on the map. If you need gas, those pumps over there are open.
SUV: (curses at me under-breath)
ME: Sorry to ruin your day, lady…
That really pissed me off. Further, it set the tone for the rest of Illinois. And Indiana. And Ohio.
Despite the fact that Scooter Quest has been greeted by many wonderful people (Derek, Grace, Jeanne, Siegel, Ron) throughout the Midwest, it’s the fuckheads that make the state look bad…
What was yesterday’s humiliating moment?
Why, let me share…
In the middle of Indiana, we stopped to get lunch at a Dairy Queen. We walk in and instantly I realize three things: 1) the place is packed, 2) everyone is looking at us, and 3) everyone is Amish. The horse and buggy in the parking lot (no joke) should have given me some clue what we were about to encounter, but I was too focused on ice cream… At any rate, I realized then and there, that I have a fear, yes — you read that correctly — a fear of the Amish. I can’t put it into words, but I’m scared of them.
So we get our food and sit down to eat. Feel the Amish staring at my scooter and staring back at me and judging me. I feel like a black person at a Klan meeting. Uncomfortable. I tell Dustin and Sean that “we gotta get outta here,” naturally they ask why. “Because I’m uncomfortable. Let’s go. Come on.” Sean doesn’t get it.
“Why, what’s the matter? Will someone people fill me in?”
Dustin tells him that the Amish are making me squeamish. Then he says loudly, “Don’t be uncomfortable just because you’re gay! There’s nothing wrong with being gay!”
Sean added, “Yeah, and who cares that you’re boyfriend’s black and you’re both gay. No one cares. Relax.”
Assholes. But I digress…
I’ve gotta get outta here. Seriously.
New York is only a day and a half away. We’re coming. We’re coming.