It started in Las Vegas. City of drugs, hookers, loners, losers, gamblers, RV owners, users, doers, shakers and boozers. The drive took about 3 hours where I was dropped off at the bus station.
Customer service was superb if you love waiting 48 minutes behind a woman with an ungodly amount of children trying to convince the clerk that sending 4 kids under the age of 14 in the dead of night to California is good idea.
Stained T-shirt, overweight, buck tooth, sloping brow and complete loss of the ability to reason from years of alcohol abuse. I stood there enjoying the pleasant fragrance of 2 years of complete hygienic depravity. This man would speak to me in English as if it where read upside down. It really wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that I was told that I didn't need to print out a laser printed version of my bus ticket.
Back to my duffel bag, a massive thing it was. I decided to pack light so 50 lbs. seemed okay. That is compared to the original 40lbs duffel bag coupled with the 90 lbs. crate I decided to bring to the states earlier that year. If I could give advice right about now, it would be to pack as light as you can. I'm talking lunch bag sized quantities here. For every pound of useless shit you kid yourself you need, you add ten pounds of stress. That is, if stress where a measurable unit, which frankly, I think it should be.
The bus arrives, hustle and bustle. On the bus, find a place sit down and relax. Take a look outside, enjoy the site of leaving Las Vegas. Think about the song that has that exact phrase in it, try to remember who sang it. Then out of boredom, talk to the guy beside you.
Now Denis is a very nice guy, I enjoyed talking to him for extended periods of time. He made the trip that much more tolerable. He was a hick, lived out of a RV. Had a stripper for a girlfriend and had some rather twisted theories, but then again we all do. We talked a bit, as strangers do, asking very vague and unimportant questions. Where are you coming from, where are you going, why are you going there, stop touching me. Its kinda like the "how's the weather" small talk tailored for Greyhound voyaging.
So we talk about gun control, being the redneck that he is, was very angry about legislation and truly enjoyed his firearms. The conversation got rather interesting when we got into the area of parenting and then communism.
Denis had a little one-year old girl put into his care for about 3 years for reasons beyond my recollection. Now I do agree that the spanking of children is a useful way to make a child understand that being bad results in pain. Because a child learns so many other useful lessons the same way (like doing it anyway, and not getting caught).
What I wasn't too crazy about was when he said:"I tough Melissa (the child) to shoot a gun at the age of 3. I tough her gun safety and I think she really understands the dangers of a gun and has greatly matured because of it."
Yes that may be true, but there's a certain degree of complete utter fucked updness in teaching a 3 year old too shoot a fucken' gun. No matter how good the outcome is.
I agree that education is a key part of gun safety, but for fuck's sake, there IS a time and place for everything. You couldn't make a bigger redneck stereotype out of yourself then teaching a 3-year-old to shoot a gun.
Now as we all know, communists eat babies and bath in the blood of the innocent. They live without electricity or running water and have no governmental structure what so ever. Or so thinks the average American. I probably heard crazier theories from this guy then from an X-Files show, starring a drunken David Duchovny.
Communist Theory: The Russians and Chinese send over young men to infiltrate high-schools and Colleges to coherce them into drinking and drugs, allowing the creation of a stupider and easier to manipulate society, so that introducing and establishing communism in America would be easy as gespatcho.
He then followed with an example of a college party he went too where a bunch of girls where drinking and this Chinese guy was there urging them to drink and smoke pot, supplying both at a steady rate. The average schmoe would of course think "Hey, that fat Chinese guy is getting those woman high and drunk in hopes of getting laid tonight since he's so fucken' lame ".
But of course the smart American redneck sees right past that initial impressions and digs deeper into the situation and unveils its communist undertones. Of course he also accused Clinton of being a communist... but then everyone knows that.
Now don't get me wrong, Denis is a smart guy. He really is. He is very loyal to his country, a great person to talk too and could most likely be a very good friend. He always had something to say, ever ready to elaborate on any topic. Which brings me to a very interesting story he told me about his father.
It seems that his father was a businessman of sorts who spends a large amount of time travelling across the united states. On one occasion a very sad event happened, which, of course, are always the very best kinds.
It seems his father, for some reasons beyond comprehension at the time, made little dots on a map he used. Sometimes the dots where in on the interstate, far away from any noticeable landmark. Sometimes the dots where placed all around a city. Very peculiar indeed.
The wife found this map one day and she asked Denis` father about them. He invented some cock-eyed story about things he saw of interest that he wanted to make sure to note if he where ever to return on that same route.
His wife wasn't a complete and total moron, and immediately realised that every dot represented a conquest. The wife did not appreciate this personalised map one bit. But, she still tolerated it and gave him one last shot with married life. And its not to say that this isn't very nice of her, no, if it weren't for the fact that there were over one hundred dots on this map... And so the story ends there.
Actually, not quite. For it seems the husband didn't learn his lesson and would incriminate himself to the point of stupidity. About 6 months later he went on another business trip to Hawaii. He came back a few weeks later and the family decided to go on vacation in their RV. At some point during the trip the wife decided to video tape the vacation for keepsake.
She found the camera and pulled out the tape that was in it, popped it in the VCR to make sure that it wasn't anything important. To her suprise and to everyone else's in that RV, upon the screen, came the vision of Denis` father nailing some Hawaiian booty. Awkward moments are hard to create, but you just can't make this stuff up. Of course, after seeing this incriminating evidence, she finally asked for divorce.
Denis elaborated on the conversation he and his dad had about his worldwide sex tromp. I think that the father couldn't resist and showed his own son a briefcase full of photos of his past accomplishments. It was his treasure trove of interstate sexcapades. Hundreds upon hundreds of photos ranging from nude to hardcore. Of course owning a penis, he was obligated to browse through them. Not too long though, just enough to find 3 photos of his mom giving head to what most likely was his dads cock.
I do hope Denis is doing fine in life, living in his RV in the middle of the desert, having wild nights drinking with his stripper girlfriend and avidly spreading his core American beliefs. Here's to you Denis.
Post Denis events:The obese man siting right across the aisle from me
The obese man was wearing what seemed to be a train conductor uniform. He fit the description of a jolly fat man. But he was far from jolly.
He snored and had terribly foul odours seeping out of every single one of his orifices. From snippets of conversations I listened too, it seems this man would spend 6 months out of the year riding Greyhound busses to several American destinations to eventually pick up a RV and drive them to the dealership that ordered it.
He could be the most brilliant homeless man I have ever met. He did fit every other characteristic of being homeless.... So anyway, between driving other peoples future homes on wheels from one place to another, and most likely watching porno on someone else entertainment system, he occupied his time with truffle hunting. That's right, truffle hunting.
He would spend hours just looking at topographical maps, nodding and wincing at them. He spent a great deal of time doing this, even though he wrote nothing down... I think he did this in hopes that someone would be intrigued by his Indiana Jonesesque prowess and would eventually ask him just what the hell he was doing. And of course, someone did...
He went into great detail on this subject as if he knew what the fuck he was talking about. Which I really don't think he did. I truly believe this was a ruse. Why do I say that? Because after it was general knowledge to most passengers that he hunted truffles, he made several offers to mothers asking if their children would be interested in truffle hunting as well. He offered very good pay, and I'm sure the mother was very impressed by this "entrepreneur".
To me, it seemed like nothing more than a simple tactic to get a bunch of children in his secluded cabin in the woods under parental consent.
Constantly late and snortin' coke
On every single one of our stops, we had one girl who was always tardy. ALWAYS. She would hold up the bus for 3-6 minutes every single time. And she was always, it seemed, tied up in the bathroom.
Well I don't have to say that it was pretty obvious that she had some sort of drug addiction. While everyone would get off and smoke a cigarette near the bus or restaurant, she would stroll off from everyone's view and come back twice as happy. I don't think I'm being petty. I honestly don't care what you inject into your brain. But damn... how impudent do you have to be to make 46 passengers wait 6 minutes while you feed an addiction that is owned entirely by you.
Two fat lesbians
Yes, two fat lesbians. For about one day, I sat four seats away from two very enormous women who would kiss each others double chins and hug as much as they could of each other.
Which isn't a bad thing if you happen to be blind.
It seemed like the point of their voyage together was to get into a fight at every single break-station. Most of the time the fights where food related. Sometimes it had to do with other important things, like food, as well as the often-neglected topic of food.
For example, on of the incredibly obese lesbians bought a doughnut, it wasn't very good, she told her very significant other about it and she insisted she bring it back for a refund... lots of yelling and crying then groping ensued. After one of these often-entertaining squabbles you could watch in horror as they splurged on food, while groping and sucking crumbs out of each other's neck folds.
Baseball stats in only 12 hours
We stooped in Denver and three 20 year olds got on the bus. One of them had a glove and a baseball, and it seemed that he had to throw the baseball into his glove every 10 seconds or some terrible consequence would result (such as an unfortunate accident involving me cramming it up his ass).
Not much to say about these three except that they talked very loudly about baseball for 12 hours. Naming and reciting every single useless piece of garbage baseball factoid in existence. They played many quiz games involving baseball and also played with a deck of cards with baseball players on the back. Of course they talked about other things as well. No one could talk non-stop about something as trivial as baseball without changing topics at least once. One guy asked who was the greatest NHL player. The answer of course was Wayne Gretsky.
Elvis has osteoporosis
On thing I did forget to mention was Daren. Daren is a 43-year-old man who looks exactly like Elvis Presley who lives in Vegas. Make due note that looking like Elvis is Vegas is like wearing nothing but overalls in Missouri. No one really notices until you leave your city or state.
Daren had a crippling back disease that made him slouch over quite a bit, which was actually quite flattering to his initial appearance. He had that slouch slash one foot stomp that only cowboys and drunks possess. He was going to Denver to have his back worked on because he was in so much pain. Which was virtually unnoticeable if it wasn't for the fact that he was taking the strongest available painkillers crooked-back doctors could prescribe.
Daren smoked with one arm resting on any object he could find and the other hand glued to his lips while puffing furiously on his cig. He would smoke it to the filter and then some. He was a very pleasant person, if you took the three seconds to talk to him, something most people didn't do. By the first 12 hours, cliques had already formed and some of them started to make fun of Daren's walk and general pinkyness of his lips, contributed to the litres of Pepto-Bismol he drank.
It actually astounded me that adults of 25 and up would make small remarks and giggle at the misery of another human being. I left Denver with a lasting impression of what a man who looks like Elvis could be and I truly believe I shall never judge another Elvis look-alike ever again... unless there fat.
After spending about 2 hours in Chicago, whoever was left got on the bus for blessed Canada. While I waited, a man in his early twenties starting speaking to me. I was quite used to talking with complete strangers by now so I thought, eh, what the hell. I learned many things after a few minutes of conversation.
Most notable: he has been on the road for 4 days from Cancun, his girlfriend stole most of his money and his car, he had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest in Mexico for some unknown reason. He told me a few tales about the Federalis and the craziness of Mexico, which would take entirely too long to get into.
After the 2-minute drive under one of the Great Lakes, lets say Michigan, we arrived at the border office. Went smoothly, the guy with the outstanding warrant got in Canada as easily as an Arabian terrorist claiming asylum at a BC airport.
I was going to sleep in the last row of seats since there's three of em and much more room to nap. Impulsively I decided not too which was a good choice on my part for the following reason: A man who looks like he came straight out of a Second City skit sat there instead, with earmuffs and bright green and red toque.
It was a very comical look that I'm sure the man was quite unaware of. Not that Second City is funny, which it is most certainly not. Though it did launch the career of many participants of the comedy series. Most notably John Candy, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas and Martin Short who all had minor to sub-superstar roles in many films whose titles escape my mind except for "Honey I Shrunk the Kids".
The only reason I remember "Honey I shrank the kids" was because I saw it when I was 12 and had many fantasies involving being small, giant, invisible and invincible. So the movie itself pretty much blew my mind, much like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" did, but without the appeal of cartoon booty.
So this guy sits behind me, thinking he's the most brilliant fucker in the world. Like no one has ever given the thought of sleeping on 3 seats instead of two. Too my delight another man decided to covet the rear seat and ruin the asshole's chances to a decent sleep.
It was great till he took his anger out on me. You see this bastard was sitting right behind me. And kept on kicking my seat and pushing and acting very childish in the way a little kids forces his knees into the rear seat of a car to make a stand that he need more room. Well that bastard ruined about 2 hours of my night and I almost smacked him.
I would have if it weren't for the fact that the guy beside him was still awake. I eventually moved. I finally fell asleep to the soothing rhythmic sounds of Mexican Rage Against The Machine, passed to me by the guy from Cancun... "Mues locco in da Coco....". Probably wrong... which is okay since I'm not Mexican. Which is a good thing I guess, worthy of putting on my resume... right beside "Can't whistle" and "Looks like Brendan Frasier".
In retrospect, it's important to enjoy travelling. No matter how excruciating it is, just remember that someone is enjoying it as much as you and chances are he's gonna let you know. Oh yeah, and if you decide to do the bus thing, bring a goddamn pillow. You'll give me big kiss when you come back.