this is real long. here’s some brazilian jazz to help you stay awake.
so 1 am on a summer wednesday night, k-rot from ironbitchface; devon, his guitarist; and myself pile into my honda civic for 10 days of touring shinenegans. armed with a mountain of cds, no work permit, and a rock-solid story to get past the border patrol we made for the niagra falls border police. i was a little bummed out due to the portugal soccer team losing to france that day, but i was determined to enjoy myself. the couple hours to the border were smooth and our run in with the border cops, very cavity search-free 🙂
i’d managed to get a good 4 hours sleep prior to leaving, but the first order of business once into the US was getting some caffeine into my face-hole. the fact that i had very little idea where to go, outside an uncanny sense of direction, didnt slow us down, as we were getting a)coffee and b)answers in no time (answers were attained at the travel kiosk at a highway gas station. btw, this would be the first of many inside jokes. see joke1 in the appendix). the burger king we found at about 3am provided coffee in a variety of flavours, with easy to identify symbols placed on the cups for the reading-impaired. decaf, marked with a sleepy looking 3/4 closed eye, normal with a 1/4 closed eye, and TURBO with a wide open eye and little scwiggly lines around it. i was really looking forward to having lines shooting out of my eyes, but they only had normal. luckily, americans love refills, so i just downed a good half-litre of the normal stuff.***edit~see joke1A for another joke that came up at burger king***
fast forward 8 sleepless hours. americans drive VERY SLOW on the highway. a half hour out of Boston i stopped for gas at a highway service station. while filling up, a news reporter comes up to me and starts asking questions about gas prices, my fuel usage, etc. turns out i made it into some newspaper article in one of the Boston newsrags. i couldn’t find anything online to prove it, but come on. you guys believe me, right?
anyways, once in Boston we quickly found the venue, a small bar downtown, then started wandering. one thing we did notice, was that we kept seeing the same 5 or 6 people, again and again…then again…again…. and again, all day long. it was really weird. it was like we were in a movie or something (see inside joke 2). eventually we made it back to the venue and met one of the security guys. real nice guy. he showed us around prior to the show and introduced us to the best cocaine dealer on the east coast. i dont do coke, so i didnt carem but it was interesting. back at the venue, they offered $1 beers, which i exploited to the fullest, and inadvertedly interrupted the bartender and a rather large texan, who were arguing about immigrants, that unless you were a native-american, arguing about immigrants was really just splitting heirs. i still can’t believe i wasn’t killed.
after a less than steller show, i had sobered up and we hung out with some of the other bands and talked about how weird canadians/bostonions talked. we learned our first american word: “wicked pisser.” i don’t know what it means, but we use it alot now.
the two weekend shows ended up being cancelled just before we left, so the next couple days we had to kill on the east coast, before the nyc show. first stop was Salem, mass. one thing they love in salem, is witches. two things they love in salem, is witches and pirates. we had fantastic clam chowder, and found another joke to hammer into the ground (see joke 3). next, i proposed that we head to red bank, new jersey; hometown of one kevin smith. director and writer of clerks and a bunch of other movies. although this was a bit of a trek, i figured we could at least get a part of the way, buy some cheap booze then find a highway service station and get loaded (coincidently, we pretty much started using this same recipe for every night). so we began the trip to NJ. on the way we passed through Providence, Rhode Island. a really cool town, where i bought my awesome new batman belt buckle. we also found a tim horton’s coffee shop (OMG!!), a canadian’s home away from home. in the evening we attempted, with very little luck, to find a liquor store. while aimlessly driving around, we stumbled upon a group of underage kids hanging out at a park. now we figured “hey. it’s friday night, and these kids are underage. we can not only get them to help us find a liquor store, but we can help to contribute to some underage drinking, too!” unfortunatly. americans are weird. and i quote “liquore store? oh sorry. we’re underage.” ok, well can you tell us where to find a liquor store? “yeah (gives directions).” ok…well…do you want us to pick you guys anything up? “uhm…no. we’re underage.”….o-ok. thanks…
weird. eventually we found the store and headed back to the highway to find the next service station and have a drink. now one thing we didn’t understand was that a)Providence is very close to Connecticut and b) and this is very important; CONNECTICUT FUCKING SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!! (see joke 4). up until this point, we had passed a rest station on american highways, once every 15 minutes or so. now connecticut seems to be devoid of these marvels of construction as it took us an hour and a half to find the next station. we did eventually get to party, but pretty much just expressed our dislike for connecticut.
bored yet? have a monty python break.
next day we were on our way to NJ, but decided to pass by NYC to check out White Castle; i got lost on the way out and ended up driving through all 5 boroughs. we finally made it to red bank, where we visited the kevin smith store and marvelled how they could sell kevin kevin smith movies, which he had signed ON THE PLASTIC SHRINK WRAP, for twice the price as what they were being sold for at the video store across the street. we then hung out in front of the 7-11 for a long time; i had a chimmey-chonga. for the evening, we decided to find a hotel close to NYC, as the next day we hit the big city!
so all of three seconds out of my drive way, upon beginning this trip, i made it quite clear that i wouldn’t drive in manhattan. on the way to red bank, i had to do it. and the day IBF played nyc, i did it too. we had big plans. famous ray’s pizza. foot long hotdogs. running around nyc, yelling lines from ghostbusters. instead, we learned why people don’t drive in manhattan; parking is, quite literally, impossible. we did get to go to Tromaville though. Got to see where all the toxic avenger-y magic happens. the show that night was in a cool lounge type place and it was packed. IBF played with a couple cool bands; NOAGE and soilded mattress and the springs, who were two bands we’d meet again in Baltimore, some shitty emo band and another noise band called Miami Heat. afterward we hightailed it out of new york state, as we had to be in english town, NJ for a backyard show the next day.
now if there’s anything that’s more punk than sitting in an air conditioned grocery store on a sweltering hot day, eating sweet potatoe pie, then i don’t want to know what that is. that shit is delicious! after the pie, we had to go to a post office. the following is a dramatization of the scene which unfolded within:
- hi, i’d like to send this to canada
- canada?! (inspects envelope) hang on (walks over to two other post office workers)
- that’s weird…you think they’d just throw a stamp on it….
- (two workers are trying to program what turned out to be a postage label machine) man, i don’t know if this thing will do this…
- well it better. i don’t know how else we’ll send it (machine gives her an error)SLAM! this fucking thing never works!!
- (a voice from a inside an office) WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE!?!
- (to us)i’m sorry sir, we don’t get much mail to canada here (the manager, or something, arrives from inside the office) this gentleman needs to send this letter to canada, but the machine won’t print a label for it
- this damn machine is broken, i’m telling you!
- (manager)ARGH! (hands raised above his head) THIS WHOLE PLACE IS GOING TO HELL!!
- uhm, what if i just put a couple of american stamps on there?
from the post office we were off to english town, NJ where IBF was set to play a backyard show. we show up at the kid’s house and about five minutes later his step-dad (who, we have been warned, is the biggest steryotypical american hick we’ll ever meet) walks in, looks at IBF and me and blurts out an astonished “what thu’ fuck?!” (a common greeting in NJ, apparently). the kid was cool though. he and his friends are hardcore into bmx’ing and are in a band as well, and tells us that these shows are usually good parties, full of kids coming out (guess what! WRONG!). but we ended up hanging out in front of a convenience store till the show, where IBF and I rocked out mega-hard, which made the day really fun. the kid also turned out to be quite the young anarchist and gave us a huge anarchist cookbook he had lying around, to read on the road (i learned how to make a record player from an old bike, and that using a blue flashlight doesnt ruin your night vision! neat).
this is taking too much time:
- next day philedelphia. had a cheesesteak sandwich. played a shit show in the shady part of philly. a dead hooker was found in the parking lot of the venue a week prior. from this day on the weather became hot and humid as all hell. IBF played with a guy who performed wearing only a sock (yawn) who, while swearing at devon, told him to forcibly insert a drum stick into his anus. be careful what you wish for, that’s all i gotta say…
- after crashing on one of the bands’ floors, we were off to baltimore. best show ever. lots of hot girls there too, apparently lots of John Hopkins University kids come out to shows. unfortunatly the majority were high on ritalin, which makes hitting on them exceedingly difficult. free beer at the show though 🙂
- last day, in pittsburg. played at a sports bar with a cranberries rip-off band, a goth jam band, and an industrial electro pop guy. pittsburg is incredibly confusing. as soon as the show was over, we were outta there and on the road home.
i drove like a champ, back to canada in record time. i may have killed something on the highway, as i may have dozed off. i remember hitting something and thinking it was a tire, but k-rot and devon were both asleep and i didn’t have to the heart to wake them up. at 5 am we ended up at the last service station before the border and all three of us had hit that delerious point of exhaustion, when everything you say makes you laugh uncontrollably. seeing a family of 12 amish people arrive and people-watch didn’t help either. finally got back to kitchener-waterloo around 8:30 am. we listened to The Death Set’s 10 minute long EP for 7 straight hours.
inside joke 1: coffee and banswers. the combination of the b, from my list of things to get (i.e. a) coffee and b)answers) and the thing which i was trying to get, answers, led to the creation of the line “now to look for some coffee and banswers!” trust me, it’s hillarious at 4 in the morning.
inside joke 1A: on the way out of burger king, i was asked if my car had cup holders in the back seat. it doesn’t but i told devon he should ask for a “tray” however since it was 4am and i couldn’t think of the word “tray” i ended up calling it a “four-deal”. henceforth, “blank-deal” became instant gold. once again; 4 am, hillarious.
inside joke 2~electric boogaloo: after noticing that all three of us had seen the same people over and over, we likened this phenomenom to being extras in a movie. when we tried to think of what major motion picture has been made in Boston, the first one that came to mind was Tom Hanks’ Philidelphia (obviously suggested just to get a laugh). we increased this to every Tom Hanks movie ever filmed. this joke would be repeated, with a different actor, in every city we visited. Philidelphia was home to every Will Smith Movie, while Baltimore was James Avery’s turf.
inside joke 3: we saw a restaurant called “in a pig’s eye”….we started using “in a pig’s eye” whenever appropriate….you get pretty bored on the road…
inside joke 4: fuck connecticut!!!