Monday, November 15, 2010

The Groomsman Chronicles, TopGun Ed., pt.4: Of Journeys and Jinxes

Have to say, 5 AM came way too early the morning after the wedding, but since both Cap'n Shack-Fu and his honey had to be back at work in Tulsa the next day, they were gung-ho to get going so that they didn't get home too terribly late.  I, on the other hand, had been able to take Monday off as well, so I was planning on staying at Shack's parents' place again and heading back to Denton the next morning.

As is usually the case on these extended road trips, time appeared to be going much slower on the way back then it did on the way up due to all of us being exhausted. Really the most excitement we had on our way to Pampa was early in our drive when a deer bounded across the road right in front of us; we were all pretty awake for a while after that. But other than that, a pretty uneventful drive.

As we drew closer to Pampa, I started to question my earlier decision to split the drive up over two days.  Yes, I knew I'd be struggling to stay awake due to exhaustion, and that I'd be driving at night, which I tend to avoid if possible due to less than stellar night vision, but the allure of being able to sleep in my own bed and just sleep in as much as possible the next day was overpowering.  Once I'd made the decision, I asked Shack-Fu for advice on what route to take home since my GPS had taken me on a route that added an hour onto my drive time on the way up there; turns out my GPS adds an insane amount of time onto its travel estimates when your route takes you through towns so that what is in reality a 4 hour drive, it projects as a 10 hour drive. In order to navigate by the quicker route, I had to trick the GPS by programming it in stages -- first to Clarendon, then to Decatur, and finally to Denton. 

As we were about two miles away from Shack-Fu's parents' place, my best bud announced "After this weekend, no more driving anywhere for two months!" No sooner had he made this pronouncement then we reached his parents' house, quickly transferred our stuff from his mom's Suburban into our respective vehicles, and went our separate ways.  After I'd been on the road for about an hour I got a call from Shack-Fu wanting to see if I had found my way on the new route all right or if I had run into any problems.  When I assured him everything was going fine, he said he was glad to hear it because his journey hadn't been as smooth:  no sooner had they pulled out of his parents' driveway then some nice indicator lights lit up.  Long story short, they had to drop the car off at a mechanic, load their stuff back into the Suburban, drive it back to Tulsa, and then spend part of their upcoming weekend driving back to Pampa to pick the car up.

"You do realize you jinxed yourself when you said no more driving earlier, right?" I asked, kind, helpful soul that I am; he readily agreed that he should know better by this point in his life.

I spent the bulk of my 4 1/2 hour drive to Denton on the phone with my parents, trusting in their input to help me stay awake as the miles piled on and on.  Finally, a little before 8:30 I crossed into the city limits of Denton.  At that moment, I got an incoming call from Shack-Fu, who was checking up on me again.  I told him I was less than five miles from home, and asked how their trip was going. 

"We've still got about another hour to go" he answered, "but so far it's going really good" This response, of course, prompted his fiance to yell at him for potentially jinxing them yet again. "Um, oh, dang, I mean, um, it's awful, totally awful, my drive back from Quantico wasn't this bad and it was twice as long and I was by myself.  Just horrible."

I assured him that I was positive that last little bit improvised griping had surely staved off his jinxing abilities.

After that I bid him good luck on the rest of his journey, and within a few minutes I was at home, ready to vegetate, unwind, and collapse, content in the knowledge that the upcoming iterations of The Groomsman Chronicles will not require day long car trips . . . although the next one will require some air-fare.