Recently, I returned from a trip to Maine, something I usually do every year in order to see the part of my family that, for some reason, decided they wanted to live in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere. For the past two years I haven’t gone. Why? Shit just keep happening. That’s the problem with getting older, fucking responsibilities keep coming out of the woodwork, stopping you from doing the things that you really want to do (like say, posting articles to your blog when your “boss” tells you that you shouldn’t be using “company time” for “personal matters” because it’s “affecting your work and seriously, we can all see what you’re doing”).
Browsing through my old posts, I found the article I wrote after returning from my last trip.Â Holy shit was it a different experience! I want to go on that trip again! A lot changes in two years, and sometimes, you don’t even realize how much.
Enough of that bullshit. Story time.
(Note: The following events happened 8/9/2012-8/12/2012. This article has been delayed a long ass time due to laziness. Thank you for your patience, and suck it.)
Just about every year during the summer I make a pilgrimage to Maine with PT to see our relatives. They have a nice house in the woods, on a little island along the coast, that is peaceful, relaxing, and free of ghosts (sometimes they mess with you by saying the house is haunted, but I’ve called bullshit since they built the fucking thing. unless they deliberately picked an Indian burial ground, the only spirits in the house are in their liquor cabinet). Last year, I didn’t have the money to go up during the summer, and a minivan ensured that I couldn’t delay it to the fall. This being my only real vacation during the year, I wasn’t about to miss out.
Dating Bunny has more perks than just not going insane from being alone all the time. Love and affection is nice, but it doesn’t get you 150 miles (give or take) north. For that, she has a car. She’s come with us ever since we started dating, not just because it’s a good idea for each side to get to know everyone in their lives, but also so she could see the batshit insanity that is my family. Luckily for me, Bunny likes them and they love her. I enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling of bonding this bubbles up. If they didn’t click, each visit would be nothing but headaches and that nervous rumbling feeling in your stomach that could either be nerves, or the urge to take a shit (I’m not the only one to feel that in those situations, am I?)
This year, I made everyone take two days off. PT and I don’t have a lot of vacation time and we try to maximize what we have. I figured a four day weekend hitting up various parts of the state would be a nice way to spend that time. Bunny only had one day of PTO (paid time off), but I figured if she was covered for gas and booze (the two most expensive parts of any trip) that would make up what she would have been paid that day. I was determined to have a magical fucking trip. I had a plan so firm, if it wasn’t an intangible idea, it could have carved a diamond into a penis.
My plan was to leave around 10am Thursday morning. We didn’t pick up PT until a little after noon…he does not live two hours away. Some would say this is a hiccup in the plan. They would not be wrong. It wasn’t a big deal, however. I always make plans not taking into account the known factor of pure laziness. Why wouldn’t I expect that all of us would want to sleep a little later on our days off? Because I’m an idiot, that’s why.
Once we were all together, we hit the road. I expected to be out of Massachusetts by one o’clock in order for us to make our first stop. We’d have plenty of time to do whatever we wanted before we continued up to see the ol’ family. One-thirty rolled around and we were pondering fajitas and empanadas at a Mexican place ten minutes from Bunny’s house.
You’ll notice a theme here. While it’s generally a good thing that I had an idea of what we should do and where we should go, I had to be flexible with the way the plan was laid out. Especially since there were things that I was doing that was delaying our trip. If we were the fucking Griswald family, we would have rushed to the car and peeled out of the parking lot, possibly endangering countless gringos who wanted to have a taste of Mexican without losing the racist feelings of Texas (they built a fence…around their hearts…). As I sat in the driver’s seat, trying to will digestion on my stomach filled with chicken, onion, and the dashed dreams of the twenty something who took my food off the piece of sheet metal they call a grille, I figured my family could wait a little longer if it meant I didn’t have to drive for the next few minutes.
Once we got going, things looked clean and clear throughout the rest of the state. The same was true for New Hampshire. There are landmarks that let you know when you’ve finally pierced the Maine border (a fucking toll road being one of them), but I knew right away the moment we passed into the State. A thick blanket of fog waited for us at the border.
Don’t think it was something that stopped after a few miles, because this isn’t your typical fog. This is Maine fog. This is shit straight out of a dumb 1980s horror flick. It was thick, damp, and horrible (there were probably some creatures out there too, but spotting the varieties of mullets on each deformed hick we drove by squashed that thought…actually, these rejects of Americana are far more frightening…). We were still in the thick of it when we reached Old Orchard Beach. Go to Google maps. Right now. Look at Rt 95 at the border of Maine and New Hampshire. Now find Old Orchard Beach. Now say to yourself “Yo homes! That’s fucked up!” I don’t even care if you’re not Mexican! Say it in that accent!
You know what though? Being at the beach in the fog was awesome! There was half the amount of people there. That means that I didn’t have to wait in long lines for rides that honestly looked like they were going to kill me. If I was going to die on a rusted roller coaster, it needed to happen right then damn it!
It also meant that I didn’t have to look at all the people. There are two types of people who go to Old Orchard Beach; the fit, athletic, gods and goddesses of this Earth, and disgusting wastes of meat and their sloppy families. I don’t want to feel inadequate in the judging eyes of the passing sexy pariahs. My gut reaction is to punch them all in their beautiful faces, men and women alike. And they do judge, don’t kid yourself about that. You can see it in every eye roll and dropped smile.
On the flip side is the group of screaming, whining dough blobs that, while laying down to sunbath, kick up as much sand as the asteroid that hit the Chicxulub peninsula 65 million years ago. I may be no prize myself, but I don’t get half naked and slide across the sand like a whale that got bad directions. With the fog firmly in place, they disappeared like gorillas in the mist (is that a movie reference? were there actual gorillas in that shit?) and I was free to go on all the cheesy, shitty rides I wanted to without watching sadness waddle for another fried twinkie (which they had there, and between the three of us, we couldn’t finish one).
Tired and full, we returned to the car to finish our hour and a half trip to my relative’s house. As we pushed through the fog, we got a taste of what it was going to be like for most of our four day stay. Rain. You know what you can do in Maine while it’s raining? Fuck all. You could try to walk into the woods and kill yourself via moose rampage, but that probably wouldn’t work because they’re fucking sleeping or some shit. It’s raining, why would they want to deal with it?
Before getting to the house, we stop for a booze run. Let me give you a quick run down of what we bought. A case of Sam Adams Oktoberfest, a case of Shipyard Pumpkin ale, a bottle of gin, a bottle of rum, and a bottle of champagne. Even though our trip was four days, the majority of two of them were spent traveling. That means that we had about three nights, with a little help from the family, but not much, to drink everything. With the exception of a few beers, it was gone by the second night. That’s a lot for three people. Yet, surprisingly, none of us had hangovers. I guess that’s the moral of this paragraph. Go to Maine and drink for a couple of days to prevent hangovers. I promise it’ll work or you’ll die trying!
We did as much as we could during the day. I dragged Bunny, PT, and my cousin (who I’ll dub N) to see a movie one day, and we went to Boothbay Harbor on another (the only time we saw sun, though it was like getting a goatsy from god). Really, we were just killing time in between the two major things we went there for.
Ever have lobster? I’m sure you have. It’s a pain in the ass to eat, there’s not a lot of meat, and it’s pretty expensive, but biting into nice hot lobster meat drowned in butter can only be described in a series of moans and perhaps an erection. Want to know what it’s like having twenty lobsters for dinner? Just saying that made some ritzy cocksucker’s monocle pop out of his fucking eye.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a boiled lobster. This shit was soft too. The shell crackers ended up as table decorations since you could pull the little bastards apart with your hands like a savage. The only problem is that few parts have meat and the rest of it is junk that’s either thrown out with the trash or given to the hardcore Italians (my grandfather’s favorite part was the brains). When there’s four of these fucking things on your plate, that’s suddenly not a problem. Want to know how much butter needs to be melted for twenty lobsters? You just got a heart attack thinking about it, that’s how much.
Second to having a dinner that could have qualified me to be a victim in Seven, coming to Maine had a major perk that we were looking forward to (especially Bunny). Ever see a demolition derby? I’m sure that everyone knows what it is, but that’s not the question. Seeing cars smash into each other for sheer amusement is more glorious than I could explain. You feel like you’re Cesar, seated in the top box of the Coliseum, watching a Heavy Metal version of Gladiators dueling. The fact that you’re in a hillbilly box watching cars go crunch with some redneck named Cesar doesn’t even cross your mind.
It was glorious! Remember when you were a kid and the shit you did with whatever Micro-MachineÂ knock off you could get from CVS? I saw that, but in REAL FUCKIN’ LIFE! One car hit another so hard that the car it hit acted like a ramp and it flipped into the air like something you’d see in a Michael Bay movie. I didn’t even know that shit was possible! When a car soars through the air, you don’t even care about the well being of anyone at that moment. It didn’t matter. The driver could have broken his neck, the wreck could have landed on one of the safety crew, a splintered piece of bumper could have shot off and impaled some child in the stands while the mother cheered at the sheer awesomeness of having a souvenir…
Sunday eventually came and it was time to return to Boston. It took almost three and a half hours to get home, even though it didn’t take us nearly that long to get there (due to the tractor beam Maine has on the human soul), and thus our vacation was officially over. Come Monday, we all had to return to our jobs where our stress would reach Chernobyl levels until the next time all of us had enough vacation hours to spend.
Remember how it was raining the entire time? Yes, it cleared up at the last second (something that seems to happen every time someone’s luck meter goes off the charts and into shit territory), but that’s not a big deal to me. Shit like that always happens. No, what shocked me was how big of a ‘fuck you’ I got from the Vacation Gods. Rain came down so hard that the road I was on flooded in moments. Even with the windshield wipers on ‘full retard wave’, they couldn’t go fast enough to clear off the water being poured around us. I couldn’t see. I could only hope that the people in front of me were doing the exact same thing I was doing, because if someone stopped for any reason we would have crashed. Hell, we probably would have crashed if I needed to change lanes for any reason. Once we entered the city proper, it was over. The rain just stopped. A huge cloud loomed behind us, but the sky ahead was blue…