Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The day I realized I had two good friends in California

It was a six hour drive to Mammoth.  In the “perfect for road trips” kind of car.  A large SUV with big open windows where one could watch the land change from urban sprawl to snow.  The car was lived in enough to contain treasures – happy meal toys, scratched cds of bands we hadn’t heard from since the 90s, sun faded magazines and smashed granola bars. 

We left Los Angeles as early as we could force ourselves to get up on a Friday.  The “we” was Ashley, Mike and I.  Although we never call him Mike, he’s a last name only kind of guy.  Ashley and Mike lived together in college in New Hampshire.  In some kind of enginerd uber house.  Ashley is sharp and no nonsense.  Mike is funny and for lack of a better word, laid back.  All of us had left the East Coast for some reason or another for California.  We had bumped into each other’s lives like buoys in the ocean.  Rising and sinking together against new tides. 

On the way to Mammoth, we stopped at Costco to pick up food and beverage.  With churros and hot dogs in hand, we grabbed everything we saw.   How many peanuts can hungry skiers eat throughout a weekend?  Despite three masters degrees between us, we couldn’t figure it out.  So we just kept buying.  Large bags of meat balls.  12 cans of green beans.  5 carbon tubes of parmesan.  Beer.  More beer and liquor.  And a case of wine.  It’s better to be starving than suddenly become thirsty. 

We were giddy and playful when we couldn’t fit our purchases in the trunk of Mike’s car. It’s fun to play Tetris with ski poles, overnight bags and the ingredients for ham sandwiches.  And after we failed to pack everything, I happily sat in my seat with a case of beer on my lap, clutching bags of snacks with my sweaty palms.

Yep.  This is actually what we bought for the weekend.

While on the road to Mammoth you may discover that you’re thirsty, perhaps for a bottle of beer that’s warming in the case stuck on your lap.  The problem with smart people who are incapable of planning is that they tend not to remember beer openers for the car. Ashley got desperate enough to attempt to open beer bottles with seat belts.  I considered smashing the bottles open against oncoming cars.  Finally Mike pulled over to a gas station where we could purchase an opener.  Inside the station, I saw a craft beer in the refrigerator case that caught my eye from Mammoth Brewing Company.  There were two styles – “Epic” and “Paranoid” ale.  I grabbed the Paranoid.  Mike found me at the cashier and said “wait a minute, this could be an omen for the weekend – you should really grab the Epic instead.”  Ashley and I popped open the Epic beers in the car.  Mike’s hipster tunes circulated our vehicle.  His grins could be detected behind his wayfarers.

When people commit to spending a weekend with you then you can safely assume they like you.  That or they really think you are fun when you’re drunk.  Sometimes a friend and a drinking buddy are the same thing.  And long road trips up the coast solidify that bond.

The only IPA for an EPIC weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I didnt even read this in full. I just read the pics and captions and I couldn't stop laughing. such a gifted, satirical writer, without even trying.