Monty Phan

Last Friday, my girlfriend and I wanted a nice, relaxing weekend. So we decided the logical choice would be to drive all night and spend a day at Magic Mountain riding roller coasters and standing in long lines.

Actually, this was our second choice.

Our first choice was, again, quite logically, Las Vegas, where we would've relaxed by frivolously spending money at odd hours of the night. But on this one particular weekend that we were both free, it just so happened every dentist in the nation was free too, and they all decided to convene in Vegas. Consequently, the only vacant hotels had names such as "The Don't Stay Here Motel" and "The We Don't Cater to Dentists Inn."

So it was off to California instead. Now, my girlfriend and I have a history of planning trips and then ditching them at the last minute, so we were determined to see this through.

"OK, I figure we could leave at about 2 and get there at 9," she told me. "Does that sound good?"

"Sure," I said. "My last class ends at noon, so it's perfect."

"No, I meant 2 in the morning," she said.

"Oh," I said. "Hey, I have a better idea. Let's just ditch these plans and sleep all weekend."

So we left at 2 in the morning, stopping first at Jack In The Box, because if I was going to drive all night, I knew at least a Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich would keep me up.

But by about 3, my eyelids started to slip toward my nose, and I began to wonder if this was a wise decision. Then I started to dream about wondering if this was a wise decision. Thankfully, the bumps along the centerline woke me up (So that's what they're there for!).

As I started to drift off again, my girlfriend, who was awake now, also because of the bumps, said to me, "Are you OK?"

"Geez," I said, "You woke me up I mean, uh, yeah, I'm fine. No problem. Just, uh, switching lanes."

"But there's no one else on the road," she said.

"Hey, no one likes a backseat driver."

"I'm going back to sleep."

"Yeah, me too I mean, OK, sleep tight."

So we made it to Blythe, Calif., (motto: Blythe We're not just a rest stop anymore. Oh wait, yeah we are) in one piece, where, after filling up the gas tank, we almost had to go back because I maxed my Visa card just paying for gas. But, thankfully, I also had the American Express Card, which has no preset spending limit. (May these words never reach my parents.)

So, after my girlfriend took over the driving duties, we got there right at 9, exactly 12 hours after I thought we would, and there was a big sign that said "Closed." So we forced a security guard at gunpoint to oh wait, that's been done already. Actually, we paid our $6 for parking and our $32 each for admission, then rode a few rides and bought two $2 drinks, then played some carnival games at a buck a pop without winning anything, and I said to my girlfriend, "Ha! Those stupid dentists! This is MUCH better than Vegas!"

Incidentally, while we were there I observed a strange phenomenon. It seems that upon paying the exorbitant admission fee, a person's IQ actually drops. Actually, it drops right before paying the admission, because this is the only reason I figure anyone would even pay the price in the first place (i.e. me). This is also the only explanation why anyone would ride, at night, with no sun, the Roaring Rapids, which has signs that warn you repeatedly that "You WILL get wet!" An example:

Child #1: "Daddy, I'm cold."

Dad: "Well, you know what would warm you up? Especially at night, when it's cold and there's no sun? The Roaring Rapids!"

Children (in unison): "Yeahhh!"

(Ten minutes later.)

Child #1: "So cold . can't stop shivering . "

Dad (now shirtless, showing off his impressive B-cups): "Hey, look, the line's still short! Let's go again!"

Children (in unison): "Yeahhh!"

Before leaving, we decided to ride the "Viper" one last time, then paid six bucks each for a plastic key chain with pictures of us on the ride (Eat your heart out, dentists!). It wasn't exactly one of the best pictures I've ever taken (during the digitization of the photo, the line separating my two front teeth somehow got erased, making them seem like one long one take my word for it, it's really attractive), but it was a nice memento.

My girlfriend has also taken better pictures, but I won't go into that, due to the fact that she might actually read this. Anyway, even though we were dead tired, even though we were pretty much out of money, there is one thing I am sure of, bar none, no doubt about it.

It was MUCH better than Vegas.

Monty Phan is sports editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. His column appears Fridays.

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