Memories of a wacky road trip

By Jason Fierstein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Not that the Tucson inferno isn't pleasurable or anything, but with the onset of the extended Labor Day weekend, my roommates and I decided to mecca to San Diego for a small getaway to live the dream through the Americana experience. In a nutshell, college road trips are wacky and deviant memories in the making and are financially friendly to the pocketbooks.

Not only did we get to explore the cultural utopia known as Yuma, Arizona (fecal wasteland of the union), halfway through our trip to San Diego, but we got to see the sand dunes and rock conglomerations not far from the Arizona-California state border, that were sights in themselves. I had expected the drive to San Diego to be the same monotonous desert as the stretch from Tucson to Phoenix, but there was no time to stop. Every precious second we wasted jerking around would be one less minute for our travel companion, who shall remain nameless, to catch the train from San Diego to her home in Irvine. This was a train that we all, my roommates Eric, Renee and myself, knew was impossible to get her on considering that the ride to San Diego would be at least six hours, which it was.

Saturday morning: the Del Mar Country Club. My roommate and confidant, Eric, and I took advantage of his family's membership to the immaculate garden known as Del Mar. This sleepy little golf course, tucked in-between the surf and the hills, is the golfing hot-spot for such names as President Clinton, ex-President Gerald Ford and America's own pride and joy, Mr. O.J. Simpson, beloved football hero and accused wife slayer. Well, at least he was previously a member, until he ripped off a pair of black gloves from the pro shop, that bastard.

We got to meet Chi Chi Rodriguez, who was practicing on the greens at Del Mar for the day. I already knew he didn't like me, for when I asked him for a photo with the golfing legend, he asked if I was a skinhead because of my shaven noggin. He also thought I was homosexual because of my pierced ears, but Eric reassured the Cheechster that I was merely a harmless Jew and not a neo-Nazi on the PGA tour or anything. We got the picture after I removed the forbidden accessories from my lobes.

Sunday early morning: At the crack of dawn, I figured I would drive my buddy Eric around the golf course at "The Club." Little did I know that: a) the morning dew on the greens wasn't friendly to flooring the gas pedal on the vehicle, spinning the cart out of control and almost flipping it in front of the other club golfers, (b) Club rules explicitly state that off-roading and figure-8's on the course are prohibited and you must meet the minimum age requirement of 70 years to man the vehicle, and (c) proper attire, consisting of Panama Jack tropical brimmed hats and collared shirts with small embroidered animals on the breast (no Le Tigre shirts), should be worn at all times behind the wheel.

We hit the world-famed Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing Club ("Where the turf meets the surf" is the coined slogan) to bet some travel cash on the fillies. Eric told me to look for signs of anxiety on the horses, like white foaming buttocks and the like. I was content picking the favorites for the easy money, but all the favorites seemed plugged up on horsey tranquilizers that day. Even the lucky $10 Cuban cigars we bought, and the brimmed tropical hat and matching floral Bermuda shirt I donned helped us out nada. We cut our losses and sulked. Not even the tiny jockey riding the clear favorite horse in the fourth race wearing those tighty pink spandex threads could nudge out a victory for us. Ironically enough, the only money I did win came on a fluke: I made a four dollar wager on an exacta, gave the teller a five spot, and he gave me back a twenty dollar bill. Hey, winnings are winnings in my book. Just ask Jimmy Durante.

The road trip clearly came to an end Monday afternoon and late evening as we drove the stretch from San Diego back to Tucson; I felt my body craving a healthy dosage of Librium or another pleasantly strong sedative. Our travel companion, who shall still remain nameless, felt it necessary to keep me awake with her trite egocentricities and bombing ethnic jokes, which I felt compelled to laugh at. Not even the sounds of such classic artists as C+C Music Factory, Peter Frampton, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and Selena (all various songs encountered on our trip home) could spare me the materializing urge to bludgeon the girl with a blunt object, say a really large hammer or my rock-solid turkey half-sandwich that Eric's mom made for me prior to departure.

And then, outside Yuma, we were hit with the pungent stench of the rotting stallion carcass riding in the hitched trailer of the pickup truck in front of us. We saw the legs of the beast sticking up. The horse's body, turned upside down and deep into the later stages of rigor mortis, was probably being shipped off to the Elmer's factory. Renee was set on getting a picture of the fly-friendly slab of meat, and when we cracked open the sun roof - BAM! The scent hit us with full force. We needed a crockpot full of potpourri in the Acura immediately. The reeking, hellish flesh smell lingered and danced around the interior of the car for about fifteen minutes. What an olfactory workout, I must add.

The final chapter of the weekend-long saga was closed. We dropped off "Satana" at her house, wished her good-riddance and knew that we'd have a blast reminiscing about her ass when we were all married and done with our higher learning here at the U. Those same sights, smells, follies and incidents on our road trip to San Diego will rekindle many laughs way into our futures.

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