DISCLAIMER: This is mirrored from the
illustrious website of Owen Mehegan.
I can't even begin to understand why anyone who doesn't
know me would be looking at my personal web site, but I'm going to preface this story a
bit anyway, just so you all know exactly what's going on. I've known my friends Andrew and
Jason since the three of us were in kindergarten. Though we all went to different high
schools, we remained close, and college wasn't much of an obstacle for us either. Andrew
goes to school just across the river from me, at MIT. Jason, however, decided to take up
residence at the University of Chicago, biting his thumb at Beantown.
At the end of our Freshman year, Jason's father made plans
to fly out to Chicago, pack him and all his stuff into a rented van, and drive back to
Boston. In what was clearly a fit of temporary insanity, he invited Andrew and myself
along, and what was later dubbed "The Magical Mystery Tour" was born.
I had previously helped Andrew acquire a job at the
illustrious Perseus Development Corporation, and they provided him with a laptop to
encourage him to work overtime on their excellent products. He brought this with him on
the Tour, and got the brilliant idea to keep a road log on it. The three of us contributed
to it religiously, and it has proven totally instrumental in capturing the essence of the
trip. Though it's not marked exactly who is chronicling what events, if you know us at
all, you should be able to figure it out for yourself. It appears below, complete with the
picture Jason's father took, and edited only for spelling (I swear). Click the dates to
see relavent pictures from that day, with captions.
Andrew: We packed Jason last night, ate at "Brandy's" where Andrew
was named "Gabby" by Jason, which the waitress picked up on. We got up this
morning, went back to U of C to get some stuff that Jason forgot. There we saw a protest,
which Mr. Jones said was puny. We then went to Michicgan Ave., ate at Gino's(where we
signed quite a lot of the restaurant). We walked around for a while looking for an FM
transmitter because the CD player cassette converter doesn't work in the rental. We are
now sitting in the van, trying to get out of Chicago, and we hope that we make it past
Detroit before we stop for the night.
Owen: Our flights down were largely uneventful, although we were delayed
heavily between Washington and Chicago. Our flight didn't leave DC on time in the first
place, and we spent roughly 40 minutes sitting on the ground upon arrival at Midway
airport in Chicago. Weather in Chicago seemed to be the deciding factor in the delays,
though so far heat and humidity have been our only complaints. Our motel accommodations
last night were comfortable, though sleeping on the floor is not advisable for any great
length of time. Andrew and Owen went on a quest for extra blankets, but were only able to
procure extra comforters (a misnomer, in this case, to say the least). Overall, morale is
high. Wagons... east!
Andrew: We are all now aware that Comiskinski Park is where the White Sox play.
Andrew was not informed of this, so Jason filled him in. Owen says that he "forgot to
bring up buying a foam cooler" this morning when Mr. Jones mentioned stuff about it.
Scarily, there is 25% more battery life left of this Puppy.
Andrew: The car was just binging at us, and the Jones' could not figure out
what was going on. Jason said that the blinker was on, ands Mr. Jones said that it wasn't.
It was, and the van was alerting us to the fact that the blinker had been on for a long
time. Jason now says that he is going to "Gameworks," or laserquest, in Detroit.
However, we are at Exit 30, and we need to get to exit 160 to be in Detroit.
Andrew: We just bought some fireworks, God help us all.
Andrew: Jason did not get how this log is working. We have decided that the log
is going to be read-only. You can add to it, but no deleting what other people have
written. When Jason says that we bought some fireworks, what he has left out is that we
went to the country's "Largest Fireworks Warehouse." It was wall to wall
explosives. We saw a whole bunch of people who came out of the warehouse with a whopping
cart full, totally full, and would load their cars. (Owen just told Mr. Jones to push the
speed to 85, and he wants us to let him drive. I think that we all are of the consensus
that Owen will not be driving. In fact if I had my way, Mr. Jones would not be driving
either. I dread the time when Jason takes the helm....) After they made me buy the
fireworks, which I had to show my license and sign some form saying that I would not bring
them into Illinois. We saw a neat sign on the way out informing us how to get back into
Illinois without getting pulled over by the police.
Andrew: A little addendum from Saturday. We stopped to play lasertag in the
middle of suburban Detroit last night. We had a bit of fun. There were no friendly
causalities, or at least not all that many. We were playing a free-for-all game, but that
was a crock, and we all joined up together the second we were let into the maze. The local
kids who obviously play the game far too often had this bizarre dance that they did to
escape being shot. The best that I can describe it is as the "Funky Chicken."
Owen was upset that some kid said to Owen "If you keep coming up here, I'm just going
to keep shooting you." Owen, needless to say, stopped going up. While we were waiting
to enter our names into the computer, the guy said "get in line." Mr. Jones,
using his adult size, physically told some local youths to "get in line," and
pushed them out of line. Later, Owen and Andrew mutinied, took control, and then drove all
the way to Niagara falls. On our way, several 18 wheelers passed us on the right going
about 85-90 mph(120-130 kph).
Jason: Jason had a religious experience tonight. While procuring himself a
tasty cold beverage at a seven eleven, or as the Canucks would like us to say Sept e
onze... he noticed what appeared to be a gaggle of orthodox Jews purchasing key chains and
hot-dogs from the hot-dog rotisserie thingy. They even had those silly hair thingys. He
procured said beverage in his lack of sleep and hallucinatory state and returned to the
car for further bickering amongst the "rat-boy" and "Gabby" who
proceeded to argue about the proper points of fm 2 m transmitter. Jason rolls eyes...
Jason: Rat boy eats a bug.
Andrew: We are officially a day ahead of plan in our schedule. We originally
planned to sleep right outside of Detroit in Windsor, Canada, but we just decided to go
for it. We got all the way to Niagara falls, at 3 in the morning. We drove the wrong way
looking for a hotel in a city where they are as common a blades of grass in a field. The
municipality deliberately leads the unwary traveler away from the falls in the hope that
they can prevent the utter decimation of their souls in this hole called "tacky
Andrew: When we got to the hotel, at 3, we were about to enter our "club
room" (code for room with a nice view of the parking lot), and the key did not work.
(Jason is hovering over me right now like a fly above rotting meat waiting for the
laptop). It turns out that to open the door, you need to put the key in all the way in
(big surprise). Andrew slept on the floor again, Owen slept in a pod.
Jason: Rat boy still talking about that damn bug.
Jason: 8 hours of driving time has been logged. The crew mutinied against my
wishes and would not allow their captain Jason to go to Cereal City. I was crushed.
Overall however I still think that general spirits are good. I hope this holds. Rat-boy
just got out of the shower, we now have a wet rat.
Andrew: Lets GO! We are about to embark for a fun filled day at the falls, all
of us are wearing the "road trip" shirt.
Owen: Having just returned from a morning of go-karting, it was felt that the
day's fun should be added to the log. For the princely sum of Canadian $13, we were each
able to complete eight very unsafe laps at very high speed. We learned several things in
the course of our laps:
1. A rolling start is key to not getting your butt kicked.
2. Getting grit in your eyes while attempting to pass a teammate is a
3. The brake is for stopping, the gas is for going. There should be no
use of the brake until you reach the end of the course.
4. Spinning out is no fun.
Owen: At the end of our eight rides, Andrew was able to use the power of the
Force to convince the guys who were running the attraction into giving him two extra
tickets. Giving one to Jason, they decided to go out for "one last race," while
Owen and Mr. Jones took pictures and laughed. Jason was able to get ahead of Andrew before
the first turn, but it was a close race all the way through. Near the end, Andrew was able
to come up behind Jason and deliberately spin him out. Waving his fists in the air
signaling victory, he finished out the race with Jason brooding, car jammed against a wall
with no help in sight. We're off to see the Falls now, hopefully without incident.
Jason: It was a dirty dirty thing to do. It broke all rules of conduct and
sportsmanship on the road. The driver's code has been sod upon. Retribution will be taken.
Jason: Saw the falls... lots of Asian tourists, but still an impressive sight
to the naked eye. Had lots of fun. Used the walkie talkies a little bit and got some
really bad stares. Dad tries to buy a Canadian flag to no avail. We then moved on to the
vaunted TACKY TOWN! Lots of tackiness for the whole family that was a true blast. We
bought some Cubans, cigars that is, and then had a small lunch / appetizers. Had a few
tall cold Molson's and a whole truckload of guff from Owen and Andrew. Moved back to the
AC of the hotel, somewhat disheartened that Dark Zone the Canadian version of Laser Quest
is closed for construction. Not too bad though, we will be back in July for the new and
improved version. It also looks like they are putting in some formula one race cars at the
go-cart place. The new carts look damn right menacing. We will be back.
Jason: Well we went back out again. Had a few laughs, went to tacky town,
general revelry and hijinks followed. Went to Niagara Casino... Dad and I wandered around
like complete buffoons with no idea what we were doing. We blew five bucks real quick on a
slot machine, despite the fact that grandma next to us won something around 200 bucks. We
left dejected. The first taste of legal gambling left a sour neon taste in my mouth.
Andrew: Owen is not of the legal age of 19 in which it is legal to gamble in
Canada. He was forcibly ejected despite the fact he is three measly days from 19. They
told him to leave the lobby, cross the street, close his eyes, and hum loudly. Out of
protest he only left the lobby. He too was dejected.
Andrew: We then proceeded onwards towards the Niagara falls hard-rock cafe in
which we also consumed copious quantities of "cibo" (that is italian for food,
this is an international trip you know!)
Andrew: We are now preparing for a viewing of the Austin Powers 2 movie. Jason
is giving us a lecture on the proper elocution of Modern Italian. He asserts that the Hard
Rock food was "cibo saporito", or "tasty food". Mr. Jones really is a
riot. It's not my bag, baby.
Jason: Andrew is a stubborn fool. He will not show proper safety concern for
my baby, my computer. Moral is low. It is raining. These are dark dark times for our
Andrew: Austin Powers 2 was a real hoot. Lots of inane quotes have since
followed. It is "not my bag baby" has been a local favorite. Rave reviews;
I guess the locals weren't quite thawed out of their igloos yet, since
we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves. We were suitably loud and obnoxious for
Owen: Customs was a breeze, our 144 Whistling Air Rider bottle rockets, 480
Mad Hornet "biggest boom around" rockets and two Flowers Dancing Shogun. As well
as two Cubans, cigars that is, and our bad ass selves got across the border no problem.
Jason: Pod-boy readjusts door, and all cds fall out on to the free way. Is
quoted as saying "no problem, no problem".
Jason: Computer safety has been compromised. I took care of the situation.
Jason: Time for Jason to play some minesweeper.
Jason: Minesweeper sucks.
[Captain's log supplemental:
Big Guy: Crew has been surprisingly cooperative. As in any roadtrip, a certain rhythm and routine
quickly sets in. On this mission, Pod Boy quickly assumes a somewhat Zen-like state while
on the road with his "Mondo" headphones and CD player. Gabby quickly assumes
navigator duties (whether asked to or not). He pours over the various maps and brochures
making sure Cecilia is on course and the current driver knows about it in no uncertain
terms. Depending on the time of day, Jason has an opinion on everything, but especially
the status of the packing of the sacred computer. True to form, Jason in the morning is
NOT a pretty sight. The phrase "four days" with an appropriate grimace has
subsided over the course of the mission. Captain has been able to "stay the
course" with the able assistance of number two, Gabby. All mission objectives have
been fulfilled with the exception of Dark Zone visit, which had to be cancelled due to the
fact that it was closed. Currently in the Empire state closing in on Syracuse. May visit
Union College, depending on crew demeanor at that juncture in the mission.
That is all...for now. Log entry complete.]
Andrew: Jason is in the pilot's chair of Cecilia, yelling at the motorists he
passes, and singing along with the oldies. He is asking Andrew the name of any song which
comes in over the loudspeaker. When Andrew doesn't know (95% of the time), Jason gets his
three seconds of pleasure. He is trying to make up for his outrageous performance at the
Niagara go-karts. As we drive through the unbroken monotony of western New York state, a
description of our traveling arc seems most appropriate. We are crossing this great
country in a Chevrolet "Montana" affectionately names Cecilia by Jason and
adopted by the rest of us. The engine is more than adequate, and I often find myself
wondering how many horses are under our command as we roar past another elderly citizen
doing the speed limit on route 90. While the drivetrain is excellent, the electrical
system was designed by a monkey. We go through a constant battle to get the door to lock
or unlock. It seemed like a great feature that the doors lock when you put the car into
drive, but it turns out to be a pain in the neck and has been a source of constant
frustration and expletives on our journey. The window buttons have a space aged look to
them, and they are pretty cool, except for the fact they work in the opposite way from
every other window button. You pull them backwards to get the window to go up. The wiring
is also messed up. When Pod Boy was keeping Andrew amused at 2 AM in the morning with
delightful conversation, he tried to make the window go down, only to cut the brightness
of the headlights by half, much to the distress of the driver.
Jason: Small disturbance just occurred. Jason, the excellent and safe driver
that he is, was cruising along route 90 A OK, despite the steady stream of guff from his
rear where Gabby and Rat boy were situated. Things were going fine until Big Guy requested
a stop at his alma mater Union College. "Okey Dokey" I said, "we'll go to
Union." As we were getting off of the highway I was told by the Big Guy to get in the
left lane for the toll booths. "Ok" I said. After getting in said lane, I was
informed (rather rudely may I add) that the lane I was in was electronic no cash ez pass
only. To my distress, I was boxed in on both sides by two vans, and a car was quickly
approaching in my rear. I was forced to go through the toll booth without paying.
Guff ensued. I was annoyed. After a few failed miscues I told Andrew
what I really felt about the situation. I then felt better. We saw Union, and tried to
find the frat house to no avail.
We are now continuing on our voyage. This small bump in the road, has
been a mere blip on the radar. Let us never speak of this again. I have said my piece, and
I abstain from comment on any ensuing text. Amen, and God save the Queen.
Owen: Needless to say, the cool head of reason must prevail in this
situation, that an unbiased account of the "disturbance" might be rendered. In
reviewing the previous chronicler's account of said incident, the proverbial
"rub" has been sussed out. "I was told by the Big Guy to get in the left
lane for the toll booths." Let it be duly noted that said chronicler WAS informed to
choose said lane, but mistakenly chose the center lane instead. Clearly marked signs
informing motorists of the toll-collecterless nature of this booth notwithstanding, the
mistake was entirely honest. I must say that when three people shout the same thing at you
at the same time, it definitely ISN'T three times as clear as if ONE person were shouting
it at you (and maybe beating you severely about the head at the same time). The reader can
be assured that Jason's desire to tell Andrew "what I really felt about the
situation" was in no way hampered by the fact that Andrew and Owen were laughing
uncontrollably, on the verge of tears, at the sheer hilarity of the entire incident.
Owen: Union's campus was quite attractive, and the stop could not possibly
have been any more well-timed. Crew morale has been restored as we head for Beantown. We
anticipate seeing the lights of the Pru by nightfall.
Jason: Cecilia! Cecilia! You're breaking my heart. You're breaking my heart.
Andrew: For the inquisitive reader who might wonder what really went on during
that fateful incident read on. Jason took control of the helm somewhere in the middle of
NY state at an innocuous enough looking rest stop. Little did we know that it would be the
last stop before a general malaise took hold. As we past the two hour chunk of time that
Jason was allowed to drive, he became "drunk with power" and refused to yield
control of the vehicle. The next exit was in 39 miles, and things looked grim for our band
of merry gentlemen. As we neared the next exit, 39 miles down the road, the fatigue was
showing on Jason face. His eyes were bleary, and there was the certain tension around the
corners of his mouth which began to worry me. As we went on, there was an increasing
amount of swerving occurring, and I was only too glad to be off the highway to visit Union
College. When we got off, Mr. Jones said get in the left lane. Jason's mind was obviously
not on driving, and his hypertension state he chose the one lane which had a huge sign
above it saying "EZ Pass only", "No Cash." He was unresponsive to
verbal stimulus when we tried to alert him to the situation. Needless to say, we went
through it anyway, and as I was laughing hysterically in the back seat, he turned his
animosity one, for some reason, and it all of a sudden was my fault. Full Stop.
Jason: And so sayeth the Lord, now shut up everyone and stop living in the
Jason: Stardate 16:39 we have just crossed into Western Ma.
Last will and testament:
To dearest brother I leave my CD collection
To dearest ma I leave my room, oh wait she
already took it
To dear old dad, I leave a shitload of guff and
a 10$ ez pass fine
Owen will now be taking the wheel at the next rest stop. Pray for us
Jason: Final thoughts: We've learned a lot while on the road. A lot about our
great American countryside and each other. In conclusion I would like to say a few words
as we take the final exit off of route 90. We've learned to celebrate multi ethnic
racialities. We've learned how far we can trust each other behind the wheel, some more
then others. If we have also learned each other's guff tolerance. We've been moved to
laughter and we've been moved to tears. It's been an "experience" to say the
least. Are we better people after this experience? I don't know if I can be the judge of
that, but I can tell you one thing... I am very sick of the trail mix. Take care of
yourselves and of each other.
But even now, the supposed last entry of the log book, I'm getting even
more guff. How appropriate to end on such a note. Watch as they can't let that last word
pass without a series of inane comments and guff.
Andrew: That is purely foolish. Owen obviously has a high opinion of his
abilities as an unbiased historian. I have no such delusions, and here are Andrew's final
thoughts and moralizing
1. I contradict anything Owen says automatically, and I resolve to try
to tone down this habit.
2. Trail mix is silly.
3. You are screwed on 128 if you have a break down
4. I believe that I have been less inhibited this roadtrip than I ever
have been, and it was fun. I wonder how much of my life is passing me by? But then again,
I don't regret anything to date.
As I finish up my final entry, I just have to pause for a moment. I
have had a boatload of fun, and I do (in contrast to the monkey who wrote the previous
wrap-up) believe that I learned something. If not about the others whom I am traveling
with, then certainly about myself. I think that considering we have been in the car
together for about 20 hours, we are amazingly upbeat, and that is a testament to the
friendship which I feel with the other three people in this land barge. My final words
have to be thus: Thank you so much, and I hope to do this again.
Owen: <unbiased monologue>They're yodeling. I swear to all things
sacred. Make them stop. I learned a few things:
1. I have high guff tolerance. As long as the guff is varied, I'm all
2. No one trusts me any farther than they can throw me.
3. Everything I do has to be "adjusted" by Andrew and Jason
to satisfy their every whim. Then they have to adjust things to satisfy each others'
whims, and everything goes down the tubes.
4. Books are still good.
You are looking for the rudest, and I am he, and he is me. I can't
believe I ate the whole thing. So long and thanks for all the fish.</unbiased
Quote of the day:
6/12/99: "Dad, I think this is a two lane road" -Jason to Mr. Jones as he
swerved into oncoming traffic while driving to U. Chicago.
Mr. Jones: "So, how long will it take to get to Niagara Falls from here?"
Border Guard: "Oh about three and a half hours."
Mr. Jones: "Oh, that's not so bad."
Border Guard: "That's if you're going the speed limit."
We laugh maniacally and peel out.