- Thanks a lot Thom Yorke.
This past Friday, I drove the wrong way on I-90 for two and half hours. Mad Rad and SOTA were in Bozeman, MT and we had a show in Spokane, WA. Instead of going west, I went east, toward Billings and the Dakotas. I had no idea. Nor did any of the seven others in the van. It was raining hard, the wipers were on high, I was in a tunnel of road doing 80 mph on cruise control, and making good time (going the wrong direction). We were listening to Radiohead and Lymbyc Systym. Thom Yorke will do that. He’ll lock you into to a highway, whatever direction you’re headed. I would have kept going too, for another quarter of a tank, had people not needed to pee. The day, like the music, was grey and muzzled. Clouds and mist hung from the hills. I had manipulated the van sleekly through traffic and massive grim tankers, through the pouring rain and wind. Satisfied such good time was being made.
I walked into the gas station mini mart to go to the bathroom and look for wasabi peas, and asked the attendant how far to Spokane, expecting to hear an agreeable distance. Like 4 hours. The woman behind the counter (who looked like Shelley Duvall from The Shining) said, “10 hours.” I said, “No, Spokane, Washington.” And Shelley Duvall said, “Yeah, like 10 hours. You’re pretty much in Billings.” She was strange and overly generous, as if she wanted us to stay, and play doctor with her. We should have only had 4 more hours to go. She had to have been wrong so I took out my phone to GPS it. The GPS would make everything straight. My GPS said, “540 Miles. 8 hours and 39 minutes.” (Don’t know where she got 10 hours from.) Oh my fuck.
I thought my best bet was to quietly inform the guys in a one on one manner and say I’m sorry. The only one I was worried about was Radjaw. He was going to be quite displeased, and probably call me a moron. But I deserved it. I was responsible, and was right about Radjaw. He was quite displeased. We were closer to Dakota than Spokane. I was called names — Magellan, and Mr. I-90. Mostly, it was the quiet that hurt. The stinging silence of tense disbelief. The van was refueled, for a zillion dollars. I went in the bathroom, took a picture of the condom dispenser, and we got back on the highway, going west. Someone else drove.
The math of mileage was computed to see if the Spokane show was doable, and it was decided we would give it a try. After a couple hours, I begged to take over the wheel so I could right myself, and speed. Driving back through Bozeman was not pleasant for me. We drove through dusk into dark and into mountain passes. Driving through pitch-black mountain passes at night in a speeding, heavy van that doesn't handle well is a process that raises blood pressure. We ended up making it to Spokane and the venue with time to spare. I was redeemed, somewhat.
Things to note about highway driving: 1. Always check your entrance ramp. 2. Be careful when you listen to Thom Yorke. 3. Watch your caffeine levels. Because if you go the wrong way long enough, you’ll end up in the Dakotas with Shelley Duvall serving you wasabi peas and pounds of organic corn. She’ll be overly generous, then she’ll straight up chloroform you, cook you in an oven, and serve you as meat pie.