for the shorter version and some pics:
"detroit?!," was the most common response when i answered the question around
the office - "any plans for the 4th?" i suppose i can understand why, but
the question is, why not? there were possibilities of coconspirators and other
scattered travelers, definitely casinos & people not seen in too long, so the
plans were laid. the advice to, "bring a vest," had already crossed my mind.
i listen to eminem.
thursday, july 3, 2003
in what is becoming a 4th of july tradition, chillbill and i bailed on our
respective cities for the holiday weekend. lacking the magnificent mass transit
of nyc, i headed off in the car for boston's logan airport reminiscing about
the past few weeks since puerto rico.
as i reminisced, thinking of the bars that would be torn up, the clubs that
would be closed out, i tried looking for the "economy lot" at the airport. i
passed the ups hangar . . . the fedex hangar . . . the fuel storage for the
airport . . . and, finally, a sign that said "leaving boston's logan airport,"
with no sign of the lot. with that, another plan was laid. central parking.
while my flight was not nearly as spiritual as bill's i did have an amicable
and attractive travel companion in the seat next to me. thank god for the
university of michigan.
we were picked up by diana and off we were to troy, michigan in the turbo
volvo. we caught up a bit, but not for long as our intrepid counsel arrived home
from court. it was off to detroit's "mexican town" area for some very good
grub & margaritas. on the way we saw the many beautiful abandoned buildings
that detroit sports on what seems to be every block.
detroit's "tastefest" was going on a couple of block's from scott & diana's
free, though wrongly, held apartment in the actual city of detroit so, after
lunch, we stocked it with some supplies from the local package store. the crib
boasted a chopper pad within spitting distance of the patio for the henry ford
hospital, which must be very convenient for everyone trying to sleep. but,
hey, we weren't sleeping there, so who cares? i was actually hoping one would
land when i had a few in me. we could have heckled the emt's. if we could
have thrown their concentration, maybe someone gets dropped. diana's brother,
steven, arrived at some point, along with hersh and the main crew for the
weekend was united.
tastefest was jumping. we met up with patrick, mae, sam and others for the
rusted root show and began to observe our surroundings. let's say that bill &
i were warming to the midwest very quickly. we drank some beers and walked
around this huge festival. 3 stages, tons of places to get food and bevies,
and the people of somewhere else everywhere you looked. if you ever wanted a
hamburger made out of at least a pound of meat, you must go to tastefest.
early night was back at the henry ford apartment where we realized that the
alcohol we'd purchased was enough for about 15 minutes. ah well. when scott
offered me my choice between a mystery beverage - that very obviously had both
o.j. and cranberry juice in it and already looked like puke - and a 40 oz. of
colt 45, i decided i was glad to have purchased the half case of mgd
longnecks. as i headed for the fridge, i heard scott turn to bill, "c'mon, man. which
one do you want?" diana had snared 2 buckets of kfc's finest, and the night
was on. it's good the emt's didn't land, because the chicken bones were
getting shot-put for distance.
somehow we got the idea to cap the night with a swim but, unfortunately, bill
& i had left our luggage in troy. when we advised scott of this fact, he
predicted that steve would insist on the cleanliness of trunks used by other
people. "no," he sighed, "he'll tell you that you don't own a pool, so you don't
understand about the chlorine." when we informed steve of our predicament he
assured us there were several extra suits. i started to chuckle as bill and i
said, "yeah . . . but. . . ." "wait, do either of you own a pool?" the
answer was no as bill & i both grew up in nyc. "then, you wouldn't understand.
it's the chlorine." i lost it. he said it all with such conviction. "what
about snorkles and the ocean?" i didn't have heart to mention that, the last
time i checked, the ocean wasn't chlorinated. our reluctance wasn't a bacterial
thing, of course. it's like wearing somebody else's underwear. sure, if we
were trapped in the himalayas and i needed someone else's boxers for warmth,
there would be no question. but, in detroit, michigan, with my suit less than
30 miles away, it wasn't happening.
having the swim stuck in our heads, however, we headed back to the troy
compound which sported 5 pools. we checked the map and chose the most secluded
pool as laws would have to be broken to get in a swim at that hour. a little b &
e action got us into the pool and it was freezing. being cold, drunk, and
paranoid, i hopped out and began to check for the rent-a-cops that i was sure
would hit the floodlights any second.
it was as auspicious a beginning as you can have.
friday, july 4, 2003
as you may imagine, we were all up a little late on independence day.
the drive to breakfast was insane. we were headed to this little suburb of
detroit to see what was open when, almost out of nowhere, were in twister land.
the winds kicked up suddenly and were blowing so hard that i couldn't keep
my eyes open and look into it. i'm not sure what it was - hail or a rock - but
something the size of a golf ball blew inn the sunroof and hit me. i still
have the bruise. shit was flying out there. small animals were inside, or in
the air. and then, as suddenly as it arose, it was gone.
i would find out later - that little natural tiff knocked out power to 60,000.
los lobos was playing at tastefest and, as disappointed as i was to miss
that, we had a little impromptu independence day celebration at the rumple
residence. shirley was home from pennsylvania, patrick and mae came by and a good
time was had by all. there were stylish dives, belly flops, in-air acrobatics,
badminton, and bar-b-que. there was talking porsche & cars with mr. rumple,
and all was right with the world.
diana, of course, passed out during the fireworks - about 30 minutes after
proclaiming that she could eat and drink twice what she already had. nobody saw
the point of rousing her for the drive back to troy.
saturday, july 5, 2003
we headed back over to the rumpel residence to pick up our wayward and hung
over companion. as we exited the vehicle, i saw the telltale sign of some sort
of radiator leak. steam was pouring out of the hood of the volvo. we took a
look and the problem did not appear to be that bad. a hose had come loose
that we could simply put back on for a temporary fix. the radiator, however,
was bone dry. figuring that an engineer for ford would have some antifreeze
laying around, we began to check the rumpel garage.
i located 2 containers of "antifreeze" and went to work. we filled most of
the tank with peak antifreeze and water. now, i may have ulterior motives for
saying what follows, but scott wanted the tank full, so i grabbed the 2nd
container of antifreeze.
as soon as it came out, i knew something was wrong. vehicle antifreeze is
universally green and somewhat thick. this antifreeze was yellow and thinner
than water. about a cup made it in before i realized i was pouring in
antifreeze for the pool. why would anyone keep 2 different kinds of anti-freeze right
next to each other?
a little work with a turkey baster, a prayer that we got all of the offending
liquid out of the main systems, and we were off to greektown for breakfast.
we hit the sights in detroit so i could get my pics of joe louis' fist,
tiger's stadium, and wound up walking along the waterfront. after that, it was
back to tastefest where we checked out some half-pipe action.
we killed the alcohol in the henry ford crib and headed back to troy where i
was determined to make people go clubbing.
as we all dressed it was decided that, as there were 5 full-grown males, the
beast was the most practical vehicle. as we headed to the club, scott
remarked again how the volvo was dying. having heard this several times throughout
the weekend i think i said, "yeah, i know." scott's response: "no, uh . . .
right now." from the bitch seat in the trunk bill yelled, "we've got smoke!"
and, with that, the magnificent beast gave out.
i recalled the 1983 chevy cavalier that gave out on me in college - when it
was 40 below with the wind chill - and was glad it was july. now, however, we
had a problem. we were on the side of the highway trying to work things out
with aaa and still down to go out. it was 11:30 and the clubs closed at 2.
option 1 - call patrick and mae, get them to change, pick us up, and come out
with us. option 2 - go home and stay there. option 3 - call patrick and
mae, get 4 of us back to troy to head downtown in the jetta and sacrifice one of
the crew for the evening to get the volvo back to troy. it was looking bleak.
i was looking at option 2. i'd rather go home with the crew than ditch the
crew. on the other hand, we were all still down to go out.
just when things were at their worst, bill came up with option 4. get 3 of
the 5 home asap via a ride from patrick & mae, grab the jetta & head back for
the other 2, the aaa guy takes the volvo to troy, and we all hit the club
slightly delayed, but none the worse for wear. option 4 won by a landslide.
a couple of phone calls to a very understanding patrick and mae (big up.
thank you both again), a quick run for some keys, some superb driving from steve
rumpel, a fat tip to the aaa tow-guy, and we were back in business picking up
hersh and scott at exit 55. 12:00 and still alive with the dead beast
we hit downtown detroit and went to panacea. the dictionary defines
"panacea" as a cure-all. they needed to cure their empty space and lack of patronage,
but the place was pretty cool. not a whole lot of action there, and the dj
was the worst i have ever heard, but layout and general feel was cool. mae had
mentioned something about the philippino mob running the show, so i was
especially mindful of the table on the second floor occupied by people who looked
like they had no business in a club, but were vip-ing nonetheless.
at about 2:30 we hit a "coney" next to the original coney for some chili
cheese fries. coney's derive their name from coney island where they allegedly
started - an origin i highly doubt. the chili cheese fries were perfect on top
of the gray goose. after that, we drove around detroit for a while as i
passed out in the back seat. we met a nice youngster name andre, but call him dre,
and, if you see him on the street, you'd better call him "d," or someone
could get killed. i'm not sure what transpired after that other than remembering
that i urinated on the street at about 3:30. i understand we were almost
car-jacked around 3:45. what can you do?
sunday, july 6, 2003
well, saturday was pretty much the end of the weekend. not a whole lot
happened on sunday. bill's flight left at about 10 so we had to drag ass out of
bed at about 8 and get bill to detroit/wayne international.
scott and i headed back to troy and went back to sleep until we went for some
thai food for breakfast. we headed back over to the rumpel's for some more
pool action and to grab a movie.
back in troy we all kicked back, watched "old school" and, one by one, headed
off for bed.
monday, july 7, 2003
as i headed back to boston i went back on the events of the weekend. it
hadn't been quite as i had expected, but i wouldn't have had it any other way.
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