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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Everybody Chicken Down!

I'm exhausted. I've voiced the preceding statement aloud on numerous occasions this week. And I mean it. I'm exhausted. But, for good reason. Last Thursday night, myself and eight other girls pulled an all-nighter on empty Alabama backroads, our destination: sun, sand, surf. Never did we imagine that we would also find studs, Sammy, and Serious Brown.

At 9:30 Thursday evening, I anxiously hopped in the car and drove down the street to Starbucks for a caffeinated beverage. Afterall, I was Siebe's co-pilot on the seven hour commute, and the responsibility required vigilance. So, I did what any good wingman would do--I ordered a quadruple shot of espresso. Gulping it down within five minutes, I was plugged-in by the time I arrived at Lana's apartment to pick her up. And notice she did.

After laughing while Lana drags her suitcase down three flights of stairs (banging loudly on each step), we drive to the church, where we're all meeting to leave our cars. As I'm flying toward the back parking lot, I see a police officer waiting. I pull up beside him, roll down my window, and blurt out excitedly, "we're going to the beach! we're leaving our cars here! we go to church here! don't mind us girls!" He was a bit bewildered, methinks.

Slowly, the rest of the tribe trickles in and seven of us are waiting on the final two ladies to join the caravan. We're killing time, running around the parking lot like Phoebe Buffay, when Rhonda mentions a rustling in the tall grasses surrounding the back parking lot. A few minutes pass, and I wink and signal at Mandy to play along. As the gals stand around chatting, I gasp, and motion fear with my hands and arms, turning around and bolting in the opposite direction. Mandy follows suit, and within seconds, the remaining six girls are screaming and running from this imaginary beast. Mandy and I stop and watch the spectacle, and are doubled-over in laughter. After she catches her breath, Siebe says that her first thought was, "I've got to get past these girls," translation: I don't want to be the first to die. At least we all now know Siebe's true colors... I'm exposing her to the world!

Lisa, MA, Rhonda, Amy, Lana

Melissa, Siebe, Mandy, Amanda

Our first hour in the car took F-O-R-E-V-E-R, despite our traditional renditions of urban rhymes mixed to operatic sounds, and our annual Spring Break cd, which we lovingly re-named, "the History of Rap." At some point during the next seven hours, Lana records her first official Spring Break 2007 entry into "the Tao of Lana." I quote: "My journey in life is to always find my next seat." You do that Laney--on your deep and wide.

At about 2 a.m., we make one last stop at a tiny gas station for a pit stop. Mandy, Amanda, Siebe and I are already in the car, and the back passenger door is wide open. Lana is lingering at Lisa's car, and we're ready to go, so Siebe pulls the car forward slowly. Lana walks toward the car, and Siebe pulls up even more. Lana, characteristically, throws a fit, and we laugh that it's like Little Miss Sunshine, and Lana needs to chase the car and get in.

Fast-forward to four a.m., and Mandy, Lana, & Amanda are drooling on each other in the backseat. Siebe and I are delirious. So delirious that I'm having to repeat the next turn in the directions aloud over and over again, just to keep us awake. I even begin to refer to County Road 191 as Country Road 191. We roll into Mary Esther, Florida, desperate for some sustinence. You'd think there would be a ton of breakfast joints around the Redneck Riviera, but alas, pickin's are slim. We end up at a dirty IHOP, and sit down to order. Our waitress takes our drink orders, and while we're waiting, we meet la cucaracha. The cockroach. The very large cockroach, crawling across the wall, across the table, across the booth, back to the wall, to another table, and down the crack of a booth. IHOP or IHOR???

Now, you may hear the words "large roach," and wonder if I'm exaggerating. Fair enough, but my estimate that this roach was an inch-and-a-half long are conservative. Don't ask if we ate the food. Don't judge us. We were hungry. Besides, the redneck waitress poo-pooed the roach, saying, "I'm from Florida. We're used to these kinds of things around here."

By daybreak, we arrived at our condo and were able to check in six hours early. I had my toes in the ocean by nine a.m. Friday morning. Unfortunately, there was a tropical storm way out in the Gulf, and so we had red-flag conditions to contend. I've never seen bigger waves in the Gulf before, and I've been no less than twenty times.
Lana and I like to swim in the ocean, and after a rough-and-tumble struggle with the undertoe, I walk toward the sand to dry off. Lana is tossing around in the waves, and I order her out of the water, saying that it's not safe for her to be by herself. I was serious, but it was hilarious, and she was laughing as I barked at her. After much commandeering, Lana emerges from the water, and tells me that I'm such a "Mother B!tch." This cracks me up, mostly because it's so true, but primarily because I know Lana means it endearingly. The name stuck.
Day Three arrives, and after hours spent baking in the oven-hot sun, we gussy up and travel to Pensacola for dinner. We arrive rather late at a place called Hemingway's, and we're all a bit cranky due to our hunger. The nine of us walk up to the third level deck to wait on our table, and have a seat at the large rounded bar. The bartender walks over to us, looks us up and down, and asks where we're from and why we're here. When we reply appropriately, he asks again with a puzzled expression, "but why are you here?" Annoyed, we answer. The bartender finally concedes, and tells us that there is a gay pride convention in town. Increduously, we proclaim we are NOT lesbians. A few minutes later, we ask the bartender to take a picture of all of us, and Amy exclaims, "look like lesbians!"

Our table is finally ready (after we walk through tables upon tables of homosexuals), and a ripe, young waiter...er...server walks up to introduce himself and the specials. His name is Forrest, and after the conversation leads to our age, we tell him that we are older women. He replies, "I'm obedient." Good answer, Forrest.

After dinner, we travel to a local beach bar to get our dance on. We walk up the boardwalk steps, our eyes are met with hoardes of lesbian couples, all of them wearing plaid boy shorts, polos with popped collars or wifebeaters. We comment on the standard issue dress code, and walk back down the steps. A girl shouts out as we leave, "it's gay tonight!" As if we needed a reminder, Mandy gets hit on by the lesbians in the car next to us when we pull out of the parking lot.

We're supremely disappointed, and decide to head back to the beach bar, Juanas, close to our condo. During the half-hour commute, Lana and I get a little restless crammed in the backseat, and debate the structure of the typical rap song. I joke that rap songs are like Mexican food; it's the same ingredients, just arranged in different ways. I give her examples by chanting rap terms to my own rhyme: Yo-Ass-Ho-Smoke-Dirty-so-on-and-so-forth. Lana bursts out, "cut him!!!!" I pause, and then begin to gasp with laughter. Cut him??? Instead of gun or kill, it's "cut him." Priceless.

Juanas is hoppin' by the time we arrive, and affords us quite the entrance. I know we looked HOTT, but you'd think those local boys had never seen such pretty ladies before. We might as well have been celebrities, the way the men were fawning (and fighting) over us. Some who shant be named made a love connection...er...lust connection, and we shut down the joint at 3:30 a.m.

Our last full day of the beach went by too quickly, but I was really looking forward to a hot date or two (or three) waiting at Juanas that evening. It was another successful night with the mens, although my Ron Livingston, a.k.a. Jack Berger, look-a-like was playing games with my heart. And this blog wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention that a very tall black man complimented Lana on her "cornbread-fed" body, and Siebe on her "coke-bottle" figure.

Our late night turned into early morning, and after a last jaunt on the beach, we packed up our cars and headed for dry land. Siebe and I had been lusting after Arby's all weekend long, so we talked our car into stopping on the mainland for lunch. As we're eating, Lana grabs a cheesestick from the box, bites into it, and realizes it's hollow. Completely hollow, as in no cheesy center. She throws a little fit, pouts, and then marches up to the counter, shoving the cheesestick in the face of the Arby's cashier. We are practically rolling on the floor in laughter, while she demands a replacement. Lana came back a minute later with a fresh new box of cheesy-fried-goodness.

Somewhere in the backwoods of Alabama, I acquired a new tag. Evidently in conversation, I have a tendency to play devil's advocate or thoughtfully ponder an alternative solution to a problem or situation. I'm not so sure that I've ever really noticed this about myself, and none of my friends have ever pointed it out. Siebe is rather perceptive, and she'd told me all weekend that I could turn serious on a dime. Lana added her Tao at lunch when she blurted, "MA's always got an 'although' around the corner." I told them that a long time ago, an ex used to call me "Serious Brown," for the same reason. Well, it took. They had a fit with that one, and I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it.

Who remembers this?

On the way down to Florida on Thursday, I spotted the Montgomery exit and had a thought--"Flea Market. Montgomery. It looks like. It looks like. A mi-ni mall." We decided to stop at Sammy's place on the way home, but I didn't actually think I could get everyone on board. Surprisingly, everyone was okay with stopping, so about an hour outside of Montgomery, I called the Flea Market for directions. A woman answered the phone, and when she couldn't give me specific directions, she handed the phone to a man. He picked up and gave me directions to the "Flea Market. Montgomery. It looks like. It looks like. A mi-ni mall." Sammy Stephens actually sang to me on the phone. I had a cow.

As we pulled into the Flea Market parking lot, I found myself rather nervous. With camera in tow, nine girls walked up to the building with trepidation. A quick glance around, and we realized that the mini-mall was a bit deserted. We walked through the lattice work, passing booths full of hair extensions, gold grills, fake Coach bags, and airbrushed t-shirts. We rounded the corner toward the main desk, and our eyes were met with a long, tall staircase. Floating down the steps was a large black man, in a three piece suit. I was so humbled that I couldn't even look in his direction.

It was Sammy Stephens. He marched right up to us, thrust out his hand, and introduced himself to each of us individually. We broke out in grins as he broke out in song. It all happened so fast that none of us knew whether to laugh or sing.

I was laughing hard in disbelief at how preposterous the situation. We snapped up t-shirts and tote bags, and Sammy signed every one of them. He led us over to a large screen tv, and we watched his appearance on Ellen.

Sammy led us all outside to the parking lot, so we could participate as his backup dancers. As we're walking to our places, a police car flys into the parking log, and two officers start chanting the mini-mall theme song over their bullhorn. They pull up just in time for the show. Sammy taught us the dance and our vocal parts, and Amy started filming. Again, we were all laughing so hard that keeping time was impossible. After a group photo and a bid adieu, we walk back to the cars, hearts racing.
We're on a high for several hours, and need to make a pit-stop outside Birmingham. My car wasn't hungry, but the other car wanted food. After much drama in deciding where we should eat, we drove to the Chik-Fil-A. While the other car and its five occupants pile out to get food for the road, my car sits stubbornly in the parking lot. I ran in to go to the bathroom, and on my way back out, I see Siebe pulling into the drive-thru lane. I climb in the car, and Mandy, Lana and Siebe look at me mischeviously. They want food now. Nuggets. But this is a top secret mission, and we have to hide our hunger. Twenty-four nuggets later, we're on the road. As we pass Lisa's car on the interstate, Siebe shouts, "everybody chicken down!"

Mandy may not have gotten her What.A.Burger during Spring Break 2007, but What.A.Trip.


Blogger Rhonda said...

What.A.Recap!!!! LOVE IT!

Follwing my tradition of always being the last to know, this is the first I've heard about Operation Secret Nuggets. Impressive! It almost tops the time ya'll didn't know we cheated on Trivial Pursuit till weeks later :)


1:45 PM

Blogger Mandy said...

Oh my Serious Brown...this is the best blog ever! I say we make another trip so I can get my What.A.Burger! And I meant to get a couple of gold grills at the flea market for Christmas gifts!! Another Road Trip!!! Yay!!! Can't wait to Spring Break 2008!


3:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! This is the best recap ever, ALTHOUGH, you did forget to mention how you were all about eating at IHOP, despite the roach spotting, but downright refused to change into your swimsuit in the IHOP restroom.
Love you Serious Brown!

9:15 AM

Blogger thesciencegirl said...

That was incredibly entertaining to read.... makes me want to gather some friends for a road trip. :D

10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think lana should start a blog of her tao. that way we all can be kept up to speed.

12:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"rap songs are like Mexican food"
Cited into hip-hop analogies & metaphors

7:20 AM


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