Chapter 16
Skittles and Dynamite

Bill peers into the minivan window, his wife Karen hanging on his arm. They are both clad in bathrobes.

“PSP, iPod, DVD Player?” Bill says.

“Check, check, and check,” I say.

“Snacks, tent, sleeping bags?” Karen says.

“Got ‘em,” Shannon says.

“42 inch TV, satellite dish?” Bill says.

I glare at him. He grins. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” he says.

I don’t believe him.

“And don’t worry about the cats,” Bill says. “I’ll feed them plenty of Brutus’s dog chow. What are their names? Skittles and Dynamite?”

Karen playfully taps Bill’s chest. “We’ll take care of Itchy and Scratchy for you,” she says.

Bill leans forward and whispers to me. “Nine hours to Sioux Falls,” he says. “Watch as much Sportscenter in the hotel bar as you can.” Then he leans back and speaks in full throat. “I’ll DVR everything for you,” he says. “Just keep from finding out the scores. That should be no problem where you’re going.”

As we back out of the driveway, the kids are already whining. Bill grins and waves like a man secure in the knowledge that he will be enjoying the rest of the NBA finals from the comfort of his own home.

Four hours later, I am standing over the carcass of a baby deer in the breakdown lane of Interstate 90. Shannon remains in the car, looking sour and disgusted behind the wheel.

The tinted rear van window buzzes down. Edwin’s face appears.

“Is it dead?” he asks, popping goldfish crackers into his mouth.

I ponder a white, winding string of deer intestine.

“Yup,” I say.

“Can I see it?”

“No, stay in the car.”

I pop my head through the passenger window. Shannon looks horrified.

“You alright honey?” I say.

Shannon scans the flat, wide-open Wisconsin landscape.

“Look at it out here,” she says. “You can see for miles. Yellowstone is nothing like this – it’s dense and hilly and has, like, a thousand times more wildlife.” Shannon stares morosely at the deer. “There was only one tiny deer out here, and I managed to hit it.” Her eyes bulge with fear. “Oh my God, we’re going to kill everything.”

“No we won’t, honey,” I say. “I’m sure a few of the animals we hit will survive. I mean, they’ll limp away and live in agony for the rest of their days, but they’ll survive.”

“That’s not funny,” she says.

“Are you sure? Cause I think it might be.”

“Could you check the car please?” she says.

“I did. It looks fine,” I say, glancing toward the front bumper.

“No, you went straight for the blood and guts,” she says. “Just check again, will you?”

I go to the front of the car for a better look at the bumper and hood. Aside from some deer fur and blood, the damage is minimal.

Patch’s voice sounds from behind me.

“Lucky the airbags didn’t deploy,” he says, walking up next to me. “You know how much it costs to reset airbags?”

“How much?” I say.

Patch looks toward the horizon and thinks.

“A whole bunch, I’ll bet,” he says.

This is going to be a long trip.


A storyboard image from the
Disney version of Traveling,
scheduled for release: Summer 2013.

Chapter 17
clockwork orange

“Is that the heart?” Patch says, studying the distended guts.

“I’m going to say kidney,” Stache says.

“Do animals have kidneys?” Bandana says.

“Why wouldn’t they?” I say.

The road kill slide is followed by a picture of a town that appears to have been ravaged by an earthquake or a tornado or something. The next image is a car wreck, and then cowboy outlaws hanging from nooses.

“What is the point of this again?” I say.

Tooth taps the Enter button on his laptop. Man on an operating table. “To gave us all some perspective,” he says. Taps Enter. Burning building. “To make us realize that winning and losing is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. We need to keep perspective.”

“So looking at these images is supposed to make me not care about winning my fishing tournament next month?” Bandana says. “What is this, Clockwork Orange?

Tooth hits Enter. Picture of Greek Gods fighting each other. Looks like Zeus and Poseidon.

“What’s that supposed to be?” Patch says.

Tooth shrugs. “I was trying to convey religion there,” he says.

“By showing us Clash of the Titans?” Stache says.

Tooth ponders. “Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that one,” he says.

Enter. A shot of Earth from space.

Enter. An image of the solar system.

“You know what I think this presentation conveys?” Stache says. “That you could dearly use a Psychology degree.”

Tooth looks hurt. “The online degree is almost done,” he says.

Enter. Picture of a satellite dish.

“What’s that mean?” Patch says.

Tooth looks at me.

Must mean Game 2.


Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate, Chapter 2: Two e-mails, Chapter 3: Pattern, Chapter 4: Shattered, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee, Chapter 6: Suicide, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers, Chapter 9: June, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no, Chapter 11: DNA, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin, Chapter 14: Game 1, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?, Chapters 16 - 17, Chapter 18: Game 2: Great White, Chapter 19: Pickle

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Blogger Will said...
Skittles and Dynamite
So Doug named his pets after the supplies federal agents found in the Unabomber's cabin?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
No, he went with Itchy and Scratchy, but apparently Bill wishes otherwise...either that or he's just being a wiseass...remember, Vince Vaughn plays him in the movie...wiseassery aplenty.

I thought Kaczynski was more of an M&M guy, but Skittles would make more sense...less melting in that hot cabin.

Blogger Javi said...
great work ET, it only gets better... cant wait for game 2

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Thanks Javi,

Always love to hear that.


Blogger Dan B. said...
I, too, hit a deer while on a roadtrip out west a couple years ago. Unfortunately, it was a full grown deer, and it knocked the holy hell out of the front end of my car. I had to drive a rental home, wait a week, then drive back up there to pick up my car. The repair shop in Colorado did a terrible job fixing it, and I had to drive a broken car home to Kentucky and have it fixed again. Moral of the story: don't drive your personal car 2000 miles each way on a road trip, and little teeny tiny baby deer are awesome because they're sooooo cuuuuuute and they don't jack up your car when they mindlessly jump in front of it while you're traveling 75mph. The more you know!

Here's something pretty unbelievable: a love letter written by Michael Jordan when he was 18 years old.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Holy cow happy Jordan got into basketball. If that letter is real his English is terribad at 18 years old. It was really painful to read it.

Blogger chris said...
Dan - So, in that love letter, why am I thinking that the "lost" necklace was really pawned off after a night at the local card club?

Blogger TransINSANO said...
NBA News Break: Cavs trade J.J. Hickson for Omri Casspi a year and four months after refusing to part with Hickson to pair Amar'e Stoudemire with LeBron James on what was already going to be 60 win team. Well played.

Word Verification for this post was appropriately, "durns."

Blogger John said...
I think the bigger question here is regarding our collective fascination with reading one of Jordan's love letters - excellent post though

Anonymous JJ said...
ET - Great work as usual. Thanks!

Dan - Thanks for shattering the image of my childhood idol. I'll never look at MJ the same. =(

Blogger TransINSANO said...
JJ - What are talking about, man? Look closer at that letter:

"I was really happy when you gave me my honest coin money that I won off the bet."

From high school love letters to his Hall of Fame speech, same MJ; just an absolute killer!

Anonymous MJfromAUS said...
I must say, I am loving this series :D

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Sorry to go off topic (I plan on reading these all at once as I did with The Pickup Diaries last year)

@DwyaneWade: I'm available for all bar and bat mitzvah and weddings..but my specialty is balloon animals..

Yup. It's a lockout