If it’s Monday afternoon or evening and you’re reading this, I should be on my way to spring training — and this time I’m driving.
I could have flown it in two hours, 45 minutes, but I decided to be a buddy (big mistake) and drive with a friend. So now it’ll take 18 hours and 55 minutes — unless one of us has to go to the bathroom.
This all started because my friend wanted to know if I’d ride with him to Surprise, Ariz. This friend has the personality of a chipmunk on crack, but I still like him; I just don’t know if I like him 18 hours and 55 minutes at a time. (I can’t imagine that he has similar complaints about me; I’m a 24-hour-a-day delight.)
I told him that a drive through the desert sounded like the beginning of a horror movie. I assume we’ll run into either a giant gila monster or family of chainsaw-wielding serial killers before the trip is over.
I also told him that if in fact this trip turns into a horror movie, I’m the star (they survive) and he’s the comedic sidekick (they often don’t make it). But since we’re driving his car, my friend thinks he’s the star and I’ll be the one telling him to make a run for it while I fight off the gila monster and/or serial killers … which ain’t gonna happen.
The trip got off to a flying start.
Since we’re traveling southwest and my friend lives in Kansas, he wanted to know why I couldn’t leave my car in his apartment building’s parking lot for three weeks.
You’d have to be really desperate to steal my car; it’s a cheap Toyota with dents and paint scratches where I misjudged the width of my garage door. Like most cars, it has four wheels, but unlike most cars, it has three different kinds of wheel covers on those four wheels.
Even so, three weeks of birds using it for target practice seemed like a bad idea.
So I told him I’d prefer to leave my car in my own garage — assuming I do a better job of aiming it at the garage door this time — but my buddy whined that he didn’t want to drive all the way to Brookside to pick me up. I pointed out that we were driving halfway across the United States, and a little side trip to the Missouri side ought to be doable.
See? Flying start.
We hadn’t even gotten into the car yet and we were already fighting. So two days in a small hatchback ought to have us at each other’s threats somewhere around the New Mexico border. If I go to get a cup of coffee, I’m going to wrestle the keys away so he doesn’t abandon me at some roadside diner in Tucumcari.
The plan is to stop Monday night in Albuquerque. We’re going to find some cheap motel, which sounds like the beginning of a romance novel or another horror movie.
We’ll get up Tuesday morning and finish off our trip and possibly our friendship. If that happens I could be hitchhiking back to Kansas City.
By Wednesday, I should start writing about the Royals and I’ll stay in Surprise for the rest of spring training. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like a helluva lot is happening in Surprise, which is a good thing. It’s not a good sign when a team has open competitions for half its positions.
Nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll find something to write about until it’s time to come home — at which time I’ll call Uber, because I’ve got too much baggage to hitchhike.
Talk to you on Wednesday — assuming I haven’t been eaten by a giant gila monster.