Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Travel Assignment...

1) Arrange with a friend to go somewhere remote during Easter week.

2) By remote I mean far flung, inaccessible, distant, isolated, god-knows-where, obscure and outlandish. By arrange I mean do little more than buy a cheap airplane ticket on

3) Arrive and spend first night in random hotel in random town at least 3 hours from airport. Begin right away to realize how much you like your friend.

4) Next day find someone who will rent you a car to drive to remote place which must be at least 8 hours from hotel. Consider getting a map.

5) Arrange to have car (which must be at least 8 years old) left for you in hotel parking garage and get keys from concierge (if that is the right word).

6) Let friend drive. Get in car, shift to reverse and back into cement column breaking tail light. Friend begins to realize how much he likes you.

7) Begin 8 hour drive but stop en route to buy used tail light and install so that rental car company (if company is the right word, rental car guy is more like it - in fact I think it was his car) does not charge for new tail light. This can only be done if the most unlikely person on the planet turns out to care about you. (This is somewhat, but not entirely, within your control). This person is unlikely because she is an old woman working in a run down used car parts store in a crummy neighborhood and does not speak your native language. Nonetheless you and she seem to laugh a lot for no discernible reason other than fact that replacement tail light for 8 year old Datsun was in stock which is, you gotta admit, pretty amazing.

8) Get kiss from woman in #7 before you drive off.

9) Drive 8 hours, arrive in small town at dark, find someone to talk to about accommodations who does not think you are insane.

10) Sleep in shanty, shed or shelter with electricity provided by car battery connected to a light bulb.

11) Wake up next day and bring video camera.

12) If you do not know how to use iMovie, learn and make video of no. 11 above. Have no idea what anything on your video is all about.

13) Post.


  1. Hey Friendo,

    Nice posting, great video, thanks.
    I am deeply touched.



  2. Hi Steve,
    I assume you saw this amazing article but just in case:

    Love the blog!

  3. I was sure you had seen it too. I heard a story told by a former student of his that I had not heard before: She (the student) was always mixing up "further" and "farther" and using them incorrectly in her writing assignments. On one of her last she used it wrongly again and in the margin DFW wrote, "I hate you." I wish any teacher of mine had ever said that to me about anything (and meant it in such a loving way).

  4. That is a great story - I read it on mcsweeney's and it was one of my favorite anecdotes about him. What I would not give to have had him as my teacher. I fantasize about that all the time!



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