Somehow I’m left with approximately two weeks until my intended departure date, even less if you count the “official” start date of the TEAL field trip as March 1, during which Jane and I will scout out typos in the greater Boston area (lest anyone accuse me or other members of the League of the dread sin of Northeastern elitism). I realize that I still have a lot of preparation to go. Burning questions such as “Where can two young men stay for the cheapest in Beaufort, North Carolina?” and “How can a body continually enjoy cold beverages on the highway without the benefit of a portable icemaker?” plague my mind and poison my sleep. All right, maybe it’s not that dire, but I’m still wondering how I’ll pull all this shit together in time. In the name of typo correction, though, I must persevere!
The trip will include a marvelous range of accommodations, including at least a few nights in a cavernous tent slung up in dark and lonely locales. So I was thankful that the “mummy”-style sleeping bag I cashed in my credit card points for– my polyester sarcophagus, if you will– arrived at my door this past Friday and not in 4-6 weeks (or forty-six weeks, as my grandfather used to say). I would be pleased if other vital pieces of equipment for the trip simply arrived at my house, summoned by some benevolent god of comfortable and economic traveling, but I suspect that I’ll have to do the legwork myself. I did recently purchase the first provisions for our journey. I spied a 48-count steamer trunk of Pop-Tarts on sale at Shaw’s and immediately called Benjamin.
Jeff: “Do you like Pop-Tarts?”
Benjamin: “Yeah, of course!”
Jeff: “Do you really like Pop-Tarts?”
I reckon that this abundance of toaster pastries–two dozen brown sugar cinnamon and two dozen frosted strawberry– should account for a major portion of our sustenance on the road. Peanut butter also sounds like a good idea. Bread. Things in cans. Getting back to the basics, just like our pioneer ancestors. My mother made a gift of five bars of soap, which will surely prove useful as my companions and I bathe in streams in secret glens to slough off the dust of the road. Or in the sink at McDonald’s.
For those rare occasions when Pop-Tarts prove inadequate, we can consult a book that I purchased, called Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood. The worthy, iron-gulleted couple cited in the title bring to the reader an overview of the best shacks, stands, and diners in our great nation. Also, I will be installing a “Donate Food” button above the comments section. A visitor to this site can click the button at any time to donate via PayPal, any major credit card, or against the credit of the Argentinian national bank. Upon completion of the transaction, a small door in the dashboard of my car will open, ejecting filets and hamsteaks onto the passenger seat. Please click often.