If Clingfilms did roadtrips…it would have gone exactly the same way as ours has. The polar opposite of ‘according to the plan’, that is. So in other words, everything’s going just as expected.
For those who truly know our unique style of work, a month overdue blog post will not come as much of a surprise. Nor will the rest of the content. If you are aware of our joint process, our productivity – or lack thereof – our dedication to the art of procrastination, our out and out rejection of the principles of common sense, this will all seem fairly predictable, boring even.
Turning up in Toronto (on a roadtrip of the U.S I might add), it had barely occurred to us where we would stay when we arrived. Ambling down a main street laden down with 15kg backpacks in thirty degrees heat, aimlessly looking for a place to stay, it comes as no surprise that in an exhausted, dehydrated stupor we should choose the first place within our budgetary constraints. A place where the owner has decided to bring a little bit of guesthouse Delhi to North America. Exhausted, the nearest pub seemed like the only idea (rather than stew on filthy mattresses, passing time by waiting for the skin rash to visualize or trying to acclimatize to that wonderful smell. Urine, if you’re interested.) We hadn’t researched where to go out, and the place we chose to drown our sorrows? The Elephant and Castle. That’s right, a wonderful establishment, decked out in red phone boxes and beefeaters. We must have looked so cool, two Brits perched at the bar asking for a local beer. Let the adventures begin?
Now, on a road trip, it’s customary to have a car. However, through lack of research (is there a theme emerging?) meant we realized it would not be feasible. I don’t feel like adding in the phone calls, streetcars, taxis, questions and sunburnt arms it took to discover the unfeasibility of renting a car for nothing for six months, so I’ll leave that part to your imaginations. So it was a bus to Montreal (isn’t it SO exciting that they have the Megabus here too?!) and some couchsurfing requests later led us to Quebec. A Craigslist rideshare brought us to Boston. Another bus to New York, a week there, finishing with a plane ride to Tampa. It all sounds much better when I can compile all the headaches into one sentence. I probably should be a little less vague about this part of the trip, for which there are hundreds of anecdotes, but we’re already way too far behind, so I’ll talk about the work. Ah. The work we’ve been doing. Yes….ok, well if I had to choose one part of the trip that could count as work it’s probably the working on our guts and moobs, ticking off that endless, infinite bucket list of fast food chains dripping in American pop culture (and that other thing, fat) but never sampled. That work. Was that the point of our trip? I don’t know anymore, the sugar has nestled itself into my brain. Life has become a series of highs and crashes. The days when both of our cycles are synched, Greg and I have little problem with each other. When he’s finished a Taco Bell 20 minutes after my Whitecastle, things happen. So much screaming. But anyway, whether the picture menu of Denny’s or the square burgers of Wendy’s, or the endless fountains of perfect pop, the sugar is REALLY DELICIOUS. I can’t finish a sentence with the same topic I did I mention filming is really great but now not so much? I exaggerate of course. There are things in the pipeline. Shedloads of fucking pipeline. Watch this space. Because in about two months, I’ll add to it. Complete with a picture of Jared’s pants torn apart at the waist.
So now the roadtrip has become a reality. Now the previous month has been consigned to the record books of missing the point, and a new age dawns for film. However there are two more anecdotes I’d like to add, both of which can summarise our adventures in one.
The first is in reference to our car. In Miami we finally found a deal we could afford. We got a map, planned a route, discussed the mileage and talked about getting an economic option to maximize fuel efficiency. At Miami International airport the steward leads us to a line of four cars, each different in shape and size, each with many different options to consider in turn. He pithily asked us to pick one and walked off. Twenty metres away, without approaching or discussing the matter, we both simultaneously cried ‘THE GOLD ONE!’. It’s a Dodge. It’s Gold.
The second occurred again in Florida, on a pseudo family holiday with the Barnes’. Greg and I naively decided to cycle to the beach. We left at midday, with a vague idea of it being west somewhere. We left without sunscreen. Greg’s house is in suburbia. An hour and some 8 miles later we collapse into an air-conditioned McDonalds. Pouring with sweat, I am caked in dirt, my knees bleeding freely. Two softly spoken Englishmen in the middle of nowhere looking like they arrived freshly from the war against Cyberdyne asking timidly for an ice tea. Some four hours and a few more miles later, we return home, with red raw skin and mild heatstroke the only souvenir from the beach. That night at a family dinner, Mr Barnes exasperatedly addresses me ‘You fell off your bike?! How old ARE you?!’