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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Road trip with the three stooges

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Every once and a while you just need to get away for a few days. That was my thinking when I took off with two friends to watch a Kansas City Chiefs game this past weekend.

I know, I know, the Chiefs stink but it was a chance to get out of Southeast Missouri so I didn't care too much. We had everything worked out, too. My friend, Delivery Driver, was behind the wheel and my other friend, who is like a human GPS, took over co-pilot duties. Me, my job was to sit in the back and make sarcastic comments the whole way.

The trip went off without a hitch all the way to Kansas City. We found the hotel with no problem and when we decided to find a sports bar to watch the Mizzou football game Saturday night, we got directions from the hotel. Road construction forced a wrong turn but Human GPS got us back on track without a hiccup.

Of course, by halftime we were almost physically ill from watching how bad Mizzou was getting trounced so we walked the Plaza until it was time to go back to the hotel. This is where the fun began.

As we pulled from the parking garage we had no idea how to get back to the hotel. Delivery Driver made a wrong turn immediately leaving the garage and well, that was just the start of many, many wrong turns. A circle around the block led us back to where we were and we decided to go the other way. So off we went on Roanoke. Human GPS said to stay on the road but somehow a turn was made. Then another and another. Maybe it was Sarcastic Guy in the back seat suggesting to go left or right, or maybe it was Delivery Driver's instinct but the buildings started looking much different. I made a comment from the back seat that sounded something like, "We are going to die."

Another wrong turn and there was Roanoke again. Once again we turned onto the street and once again Human GPS said "no." At this point, I was handed a map and told to find where we were. This was way over my pay grade. My responsibilities didn't include reading a map stolen from the hotel. I mean really, if you've read my earlier columns I don't even know the difference between Interstate 60 and Interstate 57, but somehow it was my fault I couldn't find where Middle of crossed with Nowhere on the map.

So Delivery Driver snatched the map and we pulled into a parking lot. People peering out of windows holding shotguns made me a bit nervous but Delivery Driver calmed my concerns by stating he was going to use "basic science" to get us out of our situation. By this time, Human GPS was no longer giving directions, only laughing at every wrong turn and meddling into my area of making sarcastic comments.

Once again we were back on Roanoke, which if you haven't figured out by now we weren't supposed to be on. I kept up my job by adding such tidbits as "Did Delivery Driver even pass science class?" and "Haven't we seen this place before?" and "there's Roanoke again."

Mercifully we lucked out and somehow found our way back to the hotel, a good hour after we left the parking garage. Granted the trip was supposed to be 10 minutes but it isn't out of the realm of possibility that we could still be on Roanoke right now.

Unfortunately for us the adventures weren't over as the next morning we were heading back into Kansas City to get some barbecue to tailgate with at the stadium. Delivery Driver had seen a sign for a popular barbecue place he had seen on the Travel Channel.

So, as we made our way back into Kansas City we saw the sign again and followed the arrows. Delivery Driver said the sign said go straight, I said to go left and Human GPS wasn't giving any more directions. Good thing real GPS units aren't that moody. So, we went straight. Straight into a seedy neighborhood where Delivery Driver and I saw a guy with his arm extended and thought it was a gun.

Not wanting to die we backtracked and went left into another seedy neighborhood. We immediately pulled into a gas station with bars over the windows and a "For your own safety please don't wear masks or hoods inside." There was no "no shirt, no shoes, no service" sign. Oh no. They were going to shoot you if you wore a hood or mask, believe me. Needless to say I was a little jumpy.

Since none of us would get out of the truck we rolled down the window and a nice man cleaning the parking lot gave us directions and away we went. However a quick stop caused the empty cooler we had in the back of the truck to hit against the bed of the truck, sounding just like a gun shot. I dove into the floorboard of the back seat, looking for a weapon, of course. Delivery Driver laughed but I'm not getting shot for any barbecue, whether it was on the Travel Channel or not.

Finally, we found the place and let me tell you, it was some good barbecue. Not worth getting shot for, but if you ever get to Kansas City, I highly recommend Gates Barbecue. I will tell you now, it is on the corner of Brooklyn and 12th. And if you see Roanoke, don't take it for any reason, because if you do it takes more than "basic science" to find the right way back to your destination.

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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins