My name is not important. I’m a regular guy, like you and the people that you know. Only with two big exceptions. 1) I possess more ruggedly handsome features than you and 2) Although I’m a generally intelligent person, I tend not to put a lot of thought into my actions, which inevitably leads to getting myself into some pretty weird and sometimes frightening situations. Join me on my journey, where I take you through my misadventures as a guide of 1,001 things not to do.
West Virginia Sucks
My friend Jared was my roommate during sophomore year in college and I had no plans for that Thanksgiving break as the date approached. He invited me to his house in northern Virginia and I took up his offer. Now this drive was a brutal, five hour trip from from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the north pole of Virginia in his broken down, heater-less, piece of shit car. To make it go by quicker, we did what most college kids would do. Drank 40′s on our way to keep warm.
The tone was officially set for my trip. We finally arrived, half-drunk, and it soon became clear that I was only the third biggest alcoholic in the house. Jared was already an accomplished drinker, but his mother was the surprise darkhorse. She was a single mom who had an always half filled wine glass seemingly duct-taped to her hand. I was fascinated with her interactions with Jared, as they constantly traded dead baby jokes and the like over casual dinner. Jared always struck me as sort of an odd-ball, but this offered a glimpse into his upbringing that I had always suspected.
The next evening, he tells me that we’re going to a party. Fantastic. I enjoyed hanging around their house, studying the world’s most unique mother-son relationship, but I was ready to start binge drinking and making bad decisions.
We drove twenty miles out to the middle of nowhere and turns out it’s a bonfire party, filled with the kind of north Virginian people you’d expect. I already knew how this night was gonna turn out. Four guys to every girl there, about fifty people total, with thick southern accents reigning supreme. Time to start drinking and pretending I’m somewhere worthy of my presence.
After about a couple of hours of helping myself to everybody else’s drinks, they started to not taking very kindly to the asshole drinking all of their beer and making sibling sexual relations jokes at their expense.
By around two o’clock, I had a line of rednecks just waiting to throw me into the dying down fire. The party was dispersing at that point and I was realizing that I should probably jet before they let the SKOAL go to their heads and give me a beatdown. I approach Jared about leaving, but he’s on cloud nine from extreme drunkenness, mixed with the various drugs that he’d managed to get his hands on, and was less than cooperative with me, since it appeared that he might be taking one of these pathetic excuses of a female home with him. After about ten minutes of arguing, he finally caves, and we thankfully get into his car.
Only one problem….he is, as I mentioned, extremely intoxicated, way worse than I had initially judged. Drunk people just look so sober to fellow drunks. So minutes later, we’re out there on some random, deserted country back roads at about 3 in the morning, weaving back and forth across the road.
After a mailbox becomes a casualty of Jared’s driving, we decide to park along the side of the road and sober up for a bit. He’s pissed about something or other (unclear drunken memory coming into play here) and we started actually fist-fighting. It was likely about how I forced him into driving us out there when he was having such a good time, and the ensuing frustration of about how we have no clue where we currently are.
After what was likely a series of random, drunken flailings of the arms, he retreats and storms off. I’m sitting right outside an elementary school and I remember just sitting on a bench waiting for him to come back….a half hour goes by and still no Jared. So I decide to just sleep in his car and wait it out.
It’s cold as Hell (may as well capitalize the name of my future home) and luckily I’m wearing a warm coat. The car’s parked along the side of a road that still hadn’t seen anybody drive by during my extended stay….I drift off to sleep.
Hours later, I wake up in the passenger seat and it’s light out with still no Jared in sight. The sunlight intensified through the windshield annoys me thoroughly in my severely hung over state and the whiskey smell from the half spilled bottle of Ten High on the floor makes me want to vomit. I start laughing about how funny it would be trying to explain this to a cop who passed by, not to mention the mailbox that had been run over less than a mile back.
As I’m coming to, I see a car up the road, about to drive by. Since I had left my cell phone at Jared’s house the night before and I need to contact him, I rush out of the car and start flagging down the driver, waving my arms insanely in the middle of the road. My body language makes it clear that I’m not budging, so either stop or run me over is the proposal. Thankfully the driver chooses the former, and I ask the him how close the nearest town is that he’s driving towards. He tells me he’s going by Charles Town which is about 10-15 minutes up the road and offers me a ride after I tell him a shortened and only partially truthful version of last night’s story and the mess that I’m consequently in. I accept and we’re on our way.
We finally reach the desired destination of the ghetto, shit-hole locale of an existence that is Charles Town. No seriously, how is it possible for a town to be both a ghetto AND redneck at the same time? I consider not getting out of the car and asking the driver to continue onward, but I summon the courage to open the door and head to the gas station to ask the attendant for a phone book to look up Jared’s number to call him up on a pay phone. Immediately as he handed me the phone book, I realized just how fucked I was.
Upon first glance, it appeared rather thin for a phone book of a state as populated as Virginia, and light as he handed it to me. After studying its cover, reality collided with my hopes and dreams, flushing them down the drain. It read “WEST VIRGINIA”.
What the fuck?! We had managed to drive not only the opposite direction of Jared’s house but……ACROSS STATE LINES. Apparently I am in West Virginia, the worst state in the Union. I allow this to sink in. Obviously his number wasn’t in the phone book and after taking a couple of minutes to run down my options, I decided to man up and go across the street to the police station and plead for some sort of help. Yes, I was that desperate.
After having a 19 year old with bloodshot eyes and who reeked of booze tell them of an even less truthful, shortened version of last night’s story and the conundrum I had found myself in, they decide to extensively interrogate my drug use, convinced that I’m cracked out. I can’t really blame them for this, but after it becomes clear that I’m sober, they still offer practically no help after wasting twenty minutes of my life except for a suggestion that there’s a Greyhound station about forty miles away. So I walk out and decide that going back to the car is my best bet of not getting stabbed to death by some John Deere apparel sporting wigger.
I walk down the road, away from the damned population of Charles Town, West Virginia, and towards the elementary school, thumb up and praying that I’m not going to have to walk these fifteen miles back. Thankfully, a nice woman with her son in the passenger seat pick me up and we drive our way back to the elementary school. We make our way back and upon arrival, there is one concerning detail…..and that was Jared’s car being gone.
I sat there seething with hatred of all man-kind. “Where’s your friend’s car?” She innocently and ignorantly asks. I briefly consider slamming her face against the window for provoking me in my state of FML. “Haha where’s your friend’s car? Haha you’re so fucked, let me take a picture!” She may as well have said. Instead I take the high road and thank her for the ride, as I take a seat by the side of the road, commencing the waiting game, stewing in hatred of everything and everybody…..So I wait around….and I wait.
I look down at my watch. Two hours have passed. I don’t know whether his car’s been towed or if he’s doubled back and picked it up and is searching desperately to find me. I don’t even care. I want to go home. It’s Thanksgiving day and people are sitting down to early, hearty dinners, passing turkey legs and feasting. And here I am, sitting by the side of some shitty elementary school in West Virginia, where they undoubtedly teach west virginia (I’m not capitalizing that state anymore) retard children how to properly maintain their mullets instead of reading, writing, and math. I decide that staying within these state borders is detrimental to my health and hitchhiking to the Greyhound station is my best option to return back to home sweet home in Chapel Hill. Cars had driven by about every fifteen minutes or so during my waiting period and I had been running pretty good on my luck with hitchhiking. Luckily, it didn’t even come to waiting for somebody to drive by, as I caught a break.
A janitor came out of the elementary school front entrance (who cleans toilets on Thanksgiving?) and I plead my case successfully, as she offers me a ride to the Greyhound station since she lives out that way. As I sit in her passenger seat, I notice two things about her. She’s exceptionally unattractive and toothless, and I’m having a difficult time making out the words coming out of her mouth. Upon the forty mile drive up to the town whose name isn’t worth remembering, I understood around half of them. That made for predictably great conversation…..most of the time, I just used the “yeah” method to respond to everything, nodding my head in an approving manner, and aggreeing with whatever she’d just said, hoping it was a suitable answer. We’ve all been there.
We finally arrive and i’m relieved to get out of the truck. She sticks around the Greyhound parking lot to make sure I get my ticket. It’s a go and my bus is arriving in two hours. I come back out to the custodian beauty to express my gratitude for bailing me out in these dire times. She says it’s no problem and in fact she’d love to have me come to her place in the meantime since i’m waiting for two hours for my bus anyways…..I’m not THAT grateful.
The rest of the story isn’t much to write home about as I finally got back to Chapel Hill in one piece. I did receive a phone call at home from Jared that day and we had a good laugh about the situation and tried to fill the holes in each other’s stories that were erased by drug and alcohol abuse. The things that he revealed explained his prolonged absence as I was waiting endlessly by the road. Turns out, after our little fight, he headed down the road on foot and started for some reason in his drunken stupor, filing though people’s mailboxes in some neighborhood. After flinging mail everywhere in the street for about 20 straight mailboxes in this terrorized community, a cop picked him up and he ended up in the drunk tank for the night.
I’m not really good with endings, so I’ll just cap this off by the very truthful statement that we can all agree on….west virginia sucks.