Welcome to the first, completely-non-annual-but-totally-prestigious-anyway Movey Awards, where we honor the best and worst of the move from Indianapolis to Seattle.
The award for Best Bacon goes to
Stella's Kitchen & Bakery Billings, MT
We ate many $10 breakfasts during the trip at many unknown, local eateries with many different standards for bacon. Stella's bacon is probably the best bacon I've ever eaten. The most accurate way to describe its appearance is to call to mind a dog's thick rubber chew toy. Billings being out in the middle of nowhere (as is everything in Montana) I totally believe the pig that produced the bacon died earlier that morning with the sole purpose of producing those three ecstasy-inducing strips. And for this, I thank the bacon gods, Stella's be thy name.
Moving right along, the award for Worst Shower... and the winner is!
The Ramada Inn Spokane, WA
First off, I hope the Ramada company got a good deal when they bought this rape-hole. In the conversion from "local, charming, only slightly-rapey motel" to "Ramada-owned corporate-funded inexplicably still-rapey hotel," there were light fixtures that weren't plugged in (because there were no outlets near them), free-standing replacement A/C units because apparently repairmen are migratory, and most notably THE WORST shower I've ever taken. Imagine if you will, the annoying dog who wants to go back outside after you just let him in, and then back out, and then in again. Now imagine that you're trusting that dog to splash consistently-temperatured water on your naked body in a strange place while you're traveling with people who might find it odd that you're cursing/yelping in the shower. Couple that with counter-intuitive "backwards-style" hot and cold knobs, and the message is clear: STAY THE HELL OUT OF SPOKANE.
The Movey for Best Driver's Tan came out as a tie this year, let's have both Greg and Sam come to the stage to accept one disproportionately-bronzed left forearm each.
Y'know folks, as the lights dim and some sentimental piano music swells, I'd like to talk about one of the many reasons we left the Midwest. One stands out above the rest, and is exemplified here tonight by the award for Worst Weather. After living in Indiana for almost fifteen years, actually handing out a fake award for especially apocalyptic weather carries a little more weight. This honor tonight goes jointly to Wisconsin and Minnesota for totally independently of each other making me actually think my life was going to end on I-90.
Driving west out of Madison, it started to rain. "Puh!" I thought to myself, rolling my eyes. "That's the best you can do?" Wisconsin took it personally and filled the air with so much water that some of the more faint-of-heart drivers pulled off to the shoulder to wait it out. Now, I don't like to call myself an Indiana Boy, but I'm not scared of rain. Wisconsin retaliated by upgrading the rain to 11, and then went above and beyond, closing I-90 down to one lane. The Cruise Control on my car doesn't activate below 35mph, and I consider it an integral part of my personality that I will not go slower than that on any interstate for any reason. It's part of what makes me a man. So...Sam: 1, Wisconsin: 0.
After the mind-numbing beige that is southeastern Minnesota, I was practically praying for a tornado. Minnesota, apparently, was listening. The only thing scarier than giant buckets of rain dumping smaller buckets of even more rain on you might just be a storm that's every bit as violent but eerily void of rain. After fifteen minutes of watching the trees against the opaque, urine-colored sky to see just how hard the wind was blowing, I noticed that there weren't any other cars on the road. Fearing they knew something I didn't, I turned on the radio. I realized then why more tornado sightings weren't reported every year. There was no way in hell I was going to slow down and pick up my phone and then try and figure out who the hell I'm supposed to report a tornado to while I'm ANYWHERE NEAR A GOD DAMN TORNADO, where I just so happened to be at that time. And when you consider how many people actually live in rural Minnesota as opposed to how many of us are just passing through, it's a wonder they even know tornadoes exist. Here's to never going to Minnesota again!
Most Unnecessary Photo this year goes to my picture of Mount Rushmore, taken with my the camera on my phone.
After driving through the Black Hills for half an hour (from our hotel which was IN the Black Hills), paying ten dollars for a parking pass, walking past a bunch of tacky gift shops and cafés that weren't open at 10:30am (even though the target market for Mount Rushmore is patriotic early-bird old people) and wading through a sea of tourists from places like Mooseknuckle Ohio, I felt like this mountain with heads blasted into it owed me something. The best I could think of was to snap a picture. So I wasted 3 seconds of my life creating something that I could find on any postcard or even with a simple Google search. [APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE]
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award for Still Most Prevalent Anti-Drug Billboards goes to...
METH! Yaaaaay!! Feels just like home!
I had always somehow fooled myself into thinking that since Indiana was so far towards the eastern side of what is considered the Midwest, that we had our own brand of back-woods redneck ridiculous that was totally different from what you'd find in the actual Midwest (i.e. Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma) and that perhaps Indiana's perennial love-affair with meth wouldn't translate farther out west. WRONG. If anti-meth billboard-density were any indication to how much the locals still love their meth, Missoula is officially the meth-capital of the universe. In their defense, ya know, it's not like they got a whole lot else goin' on.
And the award for City I Now Live In goes to Seattle, WA, BITCHES.
That's right, me living in you is an award. I win.