Anyway, in no particular order, let me share with you a few vital lessons:
First, we learned on this most recent misery journey that the speed at which other people drive is directly related to the inadvisability of driving that speed or faster. As such, if you find yourself on a two-lane highway with oncoming traffic, rain, high winds, at night, with some kind of blinding strobelight going off constantly, you can be confident that your fellow drivers will maintain a speed of approximately 115 miles per hour. Bonus points for weaving. For our European readers who don't have a ready grasp on the English system of measurement- count yourself lucky. The English system makes about as much sense as braille on a drive-thru ATM.
Second, my companions learned that the reason why I do not drink is not, as is often supposed, that I cannot hold my liquor. As it happens the misery journey is the only context in which I do, sometimes, consume alcohol. This is a consequence of something that happened during a previous misery journey that I won't recount here. In any case, this year my beverages of choice were whiskey and vodka. No vomiting or inability to walk was experienced- to the disappointment, I think, of my alcoholic compatriots.
Third, in a related note, I renew my assertion that no matter how you nancy up liquor it still tastes like a cross between battery acid and clorox. I know, I know, you may think that mixing coke with that Jack Daniels or putting cranberry juice in with your gin will makes things better but, let's face it, it still tastes like crap. Why not just drink the damn alcohol and stop screwing around? Alternatively, if you prefer the taste of things other than alcohol, why not drink things other than alcohol. Take a moment to think about such a revolutionary concept. It's okay, I'll wait.
Fourth, in another related note, we discovered that my normally mild-mannered officemate does sometimes have a belligerent asshole mode when he drinks. This is, however, not a criticism as we all know that I've been stuck on my "belligerent asshole" setting for going on fifteen-years now. Besides, I think I provoked him some. I tend to do that.
Fifth, if you begin walking towards your hotel in the wee hours of the morning while it is lightly sprinkling, you can be assured that before you arrive it will have begun raining harder. Keep in mind that when I say this, I don't mean "Raindrops keep fallin on my head," so much as I mean, "Lo, and the LORD said unto Noah, 'Build for me a great Ark and place inside it two of each beast that walks the Earth or flies upon the air.'" For the bible scholars in the group, if that doesn't even vaguely approximate scripture, I don't care. If any of you are wondering, yes, this is the reason why I said earlier that you should always bring a spare pair of shoes.
Sixth, you should never let my hypothetical roomie or officemate try to talk you into hitting on someone. Or, perhaps more accurately, don't let them succeed.
Seventh, you also shouldn't let me talk you into hitting on someone. What the hell do I know? According to my companions: not a goddamned thing.
Eighth, arrange your return transportation before you leave.
Ninth, Travelocity is run by a bunch of assholes. More on this in a later post.
Tenth, mixing chili with an omelet is a good thing.
Eleventh, roll-away beds at the Ramada and ditches have a lot in common. Too much, if you ask me.
I hope you find these eleven lessons as useful as I do, but I rather doubt it. Ah, well, can't win them all.