Thursday, September 01, 2005

Chapter 1. Dream Fulfillment: From Mercedes S500 to a 1985 Tioga RV

The Mercedes-Benz S500 cost $93,000 in 1995. This car was the choice of Saudi kings, oil barons, drug lords, and crazed rich people who wanted to have a car with a strong enough chassis to armor plate, and yet still ride comfortably at 150 miles per hour. Sturdy and safe, this is the model car that Princess Di and Dodi Fayed died in, yet the driver survived all because he was performing the simple task of wearing a seat belt. And it is in the enviable position of alternating passenger and driver that I find myself racing in luxury from Ventura, CA towards the Oregon border at speeds topping 100 at a bright and early 5 a.m. Wednesday, August 31, 2005. It is here I find myself: with a trunk full of guns, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, personally fueled by caffeine, sugar and nicotine, and accompanied by two heavily tranquilized cats and fellow Capricorn and madman Robert R. en route to fulfill a simple American Dream: to own a motor home. A crazed dream in these days of $3 a gallon gasoline, and maybe not much of a dream in these days of mega-lotteries, war, and "American Idol," but a dream nonetheless.

Admittedly: the guns are owned by Robert going to his new house, the pharmaceuticals are cat tranquilizers, the alcohol a gift from a friend…and the owner is a Mercedes mechanic who got it cheap used…but as far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to travel long distances comfortably and fast that doesn’t have wings. And I always wanted to be part of a story that started like a Hunter S. Thompson novel.

Robert, christening the S500 with a latté and a cigarette

Jeff with tranquilized cats in cages

Jeff and Robert dismayed at the lack of bats in the forest

Now, on to the motor home...

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