John and Tim's Awesome Adventure
by Tim Morrison (14) (and John Johnson)
Reprinted from V6N1, January 1992
Day OneEarly on Saturday I awoke from peaceful slumber into the reoccurring nightmare I like to call Los Alamos. I was prepared for a long journey to a distant land, a journey I knew (hoped) I might not return from, but the chances of a plane crash are slim these days. So John and I proceeded to pack the sleek aerodynamic piece of blue steel, the Beretta. As we where about to depart from my family I remembered that I'd forgotten my coat, and I proceeded to ask were it was. When I checked the closet where I had been instructed to check I found a new Columbia jacket. (Thanks John.) John didn't want me looking shabby in front of all those Chicago babes.
At long last we left on or journey to Albuquerque. Taking careful note of the relationship between the enforcers of the law and the signs on the side of the road. When we got there John had lost his plane ticket, of course. However it was a fixable deed. John did some begging and telling how he had seen the President in person once and we headed down the terminal with new tickets. We stopped at a money machine to pick up a substantial amount of money. But since John was waiting for his next student loan, we withdrew considerably less than I suggested. We went to the security gate and the alarm went of when I passed through. The large security guard pulled out his gun and I said, "No, don't shoot, I'm just a kid." The guard paid no attention to my plea and shot, a loud echoing filled the corridor... Yet I was still alive moments later. I came to realize that the guard had only handed a camera back to a tourist, and the noise was probably just some Northwest pilot backing into the concourse. On to terminal #C-7.
The first leg of the trip was to Denver, we spent 58 minutes in a 737 at 29,000 feet. On the second part there was a problem with the plane and we were delayed while they fixed it. Finally, after a long wait we were airborne. On the plane they served the worst plane food I have ever eaten, then I called my dear sweat mother on the air phone. Shortly after that I had a feeling that they would call me up to fly the plane, but the flight was over before we knew it and we were in Chicago.
Then John got lost and couldn't find the Alamo Rent-a-car place, but I got us safely on our way. John got the keys to the car (the Geo that he paid $96 a week for) and told me to go find the car in parking space number 21. Of course there was snow on the ground and I had to dig through two feet of snow to find the right spot before I realized the numbers were also on the signs next to the car. However this car was a little big for a Geo, it was oh, about the size shape and model as John's Beretta, but we weren't telling them that! We got out of there as soon as we could and headed straight for the mall because we had lots of time to waste, of course we used most of this time finding the mall. We had been wandering around for some time when John realized he didn't have his wallet so we went back to the car and left. After about ten minutes we were completely lost needless to say if I had been driving that never would have happened (we would be dead - not lost) We realized we were lost when a plane took off in the near vicinity.
We were supposed to meet Ray at the King's Manor, we were ten minutes late. We got all the arrangements straight and as it turned out it was Ray and his girlfriend Patricia that were late, but then Ray drives a Geo. We went in and they took our pictures with our Baron and gave us our crowns, and we paid extra to see the torture chamber ( Only a dollar more but is was well worth it.) Here is a list of a few things we saw:
It took almost forever for them to realize that the people wanted to go inside. Of course I realized this before the mindless minions wandering around and just walked on in... and flew on out. Well, so maybe the waiter only told me to leave and there were no guns or terrorists or blood splattered against the wall but I think the story would go much better if there were. After they finally let us in we went to our second row seats where we had dragon tail soup. The servants insisted on being called wenches, slave, serfs, and ladies. I really enjoyed saying things like "more soup wench".
Then the wenches came and took our pictures. They introduced the people and there was sword fighting, and falconry. The falcon left something in John's food but I didn't think he'd enjoy that very much so I didn't tell him. And the wenches came back over and over again to try and con John into buying some more pictures and he finally ended up paying them to go away. So then we watched them joust for what seemed like two more hours and bid Ray and Patricia good-bye and headed for our hotel.
The Oxford House had 13 stories. I had to take the elevator up to the top story because that was the tallest building I had ever been in. The management provided us with some informational magazines. I don't remember reading about them in the brochure they had sent us. Since we were too tired to read, we quickly fell asleep.
Day TwoEarly the next morning John decided to walk everywhere because it was snowing and the wind chill was -15 degrees F. We first decided to go to see the native McDonalds. John forgot his wallet so back into the freezing blizzard we went. We were then running low on time so we decided to eat somewhere else and we walked to the Museum of Natural History. After John's ears fell off he made me carry them.
We did see lots of interesting things at the Field Museum. Like the Egyptian exhibit, and the fossils ( we saw them putting together one of the gigantic skeletons of a dinosaur.) After a long chase through the pyramid reconstructions we went across the street to the Shedd Aquarium. But before we could enjoy this the Aquarium we had to see the Bill of Rights tour which I told my teacher I was going to see. In order to see the Bill of Rights, the Aquarium and a play we had to take a taxi to Navy Pier where John had been told the Bill of Rights was. Needless to say, the tour had been there two weeks earlier but now the Pier was empty. So we (John) shelled out some more moola and we returned to the Aquarium. This was the first time that I had taken a taxi ride, so I felt it was worth it - John might disagree.
At the Aquarium we saw a green moray eel, a lion fish, a fish that glowed in the dark, and billions of trigger fish. We also saw turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, and penguins. We got to see the Aquarium's new exhibit too, performing dolphins. They were controlled by trainers using hand signals and whistles. We also learned that the Pacific Ocean contains roughly 187 quintillion gallons of water!
Next we went to see Man of LaMancha with Raul Julia and Sheena Easton (but Sheena was sick that day and Joan Susswein Barber took her place). Anyway, this person looked more the part of Aldonza I think. The play was outstanding, we both enjoyed it immensely. Raul Julia is an incredibly versatile actor and he did a wonderful job in role as Don Quixote.
Next we went to meet Ray at Dick's Last Resort where they give you a huge bucket of just about anything you want as long as it's messy. We sat up front next to the dixieland jazz band. I ordered the ribs, John had shrimp and Ray had The Barnyard Special. They also gave us two buckets of fries about 2 and a half pounds in each. John looked at the drink list and was going to order a Blow Job but he told the waitress he would rather have a Hurricane 'cause he could keep the glass. Most of the Bears fans there were depressed because the Dolphins had won. The food was good and I was the designated driver because I was worried that John and Ray would get to drunk (we were walking, but that's beside the point.)
We all went to the theater at the Water Tower Mall to see The Addams Family (just because I missed my own family so much.) Raul Julia was starring as Gomez Addams, and he did a very good job. I ended up even thinking about my brother Tyler when Cousin It finally made his appearance. I thought that the movie was a good one, even if it did remind me of my little brother.
Then Ray drove us back to the hotel. Ray wanted to stay and talk, but we were tired so he just took the informational magazines and left.
Day ThreeThe next morning we took the elevated train to the Sears Tower. We got there early so we ate at Burger King and looked around. We saw the tour of Chicago movie that Oprah Winfrey hosted and we skipped looking at the scale model of the building and went right up. I enjoyed it, having only been as high as the 13th floor. Of course, the PPSA World Tower will be roughly twice as tall! However I can disclose no further information at this time. After one of the guards told John, "No, you cant throw the boy off", we took the elevator down to the bottom at a mere 35 miles per hour.
After that we walked to the Chicago Board of Trade. John got in the wrong elevator and then had to ask how to use the escalator. After we grabbed a few match books and watched the traders in the pit, John looked around and found a computer. Luckily a security guard pried him away in time to prevent another stock market crash. I can't help but wonder if he had anything to do with the current recession. I do know that he bought a new Mac IIsi computer the week after we got back though.
Next we went to lunch at Giordano's restaurant. We were told they had some of the best pizza in town. The pizza was great and we ordered a large so we could take it with us to Michigan. As we were returning to check out of our hotel John threw the pizza in the path of an oncoming bus. Then he yelled at some guy and pretended it wasn't his fault.
After checking out, we drove to the Museum of Science and Industry. Since we got there two hours before they closed John pulled me away from every exhibit after about three seconds so we could see them all and still have time to see the Omnimax show. We didn't even have time to see the dissected bodies Ray told us about. The Omnimax theater had a screen that went almost 360 degrees around, and the sound system was fantastic. The show was on Antarctica and I wished I had worn my winter coat.
The road beckoned and we were soon cruising toward Michigan. That night we stayed in Mt. Pleasant at John's sister Kathy's dorm. I didn't see much of the Central Michigan University campus, but Kathy and I rollerbladed in the hallway, and I quite enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in a building with 400 women.
Day FourBefore I knew it the night had come and gone and we were heading toward John's parents estate in the sleek white Beretta machine. At one point I thought about taking over the helm, but we all know that wouldn't be legal, even though the road was dry, and void of other motorists, and even though the road was straight and I would have only gone a couple miles.
We got to Petoskey around noon and John told me about a candy store I just had to see. I thought I was in heaven. I bought a 3 inch jaw breaker that lasted a week. Then we went and looked around a toy store for a bit. Then we drove to John's parent's house.
After we unpacked Max (their dog) ran off and, since we had a rental car and since we stayed on their property, John let me drive the Beretta. We found the dog and then we went grocery shopping. John had told me about one time when he put Kathy over his shoulder and carried her through the grocery store in front of some boys she knew. Of course he had to try this with me.
Day FiveThe next day was John's birthday. We watched some movies and generally messed around. John needed to have a doctor sign a note saying he was physically and mentally fit to drive so he went down to see his doctor. From the look on the doctor's face I think John just barely passed.
Kathy, Tim and John, with Max the dog.
Day SixThanksgiving Day. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner and then I decided that we should drive to Canada since we were so close. So we drove across the Mackinac Bridge (one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, joining the upper and lower peninsula's of Michigan) and headed toward the border. Just about when we were an hour from any city with hope of an open gas station, John looked down and said, "Looks like we need gas." So we took the next reasonable looking exit, thinking we had about 5 miles left. We drove through the town and down some side road that was drifted with snow. If we ran out of gas here we would probably never be found. We were prepared to die.
Luckily we made it back onto the highway and 15 more miles, running out of gas at the Sault St. Marie exit. We got a ride from some friendly passersby and gassed up and crossed the border. I was now an international traveler.
We spent an hour at the mall in Sault St. Marie, Canada and then turned around for home. John almost wasn't let back into the United States because of the hard time he had obeying the border guard. If it wasn't for my diplomatic way with people he'd probably be breaking rocks in some Canadian prison camp. Anyway, we made it home and after making a batch of peanut brittle this man of the world was ready for bed.
Day SevenThat Friday John tried to fit in everything we hadn't done yet. We started off the day by sledding down their steep quarter-mile long driveway. Then we tried to scare off some hunters that had arrogantly parked in the middle of the road. Then we took a load of garbage to the dump (oh, what fun!) Then we went cross-country skiing. John got totally lost on his own property and ended up heading the opposite direction he intended to. It's a good thing I have intuitive compass-sense! After that we helped John's dad clean out their garage.
Tim is tired out from traveling, on the way back to Los Alamos.
By 5:00 that afternoon we were packed and heading to East Lansing to see Raman Pfaff. Since it was already 9:00 by the time we got to his apartment, we only had time to go see The Addams Family again. With ten minutes left in the movie the projector developed what is technically called a brain wrap. They got it going after half an hour, but they had to cut out five minutes so John stood up and said, "This is a gyp! They cut out the climax!" We were the first to receive refunds and called it a night.
Day EightWe awoke at 5:00 A.M. and hit the road soon after. This time we had gas! Needless to say, we were both quite tired. Since I couldn't drive, John had to pull over for a half hour nap around Benton Harbor. Then, despite the heavy winds, we proceeded to navigate our way to the Alamo return lot.
With five minutes to spare we boarded the plane for Houston. Upon landing in Houston we were immediately assailed with hot, humid, odorous air. We spent an extremely boring hour there. Then we boarded the plane for Albuquerque. Four hours later we were in Los Alamos.
John and I had an awesome adventure, but I for one was glad to be home.
Last Updated 04/13/95.© 1996 PPSA