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Day twelve. (95sep06)

NEBRASKA: "You Hate Us...With Good Reason!"
10:24am MST
Scott: "There's a rocket base in town. I think this is used as a testing range, because sometimes I-80 is closed. Look for blown-up things."
Jeff: "Roger."
I attempt to sleep through most of Nebraska, as does Scott. In between our naps, he relates his "Nebraskan Innkeeper Fraud Story" which goes something like this. In Nebraska, defrauding an innkeeper (motel clerk, whoever) is a felony. Scott and his brother tried the ole' two-for-one gag; the innkeeper told them: "usually, I just call the police. But I saw your Michigan plates ... I'm from Michigan, so I decided to give you a break." Weeeeoooo. So you can see why we won't be sleeping the night in Nebraska.
Bumper Snickers: "Work sucks. I'm going on tour."
Another ANSI standard rest stop. The restroom has a trash can that's been kicked in several times. There's a great big wad of text on the side of it.




So I kicked it in some more. "Right, trash can! Look at me, I'm a bloody hooligan Sex Pistol punk immoral bastard fink! You want some of this, trash can!!" God do I hate this state.

Back on the road. Like every good road trip story, the police become involved. Not that that's good or anything. Our Police Pal Who's Fun To Be With flashes us over to the side of the road.

Nebraska Officer: "You were doing 84mph."
Scott: "That's impossible! The speedometer only goes to 85!"
Neb: "You were clear, I hit you three times with the radar gun."
Scott: "I saw you and glanced at my speedometer, and it certainly wasn't at 84mph."
Neb: "We usually don't start pulling people over until they're at about 75mph."
Our official speeding policy has been "roughly ten mph over" since the start of the trip. Scott was going about 73mph when we spotted the police officer. Scott is incredulous. The officer drums his fingers on Scott's door while Scott explains his side. It's obvious the officer doesn't give a shit.
Neb: "I've written this up for a court date of November tenth if you don't mail in the fine. Is that good for you?"
Hahaha. Fun-e police humor. The officer glances at our comical phrases written in the dust on our SUV. Us comedians stick together.
Neb: "Tell you what I'm going to do (hands ticket over). I will give you a timing test. You just drive 65mph, wave out the window when you're there, I'll hit you with the radar, and I'll verify it with my own speedometer. I won't give you another ticket if your speedometer is wrong."
HO! More comedy! Scott is visibly upset as we pull out for our special FREE timing test. We've agreed to split the ticket, but he doesn't want the points on his record. Understandable.
Jeff: "Some states don't 'talk' to each other. Hopefully, once you pay the fine, that's the last you'll hear of this."
We do the little hand wave thing, and then confer back with the officer.
Neb: "I had you going 72mph."
Our speedometer is 6-7mph slow at 65mph, and even slower, one would imagine, at higher speeds. Thanks, HERTZ! Bye officer. Our entire trip has been at an average speed of about 85mph. This explains a lot of things.
POP QUIZ: Exactly how fast were we going as we left the Black Rock desert as the patrol-happy police followed us?

ANSWER: Way, way too fast.

More assorted candy cane gurgles as we move into Central Time, 2:27pm. Later that day, NPR reports that the Senate ethics committee has pushed Bob Packwood into a corner, beaten him up and taken his wallet. It's for the best.
Jeff: "We gonna watch MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE today?"
Scott: "I hope so. It's my only solace for this sorry day."
Jeff: "Yay."
Scott: "Yippee."
A routine gas stop reveals our best gas mileage ever. It's a GAS MIRACLE! No, it's post-ticket speedometer knowledge.
Scott: "I just had a chilling thought!"
Jeff: "What? What?"
Scott: "What if Mission Impossible isn't on until 2am because of the new time zone!"
Jeff: (groan)
Scott and I jump into a confusing discussion of exactly when MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE will be on, either at midnight or 2am. Somehow, we figure it out.
Bumper Snickers: "Thank you Jerry" (fancy tear-jerkin' script)
Dinner time approaches.
Scott: "Should we go to Happy Chef?"
Jeff: "Fuck yeah."
Happy Chef turns out to be like Denny's, but the food isn't as "good." Outside there's a large number of big ole' fat flies, but no huge imposing Happy Chef statue. Given the choice between landing on you or landing on food, the Nebraskan fly will usually pick you. Maybe because you're bigger food? I don't know. They're tenacious bastards. I want out of this fucking state.

Milford is the home of the world's largest covered wagon/gas station, but even more tragically, Milford is still in Nebraska. My two-week "beard" itches. I blame Nebraska.

We're coming up on Omaha like nobody's business. There's a speed trap here, plus a ridiculous amount of construction. Oh, they'll try to keep us here ... but they will FAIL! FAIL, I TELL YOU!

Scott: "Boik!"
IOWA: "We're not Nebraska! Sorry about the corn, though"
9:10pm CST

Hey! There's gambling here! Council Bluffs, Iowa! Reservation gambling!

Jeff: "Lezgo!"
Scott: "Ummmm ... no."
Jeff: "Boik boik boik boik boik!"
We're coming up on a big-ass lightning storm. Just amazing. It's Like IMAX, but 90 times bigger; we're chasing it, all the way to another Best Western motel, hidden nine miles away from our freeway exit. TV time.

The best part about MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE was not the pseudo-science ("This is the mass of an anti-Lambda particle") nor Special Guest Star Lee Meriwether, but the faux foreign signage. After travelling to the Federated People's Republic, our I.M. force creates a "detur" to prevent a car from arriving at the "nuklear reserch" facility; later, Barney sneaks into a "stahrwege" closet and also operates a nuklear device with a monitor labelled "maihn powar." If only I could translate!

Scott: "I love the guy who thought of this!"
No HBO porn. Closest thing: Rob Lowe in First Degree, a movie about a cop who pops a rich guy so he can shack up with the widow. You might as well have written the plot on his face. Which would be kind of fun to do, actually.

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