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Sassafrass makes a gentle and all together tasteless tea, until I hear otherwise ($$$) from the National Fluid Sassafrass Processor Promotion Board (see below).

Water your brakes every 2500 miles.

"Kiss-N-Ride" is a cuter version of "Park-N-Ride," as if your significant other would be all hot on driving you to the train station everyday. HA!

I still drink water out of my canteen. It's quite handy, and covered with dust. Playa dust tastes good. Nutrients!

When the rental company says that you have turn in any duplicate keys that you make, you don't really have to. If you're ever in Lansing, Michigan, and need transportation, let me know. I'll send you a special surprise envelope.

The "luverly" candy that was dispensed from the Sanrio vending machine game is distributed in the United States under the name "Chick-O-Stick."

We were lean, desert machines, we were.

The previews of the new MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie feature Tom Cruise. One can only hope these are his only appearances in the film itself.

Buffalos are now plentiful enough in this great land of ours now that we can hunt 'em again! Yee haw! There's a place in Michigan that sponsors Buffalo Hunts (winter - $1000, summer - $700), no license required, buffalo steak dinner for two and video of hunt included! Taxidermy available! Buffalo meat, skulls, bones, jewelry, hides, mounts, and wagon rides! Damn, call me if you go! Note: Do not call me.

In an interesting twist of fate, I actually knew some of the Burning Man organizers/volunteers before the fact, but didn't put two and two together until I had left the desert. I look forward to meeting them next year, and helping out with Burning Man 1996.


Occasionally readers have asked me if certain events/discussions I've written about really occured. Everything I've written here is pretty much on the money except where it's painfully obvious I'm joking; that crack about the 2007 Neon, just for a TOTALLY RANDOM example. Scott wasn't in on my plan to pose as honeymooning truckers at Wall Drug to score four DO-NUTS. I know I didn't say "big sexy grins" after the Women From Oregon ditched us at the gas station, but I really thought that would bring the whole experience up a few notches. Don't you agree?

Time for "fun-e phrases" from the fresh crew!

Speaking as a scientist... [Scott]
Spoken whenever scientific knowledge isn't necessary. "Speaking as a scientist, I'm sure my keys are around here somewhere."

Are you naked? Do you have a drum? [Crux]
The simple two-step prerequisite for Burning Man attendance. Asked relentlessly.

Damn paparazzi! [Scott]
Spoken any time encountering cameras. Optional "jamming hand into camera lens" recommended.

A rapid, no-questions-asked departure of the immediate area is required, as long as the next destination is known.

DIS is [CNN; <x> = "CNN"] ran.
During the trip back, Scott became obsessed by the James Earl Jones CNN bumper voiceover.

"You can tell he's saying 'DIS', not 'This'..."

Before long, it was "DIS is the dirty clothes bag," "DIS cooler needs more ice," etc...

Let's burn it! [pal]
A comical mirroring of an attitude reflected immediately after Burning Man; that of setting fire to everything that wasn't moving and/or nailed down. "Where's the Sani-Hut?" "Let's burn it!"

We spent three days in the desert [pal]
A flip remark to any purported suburban-type adversity/challenge.

"Can you guys go get some drinks for the party?"
"Drinks? Ha! We spent three days in the desert! Of course we can get your paltry drinks."

Sabatini will attempt to murder you [Mission Impossible] ran.
Spoken in faux-Russian halting falsetto accent. This is of course not Gabriela Sabatini, tennis star and National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board spokesperson. FLUID milk, as if those powder bastards had a snowball's chance in hell of capturing any kind of demographic except for confused coke addicts ("Powdered milk...what cocaine addicts snort when they're not snorting cocaine"). Health kick! Stop sweating bullets, oh my precious Fluid Milk Board.

Yay. Yippee. [F/X] ran.

There's something about having a dick that makes me want to fuck things [Seemen]
Implemented during sexually-charged situations, or to provoke random laughter.

What's on top? Critters! [Devil's Tower educational sign]
Used whenever dealing with location-based queries. Comes up far more often than expected.

We had popsicle stick races there. [Scott]
Spoken nostalgically, whenever encountering a body of water. The rest of the non-existent dramatic story is inferred by the listener.

Put in the Portishead CD. [Jeff] ran.
Cloying tiny-talking-doll voice. This one's getting way too much mileage nowadays.

Shouted upon encountering Nevada Nickels slot machines, slot machines in general, or large amounts of change. I said this about 2000 times in Nevada. Scott loved it every single time.

"Jim? I've lost my sense of smell."
"Don't worry Barney, I'll guide you through it." [Mission Impossible plus the knee-slappin' good-time family-value humor of Scott & Jeff] ran.

During the actual episode in question, Barney loses his sight. So you can see (get it?) where we took a little detur (ha, ha! Those crazy "callbacks"!) for the nigh-impossible comedy explosion you've just experienced. Buy our LP.


"Same Town, Different Name" John Radzilowski Invention & Technology, Winter 1995 (Railroad towns)

"Over The Falls in Barrel" Peter D. A. Warwick Invention & Technology, Spring 1995

Roadside America - Mike Wilkins, Ken Smith, Doug Kirby [Simon & Schuster] 1992 (Wall Drug)

Various pamphlets, National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior (Yellowstone, Old Faithful, Devil's Tower)

Cook County Promotion Board Devil's Tower pamphlet

Wall Drug pamphlet

Black Rock Gazette


Jeep(R) is a registered trademark of the Chrysler Corporation. Always capitalize the initial letter in the Jeep name. Jeep should not be used as a verb -- Jeeping, for example; or in plural form, such as Jeeps; as a possessive noun, such as Jeep's; or hyphenated -- "Jeep-like," for example.

Altoids(R) is a registered trademark of Callard & Bowser-Suchard Incorporated. Always capitalize the initial letter in the Altoids name. Altoids should not be used as a verb -- Altoidsing, for example; or in plural form, such as Altoidss; as a possessive noun, such as Altoids's; or hyphenated -- "Altoids-like," for example.

F/X, Lay's, CNN, Exploder, Kentucky FRIED Chicken, KFC, Dodge, Pizza Barn, Pizza Hut, Mission Impossible, Plunge-O-Sphere, Grass Valley Group, Ball O' Cat Guts, Arby's, Bill Gates, Subway, Ho-ho's, Muzak, Wendy's, Cigarillo, Microsoft, Jet-ski, and all named slot machines except for the pretend ones are registered trademarks of their respective corporations and/or actual corporations and should not be used at all. Call them something else, for example.

Milk and Cheese are America's favorite dairy products gone bad! To get a free catalog of M&C products, amongst other fine things, call Slave Labor Graphics at 800 866 8929. You could buy #6 and "Fun with Milk and Cheese" (#1-#4), for example.

The Mermen appear on the Upstart surf compilation, "Beyond the Beach"; this fine CD also features the Goldentones [local boys done good!], Laika and the Cosmonauts, Tin Machine, and Spies Who Surf, among other bands. Look for it in your local record stores. If they don't have it, make your own out of bits of paper and wooden dowels. That's the DYI spirit!

Wo Wo Wash is a trademark of Wo Wo Wash. I just like saying that. Wo Wo Wash.


Feel the Burn
I Went To Burning Man And All I Got Was This Lousy Seven-foot Wooden Candy Cane
MegaRoadTrip '95
Nevada Nickels and Some Other Stuff
Rambling and Gambling with Jeff & Scott
The Incredible Cross Country Sexploits of Scott & Jeff
The Unofficial Burning Man Road Trip Story (in Sensurround)
There and Back Again, With Lots of Fire in the Middle
Thirty Thousand Words About Six Thousand Miles
This is Important. This MEANS Something...
Two Guys, A Truck, and a Candy Cane
What I Did Over Summer Vacation
Why I Hate Nebraska and Other Tales from the Road


Author: Jeff Stendec
You Were There, Proofreader, Title Master: Scott Berk
Fact checkers/once overs (if there is anything wrong in this article, blame the author, not these fine people): Kathy Biehl, Doc, Stuart Mangrum.

Copyright (C) 1995 Jeff Stendec.

A portion of this article appeared in Planet magazine.

2001 Update Notes.

When playing slot machines, always play the maximum amount of coins required on a slot machine to maximize your payoff. Better yet, don't play at all.

I don't rent SUVs anymore because every time I go on vacation, I see a SUV-related accident.

Our crappy rental SUV was burning oil? Poor. Strike one for Hertz.

Eventually Scott's ticket caused him a world of hurt as his insurance rates were jacked up sky-high. Another strike for Hertz. Oh yeah, they also didn't provide an owner's manual, so that would be strike three. Yay. Yippee.

I made peace with Nebraska on subsequent cross-country trips. The gently swaying grasses put one's mind at ease, especially when travelling alone.

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