Once again in the van, and once again we have just done our business in one of Canada’s finest cities (Ottawa); only this time, instead of heading to a “bed,” we are headed to our next destination: Columbus, OH. Sam Nice is driving and I’m on keep-the-driver-awake duty. I would ask him to explain cellular biology to me (and that would certainly keep him awake), but it might put me to sleep. And that would be counterproductive…

Our Magellan GPS Navigation system was a gift, and therefore not a part of our travel plan until very recently, so it’s amazing how reliant we have become on Madge. When we decided at 3 AM to endeavor this drive to Ohio without stopping for the night, we expected that this device would find Ohio for us and tell us how to get there, but who know? The Magellan is a xenophobe. Since we were in Canada, only Canadian addresses were legitimate. None of this United States bull crap! To kick off this “little” drive, we were soooo not ‘gellan.

But, ingenuous as ever, The Rocket was able to get her up and running and now we get to hear dear Madge’s voice direct us through every possible exit, rest stop and cul-de-sac. Right now, it’s only 7.3 miles until we have to stay on this road!

To stay awake, we’re eating some muffins that we got for free from a cafe that was closing and about to throw them away. Alex, the guy who seemed to be “running” the joint had wild, wavy black hair coming back off of his face and gaudy yellow glasses. He was listening to The Chronic and relatively impressed with Daddy Wrall knowing every lyric. His WIFI didn’t work, but he had a cheese sandwich and six muffins for us. We are now eating these muffins and boy, are they disgusting! Sam is certain that his mouth tastes like a barn. He corrects me: It tastes like he’s standing in a barn. Like he’s breathing in Eau de Barne, not to be confused with El DeBarge. Who knew there was hay in muesli?

Okay, we just crossed the border into the U.S. and it was very uneventful. The border guard couldn’t have been nicer at 4:40 AM. He looked at our passports and asked us a little about the band: “Do you do your own music or do you copy other people’s?”

“Our own music, mostly.”

“Well, do you have a business card?” We didn’t and it’s too bad. He could been our next manager. Maybe Rick Rubin is his mom’s sister’s step-brother. Maybe he has a brilliant marketing strategy that we’ve never considered. Maybe-

Hold on, now that we’re in the U.S. I have to make some calls. Too early, you say? Too late, maybe! I’ve got catching up to do! We have been out of the country (and out of cell phone range) for almost two days! Okay, I really just had to check my messages. Thanks for calling, everybody! We’ll talk soon.

Maybe that border guard wanted to join the band as a harmonica player. Seemed really nice. We’ll take him. Give a call if you ever find us, whatever your name might be!

I can’t believe we’re back in the U.S. I was just getting used to Canada. I wanted to take more pictures of us with a super nice Canadian hosts and play with Canadian money and make broad generalizations based on very little data. Supermarkets are cleaner! People are friendlier! Roads are better marked! Air is sweeter! Water is wetter! Muesli is hay-ier! Driving at night with no sleep is more fun!

Not to mention, back in the States (that’s what Canadians call this place), we happen to be traveling southeast right now, which is more or less a bummer, since our destination is southwest of us. Can’t we just run a road through whatever’s between us and Columbus? Just some farmland and trees and lakes, right? Nothing important, right? That’s the traditional American way, no? Manifest destiny all that.

As for the show, we played well tonight and represented you, Fairchildren, with grace and compassion. The crowd favorite seems to have been “Your Hair,” a surprise considering this was a dance party, but we’ll take it. That’s one of our favorites, because it’s such a treat to hear Sam solo over those chord changes. One of the best things about the Miss Fairchild Show right now is how much we get to hear him play the saxophone.

Sam is now educating me about “lolzers,” which apparently has something to do with laughing out loud. My El DeBarge joke from above was apparently the catalyst for a “lolzers” moment. I’m not switching, though. I’m sticking with actual laughter. “Lolzers” sounds like it could be what El DeBarge was incarcerated for. “R&B singer El DeBarge was recently convicted and sentence for possession of an illegal quantity of lolzers.”

I have a bit of cold developing. Right now, it’s mainly a sore throat, so I’m trying every cough drop available to me. Exchange between myself and Sam:

Me: I’m turning into one of those cough drop addicts you read about on the news.
Sam: Yeah.
Me: No comment on the fact that I just referred to “those cough drop accidents you read about on the news?”
Sam: This is not a laughing matter. This is serious.
Me: I guess you’re right. Lozenges, known often as lozengers are a lot like lolzers, and we know what happened to El DeBarge.

Sam is, unlike me, not a food snob, but I’ll tell you this: he is not feeling Tim Horton’s. He says, “You may ask yourself, ‘How can you have a bad doughnut?’ And the answer is, ‘By eating a Tim Horton’s doughnut.” So we won’t go there. And you won’t either if you know what’s good for you.

Now I sleep and drive and end up in Columbus, OH, where, sleep or no, we will swim in a pool. We will post this blog entry. We will shower. We will wash our clothes. We will nap. And, eventually, we will play a gig. A good gig. Maybe even a great gig. This will be another in a long line of fine examples of that thing we call the stamina show, wherein we define what it is to do more than seems possible, more than is prudent and as much as we have to in order to find some semblance of success and meaning in this pop music game.

More Things:

Barn muffins (not bran muffins) is a thing.
Cracker Barrel Circuit is a thing.
Motel swimming pool chlorine is a thing.
Overnight driving is a thing.
Crossing borders is a thing.
Typos is a thing.
Other bands recognizing that we’re a band at gas stations is a thing.