I Wanna Go Home

This is the worst trip I've ever been on.

This is the worst trip I’ve ever been on.

Thirty days hath September… April, June, and November.  And due to the miracle of my attention to detail, irrelevant digressions, and making a bunch of shit up my goal to entertain you all, my Millionaire Journey has now plowed its way through all four of those months that are deemed not important enough to have 31 days.  In a last ditch effort to do the tourist thing, me and my Dad saw everything there was to see in cold, dreary, and wet Times Square… but that was just a method of killing time before the inevitable.  After 48 fun filled, action packed hours in New York, we would have to leave this Utopia behind and return home.

Eh... it's not gonna be that easy this time, toots.

Eh… it’s not gonna be that easy this time, toots.

After Xiang Chung drove a million miles and dropped me and Dad back off at the Empire Hotel, we went back to our room and began packing up all of our shit.  If my Mom were here, she’d be grabbing up everything that wasn’t nailed down in the hotel room to take home… you know, since apparently all that stuff is included in the price of the room, and you’re getting totally ripped off if you leave it behind for the next guests.

The Dumpire really don't need this baseboard, do they?

The Dumpire really doesn’t need this baseboard, do they?

However, other than the travel brochures and other stupid freebie crap they gave to us upon check in thinking we were actually going to see some sights and live it up, we manage to not kidnap anything in the room that wasn’t already ours.  Well, except the one, solitary, stinking pen with the hotel’s name on it that we were allowed.  One of the daytime managers back at Mecca, upon finding out about my game show adventure, specifically asked me to bring her back the hotel pen as a souvenir.  She works at a neighboring Mecca now, and I really should ask her sometime if she still has that cheapass thing…

Why yes!  I see she still does!

Why yes! I see she still does!

With all our belongings in hand, we descend the creaky elevator one last time to check out and await our ride back to the airport.  Of the $50 deposit I had to leave upon checking in, I manage to recover $47 and change of it, with the remainder used to cover the two phone calls we made back home.  Weren’t the days before the cellphone became commonplace so much fun!

I gotta go, Mom!  The long distance rates go up at 7:00!

I gotta go, Mom! The long distance rates go up at 7:00!

Since it was still chilly and rainy outside, we naturally waited in the lobby for our ride to show up.  My Dad walked away for a bit, and in doing so, he missed getting a chance to meet Ed Toutant, who had just come in the lobby to check out himself.  We chatted for a bit and commiserated about his shitty glowing potato question before his limo showed up.  I was kinda glad Dad had been away, because I could just see him bringing up his brag that he’d gotten his entire row of the audience to vote for “tomato” on his question… and while Ed has 1.86 million reasons to laugh about that now, I’m not sure what he would have thought about hearing that just 24 hours after it all went down and he was still just left with a $1,000 paycheck.

Yeah, that's really funny there squirrel dad... just like this kick to your crotch is going to be.

Yeah, that’s really funny there squirrel dad… just like this kick to your crotch is going to be.

Whew, I dodged a bullet there I thought, as Dad came back just after Ed had left.  But no sooner had I begun celebrating avoiding one awkward situation when an even awkwarder one came around the corner like a ray of southern fried sunshine…

ES!!!!  How are you, Sugar???

ES!!!! How are ya, Sugar???

It was Amy Turner and her husband Paul passing through on their way out the door.  Oh holy possumshit!  Dad was cussing up a storm about her since the taping had ended yesterday… how is he going to handle actually meeting her face to face right now!?!?

It doesn’t help that the very first thing out of Amy’s mouth after her and Paul greeted us was, “I bet you’re mad at me for taking all that time up yesterday…”


No…… not…… at……. all. Why do you……. fucking ask?

Of course, I totally went off on her told her that my not making the Hot Seat had nothing to do with her at all, and it was what it was (or would have been what it was had that phrase existed in 2001), and it just wasn’t my day.  I then nervously looked up at Dad….. who, remembering that advice our mothers all used to give us, didn’t say a damn thing at all and kept his mouth shut.  I congratulated her on winning the dishwasher money, and she in turn wished me luck in getting back on the show someday, and they went on their merry way back to Athens, Tennessee.  Dad muttered something under his breath after they were safely out the lobby door…

Not quite this.... but maybe something similar.

Not quite this…. but maybe something similar.

After waiting almost half an hour, finally some bearded guy walks in the door holding a sign with my name on it.  This is our ride.  Goodbye Empire Hotel…. may you crumble to the ground like the fucking, nasty ass, goddamn, disgusting dump you are….

So can I mark down that you were "completely satisfied" with your stay?

So can I mark down on this form that you were “completely satisfied” with your stay?

The limo ride back to Newark was nowhere near as white knuckle scary as the ride into New York was.  There were maybe only two or three instances during this drive where me and Dad feared for our lives, which was a marked improvement.  We did run into some traffic near the Holland Tunnel, but not enough to keep us from getting to the airport plenty of time before our late afternoon flight.

At the airport, we picked up our tickets and decided to have an early dinner since we were both starving from two days without real food.  It was nice to see this at the airport…

Insert Homer Simpson drool here...

Insert Homer Simpson drool here…

Or so I thought.  I have no idea how the KFC at Newark Airport can get by with calling itself KFC, but the food there was nothing short of warmed over deli fried chicken… and not very good deli chicken at that.  There wasn’t anything even remotely original recipe about this chicken… and while at this point in my trip I certainly wasn’t complaining about getting my first taste of fried chicken in days, I still have to wonder why nobody’s said anything about how Colonel Sanders is being blasphemed by this imitation shit being served in New Joisey…

Oh, you own this fine restaurant, Mr. Soprano?  Uhhhh, keep up the good work, sir!

Oh, you own this fine restaurant, Mr. Soprano? Uhhhh, keep up the good work, sir!

After finishing whatever the hell that was that had the dead Colonel’s seal of approval, we went on ahead to the gate to wait for our flight.  This meant going through the security checkpoint, which I was able to pass by with flying colors.  Dad on the other hand…

Drop 'em and spread 'em...

Drop ’em and spread ’em…

He set off the metal detector, so he had to go through it again…. netting another blazing red light.  No amount of stuff he was extracting from his pockets could keep the buzzer silent.  The guards finally pulled him to the side and used the handheld wand, which after about a five minute delay finally revealed a pesky little penny caught in the corner of one of his pockets that was causing the metal detector to have fits.  Once that single copper zinc cent that was a threat to our national security was brought out into the light, Dad was able to walk through the main detector clean and over to where I had been sitting the entire time getting a kick out of this whole ordeal.  If only these fine, metal sniffing detectives of Newark’s Terminal A had done such a thorough job eight months later when they let four men with box cutters breeze through to board United Airlines Flight 93… which as you may have heard, didn’t end well.

We will be departing on TWA Flight 743 to St. Louis (then Colorado Springs) at 5:35 PM, which is still more than an hour away.  As you would expect for a late Friday afternoon flight, and unlike our Wednesday morning flight to New York, this plane is going to be packed to the rafters.  In fact, me and Dad are “squeezed on” to this flight by getting a pair of middle seats in back to back rows!  We aren’t even going to be sitting next to each other!

The captain has announced we need to shed 1,000 pounds worth of weight in order to maintain cruising altitude.  Any volunteers to exit via parachute?

The captain has announced we need to shed 1,000 pounds worth of weight in order to maintain cruising altitude. Any volunteers to exit via parachute?

We’re two of the last people who get to board the plane, so by the time we squirm our way to our rows, all of the overhead compartments are already taken.  That means in addition to being cramped in between two other people, I have to shove my carry on bag underneath the seat in front of me, leaving no room for my feet.  This is not going to be fun…

Is there a chiropractor in the house?

Is there a chiropractor in the house?

My Dad has two interesting people as seatmates in his row.  To his left…



I guess Wynema has a connecting flight in St. Louis back to Birmingham.  At least my Dad has someone with whom he can safely complain about Amy to now.

And to my Dad’s right…

Not the taxi driver, but someone just like him!

Not the taxi driver, but someone just like him!

Sure, you can go on and on about how nasty and evil stereotypes and all that politically incorrect stuff is… and in an ideal world, you would be exactly right.  But I don’t care how nonjudgmental you are, in the real world, when you turn and see the man sitting next to you on an airplane is Middle Eastern and even has an Arab headdress on, it’s still gonna send an uncomfortable chill down your spine…

Gasp!  Where is that Unfollow button!?!?

Gasp! Where is that Unfollow button!?!?

One row in front of my Dad and his two new buddies, I have an Asian man to my left who literally slept the entire flight.  He was a dream passenger compared to the young, stuck up, rude prick to my right in the window seat.  He was busy reading some stupid book when he wasn’t flashing dirty, snooty looks around him.  After the snack cart came around, he tried twice to get me to pass what was left of his half eaten sandwich to the stewardess as she passed by… as if I wanted to touch something he’d had in his mouth.  I just laid back as best I could under the claustrophobic circumstances and pretended to be sleeping… causing him to mutter some unfavorable words in my direction.  I hope he choked on the rest of his sandwich…

If not... I'd have been happy to help him out.

If not… I’d have been happy to help him out.

As the plane began to descend towards Lambert Airport, I could easily see the snowflakes falling outside the window.  We had dodged the snowstorm that was going to hit the New York area over the weekend, but it was looking like we were already getting a taste of it back home.  If the snow was going to cause any issue with the plane crashing, I was going to be sure to deck the prick sitting next to me before we all burst into flames…

I think I'll blame this on turbulence.

I think I’ll blame this on turbulence.

When we got low enough, I could see some familiar sights out of the plane’s window, which looked odd from the perspective of flying only 1,000 feet or so over them.  We landed without incident, and now all I have to do is wait 10 hours for everyone in the rows in front of me to make their way off the plane… and hope my locked up back will be operational by then…

Ooooooh, I'm not as young as I used to be!

Ooooooh, I’m not as young as I used to be!

I make Mr. Prick even madder at me by waiting for my Dad to get into the aisle before coming out myself, and when we finally get to the gate, there’s Mom, my sisters, and the nephews waiting for me… as if I was someone important or something.  As the cockpit crew came off the plane, the pilot noticed my nephews and took them on board for a tour of the plane… something me and my four sisters had been given when we were young by a kindhearted pilot prior to a flight we’d taken my grandmother to the airport for.  That was my first time ever on an airplane, as this also was for my nephews… and I’m glad they were able to enjoy it before the Orwellian 9/11 security regulations made it no longer a possibility for kids the past 13 years…

Sometimes, even kids deserve to do cool things...

Sometimes, even kids deserve to do cool things…

And so, I am back home… safe and sound, and with this grand story to tell.  Even though it’s known that I crapped out, my Mom still wants to make a big production out of it and have a viewing party for friends and family the evening the show airs.  I make sure to “HELL FUCKING NO!” that as emphatically as possible…. but just because I didn’t want one then doesn’t mean I can’t have one now with all of you who suffered stayed with me these seven long months….

invitationIt’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!  So make sure you bring plenty of Possums on a Roll tissues….. next Friday!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
This entry was posted in Millionaire Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to I Wanna Go Home

  1. draliman says:

    I worried for a moment it was all over, but we’re getting a party next Friday. Yay! I hope there will be proper fried chicken.

  2. merbear74 says:


  3. And they all lived happily ever after??? But one became a blogger and …

  4. Ally Bean says:

    All’s well that ends well. What a fun story.

  5. markbialczak says:

    Cool, ESN. One farewell episode. I’ll bring the box cutter!

    • One farewell episode!?!?!? LOL, Mark! You know me better than that by now…. 😉

      Please do bring the box cutter! I’ll whip out my Mecca special and we can play Jets vs. Sharks!

      • markbialczak says:

        Oh, as long as we are as carefully choreographed as a Regis commercial break dump, the Jets vs. Sharks is on, ESN.

        Oh, of course we will not wrap it up with your one party. What was I thinking? 😮

      • There’s the airing, and then one more post to put a bow on the series, and then I’ll be done… I promise. Of course, Fridays will never be the same for anyone after the Journey finally signs off for good… I hope everyone can manage to cope.

      • markbialczak says:

        I may have to check in somewhere for withdrawal, buddy. 😦

  6. Ah balls….I’ve been catching up on my reading and I was hoping I was still a week behind, but sadly I am not. Damn you and your 7 days lol

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I don’t know how I missed this. Oh wait, I do know. I thought it was just a dream and someone was looking into a snowglobe and woke up and flew away in a helicopter and the show was over. 😉

    I need to sleep, apparently.

  8. NotAPunkRocker says:

    (oh, and thanks for the Beach Boys earworm…took me a minute but unfortunately, it is there!)

  9. gentlestitches says:

    Very funny post! You are a good sport. At least you didn’t have to share the plane with Ms Sunshine on the way home. 😦 Also a party next week! Must go choose my virtual frock! 😀

  10. Aw, it seems so sad to be so near the end now!

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  15. reocochran says:

    There are comments that say November 8th while it is 2 am November 7 just barely. Your 13 years as go trip sounded exciting and weird. The joy and sorrow of traveling. Too bad about loss. Happy about party. Zzzz. . . Thanks for filling my head with the nightmares of air flight and possible dangers of suspicious characters, E.S. xo

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