Sigmon and I have talked each other into driving across the continent of North America to do a week long wrestling tour of Canada’s province of Manitoba.
After a good night’s sleep in a hotel off of a sleepy highway, in the vast, open plains of Iowa, we took to Sigmon’s black, diesel powered Volkswagen Jetta and took off towards the Great White North.
The taking took a little longer than expected, though, as we had encountered the of-lesser-renown Great White Midwest.
When we had awoken, early that morning, it was a cold-but-clear day. After making one of Sigmon’s pit-stop-to-get-a-pump at one of the NASA (North American Stray Athletes) guesstimated 100 billion Planet Fitness’ the Milky Whey galaxy.
After breathing hard from some super-set savagery and laughing hard at the “judgement free” irony of a poster describing a “lunk” based on dress (sleeveless) and drink (gallon jug of water), I exchanged my sweaty sleeveless shirt for a clean sleeveless shirt, grabbed my gallon jug of water, and started towards the glass door where I realized Mother Nature had been putting in work, as well; the Planet Fitness parking lot looked more like the planet of Hoth (sorry, not sorry, writing this on May the fourth).
As we trudged through the quickly accumulating snow, Sigmon handed me, the designated blizzard battler, the keys.
“You gotta ice scraper?” I asked Sigmon.
He smiled like a child who has just realized they put their shirt on inside out and replied with an emphatic, “Nope.”
“We’re driving across the midwest, north to Canada, in February, and neither of us thought to bring an ice scraper.” I marveled.
“Yep.” Sigmon stated, almost proudly, and followed up with a little giggle.
“Always an adventure.” I said.
“Always.” Sigmon agreed, still giggling.
I started the car, cranked the heat up, towards the window, and hit the rear defroster button.
As we settled in to wait, a I got an email notification on my phone from the tour promoter that read, “If you guys get here in time, you’re invited to be guest judges for the Booty Shake Monday competition at the World Famous Palomino Club.”
Well, the clubs worldly recognition hadn’t made it’s way to southern West Virginia, or eastern Tennessee, and even though the Planet Fitness propagandhi had just de-programed us of our judgemental way, my pal and I thought it would be good manners to take up our neighbor to the north’s kind offer.
We had a new goal: Booty Shake battle or bust.
With no time to wait around, I used my mountain-man-MacGyvery-ness to scrape the windows clear-ish with an Oak Ridge Boys CD case and we were off, into crawling traffic littered, slippery not-so-fun-ness.
Sigmon, using his modern-man-MacGoogley-ness, looked at the weather patterns for the current GPS recommended route, realized it was headed into more not-so-fun-ness, and found us an alternate route.
After an hour of Sigmon gripping the “oh, sh__” handle above his passenger side door, and me relaxed at the helm, thankful that my training on steep, curvy, under-maintained mountain passes made the flat, straight, well-maintained roads of the midwest easy as remembering that π is 3.14 (because it spells “pie” in the mirror, of course), we made our way out of the storm and enjoyed sunny views of eastern South Dakota’s empty of life, mid-winter, prairies.
As the Volkswagen’s odometer counted up, we counted down the hours till we were in the land of horse mounted, woodland police, ice hockey, and Tim Horton’s.
To help pass the time we talked about religion, politics, science, history, and our earliest sexcapades. After that last subject, we sat quietly staring out our respective perspectives, for awhile, until we hit the North Dakota border, where we rejoiced in the fact that we were only one state away from “friendly” (as their license plates warn) Manitoba.
We stopped in Fargo for a quick meal, picture, and a Facebook check-in status where I asked, “Anyone know where I could rent a woodchipper, around here.”
Self-satisfied with my nerdiness, I drove across the snow dusted, 80 mile per hour speed limited roads at a safe, conservative 85 mile per hour pace.
Though I had checked and confirmed that we didn’t need a work visa to wrestle in Canada, I had heard horror stories about people driving all the way up to the border, only to get interrogated for hours and turned away; mostly because of criminal records, though.
Sigmon and I have records cleaner than Howie Mandel’s man parts, but still, the thought of coming all this way to be told to “F__ off, eh!” had us keeping our nails shorter than wrestling regulations require.
At the last rest stop before the border, we each, in unison, expelled nervous energy into our own fragrant, sparkling-white, porcelain piss catchers.
I slid back into the driver’s side seat, slapped my hands together in excitement, and jolted the Jetta back to life with the push of a button.
“You ready?” I asked my road weary brother-from-another.
He let out a deep exhale and said, “Yes, my friend.”
The red maple’d flags suspended high above the border crossing station seemed to be eagerly waving us in, the star spangled one waving us a friendly “see ya, soon”.
I pulled up to the border inspector’s window with a nervous fake smile on my big-bearded face and brushed my long, braided strands out of my face, and was asked, “Is this you car?”
“No. It’s his.” I answered and pointed to Sigmon who had a much bigger, much more nervous fake smile on his face and waved at the border agent like a wife who has caught her husband's eyes astray.
“Where are you headed?” The borderman asked in an assertive, ill humored tone.
“Well...right now, we’re trying to make it to the World Famous Palomino Club for ‘Booty Shake Monday’!” I answered in a passive, well humored tone.
“Please, pull forward, off to the side, and come into the station.” The borderman told me, sounding like one of the umpteen teachers that told me to stay after class, in my school days.
And so, we pulled forward and into Canada, for the first time!
Now, we’ll just have ta wait ta see to see’if’we’re allowed further’an 3 meters in, eh?