America Trip

You can see a map of Route 66 in Arizona, if you want to.

Just a soupcon (how do you do cedilla-c's in HTML?) to whet your appetites for more fun and excitement. So, dim the lights, sit back, glory in the full Dolby SR surround-sound recording and cinemascope wide-screen production of the trailer to...

Steve's Vacation

[SCENE: Steve and Claudia are in the front of a Buick. Claudia is driving.]

[scene fades in on view through passenger window onto Steve]
Steve: So, can I have another go at driving?
[forward view from back seat at Claudia pauses]
Claudia: So... you call that driving?
[view from drivers seat towards S]
Steve: [hesitantly] Well, I forgot that the car was on my right, thats all.
[view out of car, following 'Historic Route 66' signpost as it passes]
Steve: Hey, wait a minute! This is really appropriate, you'll like it.
[he fumbles about in a bag on the back seat, camera view over C's shoulder. He comes back to his seat, and shot changes to close-up of casette records, into which a tape is inserted. Camera view changes to arial shot from above the car.]
[FX: click of tape going in, and tape hiss...]
[FX: (with car stereo bias) 'Get yer kicks on Route 66' song chorus]
[camera follows the car for several seconds with no dialogue.]
Claudia: AAAARRRGGH!!!
[FX: proper version of the song fades in over the 'car stereo' version.]
[camera follows the car from slightly behind as it drives along the freeway]
[voiceover is cheesy US accent, like in so many other trailers]
VOICEOVER: The new release from Cheshire Cat pictures, Hollywood -- Steve's Vacation!
[shot changes to Steve and Claudia at the US customs on the Mexican border]
[camera on customs officers face, panning down to contents of Claudia's bag]
Customs officer: And these are all for your own use?
[camera now shows 3 years supply of birth control tablets]
[camera changes to C's face, looking nochalent, with S behind looking embarrassed]
Claudia: Yeah.
[shot of Steve in car, freshly pulled over by highway patrol]
Steve: (sounding surprised) Really? I thought it was 55mph!
Officer of the Law: No sir.
[view changes to overhead of S&C's car again, driving along a deserted desert highway. 'Route 66' is still playing on the car stereo. Light is fading.]
Steve: (slowly) You mean to say that you didn't bring any other tapes, either?
Claudia: (unsteadily) Well, you know I think I could get to like this song...
[pause. FX: Sound of tape being ejected, as music stops abruptly. Sound of electric car window]
[ Camer angle starts to fall behind the car, and drop down to road level. In defiance of all cartography, the car is driving off into the sunset ]
Claudia: You didnt have to throw it out the window, you know.
Steve: It was either the tape, or you.
Claudia: I never liked that song, you know.
[car continues off into the distance. Darkness falls far to quickly, as a number of credits and titles appear on the lower half of the screen]
Text: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles, only with laughs" - Washington Post
Text: "Steve's Vacation" is copyright S S and C G 1996.
Text: Any resemblance to people living, dead or otherwise is purely a figment of your imagination.
[scene of Steve and Claudia in Louisiana car showroom]
Steve: You know, this being with me has really aged you, Claudia.
Claudia: What do you mean?
Steve: Well, I say your driving licence, and you seem to have aged 6 years since the beginning of the holiday.
Claudia: (unapologetic) Well you should know women always lie about their age.

Hmm, actually I quite liked that. None of those anecdotes is 100% correct, however... customs didn't actually stop us (although Claudia was carrying 3 years supply of the Pill) and we didnt have a copy of the Route 66 song. She did age 6 years though (she is now 42). I was pulled over for speeding (but escaped a ticket) and my driving was in fact of a superior quality (in my opinion. Claudia thinks I drive too slowly. However I saw more car crashes in those 2 weeks than I have seen before in my life. And I didn't cause any of them!)

The biggest thing was the view, although there was lots more involved. I went to New Orleans and danced Cajun all eveing, ate Alligator and saw the Marie Laveau voodoo museum. I travelled by car, taxi, bus, train, plane, trolley (tram) and played guitar in 2 different places. I had all my luggage checked by customs, who didnt confiscate all the car licence plates I had, and had the car break down in the middle of the Arizona desert (luckily, Tucson is also in the middle of the desert, and this is where we were).

I managed to buy tea, a dress, rocks, salad, one twentieth of a plug converter, jalapenos, sho-nuff sauce, t-shirts, and a cartoon of myself and Claudia, amongst other things. I also managed to crash into the language barrier with sufficient force to accidentally buy cold tea [tea], crisps [chips], a thing like a burger [sausage] and confusion with 'petrol' and 'a fortnight'. I learnt that you can drive your car on the pavement (the UK word for 'sidewalk'), legally go through red lights, and are not allowed to overtake a bus (although that was a last-second one).

Now you know the skeleton of the trip, I bet you can't wait for the rest. Coming soon to a theatre near me (if I had a car, it could be in one near you, too)

You may also like to see Steve's driving tips for Limeys in the US and for Yanks in the UK, or D Barton's UseNet article on US 'English'.

Sunset on Route 66, Mojave desert, California.

Go back! (for this route leads to certain madness)