The Day I Saw A Duck Riding A Horse

…at a trot, even!

Life On The Magic Bus

Chapter 2, Part 1: The World’s Biggest Toilet Paper Rolls And Other Adventures

Enter Joe
Lucy chooses poorly

Diary entry for Winker Sue Clay, 4/15/2009, 3:15 pm

Dear Diary,

Man, am I ever glad we are finally leaving on this trip. The past 3 weeks since Dad brought home the bus have been a whirlwind of chaos, planning, selling stuff, buying stuff, re-planning and general getting ready to move onto the bus. We’ve all been crazy busy.

As you know, Diary, in the taking trips department, Mom is the getting what we need boss and Dad is the planning out the route boss. This usually works out well, the inevitable forgetting stuff and route changing notwithstanding.

Problem is, this trip also involves moving out of the house my parents have lived in for 30 years. There was much anguish about what to take and what to keep. Mom was in near meltdown mode about what books to take until Dad reminded her that the Library Room has every book ever written on Earth from the first book to December 31, 2035. That calmed Mom down really fast.

Anyway, Diary, things got sorted out and the house will be looked after by Uncle Louie and Auntie Karen until we come home in early November. I think Sam and Rani might be staying there for a couple of weeks, too. No word on if Poppy is going to come home for the summer.

Did I mention that Lucy & Sasha are smart now? Lucy is about as smart as your average 18 year old human, which fits in with her decision making skills. Sasha is very smart and may well be thinking of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein as “a bit dim” someday.

As for their voices, Lucy chose one that sounds kind of like a cross between Whoopi Goldberg and Bette Davis. Sasha’s voice sounds just like Emma Watson, but Americanized.

The only other thing worth reporting is that we all got to meet Joe, our quantum mechanic who lives “below deck” in the engine room of the bus. He’s a pretty much human looking (but NOT human smelling) guy and not much of a talker. He assured the Mom Unit that we will not be going off willy nilly into space & time, which was something she had absolutely forbidden. Dad and I were a bit bummed by that, but as Dad said later, “Her will be done…or else”. I’ve spent a bit of time wandering around the unrestricted areas of the “repair shop” as Joe calls it. It’s pretty interesting down there, all high tech and stuff. Joe even let me borrow a couple of old parts catalogs and a repair manual to read.

Ooh! Late breaking news, Diary! It seems that Lucy decided to go poking around in the Warehouse and turned loose a robotic turkey that proceeded to chase her all over the bus. From what Sasha told me (when she wasn’t laughing hysterically) that roboturkey managed to stay just close enough behind Lucy to peck her on the tail every so often. Dad and Mom were trying to stop both of them and finally succeeded when Dad clocked the robot with a cast iron frying pan and Mom threw a blanket over Lucy. Sasha says that Dad gave Lucy a tranquilizer and she’s sacked out now. That will teach her not to go nosing around in rooms that are on the “No Dogs!” list.

Never a dull moment around here, eh, Diary?


Chapter 2, Part 2: The World’s Biggest Toilet Paper Rolls And Other Adventures

The Captain logs!
Grace scores points

Destination Sign: The Cobalt Club

Captain’s log, 4/15/2009, 9:30 pm

Hot damn, I’ve always wanted to say that! This vocal diary recorder is the bomb! And this driver’s chair is damned comfy.

Anyway, we have just pulled onto Interstate 5, heading north. Left the house about 8:30 pm after more goodbyes with neighbors and eating some great pie made by several of them. As I speak, The Girls are all off playing and Grace is puttering around in the kitchen. Our cruising speed will be 70 miles an hour and I’ve got AC/DC cranked up on the stereo. It’s only two hours until our first roadside attraction stop, but we’ll be waiting there until they open up at 9:00 am. Have I mentioned how comfortable our bed is? Well, it is. Best night’s sleep I’ve had since about 1985 in the old UltraCon hotel.

It’s kind of interesting how quickly Grace & I got used to…HOLY FUCK! That asshole must be doing 100 miles an hour! Oh yeah, here go the cops, hot on his ass. Two CHP and a couple of county sheriff’s cars. High speed chase, baby!

Anyway, like I was saying, it’s kind of interesting how quickly Grace & I got used to having smart dogs that can talk. I guess they aren’t that different from kids, except that Sam & Poppy yelled at each other a lot more and we don’t have to pay for the dogs to attend college. It also helps that Lucy & Winker are mature girls and even Sasha is about at the 8 year old level. We got to skip the terrible twos and the whole “Why?” period.

So, getting back to this trip, our plan is to go up both I-5 and, in places, old highway 99 to the Canadian border, then down the Pacific Coast to San Diego. After that, we’ll see where we go next, although the fact that it will be the start of convention season pretty much means driving back and forth across the country. I’m scheduled to be at 5 cons for sure and I’d like to hit at least 3 more, including this new “DogCon” that they’re holding down in Texas.

Of course, the big thrill for me is getting to visit all of the roadside attractions! We have around 50 on our list and we’ll be checking out at least a dozen more that may or may not be closed. I saw maybe two thirds of these places when I was a kid, and some on family trips when the kids were small, but I haven’t seen any of them in the last 20 years. I’m particularly psyched for the World’s Largest Toilet Paper Roll. Actually, that’s Rolls, because there are two of them across the road from each other. I saw them last in 1978, when Grace and I got out of the intelligence biz and were traveling around in my old ’65 Impala. Back then, the rolls were about 12 feet tall. I’ve heard they are twice that now.

Think of that. TWO bigass rolls of toilet paper just sitting there in the eastern Oregon prairie. I mean, I’ve seen the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower (and pushed a KGB agent off of it), the Great Wall of China and a hundred other places, but TWO huge rolls of toilet paper? That right there is way cool!

Oh, hello sweetie! Ooh, cupcakes and cocoa for the driver? You get 1,000 Wife points for this. Redeemable for…well, I know you’ll think of something. What? Set the auto-pilot and come on into the bus? Let me slam down these tasty treats first!

Captain’s log out.

Chapter 2, Part 3: The World’s Biggest Toilet Paper Rolls And Other Adventures

Sasha gets excited
The Mom Unit renews a tradition

Destination Sign: Azkaban Prison

Diary entry for Sasha Jane Clay, 4/16/2009, 8:30 pm

Dear Diary,

Winker said I should start writing stuff in you, so I’m gonna start now. I’ll try not to write boring stuff.

Last night, we watched “The Princess Bride” with Mommy while Daddy was getting everything ready for us to leave on our trip. It’s a good movie! I liked the sword fighting. Mommy said that she once had a sword duel with a woman in Argentina, which is in South America. I think the lady’s name was “Neo Nazi Bitch”.

Anyway, after the movie, me and Winker and Lucy went to play in the Shoe room and Daddy got the bus on the road. I love the Shoe Room and we played in there for about an hour. Lucy got her head stuck in a cowboy boot twice. Winker said that was not unusual for Lucy, ‘cos Lucy makes poor choices when she gets excited.

After the Shoe Room, we went to the Meadow Room for our late night peeing and pooping, then we all went to bed. I had a dream about a room full of hamburgers. It was nice, but when I woke up this morning I was very hungry!

Did I mention how much I like taking trips? We have only gone on a couple of short ones since I was adopted, but they were fun. At DunDraCon, everybody petted me and stuff!

Anyway, after breakfast, we went to see a place called the “World Famous Tin Can House”, right near Corning, California. It’s a big house all made of tin cans. The guy who lives there is old and smells like beer and stinky feet. He showed us around and said that the house was started in 1929 by his grandpa who was broke ‘cos of the Depression. I thought you could take pills for depression?

Anyway, his grandpa got cans from all over and filled them with dirt, then stuck them together like bricks until he had a big old house in 1933. After that, people came to see it for a nickel each and the grandpa made lots of money.

It was an interesting place with lots of smells and mice that Lucy tried to chase. Before we left, Mommy bought a couple of t-shirts and a bumper sticker. Daddy says that is a tradition with Mommy on trips and explains why they have 15 storage totes full of t-shirts and why the fridge in the farm house is covered with magnets from all over the place. Daddy said that his old car had so many bumper stickers and decals, he can’t remember what color it was.

Mommy called Daddy a very funny man, NOT.

After the can house, which Daddy said smelled like somebody went to the can in it, we drove to see a bigfoot museum. We all made jokes about Daddy’s feet ‘cos they are so big. Hahaha.

The bigfoot place had pictures and footprint casts and stuff, but Winker says there are no bigfoots and the guy running the place is probably crazy as a drunken raccoon, which Lucy says is pretty damned crazy. I have only met one raccoon and she was not drunk or crazy. She was kind of grouchy, though.

We stopped for lunch in a town called Weed, which made Mommy & Daddy chuckle, but I don’t know why. We ate hot dogs and french fries and milkshakes. After that, us dogs and Mommy took naps while Daddy drove us to the “World Famous Oregon Dinosaur Land”. Daddy says that there are a whole lot of World Famous roadside places.

The dinosaur place has been shut down for about 20 years and is all overgrown and stuff. There is a big chain link fence around it, but Daddy has a pair of bolt cutters and we got through the rear gate easy peasy. There are 36 dinosaurs there, all made of concrete and stuff. We saw them all by walking on the old trail. Daddy was very excited to be there. Mommy says that is because all human men are really 6 year old boys most of the time, ‘cept when they are horny teenagers.

Winker says the dinosaurs aren’t accurately portrayed, but I think they were fun to look at. Lucy was mostly wanting to chase the wild animals living there and Diary, there were LOTS of them! There must have been about a zillion squirrels and chipmunks!

After we left the dinosaur park, we headed to Crater Lake to spend the night. I smelled bears! Lucy wanted to go chase a bear, but Daddy said she was crazy and he kept her on the bus.

We ate fish tacos for dinner and now we are gonna watch “Harry Potter and the Wandering Wand”, ‘cos we have movies that other people don’t have. After that, I’m gonna pee and poop and go to sleep.

Good night, Diary.


Satire. Humor. Not trying to make a claim on anybody’s intellectual properties. It’s what we are all about here at Life On The Magic Bus. So put away your lawyers and shit because our asses are covered by the laws regarding satire. No human, alien, critter, robot, primordial ooze or Lovecraftian horror is being mentioned here with anything except good old satirical intent. Really.