Allow us to continue the True Story of Survival begun some weeks ago. When we left you, dear reader, The Councilman and I had just begun, in good spirits, the first leg of a two-day automobile journey from Salina, KS to Los Angeles, CA. We had just departed around the sensible hour of noon for a 15-hr jaunt to Cedar City, UT, where a motel reservation and malted man-drinks awaited us. The Gentlemen press onward!
Friends, there is a common bit of advice that is frequently uttered by Parents, Police officers, automobile safety advocates, and the like. It is: There is no sense in exceeding the speed limit, young driver. You will only save yourself a minute or two on your journey. This is, for most of us, a fine piece of a advice indeed. And let it be known to any young drivers amongst you that The Gentlemen endorse this bit of wisdom under any but the most extreme conditions.
But did we Gentlemen not face such extreme conditions that day? A 1000 mile automobile journey in a single thrust? Extreme conditions, indeed! This was to be no time for moderating our velocity! Even a cursory understanding of mathematics reveals that a 5 mph increase in our pace would save us an entire hour! A 10 mph increase would save us two! A 15 mph increase would save us two and a half!
Friend, I said to The Councilman. We could be fulfilling our motel reservation and emptying our malted beverages by 1 am!
We are heroes of the road, he replied.
And so, we set our cruise control to 83 – a speed that we deemed safe for travel on the straight, flat, thoroughfares of Kansas – and began our full day of chit-chatting and driving.
Are you enjoying our journey, friend? I asked.
I would prefer that we not chit-chat, replied The Councilman.
And so our journey passed in silence. Now, there are likely some amongst you, friends, who are rather smuggly predicting the conclusion of this story: That our excessive speeds raised the ire of some state trooper lying in wait and we were pulled off the highway, arrested on suspicion of foppery, detained, questioned, humiliated and altogether prevented from making our next string of musical engagements….
Wrong on two counts, dear reader!
First, the people and policemen of the western states have an inordinately high tolerance for fast vehicle travel. In fact, what we thought to be an admirably speedy pace was not even speedy enough to earn us a spot in the left lane on the autobahn that is Interstate 70.
Second, we Gentlemen have indeed seen the blue lights in our mirrors before. But, while many musical ensembles project their hooliganism through their scruffy appearance and ill-mannered speech, our well-shaven faces, well-considered attire, enviable posture, and smooth collegiate tongues are nothing but advantageous to us during encounters with the law. What nice young gentlemen, the officer proclaims! How could I possibly issue a summons? When this is not enough, however, we are always happy to emphasize our scant repertoire of sacred music. Yes, officer, we are a gospel band. Onward, my sons.
And so, you are surely asking, if you gentlemen had no problems with the law, what calamity was to befall you? Indeed, it was not policepeople who took issue with our impressive pace, it was the gentlevan. Though we rumbled all the way through Kansas and Colorado without incident, it was in Utah, desolate Utah, where our steadfast gentlevan made its grievances known.
To be continued….
Yours very truly,
Andy Bean, Archivist
The Two Man Gentlemen Band