Ok, here's the disclaimer for this post: I'm stupid. I hear voices and do what they tell me to do, or something like that. Maybe I was fed paint chips as a kid. That's my excuse for why, when housemates Matt and Dean invited me to make a one-night road trip to Columbus and back to see our mutual friend Ann in a play, I accepted. It would only take away one night of studying, I reasoned, and I've been feeling pretty eager to hit the road for somewhere (or nowhere) for a while now. Of course, the amount of time it would take was hardly the worst drawback to the trip: as mentioned above, the play was in Columbus, Ohio. Worse yet, the very actress we were going to see is a Hillsdale graduate, studying for her masters (in theatre) at that place that should never be named. You know, the big college in Columbus. In her defense, she hates it just as much as we do. So, it was not without a great sense of foreboding that three Hillsdale students who happen to be devoted Michigan fans began our long journey south, towards Mordor. It was good to be on a road trip, and the shortness of our time reminded me somewhat of the times (yes, plural) when the guys and I headed to Ottowa, Ontario and back in two days. Fortunately, this was significantly closer, but still pretty crazy to drive there and back in one night. What else could we do? Stay in Columbus? Why it's preposterous to even think of, I'm sure you'll agree. After a few hours of riding in the car, listening to music, and cursing Ohio every few minutes, we passed the first road sign, upon which were written those fateful words: "Now entering Columbus." I say the first, becaus we promply passed another sign that said "Now entering bladiblahblah (not Columbus)," and then in equally short order another sign which said "Now entering Columbus." Odd, we thought, but not terribly odd--At least not until the third and fourth times we found ourselves entering Columbus, and on a relatively straight section of freeway. By the fifth time, it was just ridiculous. Are we in Columbus, or not? Apparently the sign company offered the municipality of Columbus a great deal on those signs, and they decided to put them everywhere. Then we saw another sign, the horror of which made us forget that there was ever a man or a place or anything else that might have been named Columbus: "O--- S---- University, next exit." We got out to take a quick picture (you see Matt in front, then Dean, I'm taking the picture), passed another sign that informed us of our entrance to Columbus, and headed on in.We found the theatre without too much trouble, cursing our miserable fate and the red and white street signs marking the streets with unspeakably hideous names, like "woody hayes boulevard" and "buckeye drive," and parked directly in the shadow of the football stadium. The ring was getting to be unbearably heavy, and Matt offered to carry it for just a little while, but I refused. It was my burden to bear, and mine alone.
The play was an obscure (ok, I've never heard of it. It could be quite famous for all I know) 19th century Russian comedy (translated, thank heavens) by Nikolai Gogol, called "The Government Inspector," and the plot revolved around a paranoid small-town mayor and his cabinet attempting to appease (and bribe) a man who they beleive to be an undercover inspector from the capital. I know, it sounds dated, but it was quite well executed, and infused with some brilliant comedic timing, and we all laughed hard enough to forget our environs for two and a half hours, less a fifteen-minute intermission. After the play, we met Ann (who was wonderful as Marya, the mayor's daughter) outside of her dressing room, went out for a congratulatory bite and a pint at a nearby pub (we left and re-entered Columbus twice in the half-mile or less drive), which considering the location was a decent place, stopped at Ann's place, and then hit the road. We considered urinating on the stadium before leaving, but there were security guards present, so we left, entered, left, entered, left, entered, and finally left Columbus, and headed for home, scanning the radio and singing along with oldies to keep ourselves awake. It was too early (or rather, not early enough) in the morning to even mention when we got back, so I hit the sack until noon, and now must spend the rest of my weekend being more responsible. I hope that both of you are well, check back again soonish, and I'll try to have another post up for you.