Day 8 of 365 (Year Two)
No, not the shot!
Stupid is a dragon who apparently wanted a closer look at the camera. I've had Stupid since September 18, 1999. Stupid is a Big E Massachusetts Red Dragon. He isn't very smart, in case you didn't get that from his name. I've kept him so long for sentimental reasons.
On September 16, 1999 myself and two friends left Baltimore for Boston. We were headed up to Massachusetts to go to the Big E, which is more or less a multi-state State Fair. The reason we were going was to see Chris LeDoux perform in concert.
Now normally a trip from Baltimore to Boston will take me about seven hours to drive. This particular trip took about thirteen hours. The reason behind the abnormally long trip was that September 16, 1999 also marks the day that Hurricane Floyd hit Maryland. We left Baltimore at exactly the same hour that Floyd hit us. The hurricane basically followed us up the coast. It was probably one of the worst drives I have ever undertaken.
We were headed to Boston, which happens to be at the opposite end of the state from the Big E because I have family in Boston. The plan was to get a hotel, see my family on the 17th and then drive to the Big E on Saturday morning to catch the concert Saturday night. If it had just been me I would have just stayed with family, but with the other two along that was a bit much to ask.
Finding a hotel that weekend proved to be rather difficult. There was a race or major sporting event in town that weekend and every decent hotel room in Boston and the surrounding area was booked. We ended up in this dive hotel that had residents who lived there year round and I believe they also had certain rooms that they rented by the hour if you know what I mean. The actual room was as bad inside as the hotel was outside. The bathroom was the nicest part if you can believe that. It was also as big as the bedroom and felt a hell of a lot more spacious due to the lack of a bed and cot. Once the suitcases were in the room, there was almost no floor space in the bedroom. It was awful, but in a funny way it helped add to the whole road trip experience.
We woke up the next day to find that Floyd had passed and the weather had cleared. We ate dinner with my grandparents and were off to the Big E the next day. We bumped into some hometown friends at the concert who we didn't know were going to be there which was kind of cool. After the concert, which was amazing, we hung out at the fair and that is where I won stupid.
After the concert we headed back to Boston, but stopped about halfway there at some hole in the wall bar. We were apparently the biggest thing to happen to this bar in years. As a group we can be quite entertaining and we had a blast with the regulars, staff and owners. We had the furniture moved and taught a bunch of them how to line dance. If I remember correctly, most of the regulars and staff didn't have to pay for a drink all night as we kept buying them round after round.
We hated to leave, but closing time is closing time. One of the friends we bumped into asked if she could ride home with us as she was the odd gal out with her group. We said sure, not remembering the luggage and our new friend Stupid. It was a rather interesting trip back to the hotel and the ride home was rather packed with Stupid taking up more than his fair share of the back seat, but we had fun regardless and the trip was a lot quicker than the ride up had been.
Stupid got his name because stupid was the word of the weekend. The hotel and ride up had been so bad that the only word we could use to describe it was stupid. The event that booked all the other hotels was stupid, the bathroom being so large compared to the room was stupid. The people on the roads driving through a hurricane like it was a sunny day were stupid. Anything "bad" that happened on that trip was stupid. The word stuck with us all weekend as sort of an inside joke based on our adventurous trip up to Boston and the hotel and thus our new friend was named Stupid.
There were a few non-stupid events. Seeing my family, bumping into our friends, the bar and the concert were definitely NOT stupid. The most non-stupid event, however, was getting to actually talk to Chris LeDoux. After the show my buddy walked over to the bathrooms which just happened to be right near where the band was setting up to do autographs. He called me over when he saw that and we got to meet the man himself.
It was a very memorable trip and one that I'm not likely to forget which is why Stupid still lives with me.
If you are still with me and actually read this whole thing, thanks for taking the time!