Once again, 7 months later, the Dark Damians are piling into a vehicle, pointing it east, and heading for that great cultural mecca known as South Carolina. And I do mean “cultural mecca”, because where else can one get a rebel flag, a copy of “Freakonomics”, and a corn dog all within sight of each other? Right. Nowhere. So we’re gearing up for the next installment of How Far Can Damian Go On One Dose Of Concerta, and this time, I’m not quite as thrilled about the whole endeavor. In November, we went for the first time in a long time, and got to just hang out and relax (as much as one can with family) and basically just…be.

Not this time, folks.

THIS time, there’s a purpose behind the long drive. My boy, my man, BRYAN, is getting married on Saturday, and he was hoping I could make it there if I can, ’cause in the ceremony I’ll be a groomsman. ($2 to the first person to catch the reference. I’ll pay you in $3 bills.) I couldn’t say no to that request. As I got the details about the ceremony, a few fun facts came to light, such as:

  • The wedding is in June, in South Carolina.
  • The wedding is formal, meaning all associated parties will be dressed in full wedding regalia, meaning tuxedos for the men, and dresses that will never be worn again for the women.
  • The wedding is outside. In June. In South Carolina. I will sweat like a cold beer on a warm patio.
  • The fact that I don’t have air conditioning in my Jeep means that we’ll be renting a vehicle.

Let’s face it – traveling anywhere these days is like shooting a flaming arrow into a pile of crisp $20 bills, because no matter which method you choose, you might as well bend over and grab your ankles while you book your reservations. It feels the same no matter what. Originally, I was going to go alone, flying in the Friday before the wedding, performing my duties, and rolling out with the quickness. Expensive, yet efficient. However, events have conspired to have the whole clan (clan, not klan) wanting to go to SC also. Why did DWW’s cousin have to up and have a cute little baby girl? Just so I’d have to spend the gross national product of a small island country to finance pulling 4 people across 6 different states? Initially, flying was the best option, but when I saw $600+ per ticket, for freakin’ COACH, I ixnayed that nonsense. Driving isn’t any cheaper, but at least I don’t have to sit next to some dude who smells like Fritos and sadness while he tells me his entire life’s story. Oh, and he has to hit the bathroom the entire trip. I’ll trade 3 hours of smelly Melvin for 15 hours of my family in a car. Wait, what?

Also, this trip is a lot more event-focused than the last one. We’re leaving here super-early Wednesday morning (4am, which is also known as “Damian’s Bedtime on Gig Nights”), and instead of going about halfway, we’re gonna do the whole drive in one shot. Shoot me now. We’ll hopefully arrive late Wednesday, spend Thursday trying to recover, spend Friday getting my tux, hanging with family, and doing the rehearsal dinner; spend Saturday at the wedding itself; spend Sunday planning and executing 8YO’s birthday party (he won’t turn 9 until July, but we’re doing it early so he can be around family for the party); and leave super-early Monday morning to head back to Texas. Some may call this schedule “full”, but I like to call it “Fate hates me and my choice of apparel”. This trip will be challenging, to say the least.

If you will, help me pray for a few things, my friends. Let’s pray that:

  • Gas prices don’t get so high during trip that I have to start turning tricks at the Exxon station
  • My phone, which is dying a slow and annoying death, doesn’t kick the damn bucket while we’re away
  • I resist the urge to leave a kid by mile marker 146 after being asked for the 700th time if we’re there yet
  • The portable DVD player holds up
  • I resist the urge to inflict bodily harm upon people who just may deserve and ask for it
  • I don’t sweat so much during the wedding that I have to wring out my tux halfway though
  • The bachelor party Friday night kicks ass
  • Triple A never hears my voice or sees my face
  • The state of Louisiana never hears my voice or sees my face
  • My mom and grandma make the trip up to the party, and make it safely
  • I get to see all the people I need to see (Yes, Jana and Jimmy. And call your brother, J-Bird.)
  • The young lady taking care of the house and dogs does a good job
  • I play my bass better than the new guy in my old band when we jam Friday night (Sorry, B. Gotta stake out my territory. Nothing personal.)
  • Work does NOT call me. For anything. For real.

I’ll update when we get there. Can you feel the excitement of making the drive oozing off of me? I hope you can.

And in all seriousness, I’m honored to be included in your wedding, B. Remind me to tell about all the wonderful joys around being married. When your fiancee’s not around, if you don’t mind. Good lookin’ out.