05.04.04 – South Bend

We just finished a run of 11 shows in 13 days. No, I’m not going to show you a picture of my hands. But I am going to talk about socks, for just a moment. There’s no need to do laundry just because you’re out of socks. You can buy more socks, on the cheap, and then hit a laundromat when you’re out of underwear on a day off.

Well today was that day off, here in South Bend Indiana… and the Holiday Inn Express didn’t have any washing machines. I’m a firm believer that keeping it real at a laundromat is the way to go, rather than sending your load out through some fancy hotel valet laundry service. In Chicago, Sean caved in and went the luxury route at the Hard Rock Hotel, only to get whacked with an $84 bill for a laundry bag that included one pair of pants ($7), some boxers ($1.50 each), and a whole bunch of socks ($2 a pair, but neatly folded and stacked).

So even though there was a Target across the street having a sale on tube socks and underpants, I was determined to show Sean just how affordable the laundering process can be, and I called good old “South Bend Taxi Cab Company” along with monitor engineer Matthew Peskie and guitar tech Steve Castro. They took a good while to show up (this must be their busy season), but we eventually got a station wagon cab and a friendly, pony-tailed Native American guy named Monty at the wheel.

Cab fare: $2 per passenger
Detergent: $ .50 if you don’t separate whites and colors
Washing fee: $1.50 if you don’t separate whites and colors, and I don’t
Drying fee: $1.00

Total Laundering Expense: $5
Comparing this to Sean’s Laundry Bill: Priceless

Only the thing is, there are other costs involved. Two hours out of my day (approximate value: absolutely nothing). Three more quarters out my wallet, one for the Ms Pac Man, the other two for the motherfucking goddam piece of shit stuffed animal crane game at the laundromat. And two of my white t-shirts are now pink tie-dyes because I don’t separate whites and colors.

But the most costly part came when Monty rear-ended a brand new Chevy Blazer with his station wagon cab on the way home, causing his hood to buckle, the South Bend Police Squad to show up, and a nice solid traffic jam at the intersection of Main Street and Indian Ridge.

  
Monty: “At least I can see the hood now”

Bummer #1: Monty had just agreed to waive our cab fare in exchange for a Guster cd when he hit the Blazer. Monty would never make it to the Holiday Inn Express to receive his disc.

Bummer #2: When the cop asked if any of us were hurt, I started rubbing the back of my neck and twisting my head around as a joke, but the cop did not get the joke.

Bummer #3: The whole thing took an extra 40 minutes or so… during which we sat in the back of a hot cab getting frustrated. See Matt’s expression:

And yes, we have Guster laundry bags. You wanna make something of it? So in the end, Sean had the last laugh. Especially because he performed The Upper Tank* on the toilet of his room at the Hard Rock Hotel after he got his bill.**

* The Upper Tank is when you pull the top tray off the back of the toilet and shit in there, where all the plumbing mechanisms are, so it smells horrible for weeks but no one can figure out why.

** When I say “performed” I really mean “should have performed”

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