Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beer Trip Crew Presents "Their Dirt"

For those of you who know me, you know that my favorite book of all time is Motley Crue’s The Dirt. If you don’t know The Dirt, it is an account of the band’s rise to the top of the world of rock and roll, and the trials and tribulations they encountered along the way. It is written by the members of the band themselves, and the stories are told with the different guys in the band giving their recollection of the events. Andy thought that for this blog, it would be cool to do a The Dirt-style recap of the most famous Beer Trip incident, the time that Jerry smashed the RV into the hotel. So for those confused by Ed’s poem, read this and then go back and read his.

Tim

The 27th of July started out pretty average. The night before had been a pain due to hotel issues, but I was looking forward to a fresh day. We were hitting some cool places, so I was ready to get going. Jerry had gotten destroyed the night before since that day would be his day to be sober and drive us around. Never the best day for that person, but it has to be done. Unfortunately for Jerry, he was going to have the worst designated driver day in BT history.

Kelly

The day of beer touring went as usual, and we were on schedule.

Dan

Day Three of Beer Trip III was pretty typical. We woke up in Cleveland, had lunch and samples at Arbor Brewing, more samples at Kuhnhenn, even more samples, some peanuts, and a mini-tour at the Michigan Brewing Company, and then more beer at Founders in Grand Rapids. So far, so good (especially after spending the first two days as sick as I have ever felt in a long time, and not even because of beer), and the designated driver that day was the guy who knows and cares more about cars than anyone I know, Jerry.

Jerry

So as a second year veteran of navigating the RV, I was feeling cocky. All the fellas appreciated the grace-like skills I had with the beast, and at this point I felt like a rock star. That is...until the "mishap".

Kelly

For me the memory starts with our fearless leader (let’s call him Dan) climbing up the ladder to the top of our rolling oasis – his parents’ RV. Seeing his ascension to the top, I grew concerned that something may be wrong with the RV. Once on the roof, he quickly started goofing around…. Surfing and the like. Soon Andy was rooting “Go Teen Wolf!!” This joyous occasion, turned quite different the next time Dan climbed those stairs.




The EM-50 only a few short hours before the "incident"
Andy

We had a great day, we had been to four really great breweries, we were on a roll, and couldn’t wait to “hit” New Holland. Jerry, who prides himself on being a fantastic driver, as he should, chose to be the DD that day. We decided we’re going to check into the hotel before we head to New Holland Brewing Company.

Tim

We made it through most of the day without any incidents. We were having a blast at Michigan Brewing Company that afternoon. They had a great tasting room and there was a crazy hippie couple playing music. We then drove over to Founders and had even more amazing beers. Met some funny/insane people, and from there we were going 30 minutes down the road to Holland, MI.

Dan

Just so you know, when I am not driving during Beer Trip, I am in the front passenger seat because I get motion sickness. Doctors won’t prescribe Dramamine for Beer Trips, those jerks! So I am sitting in the front of the car, and our best driver is leading us in to the Country Inn in Holland.

Jerry

Dan had brought the Garmin this year and it was working like a charm....everyone was laughing, being silly, and ready to drop the luggage off and hit up the local bars with our new beer friends we had just met. When I pulled around to the front of the hotel, I noticed the "home feel" it had with a front porch and a few people sitting in rocking chairs enjoying the beautiful evening. I set my eyes on the front door of the hotel to properly line up the RV door with it for easy access for the fellas, and then it happened. The sound of the hotel awning ripping into our beloved RV sounded like the Hiroshima bomb had went off. Slow-motion ensued, and as I hit the brakes I look over at Dan, and we are both ducking and looking up. Before we could get stopped, I feel the RV suspension load up from the pressure of the hotel roof. The sky light explodes, I see daylight out the top, and finally, as icing on the cake, when I do completely stop, I finally hear the AC unit drop off the back of the rig.

Dan

Keep in mind, we had just left Founders, and they had their Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap, one of the best beers you will ever have. Also, it tips in at over 11% ABV. So Jerry pulls up to the overhang, I realize what is about to happen, yet I am speechless. I have no idea why, but everything is in slow motion as the top of the EM-50 smashes into the hotel and I don’t make a sound.

Andy

I know I’m sitting in the middle of the bench behind Dan. We’re just bullshitting with each other when out of nowhere this very loud cracking/popping sound erupts, and then plastic pieces begin to rain down. The cracking and popping continues for all of milliseconds. I think we all realize at the exact same time what had just happened.

Tim

Things get fuzzy for me at this point. It went from all of us talking and being happy as hell to a loud noise, stuff falling on us, and then silence. I was sitting in back on the passenger side on the bench facing the driver’s side. I remember the vent in the center had fallen to the floor, and I got up and thought picking it up and holding it to the ceiling would fix it or make what just happened not so bad. Jerry and Dan were up front and the only memory I have is both of them sitting in silence looking straight ahead.

Kelly

I was in the rear with the gear, and did not see the hotel, nor the low overhanging “A” frame entrance. It started with an unusual sound – that of bending and snapping metal. Then a small snap, and then the sound of air pressure being released simultaneously with a few more plastic snaps. To this point, there was only the sound of a collision, yet no feeling of impact or even stopping… it took several seconds for the catlike ninja reaction time of our driver to stop our traveling beer bus. Now remember, that most of us were not driving, therefore sobriety after four brewery stops was not possible. I looked up and found a new skylight where the rooftop air conditioning unit was.

Andy

I was the first one out of the back of the now damaged EM-50, and what I noticed first was Dan’s face in the rearview mirror. He was staring straight ahead, his eyes were open but I’m sure he couldn’t tell you what he was seeing. It was the most deer-in-the-headlights look I have ever seen on another human being.

Kelly

All thoughts come back to our leader – you remember Dan right?? -- We just wrecked his father’s pride and joy. His face showed no emotion. This seemed like a poker game, and we just met the master of the table.

Tim

I get out, and there’s a loud hissing noise, a weird smell, and some giggly girls hanging out of one window of the hotel pointing. I finally see what had happened. Behind us lay the A/C unit, hoses spraying air, liquid...I don’t remember exactly. I was numb. Those little awnings are amazingly strong. It scraped the top off pretty cleanly. I turn towards the front, and I see in the rearview mirror, Dan still sitting, staring straight ahead wide-eyed. I went over, opened the door, and got a “Just leave me alone.” I understood, shut the door, and walked back to help pick up the debris.

Kelly

Typically when you look at a road-side hotel, you see shades covering the windows of every room. This time, all I could see were faces peering out to see what just happened. Still peering out above the RV deck, I turned toward the back of the RV and saw that almost the entire vehicle had passed under the A-frame before stopping, and there was about ¼ inch of room between the top deck of the RV and the frame of the overhang. Everything on the top deck was missing. The antenna, the A/C, the skylights that bubble up about one-inch from the deck, the ladder…all were gone. It was as if a giant Tiger Woods swung a big stick and cleared everything off the RV.

Jerry

Cursing starts to ensue on the fact of "Did this REALLY just happen?!?!?" We all get out and assess the damage. It's not good! As stated, the skylight and AC are no longer. The upper luggage rack and ladder to the roof are in shambles, and I am pretty sure the RV roof leaks. There were some young teenage girls in their room a couple flights up that opened the window and laughed (loudly I might add) for the next ten minutes.....and I could have slowly killed each of them for that!

Andy

We all empty out of the EM-50, and an old geezer says something like, “Gonna have to let the air out of the tires to back that out.” I looked at him and promptly ignored his advice. There were enough fatties to jump on the back bumper and have Jerry back out. What I remember seeing next was shear and unbelievable amazement. We could literally fix the damage done to the hotel with a thimble full of grey paint!!! We couldn’t have been more lucky, and the MOD of the hotel couldn’t have been cooler. He was all of 20, and he looks at me and says, “As far as I’m concerned, this didn’t happen. And there is a janitor’s closet at the end of the hall where your room is at, so help yourself to whatever you need to fix your RV.”

Tim

The manager at the Country Inn was very cool and got us trash bags to help clean it up. Not much damage to the awning except some scrape marks. I honestly have no memory of what everyone was doing. I remember Jerry walking out to the middle of the huge parking lot by himself. Dan had to call and tell his parents we just crashed their RV into a hotel awning. We loaded the A/C unit into the storage compartment on the side, taped up the gaping hole in the roof, and locked it up.

Dan

Calling my dad up was odd. I mean, they lent us their RV for the trip, and we (the Beer Trip crew, not just Jerry) had damaged it. I told my dad what happened, and all he said was, “Is everyone okay? Good. Well, patch it up as you need to, have fun the rest of the trip, and we’ll take care of it when you get back. That’s why we have insurance.” Once I heard that, there was relief. And honestly, I should have expected that to be his response, but I still needed to hear it. Especially after two days of being every kind of sick possible and not being able to keep anything in my body, I didn’t want a damaged RV to keep me from having more than a half a day of fun on Beer Trip.

Andy

As Jerry and Dan drive off to park the RV, Ed and I proceed to die laughing because we had been holding it in for Dan’s sake. But holy crap was that some extremely funny stuff!

Jerry

After Dan talked with his dad to let him know what just happened, the teamwork and camaraderie of the Beer Trip fellas kicked in. Everyone pitched in to patch up the RV, put the broken pieces in the RV, and try to comfort my busted ego.

Kelly

I jumped into problem solver mode – trying to take care of the RV for the night – hoping that Dan would play his card, and let us in to his thoughts. We grabbed tape and plastic and covered all the holes in case it rained for the night, threw the A/C into the storage compartment. Dan climbed the stairs to look at the damage.


Kelly fixing 'er up

Damage done
Tim

At some point, Dan came out of his understandable stupor, and he was soon chasing Jerry around the parking lot trying to hug him to show no hard feelings.

Kelly

I don’t remember Dan’s words, but the message heard was – “It happened – no reason to stop now.”

The show must go on.

Andy

We actually had a great night of continued beer consumption.

Tim

We went on to New Holland Brewing after all of that and drowned our sorrows. We had some fun with our now convertible roof the rest of the trip. And of course, it’s given us a story that everyone, except Jerry, gets a great laugh out of.

Dan

We really needed some beers at the end of that day, and New Holland was just the place to get them!


Ed sticking his head out of our new sun roof

1 comment: