Just forty-five minutes shy of midnight, we finally arrived in Kansas City — well, Leawood, Kansas, to be precise — ready for tomorrow’s games, but carrying heavy hearts. On Thursday, March 13th at roughly 12:30 P.M., the hardy and well-traveled Road-trip-mobile finally died.
I suppose technically it’s still alive. But after exiting the highway in Crandall, Texas, it refused to hit anything higher than 1000 RPM. The car lurched and groaned, protesting against the short quarter-mile I still needed it to travel. It sputtered down the tiny back-country road at a painful crawl that makes ghost riding the whip look like a high-speed chase. Inch by inch we trudged towards Austin’s house, fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to push the heap the rest of the way. And by the time I finally coasted into the driveway, Suri Cruise was a legal adult.
But thankfully Grant had driven cross-state from Lubbock to meet me, and we switched cars for the rest of the journey. I’m not sure how we’ll get the thing back to Austin, or how I’ll get to work next week, or even how we’ll travel to the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. But I do know that there’s three days of exciting basketball ahead of us, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
So let’s take a moment of silence for a good car. Whether the destination was Dallas, Austin, Spokane, Manhattan, Oklahoma City, Ames, Lawrence (twice), College Station (thrice), Atlanta (twice), Norman (thrice), Stillwater (four times), or just Hut’s Hamburgers down on West 6th, the Road-trip-mobile got the job done. And that’s more than I can say for Lindsay Lohan’s publicist.