Road Trip, August 4, 2020
Patrick and Timothy are devastated. Both of their wives, and all of their pets, have succumbed to the Covid-19 virus. Unfortunately their in-laws survived.
Timothy: Patrick, we need a road trip.
Patrick: Agreed. Let’s take your old Jeep Grand Wagoneer on a cross country trip back home to the Midwest.
Timothy: Let’s take the northern route so we can visit Vermillion, South Dakota and see the old Yellow Farmhouse.
Patrick: We may need an exorcist for that.
The two old hippies drive east from California through the Rocky Mountains and onto the Great Plains of their youth.
Patrick: Yeah, still looks pretty plain.
They drive into Vermillion, South Dakota, park the Jeep, and go into the local tavern.
Timothy: Bartender, do you still have the old three two beer and tomato juice?
Bartender (a big fellow in jean overalls): Laughs! How old are you guys?
Patrick: Old enough to remember.
Timothy: We’ll take two of your local ales with the lowest alcohol. And with ice.
Patrick: Don’t put any ice in my beer.
Bartender: Is that your Jeep outside with the California plates?
Timothy: It is.
Patrick: It’s a comfortable ride.
Patrick and Timothy take in their bar surroundings. The paneling is old and faded. The tables are round wooden platters. The chairs are dark wood. Beer signs abound on the walls. The bar stools are red leather. The TV in the corner is showing the current market prices of corn, wheat, soybeans, pigs, and cattle. An old pool table sits in the back.
Timothy: Barkeep, does Mike Armstrong still live around here?
Bartender: He moved over the river to Nebraska. He has a big spread over there.
Patrick: Is the Yellow Farmhouse still out there on Bluff Road?
Bartender: You mean that big house the hippies trashed back in the seventies? Oh, it took a lot of money to fix that place up again.
Timothy: That’s good to hear that it’s been rebuilt and still exists.
Bartender: How do you two know about that?
Patrick: The Yellow Farmhouse of Bluff Road was a pilot TV project we worked on in LA. Some crazy hippie told us the story in a bar decades ago. I think his name was Mark.
Timothy: Yeah. We tried to sell the script and the pilot, but none of the studios took us up on the offer.
Bartender: Are you two thinking of doing another script? I know lots of people here who could tell you tales about those crazy hippies back then.
Patrick: Thanks. We aren’t sure.
Timothy: The audience…
Patrick: It would be maybe a reality show back in time.
Timothy: Kind of a Big Hippie House on the Prairie concept.
Bartender: Folks around here like the reality TV shows.
Patrick and Timothy finish their beers. They then drive out of Vermillion on Bluff Road and visit the old Yellow Farmhouse. Timothy drives his old ’87 Grand Wagoneer into the driveway and the two old hippies from California get out and walk up to the front porch.
No one is home. The house has been rebuilt and looks marvelous. The memories flood over the two of them and then recede.
They climb back into the Jeep and head south for Nebraska.