Shortly after arriving back at my parents' house, I was in the kitchen, and Mom walked in. From the look on her face, you might have thought one of her close friends had died. Of course, I knew better; it was likely something of much less importance than that. She asked me, "you didn't get anything for Vanessa (my brother's fiancé)?" I replied that I had absolutely no clue what to get her - a fact I specifically told my Dad when I spoke to him on Saturday night. She practically ordered me to go to a local supermarket and get a gift card, which I did.
MySpace told me that both locations of The Nutty Irishman would be open and showing the Monday Night Football game. I thus decided to roll out to Bay Shore to take in the contest. Prior to leaving, I uncovered a most unpleasant fact - I'd left all my condoms in New Hampshire. It's highly unlikely that I'd be in a situation where I'd need one, but when any such opportunity comes, one must be fully prepared. I tried Wal-Mart in Commack, but it was closed. I thus continued down County Route 13, reasoning that I'd be making another stop to ensure the Minivan o' War was fully gassed up for today's trip back here. I pulled into an Amoco, but the fact that it only had four pumps, combined with a strong urge to urinate, compelled me to double back to a Hess station I'd passed earlier. I bought both gas and rubbers, and resumed my course south. But when I reached Bay Shore, it was apparent that the Nutty was not open for business. I doubled back towards the North Shore, passing a couple of other bars, before rolling into downtown Northport. There were a few pubs and restaurants open there, but none with enough people inside to merit my dropping in. I thus went home, at which time I was finally able to relieve myself. After watching a bit of Broncos @ Chargers, and seeing that it wasn't a contest at all, I rolled over and slept a wonderful sleep.
As is long-standing custom in our house, the opening of presents was delayed until early afternoon, when my Dad arrived home from his twelve-hour shift at work. But it was well worth it. In addition to the two gift cards I'd been expecting - to Eastern Mountain Sports and Wal-Mart - I got the collectible gift pack of Balls of Fury, parts of which I watched this afternoon. My brother got me two gift cards, one each to Best Buy and Target, as well as a notebook for recording the happenings of the Post-Navy Roadtrip. Everyone was happy with the gifts I'd given them, although the fact that my brother got me so much compels me to get him a sizable present for his birthday eleven days hence.
At 3:47 this afternoon, I got underway on a non-stop trip back to Portsmouth - a trip that was completed in an absolutely stunning four hours and twenty-two minutes. For reference, that's fifty-eight minutes less than the time estimated by Google Maps. I am master of the asphalt.
I'm actually in a pretty good mood right now; you can expect that to change within twelve hours, once I am again subsumed into the hell of the Submersible Death Trap. But I've got two reasons for hope: leave is only nine days away, and I brought back a "millenium clock," which can be set to count down to any day I want - so obviously, I picked May 19, 2009.