What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Well, we're back.

And four days earlier than we promised, too. We had to rush to give Em her lifeline; hey, she was dieing. It's OK. We're back now.

It's been a great vacation. Although, Em didn't like it so much. Wait, was that email off the record, too?

If you assumed by looking at the picture on our “going on vacation post” that we were visiting a touristy island with a palm tree and blue waters and recharging our batteries with all the amenities of the modern vacation, you were wrong. You know what they say about assumptions. We didn't go to Zimbabwe. That's where we thought we were going, but our flight was redirected to Belton, Texas, which is directly between Mexico and the nearest stoplight.

Actually, we drove. Cody is now officially really, really bad at following directions.

After over 4,000 miles of driving, lots of heavy breakfast on Route 66 diners and a serious case of the back seat flabs (if you don't already know, please don't ask), the FCN team is reassembled in sublime center of the sunny central valley of California.

Belton was the site of the NCFCA 2007 National Tournament. To select Belton, the league inputted the names of every city in the United States into an excel macro and randomly chose one. We showed up on the first day of the tournament wearing FCN shirts, but we got nothing but cruel remarks (and some genuinely snide remarks), so we didn't go back for the rest of the week. Our artistic souls can't handle that kind of negativity.

For those of you who didn't know from the details description above, Belton is about 40 miles from Crawford. That's right, it's right smack dab in the middle of Bush country. A casual conversation with an acquaintance brought this fact to the fore of our collective consciousness (not that we believe in the collective consciousness) and we ended up driving out to see W's digs. This is yet another example of how dangerous casual conversations can be.

As we approached Bush's house, we saw large orange traffic signs on either side of the road with imposing warnings like:







Large cameras made no attempt to hide the fact that we were being surveyed. A drone airplane was, no doubt, overhead, and and I could barely make out the outlines of the automatic weapons hidden in the brush. As we got nearer, we saw the broken bodies of tourists who had not heeded the warnings littering the side of the road.

The actual house wasn't that impressive – it was apparently built during a down turn in the oil economy – but the helicopter hanger, communication antennae and black armored Humvees were something else. We didn't get close enough to entice anything FCN worthy, but our imagination ran wild with possibilities.

As our car was just inching its way past the driveway, the door to the house opened and Laura Bush emerged, waiving her hands for me to stop the car. We pointed sheepishly to the “keep driving” sign and remembered the swollen carcasses. We were torn between the desire to stop and see the First Lady and the desire to survive. Life is full of hard choices.

As if reading our minds, a male voice announced over the loudspeaker that the driver of the FCNMobile had “special dispensation” to disobey the rules. We decided to play along.

A uniformed security guard acted as a valet, swiftly navigating my car into the shade of the hanger. Another guard scanned us with a sci-fi device that looked like it belonged in Mission Impossible, not Texas. A third man conducted an invasive tap down search that was more painful than productive. We didn't have guns, but now, in retrospect, we don't think that he cared.

Mrs. Bush was a charming and very hospitable woman. She fixed a pot of Earl Grey while explaining that her husband was on his way home from the G8 Summit and that she regretted we wouldn't get a chance to meet him. We, in turn, struggled to maintain our end of the conversation. We tried to listen, but it seemed she wanted us to talk. It's a shame we didn't have a tape recorder, so we could relate the conversation back to you all verbatim, but alas and alack! our feeble memory will have to do...

Laura (she insisted we be on a first name basis): So I read on your blog you were coming out to my neck of the woods and I would be remiss if I didn't invite you in for some refreshments.

FCN: That's very kind of you, Laura, we were...wait, you read FCN?

Laura: Ever since Cindy Sheehan stopped jamming our Internet. You guys are some serious losers.

And we can't remember what was said after that, but the conversation lasted about a half-hour.

There are, of course, many more tales from our vacation left to be told. We spent a night on an Indian Reservation, ate at a real Mexican meal in El Peso and had a televised argument in the Texas statehouse – ok, so maybe it wasn't televised. We made a few friends and lost a couple (and by a couple, we mean quite a few, and by quite a few, I mean we would now be hiring bodyguards if they didn't come free). All in all, it was a great vacation, but boy is it good to be back. The next few posts may have some oblique references to the past few week's activity, but generally speaking, FCN is back and back to normal.

We had extensive discussions about the future of FCN, which were lubricated by quarts and quarts of lukewarm sweet tea. We discussed almost every topic conceivable, but about the only thing we could really agree on was that we need to do more of these vacation thingies.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the last post and who took the time to return to FCN today after our absence and Cody's request that you not do so. We were flattered by the high number of comments, which exceeded that of the previous 200 FCN posts put together. We hereby pat ourselves on the back, and promise that we will take your nominations into consideration as we craft our classics collection.

As a post script, our survey results revealed that most of you used the downtime from FCN to get married. Masoltov. Why weren't we invited to the reception?

It's good to be back. Look out, Daily Kos. Here we come.


mrs. a. shannon pollard said...

I would have invited you guys to the reception, but you were back 3 days too late! I really missed having you all there...it wasn't the same without you. We'll have you all over when we get back.

Anonymous said...

I did a google blog search but I still could not find the "FCN Zombies" blog I would like to see it.

the guthmiller chick said...

Thank goodness that you guys are back!!!! The past two weeks have been marked by complete and utter boredom. If you ever take another one of those vacation "thingies" again I may have to resort to drastic measures.....

Hannah said...

Glad you're back! I actually heard rumors of some FCN shirt wearers in Belton...

Team Cheese said...

Oh...by the way guthmiller chick, we left for our vacation exactly the same time as FCN did, so it was us you missed. Not them.
OH...FCN? By the way, you could have told us that your destination had been moved from Zimbabwe to Texas! We waited for you at the airport for two hours. We finally decided to get on a plane and leave tho. Thank goodness we did. Zimbabwe is scary. Each order of french-fries there costs ten bucks! (which if you're wondering, is about 56,000 Zimbabwe dollar thingies...no joke)