How to: Make a Boring Trip Fun

On Saturday, Mike and I had to drive to literally the middle of nowhere. He had to meet someone he works with to hand off a hard drive, and they decided to meet at a gas station off the highway halfway between their houses. I went with, because I had nothing else to do on a cold Saturday morning.

But of course, a drive to a gas station off the highway in Summit, Illinois, is not exciting in either the journey or the destination.

Unless… you pretend that you’re in a spy thriller.

Now it’s possible that this won’t work for every boring trip. Maybe if you’re just going to your second cousin’s dry wedding, it won’t help. But we were carrying a hard drive (which might have had government secrets on it instead of some video of a dude golfing) to a discreet location to meet a shadowy (read: not at all shadowy) contact. So there was much talk about code words (“The falcon has the football”) and also gangster/spy-guy nicknames for both of us.

This became extra important when we got to the gas station and waited, in the parking lot in the snow, for about half an hour. Everyone else in that gas station parking lot appeared to be there to meet a man about something or other. One couple was possibly selling the car they arrived in. They were definitely doing something that involved signing some paperwork with another couple. Another woman was there to hand over her daughter to what we were assuming was her grandmother and not just a white slaver. Everyone was just waiting in cars for something to happen. Watching. And waiting.

We waited in vain, in the end. Our contact never showed. But still, we had a little bit of fun with it, even if we never got to pass the football.