Chris Lavender, Jonathan Massey, Bryan Hanks and Darrell Hanks. / Photo by Ted Turner
Last Thursday four men piled into a rental car and set out for the great unknown.
The men — radio host Bryan Hanks, his brother Darrell Hanks, newspaper journalist Chris Lavender and the only North Carolinian to ever fail an emissions test, Jonathan Massey. Hanks’ other brother Darrell couldn’t make the trip.
Their mission? Attend baseball games in three states while consuming mass quantities of food that in no way resembles a salad.
As the guys made their way from Gastonia to Charlotte to Atlanta, a trail of overwhelmed hotel cleaning staff and Slim Jim shortages lay in their wake. Word of their lust for pork, beef and chicken spread along the eastern seaboard to the point where cows, pigs and chickens started walking up to their car at stoplights and surrendering. An online video of Jonathan drinking mustard straight from the jar was taken down by Facebook on Saturday.
I’ve traveled with Bryan and Jonathan before and lived to tell the tale. Admittedly, it was a harrowing experience but not totally devoid of fun. I can’t think two people I’d rather be stuck in construction traffic with at 2 a.m. in Virginia — mainly because if you ask them to reenact the intro from “Fame” on the hood of the rental car, they’ll do it AND they won’t hold a grudge when you put the car in drive and head for the nearest exit while the deputies are checking their id.
I kept in touch with the guys while they were out of town, sending bail money when I could. Even though we already have email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (not to mention the antiquated old phone) to keep in touch, Bryan and Jonathan said I needed to install Snapchat. Since I’m the emergency contact for half the people on this trip, I begrudgingly decide to download Snapchat. Little did I know doing so would require me to let Snapcat have access to my photos, contact list, blood type, favorite color, dreams, social security number, bank account number and dog.
On top of all that, turns out Snapchat is identical to texting. It’s the same thing. I know many of you out there are about to bust a vein to tell me otherwise, but it’s just texting. As if jumping through dozens of hoops to obtain Snapchat weren’t enough, Hanks, Massey and the entire crew posted their photos and private messages on — you guessed it — Facebook. I took great pleasure in deleting Snapchat; I even insulted it as it dissolved into the trash bin on my phone.
Last Sunday our heroes were in Atlanta enjoying baseball and Varsity hot dogs. One photo featured a rather dour Bryan Hanks holding a piece of sausage. Turns out he was torn between a love of all things pork and his decision last week to revisit “Charlotte’s Web.” I don’t want to give away the ending, but if 20 spiders wrote “War And Peace” in calligraphy that sausage wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Based on the photos the lads have posted over the last few days, the Department of Homeland Security is advising the entire eastern seaboard to brace for gastrointestinal event of Three Mile Island proportions. Their ride home could be the second time the lights went out in Georgia.
Late Sunday night, Atlanta Braves/CNN owner/flat-Earther Ted Turner held a press conference to ask for help in finding the people who stole his mustache. He describes the miscreants who burst into his private box at Sunday’s baseball game as four derelict men wearing more sports-themed clothing than the players on the field.
“They wreaked of gas station cologne and sausage — which at first made me think they’d been sent by my ex-wife Jane Fonda.” a clearly shaken Turner said. “I know it wasn’t Jane though; I was allowed to keep the mustache in the divorce and she got the vacation house in Hanoi.”
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