Banks woke me at the crack of 8:30 and we went to breakfast at one of the chain knock-off restaurants that in this case seemed like the illegitimate stepchild of an IHOP and a Cracker Barrel. Â All the breakfasts were named after presidents or generals causing me to wonder if the General Sherman was named after its effect on the human colon. Â I was feeling seditious and had the Jefferson Davis whose sausage gravy tasted freshed squeezed from the pig but I paced myself and was rewarded by not clogging Banks’ toilet. Â My next stop was Livonia and still being a bit gun shy after yesterday’s ticket, I tooled there at a stunning 45 MPH, the posted speed limit… plus five miles per hour.
Livonia is part of a bouquet of towns that surround Detroit, my guide to the area, Ryan Pooya/Hellfighter has what I can only call encyclopedic knowledge of his area.
The burb clocks in at 100k people and has its very own abandoned mall. Â The area has mile streets as vestiges of a French survey plot and my guide showed me his area on foot initially. Â He lives near a retirement community and there was a continuous stream of emergency vehicle sirens. Â By the time we finished our walk I think the home may have acquired some spare space.
Ryan offered to take me a picturesque spot in Detroit on the way to dinner and in about 20 minutes I was in a weed-encroached side street taking shots of what I think was Ford Stadium.
Our ride to meet Brad Stephens/Azuretruth at Fuddruckers was interrupted by traffic and we arrived about 30 minutes late, a perfectly acceptable delay in exchange for their Diet Peach Green Tea. Â Upon arriving, I learned they didn’t have this divine beverage, the second of two times I found this deficiency which I assume is merely an oversight on their behalf. Â No company would be daft enough to exclude this elixir of life from their drink line-up except due to sabotage by industrial spies. Â I had a back-up though; when picking up some items for my future Canadian hosts including two boxes of Trix, a 2-liter bottle of Fanta, and some American Heinz Ketchup, I grabbed the relative of something I hadn’t had since I was 9, diet Squirt. Â It was terrible. Â It tasted like watered down Fresca that had been mixed with flat Sprite and instantly my fond memories of going to Mexico for my parent’s 25th anniversary were destroyed.
Thursday is game night at Brad’s house and I played one of my favorite games, making color commentary while other people play games. Â Brad has a custom table made of white board material which allows everyone to draw an impressive array of multicolor penises and scrotums while waiting for ones turn in 1990s grand strategy boardgames.
The other game for the evening was Magic: The Gathering, something that Brad’s friends play loosely with a format I call “kitchen table type 1”. Â Their decks lacked familiarity with basic building tenets like managing manabase, having an appropriate curve, and streamlining win conditions and I got to deck clinic a few of their creations. Â I got bored after a bit and build a B/U tempo deck out of someone’s spare cards and proceeded to absolutely crush them. Â It felt nice. Â A friend of my Minneapolis host had given me a pile of commons which I gifted to these players while giving them a primer on some deck construction ideas. Â When they left I felt like I had made the world a better place.