Fair warning: This blog post will have plenty of Fallout 3 references. There’s one in the title alone.
It’s April 27, 2022. I’m just chilling in my sweatpants, laying in my bed reading my book. I get a text from Victor. It’s a voice message. Immediately I know it’s going to be some rage filled message insulting me over some dumb inside joke between us.
I play the message, to my surprise it’s not that. Instead it’s a call to adventure. He starts off saying “Aaron, you dirty ape. Answer me.” Holding off my laughter I continue to listen. He asks if I can make a boys trip this weekend. Him, Ray, and myself, road tip to Washington D.C.
I’ve been to Washington D.C. before. In fact, I went there when I was 18 years old with Victor. We took the Amtrak down to D.C. and honestly I don’t even know he we didn’t even die considering Amtraks get derailed all the time. But that’s a story… for another time 😉
The message finishes playing and I respond back saying yes, let’s fucking do it brother. I tell him it’s boring in D.C., but whatever we may as well go for an all out boys trip. The Stallions were back at it again. Except this time we had to new men joining our little adventure. Richie the flamin’, ragin’, Chicano, and York our humble, friendly, giant.
Now it should be said that this trip was something of the planets lining up. You see my dear reader (yes I know, bold of me to assume someone actually reads my posts, but I digress) to give some context, Richie lives in Colorado. He left the boys to pursue his own path, and we wish him well. He rarely flies back to Brooklyn, but when he does, we all gather round to hang with him. York himself is always working and we can never catch him to join us on our adventures.
So now why D.C. of all places? We’ve all been there with the exception of York as it was his first time ever. D.C. again is pretty boring, not much to do except see the monuments and well… that’s it. But the reason was that Ray was flying in to D.C. for a secret reason that I am not at liberty to say in the post. But Victor with his infinite wisdom said, “Fuck it, let’s all go down to D.C. and meet up with Ray.” One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, we were all getting in my car which I have dubbed the Toyota Highwayman, an ode to the great adventure mobile from Fallout 2. (It’s a Highlander, but I love Highwayman more so whatever.)
Early Morning Send Off
We all agreed to meet up at 8 am to hit the road. We as in Victor and I and we told York and Richie to just be ready at that time. May 1st, we all meet up and head out. The mood is already good. We’re cracking jokes, saying dumb things, and are excited that we’re going to meet up with Ray in D.C. Well really Virginia because he was staying in some suburb in Virginia that was 30 mins outside of D.C.
We’ve got a 3 and half hour ride ahead of us. Nothing bad at all. We’re used to riding long trips in the car, and the trip was 220 miles to D.C. Literally the same distance to Binghamton, NY from my house. The FEV rejects (as we will be known along this whole trip and throughout the continuation of this post) were saddled in, ready to hit the road.
During the ride we talked about life, progressing in it, and the difference between winners and losers. Victor told us stories about his dad back in 1990s Moscow and how everyone was involved in racketeering. We spoke about religion and male circumcision of all things and how the one Jew (me just in case you were wondering) in the car was vehemently against it. I told them how Christianity was just a derivative of my religion so they may as well just convert to Judaism because we believe in the same god, just we have different made up rules.
We then circled back to talking about life and how everyone is basically moving on with their lives on their own roads. I myself broke the news to the guys in the car that I got a job and I’m moving to Houston, TX after graduation. I’ve got less than 10 weeks left in NYC at the time of this writing. Richie himself is now living in Colorado with no signs of him ever moving back to NYC. And Victor himself surprised me by saying he wants to move upstate to Hudson Valley with his girl. York we don’t know, but he’s probably going to have to leave NYC to make his own path. We brought this up because Ray himself might be moving to the D.C. area and so we just hung on this thought, that this may be possibly the last time the boys all get together and we’re ending it with a bang by doing a road trip to D.C. If you were to ask me if I ever thought I’d live outside of NYC, where I was born and raised, I would’ve told you hell no! But life has a funny way of throwing you a sucker punch to the balls.
I’m writing this passage because almost exactly a year ago when Ray, Vic, and I (the Italian Stallions and don’t you fucking forget it) embarked on an all out adventure throughout the American west, we were still in the middle of a lot of things. Ray was looking for work, I was about to begin graduate school, and Victor just graduated from his masters program and was about to start his new job. In a sense, as this post is a story for you the reader, it also serves as a memory for me, to look back and realize how much we have changed over the course of just 1 freaking year!
We drove right on. It’s funny what they say about road trips. The drive there is never bad at all. It’s the drive back home that will mess you up. We reached D.C. around 12 PM and Vic texted Ray. Turns out he was still in the air and was about to land. We figured that if he was about to land and get a rental afterwards, it’s going to take him an hour and half at least. So we just ended up driving to his AirBnB which lemme tell you, was just a typical suburban neighborhood in the U.S. But you see, not with the FEV Rejects. We’re a bunch of idiots that roll up into this quiet Virginian suburb and just park on the side of the road. All nice and innocent you’d think. Well not really, because again, we’re just fucking dumb.
We have our windows rolled down and are just saying the absolute dumbest stuff, to the point that the AirBnB owner was looking at us and wondering why these morons were parked right outside of his property. What made things funnier is that he texted Ray asking why there was a black car parked outside of his house and if it was him he could park inside. Ray just said, “Oh no those are my friends.” The man looked at us wondering what in the absolute hell was going on.
Capital Wasteland Hi-jinks
Ray finally pulls up to his AirBnB and at this point we’re all starving. It’s 2 PM and we have to leave D.C. at around 8 in order to get back home around 12 AM. Not a problem for these FEV Rejects, cuz we can have an adventure in any window of time.
Ray got in the car and we zipped right into the city. We were gunning for food and I found us a ramen spot in the city. I’ll skip the details of D.C. traffic as it’s boring except for this one thing. You see… I am a very impatient driver, and driving through anywhere I always try to speed through yellows to save time. Well, this time I got absolutely shafted. I assumed D.C. didn’t have any red light cams for whatever god forsaken reason, and lo and be-fucking-hold I thought I could’ve made it through a yellow when I see the infamous flash. At first I just go, “Fuck my ass, I got caught!” I quickly ask the boys to figure out how much a red light ticket is because I’m poor and don’t want to pay the government anything. Ray does a quick google and hits me with the, “It’s $150.00.”
I’m sorry what? Come again? $150? Are you fucking kidding me? You better be fucking with me. $150 for running a fucking red light? Are you serious right now. What the absolute fuck D.C?
He continues, “Yeah they say you can also get 2 points towards your license.”
WHAT THE ABSOLUTE FUCK DO YOU MEAN I CAN GET 2 POINTS TO MY LICENSE. GOD I HATE THIS FUCKING COUNTRY AND ITS TYRANNICAL TRAFFIC AUTHORITARIAN REGIME. WE NEED TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT AND INSTATE OUR OWN PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE. (Turns out you can’t get points for a camera ticket lol but man was a I mad).
I’m raging now, Victor just says, guess you shouldn’t drive like some sort of ghoul then. I start laughing and say fuck it. I’ll figure this mess out later. We end up in at the ramen spot. I’m starving and it’s raining. I park the car, pay the meter and we head in. We sit down and the menu comes. The waiter tells us it’s some Hawaiian infused food and not Japanese ramen. I’m confused, Victor says let’s get the fuck out of there and the rest of us agree. We stand up and leave, as I head out in front I tell the waiter, “Sorry, we thought this was Japanese ramen, we’re not really interested in eating Hawaiin infused food.” I proceed to walk out. The waiter says something to us but I’m not paying attention and head out. Vic follows me out and says, “Wow you didn’t even answer him but I’m pretty sure I know why.” I look at him confused and say, “I didn’t even hear him nor did I know he was talking to me. What am I thinking Vic?” “You’re 100% thinking about how you just got absolutely shafted by your red light ticket and how you heard the guy but probably were holding back from yelling, ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP! JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SUCK MY COCK!” We burst out laughing, I wasn’t even thinking about that but I was now and it was hilarious.
We get back to my car and find another ramen spot. We drive and after spending a dumb amount of time looking for parking while cursing D.C. for being a fascist traffic state, we park and head to the restaurant. Not gonna lie, the ramen was pretty good, but D.C. just can’t beat Bay Ridge ramen. We ate a hearty meal, and I broke the news to Ray that I’ll be moving to Texas for work. He was ecstatic for the simple reason that I could buy a gun with such ease there. I laughed and told him I was ecstatic to move there because no taxes. Either way. God bless Texas.
M.I.R.V. Sprawl Throughout the Capital Wasteland
Originally for our journey we decided to take the D.C. metro where we could ride around the city and explore it all while fending off ghouls and finding unique Nuka Cola quantum bottles. But instead because of D.C.’s dumb parking laws, I decided it wasn’t worth it to leave my car parked where it was because I wasn’t sure I was even allowed to park where I was at. It turned out I wasn’t and it was a good call. Funny enough I joked with the group that the red light ticket I got was my problem. But if my car was to get towed due to where I parked, it was going to be OUR problem.
We rolled on out to Dupont Circle, and after spending a stupid amount of time looking for parking again, we ended up finding free parking! We got out of my car and started exploring. I’ve never been to Dupont Circle, it was definitely a pretty spot in D.C. and reminded me of the Upper West Side where all the old money along with some new money of NYC was. We walked down and made our way to the White House. At this point the weather had cleared and we were having a nice stroll. Ray and I were talking about career and work, and entering the next stage in life.
The FEV Rejects finally made it to the White House and we were honestly not fazed by it. If anything I was wondering why the White House had a barricade put up around it. Probably because of Trump and his increased security risk. I could now understand why the White House was nuked in Fallout 3, because man oh man it would’ve been boring to put in the game. We moved on to explore Capital Hill, where our first destination was the Washington Monument, aka America’s penis. We took our photos and walked along it and decided to quickly move along as we were running low on time. It was at that moment when Victor had his amazing idea.
Ride or Die
Victor turned to us all and said that we should rent the lime scooters all around. Knowing how much fun we all had last time in Salt Lake City, we said yes and did it. We got ourselves some lime scooters and set off on riding around D.C. Our next stop, the Lincoln Memorial. We rode around our scooters, zipping through people and obstacles. I gotta say, the scooters made me feel like a kid, and for 39 cents a minute? So worth it. We headed to the memorial like a bunch of Tunnel Snakes (and we rule).
We got to the memorial and to be quite honest, as soon as we got to it, we quickly zipped on over to the next one. The Lincoln Memorial is cool and all but we were running short on time. We got together and rolled out to the Jefferson Memorial so that we could sacrifice ourselves for the good of the Capital Wasteland er- I mean so that we can take some pics and ride around D.C. having a good time.
So with that being said, we rolled on out and zipped through Capital Hill and the Washington Channel. I was leading us and looking back ever so often that the FEV Rejects were following behind me closely. York and Richie cuz they were the heaviest of us, were the slowest so we’d all occasionally look back to make sure they didn’t fall back. But that didn’t help as we ended up losing Richie.
Richie Becomes the Lone Wanderer
We lost Richie somewhere along the way, I don’t know how, but when I rolled up to the Jefferson Memorial, I saw York, Ray, and Vic but no Richie. How on earth did he get lost. We had a man that was MIA and we needed to find him fast. So who ends up going to look for him? None other than Vic with his brick of a phone because his battery died. York and Ray went to the monument. And I of course had the most important job of watching our scooters that couldn’t be stolen due to how they were programmed to work. Great idea right? I love it when a plan comes together.
Vic zoomed off and I just waited in a zen like state. I saw a bunch of cherry blossoms and the sun was starting to set. D.C. was starting to look pretty. But I was thinking about going into the monument. As soon as I thought that, Richie pops up behind me, moving in silence like a real g. Just like lasagna. I looked at him asking how did he get lost and he said we just dipped and left him behind. Not soon after Vic rolled up and we proceeded to joke that if we lost Richie it’d be a mission critical fucking failure. Thankfully it wasn’t. We went to the monument, took a quick look and said alright time to get the fuck out of D.C. as it was fast approaching 8 o’clock.
Making Our Way Downtown
My car was parked very far away from where we were at, it was almost an hour walk from our location. But we weren’t on our legs, we were on two wheels and electric engine baby. Our travel time was now cut to 20 mins. We high tailed it, this time stopping to make sure we wouldn’t lose Richie. We were making good time, until we got to 3/4 of the way there when Vic’s scooter decided to have a major malfunction and just died on him. But this wasn’t a problem. We had this exact same situation in Salt Lake City. Vic just hopped on with Ray and like a magnificent team rode all the way back to the Highwayman, which thankfully was parked exactly where it was and not towed away.
We parked our scooters and ended our rides. We all hoped into my Highwayman and drove off. I dropped Ray off and his AirBnb that he was staying at and the rest of us headed back home to NYC. And with that, comes an end to this adventure, until the next one.
I hope you enjoyed my short and hopefully entertaining adventure story dear reader. It was filled with a bunch of laughs and total idiocy. But I had fun and I wanted to share this story with you. Till next time.