6 Lessons You Learn On Long Road Trips

We've been friends for a long time, you and I. You've been reading Cracked for a while and ya know what? I noticed that. And it's important to me. You may not have realized it, but it means something to me that you keep coming back, week after week, to read our jokes. It means a lot. And there was a time when I thought I'd do anything to repay you for reading our articles. But... but this? I don't know. This might be too much.

It's 2AM on a Monday and here you are, covered in blood, with a bag over your shoulder. And you're asking me to help you. It's just... I dunno. I dunno man.

Alright, listen, if I'm going to do this for you, then we're doing it my way, you understand? That's right. We're doing it as a goddamn list.

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6
Be Sure A Road Trip Is Right For You

Road trips have been romanticized by popular movies like Road Trip, Euro Trip, and most other stoner films, but let me tell you: They're not all fun and games. Though there's a lot of fun to be had, you pay for that fun with a lot of time spent in a car, which is far more draining than you might expect. After all, gas prices just keep on climbing, and trust me when I say that you're going to burn through all your podcasts far faster than you anticipated. Furthermore, long stretches of silence threaten to give the voices the upper-hand in the war for your sanity. And that's why, before setting out, you need to ask yourself these questions:

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1: What if we just dump the body in the city? Listen, man, there are a lot of dark alleys in L.A. Let's just put him in a dumpster behind some bar in Culver City and ... s**t, you're right. No, if they find him here, they'll tie him back to you. And if they tie him back to you, then they can get to me. And that can't happen.

2: How long do we have? If we have a few hours, we can dissolve the body like in that episode of Breaking Bad -- it's seriously not as difficult as you might think, but it takes a lot of time and -- f**k, you're right, no way we can get that equipment together at this short notice. People are going to be coming by looking for him. Did they see you with him? Goddammit, dude. Goddammit.

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3: Will anyone wonder why you're gone? All right, f**k it, listen: I got vacation time saved up. I can take him a few states east, dig a hole in the woods, and dump him there. Don't thank me yet, m**********r, I'm not taking this heat alone. While I'm gone, there's something I need you to do for me.

5
Pack Light And Pack Smart

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The No. 1 mistake people make on road trips is not bringing the proper snacks, and the No. 2 mistake is bringing too many clothes. For snacks, it's important to remember to balance fun with health: It's just as easy to overdo it on caffeine and sugary sodas as it is to overdo it on healthy stuff like granola and dry fruit. You have to remember that both are important: You need the healthy stuff to keep your mind sharp and your bowels functioning (traveler's constipation is a real -- and, trust me, very uncomfortable -- danger), but you need the fun, sugary, caffeinated stuff to keep your spirits up. Personally, I like to keep my caffeine intake about normal (one cup in the morning, followed by another around 2 p.m.) and my snacks divided thusly: one part beef jerky, two parts dried fruit.

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And don't forget to bring a whole pack of dryer sheets, because dead bodies are stinky, trunks aren't airtight, and you can't buy car deodorizers in bulk at 2AM on a Monday. Plus, I'm still going to have to stop and get gas, and I can't have corpse-stink following me into the gas station when I'm buying snacks. Don't look at me like that -- no way I'm doing a road trip without snacks.

Now this is important: While I'm gone, I need you to find me a patsy. Some kind of mouth-breathing d*****t that you don't care about -- I'm imagining a backwards-hat-wearing former frat boy who still pops his collar and knows all the lyrics to Dave Matthews' Stand Up album. Basically a complete f*****g moron with no redeeming human qualities whatsoever. Find me that. Why? We'll get to that later.

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Once you've found this Blake or Todd or whatever, I need to you to go into my bedroom, open the closet, and pull on the red tie. When that happens ...

4
Get Your Home In Order Before You Leave

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How many times has this happened to you: You come home from a long weekend, a business trip, or maybe spending the night at some special someone's house (wink wink) only to find your domain a total mess. Your cat has gotten into something she shouldn't have, you left food out, or, in one of the worst cases, you've left the oven on and everyone in your home has died in a horrible fire. Well, after a road trip, all these problems can be exponentially worse, which is why it's important that you properly prepare before leaving. Set aside an entire evening devoted to this, and if you're going to be gone for more than a week, maybe ask a friend to drop by and check on your place while you're gone, just to be safe. While they're there, be sure to remind them to tug extra hard on that red tie, because it sticks.

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Then stand back, because the floor's about to move. Do not go into the door that just opened. Listen. I can't tell you everything about this, because I swore an oath, but suffice to say there's a lot you don't know about me. About what I used to do before I started working for Cracked. Just don't go through that door, you understand?

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It ain't exactly Narnia down there.

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The frat boy. Once you find the frat boy, once you earn his trust with Halo tournaments and Jager shots, you get him here. You get him to go through the door and into my machine, and then you pull the blue tie, you understand? The blue one, not the red one. Get him in there by Friday, pull the blue tie, then leave the house for several hours. That machine is going to do things and, trust me, you don't want to be around for it.

There's no time for questions. Take the key to my house. Find yourself a frat boy. I'll be back Saturday morning, and we'll see if you held up your side of the bargain.

Stop it. Don't do that. Don't you f*****g puss out on me now, all right? Don't forget that you knocked on my door. I'm involved now, and I'm not going down for you or anybody. I will burn this f*****g city to the ground before I see the inside of a prison again, you understand me, you f*****g twatwaffle? This doesn't end here, goddammit. This doesn't end here.

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3
Remember To Enjoy Yourself!

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After a few hours on the road, it's easy to let your mind drift to your responsibilities -- job, family, relationships -- important stuff! And, of course, the very stuff that you're going on this road trip to get away from! So when I find my mind wandering, I just remember: There's nothing I can do while you're driving, and there's nothing I can do if I get in an accident, so I may as well just concentrate on the road. Right? No, f**k it, I have Bluetooth built in to my car's stereo system for a reason. I'm calling you right now.

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Pick up pick up pick up pick- hello? Did you get him into the machine? Well, I'm coming back now, I- No, I dumped the body in the Mojave. It's a place I've used before. Trust me, no one will ever find it.

It is vitally important that you get him through the secret door and pull that blue tie as soon as possible, or there's nothing I can do for you, OK? We need my machine to get to work. I dunno how to get him to go down there -- maybe chuck a blank CD, and say it's an unreleased live recording that DMB did back in 2002; he won't be able to resist. You know how those people are.

2
Use Your Transmogrifier To Forge A Tabula Rasa Clone, And Then Imprint A Facsimile Of The Murder Victim's Psyche Into The Clone's Cerebral Cortex

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Nobody likes murdering a co-worker over a game of Mortal Kombat X, but it happens, and there's no reason you should go to jail for it. So if the unthinkable occurs and you bludgeon a man's head into a fine paste with your PS4 controller because how the f**k does he have so many goddamn combos memorized, seriously, then it's important that you come ask me for help. Because you know that I'm the only one who can get you out of this.

Did you get the frat boy to go down the tunnel? The CD trick worked, didn't it? Haha, they're so predictable, the frat boys. Like rats in a maze. Like rats in a goddamn maze.

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The machine you just put him in is a ... well, OK, the name takes a while to pronounce, but it's going to paralyze him and basically turn his entire body into a mushy slurry of malleable guy-goo. Did you ever see The Sixth Day? Here, watch this clip super fast:

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It's exactly like that, except less stupid. See, I brought back a vial of our dear departed's blood, and I'll pour that into the DNA recalibrator and ... ya know what? I don't need to explain this to you. I'll just do it when I get home.

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Just stay cool, man. Stay cool. We're almost through this.

1
Enjoy Your New Perspective on Life

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There's something ineffable about an open road, a manual transmission, and a trunk full of sloppy corpse. It opens your eyes and your heart to new experiences. It broadens your horizons. It's humbling, in that it reminds you how small you and your immediate experiences are, but it's also uplifting, because it reminds you how wide and beautiful the world is and how lucky you are to have time to spend in it.

When you make it back to the office at the end of your vacation, things will look different. You'll feel different. And, of course, you'll know that you've replaced one of your co-workers with a brainwashed cyborg clone. Sure, he'll act the same, look the same, sound the same -- hell, he's a good enough copy to fool his own family. But is he the same? No. Obviously. Because he's a cyborg clone.

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And as for you, well, you're free to go. I'm not going to charge for my services. I don't do this for the money -- the fact that you continue to read Cracked is more than payment enough. But that doesn't mean you've heard the last of me. I may come to you, some day, looking for a favor. Now, this day may never come. But if it does, just remember what happened here, okay? Okay.

Glad we're good, buddy. Glad we're good.

JF Sargent is an editor and columnist for Cracked, and he had a great vacation, thank you. Follow him on Twitter and Like him on Facebook.

For more from Sarge, check out 5 Tricks Hollywood Uses To Make Good Trailers And Bad Movies and 5 Ways Our Generation Has Ruined "Being Offended".

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