I had a penchant for doing the things nobody in their acid-right mind would. This quickly became what led to my opting for more solo trips. No cell phones at this point and not even A Tom to suggest Myspace had begin to rear its ugly profile pic face. It was bonfires, and it was acid parties, and it was yearly summer adventures to the infamous Bobs Bash, which was a long running massive outdoor, multi-stage festival run by Bob who famously owned our largest longest standing head shop, Shakedown Street. But this trip was not a Bob trip, it was a public transit trip.

I lived in a small town, 150k people, Toyota factory our major moth flame for high school grads, a frito-lay factory for the rest of the guys that kicked my ass in high school. For now, I had a belly full of acid and the weather turned to shitty rain the second my wandering got underway. I ended up seeing a bus come and hopped on, in ,y oversized old man’s London fog jacket bought at my local thrift shop after I swore to never buy new potentially sweat shop made clothes, except underwear and socks of course. Even ethics need hygiene practice. I sad at the absolute back of the empty bus in case anyone else decided to escape what was not acid walking weather.

The bus was one of many that connected our townships three previously separate villages that decades ago amalgamated into Cambridge, even though nobody from Galt, Preston or Hespeler, respectively, ever gave such a betrayal of nostalgia take hold of their lexicon. This is where you’ll have to pardon both my old drug addled memory and the 20 or so years between me and then, but I know what I recall, and that is enough to qualify this as a life trip.

I have been obsessed with the show Cheers since junior kindergarten, don’t understand it myself, but I just couldn’t get enough. I watched it through every available rerun and cried during the finale, coaches death, and no, not Dianes snooty departure. How did your big career turn out Diane? Money Pit and what, the Brady Bunch 20 years later? So it makes sense that, after the bus had made an entire loop and I hadn’t moved, just too safe feeling on the bus, alone and my cd player (I told you it was an old story) was never very good for actually walking with, the anti-skip still a few years away from being close to functional. So the bus was my cocoon and cave and conch. That’s when my mind clung to anything to keep me from losing my mind. And Cheers, once again, saved me. I played a game. A brand new, I am pretty sure never attempted one. The Electric Lager and Acid Cheers Bus Driver Test. Sure, let’s say that.

Here is the basic principle. Every character of Cheers needs to be analyzed and considered for the role of most ideal Bus Drive from the entire rotating cast. Even snotty fucking Diane Chambers. And so it went, the bus making 30 minute runs back and forth between my Preston and the central stations Galt, but nothing mattered outside my visions of Sam, Carla, Cliff, Rebecca, Diane, even Coach, and yes Woody and all be damned if even the impossible, Norm, all got a turn as a Bus Driver hopeful.

Sam would be terrible obviously, hitting on the women who boarded and almost causing an accident trying to get phone numbers. He looked great in the uniform though. Carla was obviously a fast reality check that nobody is going to get on a bus they are too afraid to board in case the malevolent brillo-permed troll felt in any way importuned by any slight movement, question or expectation of transfers etc. Cliff would bore the riders to such an edge they would fling themselves out the tiny v style windows, not giving a shit about purses or groceries or even medical aids. Cliff is not called cliff for nothing, and after passengers started to drown in his notes, the choice was easy. Rebecca would not be caught dead, and since no rich men take the bus, would do her best to fail on every attempt to even start the engine. Diane would be like Cliff, except where people almost pitied the mailman turned bus driver, Diane would rob them of any inkling with her total condescension and unentitled self-applause. She would also insist she was above such a menial position, and end up working at the Keg. Which will close after a week. Burn Diane! Coach would obviously get lost at every light, and conned by Harry from Night Court into somehow losing all the bus fares. Woody would be the same way except his constant remembering of his hometown would endear him to the seniors and half-witted street people.  For a second the acid jumps in power and Woody turns into Mickey Knox while I feel like I am trapped in the movie Speed on slow motion except the music which is 3x speeds faster and the Smurfs theme instead of the appropriate Tarantino soundtrack. Frasier and Lilith would both essentially be head shrinking every ear, one jamming Freud into barely listening passengers, the other accomplishing the same level of annoyance with Jung. Eventually they bail and fuck in the public park. Which leaves the bar stool baron himself, king of the cold open, god of the gold draft. Norm Peterson, Driver of Busses?

Do I really need to qualify his lack of qualifying traits? He will be Bukowski, stopping at every bar on the 30 minute route so that, 3 hours in, only one loop is achieved. Eventually Norm would see no point in coming back to the idling bus between bars. In contrition to the passengers piled up now, he offers them all in invite to the pub, which gets misinterpreted for an offer to buy said rounds. His tab is immediately moved to a larger, individual book. It begins again.  

I learned that night that I never needed any stimuli or partner in my tripping. I had an imagination that would provide any relief needed.

And worst case scenario I housed in my cortex an entire reel for reel replay able, instantly recall-able collection of nearly every episode of Cheers, able to hit internal play at any wide turn or bus station or pub. The few missing were blocked out because Diane destroyed the flow.  Couple years back I actually go to see George Wendt as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. It was like a flashback dream of a kubla kahn come true. And I haven’t been afraid to trip solo ever since. Because I can always go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad ya came!  This trip, like Cheers, was filmed in front of a live studio audience. Or a bus load of melting skeletons. Depending on the route, or, trip, you make of it.