Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Kentucky is surprisingly close to Illinois, so I have driven through it a few times. However, I really haven't spent any significant time there, always just passing through. 

Here's my one Kentucky story...or at least it's sort-of, kind-of, semi-related to Kentucky.

My comedy group Dirty Water was a regular on the improv festival scene, so we drove to a lot of different cities to perform. These drives were routinely fifteen hours or more, which left a lot of time to amuse ourselves while driving down long stretches of highway. We'd taunt vehicles with Yankees bumper stickers, play twenty questions (American History edition), or compete to out-fart each other. 

Dirty Water in the van. Clearly not in Kentucky.
One bummer about the van was we'd have to go to O'Hare airport to rent one for each trip, an hour plus endeavor each way. Each driver was required to present ID in person, so the entire troupe would have to make this trek every time. Meeting up, getting to the airport, filling out unnecessary amounts of paperwork, driving the van back to the city and then loading up our set was a two-and-a-half hour process which seriously increased our travel time. The only way to avoid tacking on the extra time was to get the van the night before, taking an extra day's rental fee out of our already tight budget.

After several years of choosing between these two lousy options each trip, we finally found a loophole that would change things entirely. It turns out we could add additional drivers at any Dollar Rent-A-Car location. This meant one person could fetch the van earlier in the day, drive the first leg, and get us to another Dollar location on the route, where we could add the rest of the drivers and be on our merry way. 

We used this hack at our next opportunity. We were performing at the Austin Improv Festival, and this is where Kentucky comes in. We found a rental car place in western Kentucky, not too far off our route. We added the additional drivers there, saving time off the seventeen hour drive. Too bad we didn’t discover the loophole sooner. That would be Dirty Water’s last festival. 

The van at the end of the trip.
I'd like to explore Kentucky more thoroughly, as I love bluegrass music and would like to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum. For now, this time-saving rental car maneuver will have to do as my Kentucky memory.

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