ROAD TRIPPER OF THE WEEK #1: Shaler Alias
We at MyCollegeRoadTrip would like to congratulate Shaler Alias on becoming the inaugural MCRT “Road Tripper of the week” (and for his ridiculously awesome name). For his hard work, we have decided that indeed, Shaler Alias, will be the standard that other Road Trippers should strive to live up to.
Think you got a story that deserves to be in the running for next week’s Road Tripper of the week? Submit it to us as a “Story” and maybe you can join Shaler in having the ability to rub your friend’s noses in either your own awesomeness or in their completely idiotic behavior that you so generously put on the internet for them. It can be either a fantastic feat similar to Shaler’s, or a funny tale. Make sure to include all the totally unnecessary details and any pictures that will help shed light on the antics that ensued.
And now without further ado, may we present the man, the myth, the legend: Shaler Alias and his magical party bus…
People generally come to me to plan the next great party, simply because I am the only one dumb enough to spend the time and money doing it right. I could always be called upon to arrange a road trip as well. In college I was constantly on the go with my greatest responsibility being to occasionally let my fifteen-year-old Bassett hound, Stump, outside to handle his business. Stump did so inside, though he had an affinity for my roommate’s laundry basket, so it really was no sweat off of my back. I wasn’t on Courtney Love’s speed dial or anything, but I had fun.
Flash forward a mere six years later, and I found myself living back in my hometown of Atlanta where I ran a merchant processing company and lived with my brother. I had been with the same girl for two years and was seeing a nutritionist to battle a little excess weight I had amassed. In other words, I was bored. I no longer backpacked across Europe. Instead I took couples trips to friends’ vacation homes.
Little did I know that one of these couples trips would lead to the greatest impulse buy of all time. This past June my girlfriend, Patty, and I packed up my truck and headed to north Georgia where we met up with two other couples. We had the usual Friday night revelry filled with hamburgers and board games. Then we woke up early Saturday morning and headed to the Ocoee River for whitewater rafting. We took an old, dilapidated school bus from the rafting center to the top of the river. For some reason, I happened to ask our raft guide where they got the school bus to which he replied, “Dude, you can get one of ‘em for like $2500 from the public school system where they’re done with ‘em.” I dismissed the conversation thinking that our redneck river guide had no idea what he was talking about and continued on my way down the river, albeit a little less confident in the burnout guiding our boat.
The next day on the way back to Atlanta, my trusty navigator Patty immediately fell asleep in the passenger seat. I let my mind wander and started to envision how awesome it would be to purchase an old school bus, gut it and convert it into a party bus. I pictured my buddies and I working on the bus and how much more fun that would be than my newfound gardening hobby. I sort of fell in love with the idea of combining the authenticity of the old bus with the modern comforts of home. As I crossed the Atlanta city limits I woke Patty up and asked her to draw out my bus’ floor plan. She managed to do so while rolling her eyes and muttering under her breath how this was never going to happen.
That was Sunday. By Wednesday, I was in a heated bidding war with “PastorJohn316″ on Georgia’s public surplus website. While I imagine poor Pastor John probably wanted the bus for his church’s youth group, I was a man with a vision and no one was getting in my way. I prevailed in the final seconds and became a proud owner of a 1980 Bluebird. I immediately appointed two co-captains and got to work making my dream a reality.
We started by removing the seats and about 43 wads of chewing gum. After a little pressure washing and wall-to-wall carpeting, I had an open canvas. I had a day laborer build a wall enclosing the master bedroom, complete with a king-sized bed and Egyptian cotton sheets. He also added a day bed and cabinets with a granite countertop for the kitchen area. I added a couch, a stove/refrigerator combo, a flat-screen TV, a sound system and a generator to provide the power. Then came the matter of the exterior. Although the bus maxes out around 60 mph, I wanted her to look fast. So, I had it painted British Racing Green with red stripes (there is some question whether or not it works, I maintain that it does). I know that everyone thinks that their baby is beautiful, but she is stunning. She sparkles. I sit in the captain’s seat and the reflection in the rearview mirror is a little younger, a little cooler. There is no sign of a merchant processor.
We recently christened her “Home Schooled” and launched the maiden voyage. We decided to play it safe and stay close to home, so we headed to Athens, Ga for a Drive by Truckers Concert. The lack of a bathroom becomes an issue when your friends are shot-gunning beers in the back, but other than that, it was a completely successful journey. I have no idea where I will go next, but luckily I now have reservations everywhere.
Think you got what it takes to knock Shaler off his throne, contact MCRT to become a writer and submit your story.