Everybody(1) probably remembers the episode of Seinfeld in which George Costanza, newly-single thanks to the timely expiration of his fiancee, celebrates his rebachelorization by lounging sybaritically, half-naked, in front of his TV, with a block of cheese, the symbol of manly freedom.

Jerry: (stares into coffee cup and looks back at George) Problem?
George: The Rosses have started up a foundation, Jerry, and I have to sit on the board of directors.
Jerry: Hey, board of directors. Look at you!
George: Yeah! Look at me! I was free and clear! I was living the dream! I was stripped to the waist, eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery!
Jerry: Before we go any further, I’d just like to point out how disturbing it is that you equate eating a block of cheese with some sort of bachelor paradise.
George: Don’t you see? I’m back in.
Jerry: All because of Wrath of Khan?
George: Yes!
Jerry: Well, it was the best of those movies.
[The camera is over George’s head and spins around repeatedly as George screams.]

Now, the furthest thing from my mind is any desire for the demise of She Who Must Be Obeyed. I love her dearly, at least when she’s not premenstrual.

But I’m going to Canada this week, for the first time in four years, for a two-week visit. And the wife, she decided that she wasn’t really up for it this time, and quite happily gave me her blessings to do it alone. We are very rarely apart, and never for more than a couple of days at a time, and though I will miss her, this trip, [this is good]. A fella (particularly one with a past as spotted and a present as buttoned-down as me) needs some time to go stupid sometimes, or at least stupider than usual.

The thoughts of many men — and almost all Korean men, if the nudgey-winky questions of my students and male colleagues are any guide — might turn to matters illicit and concupiscent, perhaps, in such a situation. Not me. I am and always have been a one-woman man, in large part because I simply don’t have the energy that the alternative would require.

Me, though? My first thought (after, of course, sugarplum-fairy dancing spectral images of the dog-choking quantities of quality booze that I’ll be able to drink and fine tobacco I’ll be able to smoke, without the mild concomitant guilt brought on by the presence of a well-meaning but disapproving spouse)?

I pictured myself shirtless, driving a rental car that glorious roadtrippy thousand kilometres between Vancouver and my home town, with Mötörhead cranked up, gnawing on a block of cheese the size of a car battery.

Oh, yes. Oh my.

I may write some updates from the road, if I have the time. On the other hand, I just might have a myocardial infarction. But it’s going to be fun.

1 And I mean that literally, of course.

[Update:] I’m baa-aack. Proof of a time well-had:

Booze Glorious Booze, Me|dia
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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. I never watch Seinfeld, because the few minutes I once saw really did shit me to the point of wanting to smack someone.
    But a roadtrip. On my own. Remembering 1,000km days on the bike. That’d be a thing. My wife would be OK with it. Not so the kids; they’d never understand. Not now.
    But it’d be a thing all right.

  2. You’re going to be on our continent! I feel a shift in the force…

  3. I’m with andrew re: Seinfeld. ::shudder::
    Going to SXSW was sort of the same thing for me…a trip on my own: wheeeee! Enjoy your giant block of cheese in our hemisphere.

  4. for god’s sake, man — slow down this torrent of posts, i can barely keep up.
    back in the merica, you are bound to have a deluge of needy popsters falling upon you everywhere you go just as soon as you open your mouth and say “i live in korea” and then “it’s an asian country next to japan”. ‘cos trendsters LURVE japan. so can i suggest you save yourself some time and pointless irrit by learning THIS url by The Ancient Japanese Warrior Tradition of Sushido

  5. The Wonderchicken Industries CEO will be out of the country? Time for a hostile takeover!
    Have a swell (or at least swollen) trip, guy.

  6. What kind of cheese?

  7. Yeah, I can dig it. Much as I hate being separated from SHMBO and the kids, I do somewhat treasure my (infrequent) business-related travels around the state. Just not being responsible for other people for a few days is some kind of bliss.

  8. Of course, that should be SWMBO. But you knew that.

  9. Wonderchicken Index

    My two-week visit to back to Canada, by the numbers. years since previous visit: 4 kilometres driven: 3270 members of personal pantheon of heroes (of 5 surviving) drunk with: 4 percentage doing better than last time I saw them: 100%…

  10. But a roadtrip. On my own. Remembering 1,000km days on the bike. That’d be a thing. My wife would be OK with it. Not so the kids; they’d never understand. Not now.

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