Well, we made it back in one piece and I have to say I had a great time on the Quiksilver Midwest trip. So what I’m going to do is tell you a story of an incident we shared in the car outside of Chicago with Ben Greenwood. The top version is my outlook and the bottom is Charles’ version of the story.

Travis’s version:

Alliance and Quiksilver agreed to split the gas for the whole trip, so on day three we were getting ready to pull out of the spot and Ben Greenwood runs up to the Alliance ride to tell us that we’re meeting at the gas station. This is how the dialogue went:

Travis – What? Charles, didn’t you tell him?
Charles – No.
Ben – Tell me what?
Travis – We’re not paying for gas anymore.

I start to laugh and then the whole car begins to laugh, except for Brett. (Brett was the photographer and the new guy on the trip. He had no idea on what was going on.)

Ben stared at us with disgust

Travis – Dude, we’re just kidding – we’re still helping with the gas.

Ben gives a half laugh.

Ben – Follow us to the gas station.

The two boats, the Quiksilver ride and the Alliance ride take off for the sunset.

Charles’ Version*:

So yeah, like Travis said, Alliance and Quiksilver agreed to split the bill on gas. I was sitting shotgun in my parents 4Runner and Big T was claiming ‘King of the Road’ , shirt off, shades on, toes up in the drivers chair. Ben approached the car from the driver’s side. (Keep in mind, Ben just landed a very mcskunkmiester toe 9 off the dizz-ub a few minutes earlier.)

Ben pulled a knife on Travis, the gleaming steel searing my retinas as he began to converse with Team Alliance 5000. Brett was crying in the backseat forcing a mask of Jim Carrey’s movie The Mask over his head, and Staker was in the woods putting on cologne and shaving.

Ben – Hey!! Gimme your money!!!

Travis – Dude…Dude…Chill….You just rode so good!! Why are you so jacked up? (Travis softly whispers ‘Alliance’ towards my direction. Which sounds like a code word for us to transform, but it doesn’t, I know we are safe.)

Brett – Guys!!! Guys!!! I just want to go home!!!

Travis – Shut up Brett, you can’t go home!!! Put that mask on and tell me when you’re done.
(Almost forgetting about the hot blade upon his Adam’s Apple.)

Charles – What do you want? Ben…you’re in the trust tree…it’s okay! ( I have wet myself three times, and dialed 911 by this point.)

Ben – Gas you Midwest-lovers…GAS!!!

Charles – Okay! Okay…here…take my card…just don’t hurt Travis. By the way all the gas out here is made from corn.

I slowly reach into my pocket and hand Ben a fake paper credit card…like the ones that come in the mail.
Ben then grabs the card with his teeth nipping my finger off, stabs the tires of my favorite vehicle and runs to pirate dive into the private lake, card and knife in mouth.

Ben surfaces and sputters – ALLIANCE!!! ALLIANCE!!!

Little did Ben know the card was fake, Travis is not a real person and no one was ever in any real danger.

I can project auras of any type of mammal.

The whole Quik team and everyone involved in the trip was great, and deserves a huge hug and a backrub.  The trip was great. Stay tuned for the web story, the “Pull” episode and the story in the magazine. Ben never pulled a knife, nor would he ever. Watch out for Jacob Valdez though…he might kick you. Ask Trav…hang on…I’m projecting….ok…ask now!!!

*My version is a lie.