A wildly entertaining road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas. Alex seems to be living the perfect bachelor life, but senses time is accelerating and wants to make sure he doesn't end up on a lonely road. Gary is married and secure, but wonders if his world is disappearing into sixty-hour work weeks. Mike is increasingly bitter, probably because he isn't getting any. Meanwhile, The Rodge just needs one more game to hit a big three team parlay. A fun ride and a unique look at life in America.
ON A WOODEN PARK BENCH, commanding a panoramic view spanning the blue vastness of the Pacific Ocean and the shoreline up to Torrey Pines, stood a healthy four-year-old seagull. The gull had no name. He did have a long, solid, yellow beak with a curved orange stripe toward the end. Despite his general vigor, like many of his fellow Americans, the seagull was visibly overweight.
The gull slowly stretched his neck toward the sky, then shook his head profusely and opened his yellow beak widely four times in rapid succession, but no noise was emitted. He was not enjoying the ocean view. Instead, he was intently focused on a nearby Mexican-American family sitting atop a large diagonally patterned red and yellow blanket.
The family, consisting of a mother, a father, a nine-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, had just finished a hearty lunch of burgers and fries. The parents, both of whom were significantly more overweight than the seagull, had already consumed the entirety of their food. The small girl, however, had apparently lost interest in the second half of her bag of fries. Herein lay the seagull’s primary object of desire.
The bird relied on human interaction for much of his food and had developed very useful stereotypes. Most importantly, the younger, smaller humans were much more likely to mount an attack. But these advances were nearly always harmless and could be ignored or easily evaded. Signs of a physical assault by the larger ones, while rare, should be taken very seriously. He also developed a knack for knowing which humans would stay in one place for a long time and which would change locations more frequently, thereby providing greater access to unattended food. As the gull expected, within minutes, this family had shifted several feet away from the blanket and began kicking a ball back and forth to one another. Lighter-skinned humans usually chose to entertain themselves by passing objects about using their arms, while the darker ones preferred to use their legs. Because of this, the lighter ones tended to be more accurate and dangerous when they threw rocks at the bird, a most annoying and seemingly pointless activity, but an unfortunately common one. All female humans, although they engaged in the throwing of rocks just as often as the males, were essentially harmless. The much darker people, who were quite rare at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, did not usually partake in the passing of objects games and tended to represent a low threat level.
Unlike humans, seagulls do not waste the obvious opportunities life presents. The seagull first used his legs to jump of the bench, and then flapped his wings in three short bursts, achieving an altitude of five feet. From there, he descended quickly, covering the remaining fifteen feet to the red and yellow target in just a few seconds. The gull landed immediately next to the half-eaten bag of fries, grabbed it with his healthy beak and flew back to his bench, careful to ensure the bag remained upright so none of the fries were spilled.