ROUTE 66 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROAD TRIP

17th September ~ 23rd September, 2009
Los Angeles, California ~ Springfield, Illinois ~ Los Angeles, California
(By way of Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Ottawa Illinois, Chicago Illinois, Oklahoma and lots of other places in-between.)

 

Doug loves road trips ... they are one of his favourite things to do. So when he was scheduled to attend the Route 66 International Film Festival in Springfield, ILL. to see My Name Is Jerry claim the award for Best Comedy Feature, he grabbed the opportunity to get into a car and travel the roads of America, this time accompanied by Puppy James E. Roberts (JimmyStiXs) to share the driving and also visit James' folks along the way. Doug marked their progress by leaving 'tweets' on his Twitter page for fans, and so we have used those comments, a bunch of pictures from all sorts of folks and JimmyStiXs' own words to include you all in what turned out to be a little bit of an adventure ...

7:24pm., September 16th, 2009
And my road trip (yes, you heard me) from L.A. to Springfield IL begins TONIGHT. Stay tuned here for tweets from the road!!

6:19am., September 17th, 2009
Been driving 6 hours, now passing through St. George, Utah. The mountains. The sunrise. The beauty.

6:15pm., September 17th, 2009
Western Colorado, gorgeous. Eastern Colorado, less gorgeous. Why yes, I AM sitting in Burger Delight in Stratton, CO.

1:17am., September 18th, 2009
Driving through Kansas City at 3am is ... well ... dark.

6:08am., September 18th, 2009
Woke up at a rest stop with the early morning sun streaming in the car window, and now loving my Egg McMuffin [somewhere] in MO.

6:15am., September 18th, 2009
Ugh ... I do know how to travel in style, don't I. All for the love of My Name Is Jerry. And yes, flying would be faster and cheaper.

11:27am., September 18th, 2009
FINALLY in Springfield, IL ... but too early to check in ... AHA ... a tour of Lincoln's house!

4:24pm., September 18th, 2009
How poetic. Abe Sapien, in front of Abraham Lincoln's house, whom the the fish-man empath was partially named [after] ...

4:28pm., September 18th, 2009
And now it's off to the Route 66 Festival filmmaker's kickoff party. I've never kept it secret how much I love indie film directors.

11:57pm., September 18th, 2009
Great night meeting all kinds of film folk involved with Route 66 Fest. Back at hotel, and cross-eyed with fatique. Falling into bed. Love!

7:22am., September 19th, 2009
Playing hookie on the Fest today to run up to Ottawa to see Amber Selvig, then on to Chicago to stay the night with @joliemom & @trydarwr

8:06pm., September 19th, 2009
Surprised @trydarwr & @joliemom by bringing their son James (that's my puppy JimmyStiXs from L.A.) with me on this road trip! See the love?!

8:14pm., September 19th, 2009
THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS Wins the Doorpost Film Project grand prize of $100,000!! Thanks to all of you for your support & votes!!!

9:06am., September 20th, 2009
Back down to Springfield for today's 1pm screening of MY NAME IS JERRY at Route 66 Film Festival. There's Love in Illinois!!



10:11pm., September 20th, 2009
MY NAME IS JERRY wins Best Comedy Feature award at Route 66 Film Fest tonight in Springfield, IL!! One of my favorite weekends ever!!

9:00am., September 21st, 2009
And now ... the road trip home to L.A. begins with James Roberts (JimmyStiXs). Mrs. Laurie would never do this kind of ordeal, but I love it!

9:01am., September 21st, 2009
Stay tuned for driving adventures along the southern route this time!

10:10pm., September 21st, 2009
Just stopped in Claremore, OK. Impromptu dinner with some cast & crew from GREYSCALE. Couldn't do that if I flew, right!? Yay road trip!

12:38am., September 22nd, 2009
JimmyStiXs gets us stopped for speeding, tells the officer he's driving a celebrity home to CA, gets off in exchange for my autograph.


The following are stories from a road trip Doug Jones (I call him “DoggieBones”) and I took to The Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield , Illinois. During which time, Doug sent out many Twitters to keep any followers up to date. Well, three Twitters have received extraordinary inquiry, so I, James E. Roberts (Doug calls me “JimmyStiXs”), decided to write out in detail what exactly took place. On behalf of Doug, myself and Webmaster Helen, we invite you to read on and discover for yourself what exactly happened on our road trip back to Los Angeles.

JimmyStiXs ~

So it’s only an hour after we left our Greyscale friends when the first incident takes place. Now, not that I’m a poor driver, and I have a perfectly clean driving record, but I was going 90mph in a 75 zone. Now, in my defense, I was going with the flow of traffic. But, then again, I WAS the traffic, so that’s probably why I got pulled over.

As I’m enjoying the speed at which I’m heading down the highway, I notice in the corner of my eye, on the other side of the median, headlights suddenly blazing on. Since I wasn’t totally sure if it was a cop or not, I decided to play it safely and slow down. Then I noticed the headlights complete a 180 into my highway lane. Still not totally convinced that it was a cop, but wanting to prepare just in case it was, I slowed the car down and made my way to the shoulder. Still looking in the rear-view mirror trying to figure out if it was a cop or not, I noticed a spectacular display of Red and Blue flashing lights. Sigh …

Well, it was time to break the news to Doug, who’s comfortably sleeping in his reclined seat at the moment. Doug was already waking up when I began slowing down the car. I didn’t know what else to say, but it was a quick and easy conversation.

JimmyStiXs: I’m sorry, Doug ...

(Beat)

DoggieBones: (In a surprised, groggy sounding voice) Nnoooo ...

And everything that needed to be said and explained happened right there.

So, the cop car shines its ultra bright lights inside the car. My heart is pounding pretty hard. Plus I’m thinking about insurance matters and the fine itself I’ll be soon slapped with. And then I realize what the car’s interior is going to look like to the cop. It’s pretty messy. And I have “Lion 1” (my stuffed animal since birth) on my lap. So I tuck him next to my left leg against the car door so the officer wouldn’t be able to see it.

Well, the officer makes his way over to the passenger side of the car and taps on the window for Doug to ‘roll’ down. The officer asks for the car’s insurance. Doug explained how the car was a rental under his name and I was driving since he was too tired to drive. Then I’m asked for my license. Naturally, it takes me more than a couple minutes to find it (my ‘wallet’ consists of a few single dollar bills wrapped around a whole bunch of plastic cards), which I’m sure the officer found quite suspicious. After I finally found it and gave him my license, he asked me to step out of the car. I was not expecting this. And I paused. Which made the officer pause as he was probably wondering why I wasn’t moving. Finally, I took Lion 1 (who’s hidden next to my leg and the door I have to go through) out and put him on the dashboard. Then I got out, wondering what the officer thought of that.

The officer asks me some basic questions and has me ‘show-some-skin’ so he knew I wasn’t carrying anything illegal or had any firearms on me. Then he asked me to step inside his car. My eyebrows raised in surprise. Was I being arrested? I wasn’t in handcuffs and he directed me to sit in the front passenger seat, so maybe he was going to do a breathalyzer test on me.

Now I’m in the car. I’m looking around. This is one heavy duty car. There were like two different GPS units inside, a couple shot guns in the back, a touch screen laptop, several radios and receivers, a mini printer, and a ton of other technology. When I’m done looking around, I notice the officer typing in my information and looking up my file.

JimmyStiXs: (In a slightly trembling voice) So how are you this evening?

Officer of the Law: Pretty good.

( …Silence… )

Officer of the Law: So where you coming from?

JimmyStiXs: Uh, from, uh, Illinois.

Officer of the Law: Long way out from California.

JimmyStiXs: Just doing one of the those road trip things.

(The officer begins writing a ticket)

JimmyStiXs: Yeah, actually, I don’t know if you watch a lot of movies or not, but that’s Celebrity Doug Jones in the car.

(We look to Doug, who’s stretching at the moment while scratching the back of his head)

JimmyStiXs: We’re just coming back from a film festival, the Route 66 Film Festival in fact, where a film we were in just won best comedy there.

Officer of the Law: A celebrity, eh?

JimmyStiXs: Oh yes. Big one. Perhaps you’ve seen him in the Hellboy movies? (The officer shakes his head) Well then he played Pan in Pan’s Labyrinth. (The officer shakes his head, and makes direct eye contact with me) Well, he was the Silver Surfer recently. (The officer stares at me.)

Officer of the Law: Isn’t that a comic book?

JimmyStiXs: It was! Well, still is, but they made a film with his character in it, called Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

(The officer looks over to Doug, who is sitting still.)

Officer of the Law: How do you spell his name again? Doug J-O-N-E-S-?

The officer pulls the laptop over and begins Googling Doug’s name. I suggest to him that he click on the link to the IMDb page. And within seconds, Doug’s profile page pops up with several of his pictures.

Officer of the Law: Well, I’ll be. Yup, that’s him! Why is he driving a rental car?

JimmyStiXs: A penny saved is a penny earned.

The officer begins writing a new ticket.

Officer of the Law: Think he could give me his signature?

JimmyStiXs: (Probably a little too excited here) Oh yes! Yes! Totally. He loves signing his name for any and all fans. It would be his delight. He’d be thrilled to do it for you!

(And then there is silence once again.)

JimmyStiXs: (As I’m looking at the ticket he’s writing me) So do you know if this ticket will affect my car insurance in the state of California?

Officer of the Law: No, this is just a warning.

JimmyStiXs: Oh ... oh. Um, thank you officer.

( …Silence… )

I’ll spare you the other details of the conversation we had after that point. But we ended up talking about some random stuff for the next ten minutes in the car. It was a great conversation actually. We spoke about topics from how to pronounce Hyundai correctly, to police radio codes (universal vs. by state) and whether or not to abolish them completely, to his family.

After the officer finished writing out the warning ticket, he prints out a blank sheet of paper from the printer in the back and takes a clip board and attaches the paper to it. He hands back my licenses with my warning ticket and begins to head out.

But then I stop him.

JimmyStiXs: Shouldn’t I be signing something?

Officer of the Law: Ah, getting ahead of myself. Thank you. Just sign here please.

I signed his copy of the warning ticket.

Then we got out and I walked back to the car. The officer headed over to Doug’s side.

Officer of the Law: So you’re a celebrity I hear. (He holds the clip board out in front of Doug).

DoggieBones: (A chuckle, but then quickly suppressed) Yes, you might know me from Pan’s Labyrinth, the Hellboy movies, or as the Silver Surfer.

Officer of the Law: Haven’t seen any of those, but my son will one day when he’s old enough.

DoggieBones: Oh, is that who you would like me to make this out to?

Officer of the Law: Yes.

So Doug writes his name and puts his official website’s famous URL address on there as well for the officer to check out all his work.

Officer of the Law: Out here, we officers don’t write tickets for celebrities, or friends with celebrities. Ya’ll have a nice evening now. And drive safely.

DoggieBones: Thank you officer.

JimmyStiXs: Yes, thank you again!

So, the officer heads back to his vehicle. I turn to Doug.

DoggieBones: What was that all about?!

JimmyStiXs: I’ll tell you in a second after I collect myself. Oh, and, you’re driving now.

DoggieBones: (Chuckles) Okay. Okay.

So Doug and I get out and swap seats. He drives off, going the speed limit of course. The adrenaline burst in me has worn off and I’m getting sleepy. So I recline the seat back and conk out and while Doug continues the long trek back to California.

12:48am., September 22nd, 2009
So you see why I love Oklahoma?! Such a nice cop! I took the wheel again, and as JimmyStiXs sleeps, we press on to the Texas border.


JimmyStiXs ~

And thus begins our next eventful experience on the road ...

Ahh ... and the lovely sleep begins. I start falling asleep as I laid back in the reclined passenger side seat of the car. And I soon after begin dreaming, probably because of the white noise being created by the car’s smooth drive on the road. I love white noise. Can’t fall asleep without it. And after my near-ticket run in with the officer, I was feeling perfectly comfortable. Haven’t felt this comfortable lying down in I don’t know how long. And then, I doze off ...

KKKRRAACCKK! KUH-CHUNK! FLAPPLE FLAPPLE FLAPPLE BRUNKLE!

My eyes open! My vision slightly distorted; part blurry-eyed, part night vision adjustment, and part dream leaking through into reality. Until my senses have adjusted, I must use my hearing to tell me what I need to know! It was a lot of: “BRUMP! KKSSHHH! KKSSHHHHH! KKSH! KKSH! KKSH! GRRRVVVEL!” It was then I knew Doug decided to take a different path to get home. But why the median path? And if you haven’t guessed by now, none of what was happening at the time was sinking in for me. That was until my vision came ‘online’ and I saw Doug’s innocently sweet and gentle face, distorted by a horridly confused and frightened jaw-dropped expression, with a dash of ‘we‘re all gonna die’! That’s when it sunk in for me; Doug fell asleep while driving, and he is just as in the dark as I was a moment ago.

And that’s when my body shifted violently towards him as Doug swerved the vehicle back on the road. I realized how mobile I was. My seatbelt was essentially hanging over me. There was nothing to really keep me safe. I tried finding something to hold onto. The items in the backseat were flying around; candy, sodas, a cooler, backpacks, and a large atlas, were all finding new places to be. And that’s when I heard more foreign road noises. First came sounds of gravel, then noises of brushes being battered about. Then the car swerved in the other direction, fast enough where the potential for a tip-over was now possible. And I still can’t see anything in my reclined position. I only see the pretty looking stars that glow brightly above us. Were we in the on-coming traffic lane? I had no idea. Then the sounds of road and loose gravel came back.

I look back at Doug who has calmed significantly from when I last saw his face. He was focused and had a plan on how to get us back to safety. He slammed on the breaks and skidded us to a halt. Now there was silence. Doug was breathing pretty hard, still taking in everything that did happen, as well as could’ve happened. And I’m just lying back, smiling that we were safe and how fun of a ride that was. But were we safe? Did Doug stop us diagonally in the highway lane where a semi could plow right through us?!? I reclined my seat back into the upwards position and looked around. We were quite safe, and quite on the shoulder, and quite awake.

(And all this happened in about ten seconds)

((Longest writing in history about ten seconds, right?! I know! I know!))

So, after we collect ourselves, we get out of the car to look at the damage. I look around but I don‘t find anything. Then again, it’s pitch black and hard to see much of anything. Until a semi speeds by and it’s lights illuminate the biggest indentation on a car imaginable!! DoggieBones gasps! Poor, poor DoggieBones is feeling TERRIBLE. Not only does he feel bad not getting customer insurance on the rental and the thousands of dollars it’ll cost to fix it, but he feels awful at the idea of how much worse it could’ve been.

DoggieBones is covering his mouth and backing away from the car. Unfortunately, he begins backing away into the highway where an oncoming car is headed straight for him. I come to him and reel him back onto the shoulder.

And that’s when I see something else. Something soooo unbelievable. And I knew I had to show Doug.

As soon as the car passed, it was quite dark again, with perhaps the exception on the misaligned bulbs on the car’s headlights. Once dark, I pointed up, and Doug and I saw the most fantastic display of stars we’d ever seen. It was beautiful! A true moment of bliss for us to experience in the midst of what just happened. Essentially, we were in the ‘eye of the hurricane’. But those stars were immense and crazy. So many, stretching out soo far, all the way to the horizon, and then some.

After that, it was time to see if the car could still drive. I volunteered for that. I started accelerating the car, making sure the front and side bumpers weren’t pushed in so much that the car’s tire was in jeopardy. Fortunately, everything was fine. Just a large beauty mark on the car, and an embarrassed little DougieBones, trying to figure out what to Tweet his fellow Fan-Sapiens ...

5:11am., September 22nd, 2009
OK ... JimmyStiXs is back at the wheel after my little nap ran us off the road. We know, we know, you're totally envious, right?


JimmyStiXs ~

At this point in the adventure, we were in the need for a good laugh. Naturally, it came at the expense of me, but that’s okay. It’s a funny story.

Several hours later, after Doug caught up on some much needed sleep, we drove to a Flying J Truck Stop for gas, caffeine, and the use of their wonderful urination-stations. After I used the facilities, I got back to the car. Doug had just finished filling it up with gas and drove it to a nearby parking space. So I got into the passenger side seat to chill before we switched off driving again. Doug headed off to relieve himself. Since it was cold outside, I shut the door to stay warm. A few moments later, I head the car doors lock. I didn’t think much about it at the time. But I did decide to check out the Atlas and figure out where exactly we were. I awkwardly moved myself off the seat to hunt for the Atlas where we typically kept it on the back seat. Things were still a mess back there from the earlier road incident, so it took some digging around before I found it. When I plopped myself back down in the seat, I noticed a couple red blinking lights on the dashboard begin flashing rapidly, one of them being the ‘Airbag On’ indicator light. I didn’t think much about that either. But, when the car’s alarm system went off a minute later, I thought a lot about it! Loud bleeps and flashing lights began wildly going off! People from nearby gave confused looks. Two older pot-bellied men with scruffy beards gave me scowling looks. I looked back at them, confused as to why this was happening, with a glare of ‘don’t judge me’. I quickly realized that the car must’ve detected the weight-displacement in the passenger seat. So, out of an act of desperate need to silence the car, I pushed my back up against the seat, locked my feet against the car’s floor, and thrust my hips into the air.

Within about thirty seconds, the car alarm disabled itself. Success! Now if I could just make it look like I wasn’t letting out a huge fart, everything would be better. But since Doug left a couple minutes ago, he should be back any moment now. So I’ll just stay in this position for a little longer and not think about all the people still looking in my direction.

Now, normally, I would simply open the door, but I was pretty confident that if the door gets unlocked from the inside, it would set off the car alarm again and make my exiting the vehicle that much more suspicious.

So, I stayed there, in this awkward farting looking position, reading the Atlas. After a minute, I looked to see if Doug was on his way out. But no Doug yet. Another minute passed. My legs began to grow tired. Another minute happened. And then another. My waist was slowly sinking.

Finally, there was Doug, holding a couple plastic bags in one hand, and a coffee cup in the other. His keys were nowhere to be found. After he took a moment to examine the damage on the front of the car, he arrived to the car door to open it, only to discover it was locked.

DoggieBones: Open the door!

JimmyStiXs: I can’t, you open it.

DoggieBones: Come on!

JimmyStiXs: I can’t! You need to do it! There’s a reason why I’m in the car like this.

DoggieBones: (slightly irked) Okay ...

Doug puts the coffee on the car and fishes out his keys. The second I hear the car doors unlock, my butt falls back to the seat and I start breathing like I’m out of breath.

As soon as I told him what happened, and how long I’ve been waiting, the longest and loudest cackle-laugh broke out from him. Apparently … according to Doug, he went inside to find some coffee. After figuring out what he wanted, he realized he needed to use the potty. So he did that ... and took his sweet time with that. Then came out, grabbed his coffee. Looked around for some munchies and drinks for the road. Then he waited in a long line. Had a nice extended conversation with the cashier lady. Then he headed out the door to see me in the condition he did and simply thought to himself “That JimmyStiXs … he’s just not quite right, is he?”

Needless to say, we enjoyed a good laugh and Doug Twittered about the event ...

8:36am., September 22nd, 2009
Albequerque truck stop: I take keys inside, get coffee. JimmyStiXs stays in car, it auto-locks, detects his weight, alarm goes off. Oops.

6:30pm., September 22nd, 2009
Crossing into California after a road journey this long feels like re-entering the earth's atmosphere ...

6:36pm., September 22nd, 2009
... the vessel is bruised and ablaze, but we are home.

12:58am., September 23rd, 2009
JimmyStiXs safely tucked at his home, Mrs. Laurie pointing to the clock with a scowl on her cute little face. This will be best sleep ever.

 

© 2009 Doug Jones/James E. Roberts. All rights reserved.

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