Philly Part III: Give Me Death or Give Me Doh!

Photos © 2009 Brandon Jones, Montage © 2009 Stan Syckes

NOTE: For some weird reason I can’t access [stanus.nut] from inside my apartment. I have no clue why my network is blocking it … so I’ve become a little backlogged in stanus activities that I’ve wanted to do here. However, I shall forge onward for you, dear reader! First, the end to our exciting Philladelphia mini-series!

Part 1: Death Aboard a Megabus
Part 2: Brandon Jones Travels Through Time

I don’t know what exactly it was – a horrifying nightmare, the cold Philly morning air rushing against my bare buttocks (!?), or the angst of finally having to meet and greet Toine in relationship mode – but something awoke me with such a start that cool Sunday morn; jumping straight out of bed and into a defensive position! It was my final day in Philladelphia and it was time for the final, ultimate challenge of the entire trip. For this day Toine and new girlfriend, Joy, were to arrive. The only preparations to such an anticipated event was a sternly whispered demand by El Toine, himself, to “be ready at 10 AM” for their entrance. No clear-headed rebuttals regarding hangovers and lack of sleep could penetrate the man’s brain. He had decided the day was beginning at 10 in the AM and that was final!

Well, I woke up with a bit of a tickle in my throat (I just wanted to finally use that silly phrase) so I went about trying to drink a lot of water and get my body healed enough for TOINE: THE ENTRANCE. Meanwhile, Cassie and the Joneses slowly rose from their slumber and began to make their own arrangements for the day. Katie showered. Cassie picked out her clothes. And Brandon sat, cross-legged (!!), near the window facing out into the streets the prized couple would be using. Like some hideous paparazzi-bird combination, he perched at his sniping spot with giant camera at the ready … ready and waiting for his prey to come into view! As soon as he got a Toine call saying they had arrived he began snapping furiously! As the two lovers approached the house in complete hand-holding bliss, they were completely unaware of the sheer savagery of scrutiny they were being bombarded with by Jones’ never-blinking eye.

Somehow escaping unscathed from this brutal photographic attack, The Stetses completed an even more herculean task by making it up all four (!!!) flights of stairs that led into Jones Manor; culminating with their grand entrance into all of our hearts. At first, I was stunned to see Anthony in full relationship mode – constantly holding Joy’s hand, caressing her, or using the word “we” when discussing future plans. This was a man I’ve known who would not let any type of setting, circumstance or social norm prevent him from making a loudly-spoken homosexual quip and now he was dressed nicely and comforting a female companion! But, to be honest, the weirdness of this change dissipated just as quickly as the newness off seeing Toine in a relationship did. The rest of us, not used to waking up on a Sunday morning before 10 AM, took turns getting ourselves decent for public viewing and meeting Joy, who turns out to be a really nice, funny and down-to-earth person. With everyone introduced and smelling nice, we were on our merry way!

Toine and Joy had a busy schedule that they wished to stick to. First we hit up the famous Liberty Bell … the historic monument that I’m convinced contains the highest bullshit:interesting information ratio surrounding it. My god, you had to walk down a super long hallway filled with plaques, videos, and other antiquities just to see the damn bell! Were you aware that President John F. Kennedy saw the Liberty Bell and stopped for a photo shoot? Here’s 500 words to describe that momentous occasion to you!!!!

With the bell done, our caravan made its way to the next item on the Stets’ List: Independence Hall. Unfortunately, you had to have tickets to get in and the nearest open tour wasn’t for another 2 hours. So, we reluctantly retraced our steps passed the Liberty Bell to grab the tickets. With so much time to kill we also stopped and perused the gift shop for a while where fascinating objects such as “Fart Proudly” were discovered (and luckily left not purchased). Then my stomach sounded a rallying call: I was to eat soon or else!

Fortunately, another item on The Stets List was to eat a Philly cheese steak sandwich from “one of the top 5 in the city.” About a mile from the Liberty Bell area, we found a cool little street of interesting restaurants on either side. There was one dedicated to famous Philadelphian, Larry Fine, and several dedicated to women’s breasts (I’m not kidding), but we finally decided upon Steaks on South – a typical Philly fast food restaurant. I got the pizza cheesesteak (sans onions!) which was fantastic and they even threw in free fries after we showed our Phillies game ticket stubs. Most of the meal was spent getting to know Joy a little better – specifically by finding out what she knew about our Toine!

From lunch we moved back towards Independence Hall where we were allowed past the gates now that we possessed the tickets of freedom! Inside, I was immediately greeted with two unnerving facts. First, we brought down the average age of the other members of the 3:15 PM tour group a good 40 years. And secondly, I had to urinate so badly and knew there was no hope for blessed release until after the tour. I braced myself and entered the hallowed halls of freedom with Doh at my side!

I’m not sure who came up with the idea but so many tours begin with a pre-tour. Well, the one at Independence Hall was no different as we were “treated” with a 15 minute introduction and light joke fair from our 60-year old tour guide. There was absolutely nothing of note during this monologue – it was obviously just vamping to get the tour ahead of us out of the room – with one lone exception: oh yeah, that’s right. Anthony fell asleep within those 15 minutes!!!! Brandon snapped a few candid shots on Cassie’s camera for proof! I think the last time I’ve had to try to stop laughing so hard was back in high school band. It was glorious! Ladies and gents, the man just does not disappoint!

I was actually quite impressed and awed by the two rooms we saw during the tour, but I won’t bore you with any of those details. We’re here for Toine, people! Principal Photographer Jones took a few more candid Doh-shots of the new couple cuddling while learning about how our nation’s forefathers attempted to piece this war-battered country together into the great nation we all love. Then Toine pointed out how we shouldn’t be leaning on the railings that stopped us from physically entering the rooms as the nails were “probably really old.”

By this time I was pretty Phillied-out, to tell you the bitter truth, but Toine and Joy, still vigorous and full of energy in the honeymoon of their courtship wanted to go check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art – whose famed steps Rocky Balboa climbed to the top of and raised his fists in victory. It took us two taxis to get over there, but Toine and I recreated that famous jog step-by-step and ejaculated in a similar fashion atop the famed steps. Heh. Then, with one final ounce of energy, we all took pictures in front of the Rocky statue at the bottom of the steps. Toine did the Rocky pose while Cassie and I elected to give the Italian Stallion the ol’ rusty trombone.

Philly was done. And so am I with this blog. A super-quick recap of what else happened: we walked back to Brandon’s place, talked for a second or two, and then Cassie and I had another terrible experience with Megabus. But not even this final setback could prevent us from feeling privileged to have met and hung out with Toine’s new ladylove, Joy. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but a satisfying experience in the end.

  • Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 17:18 | #1

    Great blog. But it begs the question: Who’s Toine?

  • Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 19:18 | #2

    I believe Toine said we shouldn’t lean on the railing because the paint was really old and probably had lead in it. I guess he thought the paint was original… not sure what he thought of the building’s central air conditioning that must have been quite advanced in the 1750s!

  • Richard
    Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 03:48 | #3

    Who’s Toine? Who’s You??

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