The van floor is a very interesting place. There is a unique collection of items that end up there. Gravity will pull anything down there so if you are missing something, usually it's best to have a root around on the floor. There are all the usual things you would expect to find: empty beer bottles, cigarette butts, dirty clothes, peed-in bottles, loose change, etc. But I wanted to talk about the things you wouldn't expect to find and tell you how they came to be there.
*Blue camping mats: * When my parents upgraded their camping gear and got air mattresses, they donated the blue foam ones to the van. Surprisingly, they do a lot more than you think. I have some of my best sleeps in the "spider hole", (the area between two bench seats) and I usually end up down there after losing rock, paper, scissors or Luke pays me enough to buy my spot on the bench. However, a verbal contract is made as to when I'm allowed back up on the seat.
*Book of cds:* One day Arif and I went to Goodwill to drop off some random clothes. It was closed but people had left things outside. We decided to rummage around and came across a goldmine; a book of someone else's burnt cds. It was full of personal mixes like Rap Dd #1, Pop Cd #2 and Disney songs. Boy did this person have some bad tunes but it provided hours of enjoyment and many cds that were thrown out the window. The biggest surprise was when we found a cd labelled Punk Mix #1 and it was a compilation of our shitty stuff, and our manager's old band Closet Monster. Don't think for a second that wasn't thrown out the window after a good laugh.
*Deluxe male urinal:* I don't like scrambling for a bottle in an emergency. I found this gem in a drugstore for five bucks. It's for bedridden patients but it's very practical for long van rides. It has a wide opening, a liter of room, a somewhat secure cap, and a nifty handle. Since the volume is marked on the side, you can compete for the biggest bladder emptying.
*Decapitated stuffed animals:* We're all suckers for those claw machines, you know, the ones you can win stuffed animals in. Unfortunately, Choady has an obsession with ripping their heads off. After you are successful and win a cuddly little friend, it's not safe for long as you'll come back to the van the next morning and find it no longer has a head.
*Marco's Airwalks:* Marco bought a new pair of shoes for nine dollars when he was on tour with us. For some reason, he decided to keep his old ones in a plastic bag and they now live under the third bench.
*Timmy's portable library:* The only way to keep a book safe is by putting it in some protected place. I have a Tupperware tub I put all my books in. Most of them are random Value Village books or Harlequin romances but they make the long drives pass by quickly.
*The vent for our AC:* When we're listening to some "serious breakdowns," we all usually decide to punch the roof. This is called throwing up. The vibrations from the punching in the roof has caused the AC vent to shake loose and it now "chills" on the floor.
++Each week, Protest the Hero's Tim Millar (guitars/vocals) and Arif Mirabdolbaghi (bass /vocals/lyrics) will be offering dispatches from the road. Check back next week for more random information!++