I’ve been lying to my friends for months.
“I signed the four of us up for a road rally that takes place over two weeks in August,” I told them. “Twelve teams of four will compete against each other looking for items, solving puzzles, and accomplishing physical challenges in the style of The Amazing Race.”
I told them that in December of last year (2015). They were pumped and up for the challenge!
“What do we bring?” they would ask.
“I’ll give you a list of stuff to bring a month before we leave.”
“Can so and so come with us?
“Nope, this road rally is only catered for teams of four.”
“Where are we going?”
“The rally starts in Cincinnati, Ohio and ends somewhere in the Florida Keys.”
Over the next few months, I sent my three friends a packing list, the list of the other teams and all the rules, regulations, waivers, etc they would have to read over before the road rally begins on August 1st, 2016. Our team name?
The Gigantic Monkeys
We couldn’t decide on anything cool or clever so this is what I came up with. It’s a little random, but I knew the name of our team wouldn’t matter one bit. What they didn’t know was that there was a giant twist that would be revealed to us on the first day of the rally. This road rally wasn’t any ordinary road rally folks.
Why wasn’t this any ordinary road rally? Because there is no road rally! It was all just a giant ruse I planted to lure them in for something a bit more daring…something completely unorthodox…something I concocted entirely from scratch with an emphasis for adventure. For months I’ve been giving them details about this fake road rally I made up all in my head and how competitive it was going to be and how each team would have their own camera man for when our documentary would be released on television after production of the rally was over. They believed everything I told them. But it wasn’t just those three I’ve been misleading, it was mostly everyone else too. You see, just like your babbling friends, my friends also love to gossip about anything and everything juicy. I purposely told them fabricated crap about the rally knowing full well they were gonna blab somehow–which is what I wanted them to do. I needed to create some authenticity to this mysterious “road rally” we were participating in to make it more believable. I want Chris, Veronica, and Katelin to be completely blindsided by the biggest surprise I will ever pull thus far (and I’ve pulled many of them).
Introducing, The Gigantic Monkeys!
Loyal readers of mine should already be familiar with Chris and Veronica. Chris has joined me on numerous worldly trips in the past and us along with Veronica went on another secret trip to Las Vegas, Nevada and San Diego, California.
Jamison, another friend of mine, was also part of that magnificent trip too but unfortunately couldn’t join us for this “road rally”. He has his annual family trip that is happening when this all goes down. With his absence, I needed to recruit a capable, yet worthy fourth member. Katelin, a good friend of mine and Veronica, fit the bill. I am the “Team Captain” for our group.
I made it clear to them that we won’t be flying anywhere, but that was a lie too. The moment they realize we are going to the airport and not road tripping somewhere is when I will reveal to them what is really going on.
Months flew by and August 1st, 2016 crept closer with much anticipation…
Secret Revealed! (Sort of)
I’ve just gotten back home from my trip up north with the kiddos and my go-to traveling buddy Chris has flown up to Detroit from Philadelphia to group with us. This is the first time he’s ever been to Michigan, so I was inspired to show him around my hometown for a couple days before we began the trip.
Later, once we met up with Veronica and Katelin, we all had our bags packed, we put them in the trunk of my rental car and we set off! The true destination–the Detroit Metro Airport! I didn’t tell my cohorts that though. I made the excuse that I had to return the rental I already had, for a bigger rental for the road rally. They all agreed that a bigger rental, like an SUV, would be way more comfortable. Next, I gave them each a large envelope with a bold red ‘8?’ in the middle and their names written in the top right corner.
I told them weeks ago that I was mailed these envelopes from the road rally company with strict instructions to not open until notified. And for weeks we discussed what could actually be in them, why would they mail it to us if they didn’t want us to open them, and what could the ‘8?’ possibly mean? Could it mean that we have to drive through eight states? Are we the eighth team? They were puzzled. I was not. I knew the contents of what was inside.
I also mentioned to them that since we are finally together as a team, we must take a photo to send to the road rally company.
On the way to the car rental agency, my phone suddenly rang, reading “Cincinnati, Ohio” on the screen. When I say “suddenly”, I mean that I installed one of those free fake-call apps on my phone that I conveniently scheduled to ring on our way to the car rental.
“Answer it,” said Veronica as she was biting her nails, “it might be the Road Rally people!”
I turned the radio down and answered the call.
“Hello?” I said.
I made up a conversation in my head while my three teammates sat in anxious silence, with their eyes focused directly on the phone against my ear. My one-way conversation went along the lines of, pretending to speak to a woman that confirmed we were on our way to Ohio and that she told us to open the envelopes.
I “hung up” the phone.
“Open the envelopes!”
This is what they found inside:
The rest of the pages were pamphlets on what to do in case of a bear or moose encounter.
They couldn’t f*@4ing believe it.
The big road rally was a huge lie I told my friends to participate in something I created totally from scratch. Something unorthodox and adventurous, all at the same time. That something is called…
The League of Eight Extraordinary Events
Let me tell you all about it!