When we were growing up, Eli drove us everywhere. Cliff still lived abroad, McCannon was too lazy and too stupid to pass his permit test before Virginia bumped up the age minimum, Bart was a a loser, I didn’t really know Al that well yet, and I was way younger than everyone else. So we’d pile into Eli’s creepy white Plymouth Voyager (literally held together with duct tape) and roam the hard streets of Northern Virginia trying to convince people we weren’t the DC Snipers. As time went on, our group posted a car collection that would make Jay Leno blush: There was McCannon’s iconic ’95 Corolla known simply as ACE, Bart’s ’92 Tercel (that had a huge dent in the side of it from where I kicked it while drunk and later convinced him that he must have been victim of a hit and run), Eli’s upgrade to the ’94 Accord that leaked fluid onto the feet of whoever rode shotgun, and Clifford’s Ranger pick-up truck which once hit 100 mph in a residential neighborhood.
We may have been driving ticking time bombs and playing jeopardy with our lives each time Eli stalled out in the middle of an intersection, but one thing we never did was drive under the influence. Even if it meant that we’d end the night with nothing in our stomachs but the poisons of C2H6O. Every now and then, we’d summon our designated designated driver to bring us to the hellhole that is Amphora Diner in Herndon. But rarely would one of us bite the bullet to stay sober so that our friends could raise hell in a public venue at 3:00AM. So what would it be like to race around DC to our favorite late night eateries? And what would the food taste like without the aid of a couple cold ones? LET THE GREAT EXPERIMENT BEGIN!