Tuesday Debate: Should I Fly or Should I Drive?

By Jake and Glenn

In the course of this debate series, we have tackled some of the hardest issues facing our country and even more of the easiest issues related to pop culture and music. This debate will be neither. For the first time since May, we will be debating a very personal decision every person has to make in his/her life: to fly or drive. This Thanksgiving, Glenn will be traveling from North Dakota to Illinois at a driving time of 12 hours or a flying time of certainly less. Two friends from Missouri are working with him in ND and both will probably want to go to Missouri during the same time period. Thus the choice becomes whether to fill a car full of young campaigners or have Glenn fly there at a cost of $500. This debate was inspired by the concern's of Glenn's mother, as documented in the following emails.

September 30th
Hi Glenn,
I mailed your sweater last night....you should get it by Friday or Sat.......I watched
Rachel last night.......it seems like SEIU is the next organization to be attacked by the
Republicans.......hope they all fail big time!!
What did you think about the vote taken yesterday in the Senate....hopefully, the public
option is not dead.
Have you looked into tickets for Thanksgiving yet....if not, please do so soon, OK?
Keep in touch.....Love, Mom

September 30th
Hello again,
Please just look into tickets.....the weather could be iffy.....and, .it would be a great relief
to me if you would just fly into Moline........Love, Mom

October 5th
Hi Glenn,
Yes, I have questions........
1. I have sent you three things in the mail, and I have not heard from you about any of them.......I am wondering if you got any thing I sent
4. Lastly, I have not been told about you buying any plane tickets for Thanksgiving....
I know you are probably trying to figure out your plans.....if you can get a drive, etc........
and when you are officially off, etc. ......but please put your mother's request......the
bottom line....buying tickets on the front burner, sort of speak......
Hope all is well with you and that the reason that you have
not emailed or called is that you have been extremely busy.......Love, Mom

9:27am Today
Hi Glenn,
[snip] Lastly, you know we will pay for the ticket for you to fly home....just buy the ticket
and we will give you the money next week.....Karen comes in Wednesday night.......so,
do what your mother asks and get your ticket today......Thanks......
What big projects do have in the works for this week? Keep in touch....Love, Mom

1:39pm Today
Hi Glenn,
I just talked with your father.....I know your Thanksgiving plans are not in stone, but
I wish you would rethink your plans......just hear me out.......Yes, I know that you can
drive in any condition, but why worry me.........I can never forget the year we headed for
Karen's for Thanksgiving when she was in Michigan......It started to sleet while we were
leaving Geneseo, and I gave up counting the cars in the ditch......We made it to Karen's,
but not till Thursday afternoon........furthermore, if you are driving, are you going to come
fhru Columbia? If your friends were not there, would you be wanting to drive as well?
Also, if you drive, along with your friends, I'm not saying it would not be fun for you, but
what kind of shape are you going to be in when you finally arrive here? I know you are
much, much younger than we are, but I'm sure you'll need a few hours of R and R when
you get here, whereas, if you just drive to the airport in Grand Forks, and arrive at the
Moline airport, you will be much more ready to visit your sister and nephew......You have
also told me that at Christmas time you would probably have a few weeks off, couldn't
you drive home with your friends at that time......taking it easy if the weather isn't good,
rather than pushing yourself to get home because your sister''s here.......The bottom
line to me is that sometimes the money is not the important thing.....your mother's
peace of mind and her happiness of having both of you together is more important......
Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about at the moment.............Love, Mom

Jake (Fly): Glenn, why can't you just listen to your mother? Go buy a plane ticket. She's going to give you the money next week. I know you think your mom is a "dork" and therefore doing what she says makes you "unhip." She brings up a very valid point: the roads are going to be very dangerous. Add a car full of youths (who might be drug addicts, but that's based purely on speculation) to the dangerous Midwest driving conditions and you could have a potential disaster on your hands. She's just worried about your safety and couldn't care less about these junkies you hang out with. You'd be able to see your little nephew in a much more refreshed state, rather than entering the house and heading straight for the recliner for some R and R. You're at no loss if you take the airplane, if you drive you could potentially be dead.

Glenn (Drive): This is as irrational as the time Sue hit me on the head with a phone while I tried to stop her from calling my father at work to tell him she found O'Douls in my trunk. That beer was as non-alcoholic and threatening then as "winter weather" is now, especially only in late November. I am nearly twenty-seven years old and do not need my parents to pay for me to visit them over a holiday when there is a much more cost effective option that involves less pollution (since we all own electric cars) and more fun (road trip bonding time). If I adjusted my behavior to minimize her anxiety I would still live at their house, never be out past 10pm and go to church every Sunday. That might be what you and Sue want, but it's not the way for me to be an independent adult. That's really what this is about: my fucking freedom. I am fighting for it no less than than the Confederacy was fighting for its over 200 years ago.

Jake (Fly): This is more about you wanting to rebel against your parents than it has to do with travel methods. It's not about your freedom, it's about your issues with your parents. Sue wants to buy you a plane ticket because she's worried about you getting into a car accident. We all know that you can't stop texting while you're driving. You know that it's most likely going to be icy. It's the midwest in the winter. It's not unfathomable for there to be snow and ice on the ground in late November. Add the potential bad weather to your inability to untether yourself from your cellular telephone and you've got a big pot of trouble brewing. You don't have an electric car and you're an asshole for even having O'Douls.

Glenn (Drive): Everyone had O'Douls in the early 00s. It was a different time. Plus I didn't even pay for it - it was STOLEN! But this is besides the point. The weather could always be "iffy" as she says. Even in July it could be so hot that a truck containing Hershey's Chocolate Bars melts and then we crash into it on the Interstate. You can't live your life in fear of bad weather. Also, I let this slide in your original statement and in Sue's emails, but what the fuck is with this "R and R" obsession? Granted, if I get up at a reasonable hour - let's say seven or eight AM that day - and spend 12 hours in a car, I will be tired when I get there. But what exactly do you and Sue think is going to happen? I'll just say "hi" and "bye" to my sister and nephew, the latter of whom I haven't seen in almost a year? Get real! I'm a virile young man only slightly past the prime of my life. I could stay up until midnight easily! You and Sue have an unreasonable view of my daily stamina and a bias in favor of airplanes. You both sound like lobbyists for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Jake (Fly): I'm about to do something an airplane would never do: drop a bomb. I have never flown on an airplane. I have never needed to really. It might be fun to fly in an airplane. It would definitely be faster than driving. Even if we disregard the safety and "R and R" angles, which you clearly are trying to avoid due to lack of a strong argument against, at least the time you'd be saving should be a factor. You'll severely cut your travel time down to a sliver and you'll be able to spend that time playing a game of Chutes and Ladders or making some cinnamon rolls with Sue. Plus you're going to save money by not having to stop for food and drink. Like you really need to spend $10 on Gatorade or your drink of choice, O'Douls.

Glenn (Drive): I don't drink O'Douls while driving because that would of course be illegal, even in a state like North Dakota. Look, I have two friends going back to Missouri at this time so why not just join them? It'll save them money and save me money. I very well concede that it may snow but cars can still drive on snow! The presence of snow will not kill me in the way lack of snow will kill someone like Frosty or the presence of Snow's music will kill anyone already on the verge of suicide. Planes get hijacked more ofter than people die in car accidents. Look, I'm thrilled to see my family and celebrate a meaningless holiday but I'm not going to drop $500 on a plane ticket just so Sue can "feel better" about my travels. I never make accommodation for other people's feelings - that's why all of my relationships have been so successful - and I'm not going to start now. But really it's the $500 price tag. If you want to ask your friend Mohamed Atta to pick me up on a private flight that costs the same as the driving trip I'll consider it - but this time I'll make sure he learned how to LAND a plane at flight school too!


  1. if i had one wish, it would be to make me a great writer solely so i could properly articulate how happy sue makes me. those emails were to me what rio winning the olympics was to conservatives.

    i vote drive though.

  2. um why am i the only one to comment so far??? this is so funny!1

  3. i had to nap on my answer maddie, sorry. this IS funny and i'm all for driving. drive your little heart out! rekindle your romance for the mid-west. follow a new highway or something. watch for falling rocks and ice, though.

  4. Fuck how few comments this received.


    Hi Glenn,
    Sorry about yesterday's phone call.......I had been up since 2AM and was exhausted
    when I called you.....later asking about your Thanksgiving travel plans.AGAIN.....please
    forgive me......the plans are yours and I won't interfere.....am still looking forward to seeing
    you next week and having both you and Karen home in November.....

  5. omg sue reads oyit!! i hope she's read one of my articles.

    and jake can you tell who reads these? like, their ip address? if so, i'd like you to send me a list of everyone who has read this article and didn't comment so i can track them down and slit their fucking throats.

  6. I read it! I admit...just please don't slit my throat maddie. Yes it was great and yes I am on Sue's side.

  7. I'm going to slit Gary's throat anyway.