Me, starting a Cannonball Run beep boop
Photo: Valerie Zelin

Here is something I want to do: Drive across the country, nonstop, until I reach the Pacific Ocean. What I’d like to do is break one of Alex Roy’s records, but if I don’t, whatever. I just want to do it. My colleague, Jalopnik Deputy Editor Michael Ballaban, thinks this is a terrible idea. [Editor’s Note: It’s a terrible idea. - M.B.]

I’m not sure what Ballaban’s deal is. I love to drive extremely long distances. A few years back, for example, my girlfriend and I set out to tackle a road trip through the great American West, but we only had just over two weeks to make it happen.

[Editor’s Note: No one wants to read about your vacation. - M.B.]

That’s fine, I thought. We’ll start things out by driving from Detroit to Denver nonstop. The night before departing, we went out, and stayed out, far too late. On three, maybe four hours of sleep, we left Detroit around 6 a.m., and proceeded to drive at least 21 hours straight.

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[Editor’s Note: Starting in Detroit is not “across the country.” Do I need to get you a map? - M.B.]

I’m not sure what took so long—it’s about 18 hours on paper—and I KNOW this is NOT a traditional Cannonball Run, but I’m trying to use this as an example to underscore that I drove for a very long time here, and it was fine. What I’d like to do is drive a longer distance and cover the entire U.S. in one fell swoop.

[Editor’s Note: My concern is not that you’ll have to drive for a very long time. How you waste your time is your own concern. My concern is that you made a great show in the office yesterday about beating Alex Roy’s cross country time—should I note that it’s not even the record anymore?—and that Alex did it with a massive support network, including police and radar spotters. You said you just want to wing it. You’ll start out by driving 150 mph, end up in jail because you didn’t do this properly, and have your license suspended. Since you’ve already made your intentions of breaking the law known, I must advise you as Jalopnik’s union representative that I am not sure the indemnity clause of our union contract applies, and your legal defense will be entirely your own. Also, this blog will almost certainly be entered as evidence against you. You’ll end up in jail, which, whatever, good luck, but more importantly to me, I’ll have to do a lot of paperwork. But by all means go out and have fun, just leave me the hell alone!!!!!!! - M.B.]

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So what’s up with Ballaban? Does he think I’m too soft? Does he think I don’t like to drive? Does he think I’ll get arrested?

[Editor’s Note: I think that this idea is dumb and I hate you for making me even edit this blog. I told Ryan to “do something fun,” like sail through the air in one of Robbie Gordon’s stadium super trucks. But no. Ryan doesn’t want to sail through the air in one of Robbie Gordon’s stadium super trucks. He wants to drive on a highway and then go to jail instead. We did that already. Just get in the goddamn truck Ryan. - M.B.]

No. Here is Ballaban’s main concern:

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I find it curious that the purported “deputy” “editor” of a car enthusiast blog could shoot down an idea that’s centered around “fun” and “cars” and “driving,” but that’s the situation I currently find myself in.

[Editor’s Note: None of this is fun and it barely qualifies as driving. - M.B.]

I’m not sure what sort of car I’d like to take on my Cannonball Run. An electric car is intriguing, mainly because of the charging factor, but only a Tesla can, for now, achieve the fast charging times necessary so as to prevent yourself from going insane on a long-distance drive.

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[Editor’s Note: Walk. - M.B.]

Then again, maybe that would be a fun stunt. I could drive an old Nissan Leaf and see how long that takes. The Slowest Cannonball Run Ever.

[Editor’s Note: Watch A Man Drive Very Slowly For A Very Long Time. Yeah. Great idea Ryan. Home run. Everyone will read that. - M.B.]

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I’ll do that one if my boss orders Ballaban to ride with me. At least I like camping. I’m not sure what Ballaban, who as I understand it has never left New York City other than to film a TV show, thinks about camping. Knowing Ballaban—at least the Ballaban I knew before he derided my idea to simply drive a car for a long period of time across the United States—I’m sure he probably hates camping.

[Editor’s Note: I love camping. I go camping all the time. It’d be awful if we went camping and a “bear” killed you and nobody found the body. - M.B.]

I just want to go on a Cannonball Run.

[Editor’s Note: Would you like to apply for Ryan’s job? Hit me up at ballaban [at] jalopnik [dot] com. - M.B.]