The Baker Orange

Katy Westhoff describes greatest mooch moment to date

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Life is rough without a car. It’s not so bad here in Baldwin, where everything in town is spitting distance from your dorm room. But when trying to go home, or going to visit a friend at Pittsburg State University or driving to Austin, Texas for a book signing, things become difficult.

This is where I have to make certain life decisions, such as taking advantage of my friend’s, brother’s or sorority sister’s luxury of having a car.

I’m not ashamed to say I’m a mooch. I eat other people’s leftovers. I hitch rides with people who are going to Lawrence or Kansas City. I scrape out the bottom of peanut butter jars if they’re about to get thrown away. So being a “poor college student” describes my life pretty well. A few weekends ago was my greatest mooch accomplishment to date.

I had to find a way to get to Pittsburg to meet my friend in order to get to Austin. Honestly, I thought my methods of acquiring rides were innovative and admirable.

First, I had my parents take me home to Kansas City, where I met my friend from high school. I bribed her to take me to Pittsburg. She was not excited about the trip, but she knew how much the book signing meant to me.

The book was “The Fault in Our Stars,” a young-adult chapter book written by John Green. It is currently the bestselling book on “The New York Times” Children’s Chapter Books best sellers list. Green and his brother also make YouTube videos.

I am a fan of Green’s books and his videos on the Internet; therefore taking an extravagant road trip and sleeping in a sketchy Motel 6 off the highway seemed like a great idea. It wasn’t.

In the wee hours of the morning, we left for Austin. We arrived in 10 hours, and a mere 15 hours later, we took another 10-hour road trip back to Pittsburg. To do some math for you: in 35 hours, we were in a car for 20.

Financially, the trip drained me. I’d like to say that I was made rich by the experience, but I have $1.37 to my name.

Certainly not one of my greatest ideas, but the road trip was enjoyable. There may not be much interesting landscape on the road from Baldwin City to Austin, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

In the end, isn’t that what matters?