Through 1,700 miles, seven days, three cities, two hotels, and one massive sickness, there has always been music. When a CD player wasn't near, MTV was the substitute. When neither was around, we were in a place where music was.\nWhether on Memphis's Beale Street or New Orleans' Bourbon or anywhere in between, there was always something blaring from somewhere.\nComing home from a night on Bourbon Street, Jarrett, Amy and Toby didn't want to spend any more time in the hotel room, so the three went to Toby's car to listen to music. After convincing the valet that Toby's car was indeed Toby's -- I had his receipt -- the three sat in the basement garage for over an hour talking and listening.\n"We weren't ready for bed, yet," Amy said.\nAfter the 90 minutes -- where in the interim Dave, Luke and I had to convince the lobby attendant to give us a new key since the other three had ours -- they came back to the room.\n"I bet you they're pissed," said Luke, thinking they had kept an earlier grudge.\nThey hadn't, and so all eight went to bed eager for tomorrow.\nTomorrow brought bad news.\nJarrett, Amy and Toby's 90-minute garage music session killed Toby's battery. The valet, who admitted he probably shouldn't, jumped the Accord with another guest's car, but the stereo system wouldn't work. \nDave hit a series of buttons thinking random button touching would work. But instead it locked the stereo shut. There was no music in the Accord anymore. Apparently, when the car battery died the stereo system thought it was stolen, so it went into a lockdown mode.\nNo problem. A drive without music could work, right?\nWell, not for this group.\nAs soon as the Accord left New Orleans, people started fidgeting and wondering how to fix the problem. \nAfter 10 minutes, Amy was on the phone with the Honda people.\n"They say you have to bring it in. They're going to have to take the whole dashboard apart," Amy said to Toby, relaying the bad news."\n"That's ridiculous," Toby said. "So someone can steal my car but not listen to my stereo. So are they going to return it to me because my stereo doesn't work? 'Damn, we better give this car back; the stereo doesn't work.'"\nThat's the theory, I guess.\nSo for the next 12-plus hours, there was silence in Toby's car -- except for an echo of music coming from Amy's Discman. Eventually everyone in the Accord, even Toby, was listening to a Discman, in an attempt to keep some sense of sanity.\n"That shows you just how much music is a part of this trip," Jamie said.\nBut it wasn't the same.\nAt the end it was awkwardly silent. \nFor the first time in seven days.
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