Nothing to do on a weekend evening
? Got some friends
who're just as bored as you? Got a set of wheels
to burn? Well, then you're ready to cruise
! Cruising, since the dawn of time (or at least the automobile), has been a past time enjoyed by all. And if you live in Porterville, California
, or are at least within driving distance
of it, then by gum
, you can enjoy it too (not that there is anything else to do in Porterville)! Just follow these easy steps
and you're on your way to having fun
(or a reasonable facsimile
The Ride. Most of the time you cruise for fun, and to check out the other cars people bring out of their garages (typically nothing good, but sometimes you'll catch sight of something reasonably bad-ass. Rumors abound currently in Porterville about a maroon Cadillac Escalade with 24" tires and those jumpy hydraulics known as air bags -- phat!). But more importantly, you can pick up chicks. Yes, you! Almost the only step to getting the girlies is to have a nice ride. It doesn't have to be spectacular -- this noder has cruised in cars from a Dodge Neon to a Pontiac Grand Prix and were noticable enough, so the most head-turning ride is not necessary. The only requirement is that it is clean. A dirty or otherwise fucked-up car will get you laughed at. If you need a quick car wash, the Arco (neé AM/PM) on Henderson Avenue provides all you need for a shiny clean car.
The Place. Most of the cruising takes place near the intersections of Olive Avenue and Main Street. If you're unsure about how to get there, head towards old downtown. If you're really unsure about where that is (as in, you read this node and decided to drive across states to Porterville just to see what it was like), get off the Highway 65 exit on Olive and head east. Soon enough, you should be on the loop. If you went at the right time (see below), you'll notice a lot of traffic. These people, like you, are wasting their evening with a whole lotta' cruising. "The Loop" is typically heading east on Olive till you pass Main Street, turn left one past (you'll see a Super 7 petrol station), turn left again, make yet another left (you should be on Main now. If not, be afraid), and then go right. Proceed any number of blocks down until you wish to make a U-turn. Of course, this is subjective -- make your own loop if you want; but this one provides the most visibility.
The Time. Time is of the essence if you want to cruise P-town. Recommended is from about 8 PM to 10 PM on Friday, and about the same on Saturday (though the crowd is out a little later). Before, and you're just cruising Olive Avenue; after, and you're a poor chump who missed out. Parties in Porterville and surroundings are commonplace about these times on weekends, and most cruising will have some whereabouts. Be advised!
The Friends. What's the point if you don't bring your homies? Bring along some people you can get along with for a few hours at a stretch, and who can get along with each other. Unfriendliness in your cruiser can make the whole event very unwholesome for all parties. Good examples of who not to bring include (but aren't limited to) assholes, pricks, jerks, and people who might get you shot at by some angry Mexican guys with pistolas. At least three party members is preferable (the gender is not usually important).
The Behavior. I don't care if you have a Ford Aspire or a Toyota Supra -- don't drag at the lights. Don't do insane or generally stupid shit. There are cops everywhere. Normally this would be a turn-off for potential cruisers, but Porterville is virtually one of the only towns left in the area which does not ban cruising (Visalia prohibits cruising at night -- so people do it during the day. It's just not the same). If you want to race someone, park off the loop, wave them down, and ask them if they want to race out of town. There is quite a lot of "out of town" in Porterville, and it's easy to find a deserted roadway (the later the time, the better for finding an empty road, obviously -- though the integrity of the road will usually be questionable). Just don't be a sap and get a ticket for "exhibition of speed". It really sucks.
The Food. Though optional, if you or your passengers get hungry, Taco Bell (God bless Taco Bell.) is open 24 hours a day for your grubbing pleasure. "Toca Boll", as we lovingly refer to the establishment, has long been a favorite for tweakers, thugs and cruisers alike due to its late-night offerings. It's located on Henderson Avenue, near the Wal-Mart. If you're on a budget, just buy a ton of bean burritos.
Beyond Cruising? If you are a sly and wily fellow who isn't afraid to talk to people you don't know and seem sort of scary, or hot chicks, you can be led to a party, where you can typically get your drink on, and more if you so desire. Or you can just meet a bunch of boring yobbos (Porterville parties are lame -- partygoers live in perpetual fear of the police, and rightly so). Past cruising, your activities may turn out to be a fun time or a complete waste of energy. It's usually safer to just stay in your car with people you know.
Conclusion. You can have fun in Porterville. Just not very much of it.