No need for contrived humor with a life like mine. Written as time and humiliation allow.
|EMAIL AS WRITTEN TO MY CO-WORKERS LAST NIGHT:
OMG, everyone!!!! You'll never believe what happened tonite!!! (Okay so you might believe it bcuz you know me.)
Anyway . . .
Tomorrow at work, please give Marie C. and Dorothy A. and also Frinette a HEROES' WELCOME for their incredible acts of bravery tonight!
I'll be as brief as possible (there's a first time for everything):
Okay so it was 8PM and I was ready to race out to my car when I discovered that I could not find my car keys. Great.
I tore apart my desk (I know - you thought it was already torn apart) but I really inspected every inch of dirty carpet and searched under every wayward piece of paper and even unpacked my big desk drawer (the one we call my 7-11) but still could not find my car keys.
Everyone had evacuated for the night so I rushed to the elevator, out the door, and down the street to the black hole where I park my car. I clutched my cell phone in one hand and my Auto Club card in the other as I pushed past the homeless folks near the bus station. Hah - and they think THEY have problems????!!!!
Okay so they really do, but still . . .
It was pitch black outside and completely desolate (we're talking midweek downtown Tampa when there is no Superbowl) and I was racing to a car I had no keys to get into. But I had my cell phone and my AAA card and soon - - I had Marie and Dorothy and Frinette.
The newly dubbed SAINTS Marie, Dorothy and Frinette!
First, Frinette swung her vehicle around to cast light on the interior of my car. If my keys were inside, then AAA would simply need to unlock my door and I could drive home to my dogs before they made too much of a mess.
But the headlights really didn't illuminate the interior of my car so much as its rooftop, so everyone ran to grab their flashlights. Good idea. Except none of the batteries worked.
That's okay, I would just call AAA on my cell phone and everyone could go home to their loved ones.
I was just about to send my friends away when I received a message on my cell phone - - -
MY CONTRACT HAD EXPIRED LAST WEEK ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
and no service was available at this time.
(Please note: I am the only person in the entire world without a "real" cell phone. I have the pay-as-you-go type for emergencies only. The irony was not lost on me.)
I'll cut to the chase here to summarize what transpired over the next 30 minutes:
Saint Marie let me use her cell phone to call AAA, so I placed the call and we made the following important decisions:
* AAA would send a locksmith
* No, AAA would send a tow truck
* No, a locksmith
* No, a tow truck
(fast forward 15 minutes)
* They would think about it and send a police car in the meantime to patrol the area in case I were to get mugged or worse-
(We're talking about the parking lot at the corner of Tyler & Morgan, in the dark, with not a soul around. At least not anyone I wished to meet under the circumstances.)
Okay, so while we waited for the locksmith/tow truck/locksmith/tow truck/police car - (they were still deciding which way to go with this) . . .
I called my cell phone provider to buy some air time in a pinch, just so that AAA could contact me if anything was going to delay the locksmith/tow truck/police car person.
Cut again to the next scene ...
After taking another 20 minutes to translate my English for the English-as-a-second-language phone rep, we finally completed my transaction (reading credit card info in the dark was a real challenge) when she advised me that my reactivated phone service would be usable again . . .
IN ABOUT AN HOUR!!!!!!!!!
deep breath . . .
First I had to find a scrap of paper to write down the all-powerful confirmation number for my transaction. Otherwise, it would go to confirmation confinement where this type of useless information remains in limbo until someone really needs it. Then it either evaporates or takes some unrecognizable form that customer service reps insist could never have come from their universe.
Of course I could not find an actual piece of paper in the dark, but I did find something in the shape of a writing instrument - an eyebrow pencil made by Crayola I think. (If you could see me now you'd know what I mean.)
Also found a bandaid to write on. So I would be fine if I could just keep from bleeding. (Hey - I was taking nothing for granted at this point.)
Then I scribbled down the thousand-digit number as though my life depended on it. (Continued on next bandaid???)
Also had to keep asking if she meant the letter "O" or the number "zero". I hate that.
Saint Dorothy remained optimistic and even bowed her head to pray at one point I think. Oh wait - that was when she noticed a palmetto bug the size of my front tire mounting her Pucci pumps. (It really was a delightful location and atmosphere, was it not?) But both Saints Marie and Dorothy reminded me that it wasn't raining or snowing, so some things were really moving in our favor. (I swear I saw a brief flash of lightning just then.)
So, as I turned to announce that we had only to wait another HOUR for my cell phone to be usable . . . an enormous tow truck pulled into the driveway of the deserted lot! We cheered as though CrudBizCo had finally fixed our computers and phone systems! (I can dream, can't I?)
I tried to send off the 2 remaining Saints Marie and Dorothy, but they insisted on staying to make sure I actually got home all right.
No problem, I thought - this cute young man would simply hoist my car onto his tow truck bed and whisk me off into the night - to retrieve my spare set of car and house keys I had hidden long ago - in case of such a night as this.
And then, my white knight spoke:
"Uhhhh . . . you don't have the keys????"
I explained the locksmith/towtruck/locksmith dilemma
but he just shook his head in despair and disbelief.
"If I hoist this car onto my truck bed without turning it on - - - I will most likely cause extensive and very expensive damage to the thingama-something-or-other" (sorry, I don't know techno car speak).
I think Saint Dorothy really did start to pray at this point, while Saint Marie called a few loved ones to advise she might not return home until dawn. Saint Frinette had to leave a little while ago.
Okay, cut to 15 minutes later, when the still-incredibly-cute tow truck man looked me in the eye and implored me to check my purse just one more time, to see if the keys could possibly have escaped to a remote corner.
I explained that, unlike my coworker who just bought a new Coach bag (. . . Ada????) - I was content to use a plastic bag from Walmart filled with my crap and stuffed into my designer tote bag from CrudBizCo.
Even though I had turned the tote inside out and explored every square inch of it a million times, I would try, as a favor to this very nice and patient man, to examine it a million AND ONE times - - just to prove that I really am a moron who lost her keys that hang from an ENORMOUS lanyard with other silly things hanging from it so they couldn't possibly ever get lost because I planned it that way.
And that's when it happened . . .
I tilted the tote and felt my way into another remote corner I had somehow missed on my previous zillion attempts.
I reached inside the outer pocket and pulled out - of all things -
MY CAR KEYS ON THE ENORMOUS LANYARD WITH OTHER SILLY THINGS HANGING FROM IT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
O M G ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
As you would expect at this point, lots of hugging and kissing ensued. I can't imagine a lottery winner being any more ecstatic than the 4 of us crazy people jumping up and down in unison and shrieking with delight!
I don't know if the police patrol ever drove by to check and see if we were still alive, but just then, the tow truck driver got a call from AAA dispatch. He held up the phone for us to hear the agent's plaintive plea:
"If it's at all possible, could you please hurry and get to the lady stuck at Morgan and Tyler? She's all by herself and sounded really concerned about her safety."
"No problem," he beamed, "We've got the situation completely under control."
And that's exactly what happened tonight while hanging out in the dark on the corner of Morgan and Tyler in downtown Tampa in the middle of the week when it wasn't the Superbowl.
. . . So . . . how was your evening?