May 3, 2008

The Weekend From Hell

I visited Tornwordo over at Sticky Crows this morning, and the poor guy’s got food poisoning. Man, I’ve been there; and I can’t recommend it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so sick. It was one of six elements of a time I’ve come to call the Weekend From Hell.

It started off nicely enough. The family and I were returning home from vacation in Florida. The return drive had been uneventful and the weather was sunny. I was driving through nowhere, Kentucky when the engine just quit running. (1) I managed to pull off the highway and we reconnoitered up the grassy hill near the fence to wait for a tow truck. I had to entertain two young elementary-aged children with nothing but my imagination.

A little more than an hour later, the truck towed us into Bowling Green. It was late evening on a Friday, and none of the dealerships were open. Some tiny gas station was just about to close, and we were taken there. The mechanic looked at the car and told us we needed a new fuel pump. We were wondering how much we could trust this guy when the assistant told us the mechanic could work on it Saturday but not Sunday because he was a preacher. Well, maybe we could trust him, but the car had to stay where it was.

The preacher knew a guy who rented cars and called him to meet us at his business. He drove the four of us over and we rented a huge Lincoln. By now it was about 11:00 at night. We loaded up the car with all of our stuff and hit the highway. About ten miles down the road, the “Service Engine Soon” light came on. (2) No way was I taking my children down the highway at night in that car. We turned around and drove back to Bowling Green. The rental guy was very apologetic, traded us up into a brand new minivan, and we got a hotel for the night.

We drove home to Indianapolis the next day. While Abe went shopping for groceries, I took the minivan to pick up my computer. I’d left it for repairs for three weeks. When I arrived at the shop, they confessed they hadn’t even ordered the part. (3) I took back my computer and drove to the other big electronics chain store. I got out of the van and realized I had just locked inside the only key to that van in the state. With the computer. (4)

Three locksmiths and three hours later, I was finally able to get into the van. I drove home feeling very sorry for myself. I had missed dinner, so I helped myself to a piece of crème cake Abe had bought from the grocery store.

Apparently this cake was swimming with salmonella. (5) About midnight, I woke up nauseous and cramping. I made it to the bathroom almost on time. My body was spewing matter from both ends as vehemently as possible. It wanted this stuff out of there. This continued for almost three hours before abating. I was aching in muscles I didn’t know I had. After cleaning up, I dropped into an exhausted sleep.

The next morning I was sore all over, even in my fingers. I lay on the sofa, what I was certain was my death bed. After a few hours, I figured I needed to look at the mail that had accumulated over the weeks we were gone. I sorted out the bills and began opening them.

The bill for my cell phone certainly was thick. What’s going on? I opened it to find six pages of phone calls I didn’t make. My cell phone had been cloned. (6) Welcome home, Birdie.


Java said...

Wow. Superman called this a Cosmic Karmic Conjunction. That's a nasty experience. One I hope you don't repeat. I hope I don't have one like that EVER!!!!

Steve F. said...

A friend of mine back a thousand years or so ago had this poster. It was dominated by the cartoon of a very small mouse looking up at a very large (and apparently hungry) cat.

The caption said: You're not what I prayed for...but apparently, you're the answer.

The only thing that you can take comfort in, in the midst of all your chaos and drama, is that each time you found a way. It wasn't what you wanted; in many cases, it took more than one try (many of us have had to get a second rental car - but three locksmiths! dear God...). But you made it through, took care of the ones you love, and came up with a really good story.

An old rabbi once said that God created people because He loved stories. I've never doubted that.

somewhere joe said...

It's the cosmic grand opera, Charlie Brown. Steve, and that old rabbi, are on it. God is a movie producer.

I had food poisoning twice. Sitting on the toilet, sweating, clammy, cold, tachycardial, I was a breath or two from passing out. I hope that's all done.

Bill said...

Perhaps there's something to be said for getting it all over with in one weekend. It would have been awfully dreary if these events had been spaced out over a succession of weekends.
Also, I believe God was looking out for you by combining #s 3&4 rather than 4&5. Event #6 seems to be the icing on the salmonella cake.

Anonymous said...

This gave me anxiety.

Paul said...

It only takes one experience.

I've never eaten at Capt'n D's again. And that was over twenty years ago.