Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's not the heat; it's the stupidity

Backing up a bit...
So, during my brother’s bachelor weekend, I had a reading scheduled in Orlando, at Urban Think Bookstore. After the first night of Rays’ baseball and subsequent debauchery, I was forced to rally the following morning and make the nearly cross-state journey to Orlando. I put on my khakis from the night before and pulled out the shirt I had intended to wear, a shirt that I soon discovered had shrunk with the first washing. No remedy; it was all that I had clean.

I left in a disheveled mess, my shirt bursting at the seams, my two brothers still in bed and—in my opinion—not giving me the appropriate pity.

I got into the rental car and cranked up the air conditioner. I was soon out on the interstate. The put-on-your-seat belt tone kept sounding, which annoyed me. I couldn’t be bothered with such pedestrian concerns.

Actually, that tone was a gas tank warning.

I was in the middle lane when I felt the engine give way. I knew immediately what was wrong, and luckily I was able to pull alongside the end of a merging lane, right up against a wall, cars roaring by me.

Bad, bad, bad.

I called AAA and described my predicament. I would be late for the event, but I was alive. It could have been worse.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I got out of the car and waited. At the coming event, I had planned to read from “Kerouac’s Ghost,” and I hadn’t reviewed it yet, so I practiced, reading out loud from my book, on the side of I-4 in the humid Florida heat.

Medium story short: I was not rescued by AAA but rather Florida Highway Patrol’s Road Ranger program, by two really nice guys who sent me on my way with no charges and best wishes.

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