Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time Warp

*** Summer 1989 ***

Pam and I had just had lunch with Scott and Danny.

Datsun 810
Doesn't do Scott's
car justice ... picture
this, only black and nice
It was late afternoon on a Saturday, so basically we were barely getting started with our weekend mischief.  We stood in the parking lot as our usual banter and joking ensued ... not that we were loud or obnoxious, but we really didn't pay too much attention to those around us because we were having fun.

At some point Pam asked Scott if she could drive his car.  He owned a Datsun 810 ... it was his pride and joy at the time and he was very protective of it.

He didn't want to.

Pam persisted.

Pam won ... of course.

Scott really liked his electronic gadgets as well.  Not only did his car have one kick-ass stereo, but he had recently installed a PA system ... that was only a little illegal ... and very loud, as I would find out.

Pam started the car.  The disc in the CD player was the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

As we headed back to town we passed a softball field with the early game already underway.  One team had just made their third out and took the field defensively.  The outfielders' backs were to the road as we drove past.

Time Warp was playing ...

I grinned ...

"What?" Pam asked.

I grabbed the mic to the PA and keyed it up near the front speaker.

Rocky Horror
Picture Show
It was a bit louder than I expected ... or a lot louder ... maybe even close to blaring.

The center fielder stood with his hands on his knees.  He was the closest player to the fence ... and even then he was still several hundred feet away.

He flinched, then slowly turned his head and grinned at us.

I released the mic.

This process was repeated a few times ... Time Warp ... PA system ... release.

It is one of the features I loved about CDs versus cassettes ... repeat the previous track without the lag of rewinding ... and we were mostly on a road that split through the agricultural fields so there wasn't anybody being bothered.

As we got into town I felt the urge for one more round

Just one ...

Like an ice cream truck on steroids ...

Time Warp ... PA ... motorcycle cop.

We were stopped at a traffic signal and I didn't see him pulling up beside us.

I cannot write down what was going through my mind.  It's not because I don't remember, but more because I don't want to string that many bad words together in my blog.  I turned my head and smiled at the officer.  I reached with my left hand and turned down the music as I released the mic.

The cop was giving us a semi disgusted and harsh glare.

At this time there were no noise pollution laws ... no rules or ordinances stating how loud music could be or how many decibels were too many.

"Is your music loud enough?" he grunted.

I grinned.  "Yes it is.  Thank you."

The light turned green ...


Pam accelerated ...


The cop just sat there with the most perplexed look on his face.

When we caught up with the other two Scott was frantic.  He was sure we had caused his nice PA system to be confiscated.

I relayed the story ... after a brief moment of anger, relief and unusual babbling Scott busted up laughing.


*****

It's strange how the funniest times are not planned.

Then again, the worst times are not planned either.

Most all the fun, humorous or amusing things that have happened were spur of the moment ... throwing the Nerf football into the night sky only to have it fall and hit Scott on the head ... the time in first grade when my best friend wanted to show off the the judo flip he learned.  He did flip me, but I landed on my feet and he flipped back over me ... the accidental improv routine my friend Richard an I performed at Universal Studios ( a long story for another time ).
Yep ... a banana


Nobody in their right mind would intentionally leave a snack in the car to ferment in the summer heat ... but being blasted by a bellowing belch of baked banana when you open the car door makes the moment memorable.  It also makes "I smell a banana" the battle cry for a summer.

Nobody would have let my brother and I ride down the snow slope on an inner-tube if they knew we were going to flip head over tushie into a 6 to 8 foot deep ditch.

Or the telephone ringing immediately after Timmy and I watched The Ring.

Yes ... we flinched.  One of us gasped really loud ... I think it was me.

Even my wedding was spur of the moment.

Cupid's Wedding Chapel
Pam and I had been dating 6 months when we went to Vegas.  As we were ready to leave we took a different road and passed the marriage license bureau.  I looked at her and said, "You want to?"

She said yes.

Our engagement lasted an entire 30 minutes ... our wedding was 20 minutes shorter than that, but it will always rank at the top of my favorite times, immediately behind my sons being born.

None of these times were expected ... none were planned ... all are such fond memories.

It almost seems like the harder I try to have fun or feel happy the more difficult it is.

I can organize a trip to Vegas ... reserve the hotel ... save some "fun money" ... maybe buy tickets for a show.  What happens after I get there is often unpredictable or beyond my control.

My favorite
slot machine at
the Stratosphere
Will I hit a jackpot on a slot machine?

What will the weather be like?

How crowded and hectic will it be?

I don't know.  I can make an educated guess, but if the strip is closed due to an accident I will have to adapt to this.  If the shops are too crowded I will likely choose to not go shopping.  If the jello shot vendor gets to know me I may stay and joke with him.

What is fun ... what will make me happy has a lot to do with chance.

I seriously doubt anybody aims for ways to have things to go wrong ... but they do go wrong.

They become memories ... files tucked away in my mind to be accessed on later days.  Sometimes they're torn open and the contents dumped in my conscious mind without my consent.

In the M&M store
on the strip ... the hundreds
of rude people are
not pictured
I never wanted a kidney stone, but I have dealt with many.  It's amazing how something that small can cause such big challenges.

Possibly a trip to the hospital ... and the waiting ... and the bills

Definitely a fair amount of pain ... and usually pain meds don't help.

Obliterating a schedule for an entire day ... or maybe longer.

People don't plan to have injuries ...  or accidents ... or depression ... or dental problems ... or the death of a loved one ...

OK ... some people plan for the death of others, but they usually wind up in prison ... and I bet they didn't plan that.

So life just happens.

Regardless of intentions life will take off in different directions ... whether it's bad, like having the window of my car broken ... possibly funny, like bouncing a pencil eraser end first off the pew at church and having it bounce and twist and land point first in my sister's palm.

Looking down the
Strip at night on our
way back to the
the Stratosphere


Whatever ...

Things happen ... often not as planned ...

Good ... bad ... funny ... sad ...

If it's happy ... amusing ... enjoyable I appreciate the moment.

I'm likely never going to play music over a PA system from a car again, but I am sure there are many other things to enjoy in my future.

Maybe ... hopefully I am getting back to the point where I appreciate more and more.