Can Anything Go Right
On a Sunday, a few months ago, I brought home my car. That was the day I discovered that the gas gauge was broken. (Thankfully, the gauge was in a temporary coma; it works perfectly now!) The following Monday was a holiday and I had a new “special” route to complete. I left the house with my list of stores and sat in the driver’s seat; I had a decision to make. I could either fill the tank, or drive to the first store and fill the tank once I get off the highway. I didn’t know exactly how much gas I had in the tank, but I knew there was enough to make it to my destination. Everything went according to plan and I followed the GPS to the exit. I was fairly new to Los Angeles so I wasn’t sure where I was. The first thing I decided to do was pull over to the side of the road and double check the GPS to make sure I was headed in the right direction. All of the sudden, my engine began making some weird noises, as if on its last leg. I couldn’t believe it, I bought a lemon. After a few seconds, reality set in and I realized that the car was out of gas. I was used to driving a Honda so I definitely miscalculated the MPG of my new car. To add another degree of difficulty to the day, it was three o’clock in the morning. (Due to the special circumstances, I had an earlier start.) I had a decision to make; do I walk right or left? I decided to walk to the left. I walked about a mile before coming to the realization that I probably chose the wrong direction. There was nothing to do other than to turn back. I headed in the direction of the car, and noticed three teenage girls walking down the street. I did my best to time my steps in order to avoid appearing like a murderer, but they didn’t seem to be threatened by my presence. A few minutes later a car drove by with two menacing men inside. The driver slowed down, made a U-turn and drove towards me. (This is the moment when I regretted moving to California. I couldn’t believe I flew thousands of miles to die at the hands of a couple thugs!) Luckily, the car drove past me and stopped next to the three girls. The passenger jumped out and opened the rear door. The girls got in and the car drove away. I was elated to be alive and I couldn’t care less about the safety of the three thrill seekers. I continued walking and another car headed towards me. It was black with tinted windows and as it drove by, the driver slowed down. I prepared myself for another encounter with death, but the car never stopped. (The way I see it, I survived two assassination attempts!) Eventually, I made it to my car, without incident, and I attempted to start it once more. It didn’t start. I would have continued trying to start the engine, but there was a large sounding dog that seemed pretty annoyed whenever I attempted to turn over the engine. The dog’s barking sounded like he was on the cusp of jumping over the fence, which I imagined to be a mere two feet high. I walked in the other direction and hoped for the best. Thankfully, I noticed a gas station off in the distance. I had the option of taking the main road or a smaller street, so I chose the inconspicuous route. (Due to my two previous near death experiences!) The street was fairly quiet and I enjoyed the peaceful walk. Suddenly, two miniature Pinschers ran from under a fence and attacked me. “What the fuck is going on?” I thought. (If you don’t know what they look like, picture a ferocious Doberman Pinscher breaking into Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory and running into the Television Room and being shrunk by the big shrinking machine thingy!) The dogs were more bark than bite and they returned to the gate after a few seconds of annoying and scaring the crap out of me! I was visibly shaken and I seriously felt like I was being Punk’d. I walked to the gas station and there was a lovely woman behind the glass. I explained my predicament and she sold me a one gallon gas container and I bought some gas. I attempted to fill the container, but the pump wouldn’t work. The woman risked her life and exited the protective glass fortress of solitude and did her best to help me. Together, we weren’t able to get any gas. (In my head, I could hear comedians, all over the world saying “How many people does it take to fill a gas container?”) We had no idea what to do, until a customer explained how the pump works. (If you don’t know how it works, good luck!) I walked back to the car with my full container, but I definitely stayed on the main road. (I didn’t need those dogs in my life anymore!) The car worked and I was finally on my way. First store here I come. I followed the GPS, but there was no store. I drove around the block a few times and didn’t see the store. I drove to a gas station and asked the attendant, but he didn’t know of any store. I double checked the GPS and drove around to the back of the location, but there was only an abandoned building. I decided that I needed to get the hell out of Dodge before I lost my life. I moved on to the other stores and when I finished, I called my boss and let him know that the store didn’t exist. Here is the conversation:
Me: “I drove to the location, but there was only an abandoned building.”
Boss: “What are you talking about? I’ll call you back!”
[My boss calls back.]
Boss: “Hey, you were right. The store is under construction; sorry about that.”
Me: “No problem.”
It turns out that my car broke down in the gang infested area where the film Blood In Blood Out was filmed. I did not embellish any detail. Everything actually happened exactly how I described it. Sometimes I think that my life is a movie! BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Thankfully, the car is fine and not a hint of lemon!