A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the…

Surprise!  My theme for August is true funny stories that will hopefully not be too long.  I hope your funny bone gets tickled this month.  Here’s my kick-off story…

Once my sister Michelle, my best friend Lora, and I were at an outdoor concert in Connecticut.  Between sets, we wanted to walk across the street to our hotel and freshen up.  We knew the band, and they said they were also headed to the hotel for a bit, but they had to secure their instruments first and would be right behind us.

Michelle, Lora & Me

So as the three of us walked, we had to walk across a field then along the side of the road for about a half a block before we could cross.  I was nearest the road, Michelle was next to me, and Lora was by her.  As we walked dangerously close to the edge of the busy road, cars whizzed by.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bump in the gravel reached up and grabbed me by the ankle.

As I started to fall, it was like it was happening in slow motion.  I didn’t fall “down” per se, but I actually went flying and ended up parallel to the ground where it felt like I was suspended for several seconds.  As I hovered, the only thing on my mind was, “Oh, I hope the band isn’t behind me watching this!”  I was mortified!

Finally, the entire front of my body hit the ground with a thud.  The weird thing was both Michelle and Lora ran over and told me it happened in slow motion, and they, too, said it looked like I was suspended in the air!

My ankle hurt, the wind was knocked out of me, and I was beyond embarrassed!  I asked Lora and Michelle if the band saw me fall.  (Thankfully they were nowhere in sight.)  However, as I started to get up, several cars screeched to a halt.  More than a dozen people ran over to me and asked which car had hit me!  Someone was already on the phone with the police saying something about a hit and run driver and asking for an ambulance.  Some people forced me to stay on the ground cautioning me not to move, and more and more people kept gathering around and asking me questions about the runaway car!  (Talk about making an embarrassing situation even MORE embarrassing!)

I wanted to die!  I just knew our band friends would come walking up at any moment, and I just wanted to be gone.   It seemed like forever passed before I was able to calm the crowd and dismiss them, and I covered my face as I quickly limped over to the hotel.  Later when we went back to the next show, we still heard rumblings in the crowd about “some girl who was hit by a car.”  (I have since wondered if perhaps I really was clipped by a car and never even realized it.)

So tell me:  Have you even fallen down in an extremely embarrassing forum?  Have you ever been hit by a car?  Do you think I was actually hit by a car or just clumsy that day?

Michelle, Lora & Me

Watch It, Man!

For today’s Throwback Thursday – slash – pet peeve story, I’m bringing up the subject of drivers who don’t pay attention!  So many of us complain about hating people who text or talk on their cell phones when they drive, yet so many people still do it.  Grrr!

I also hate when I allow someone to go ahead of me and they don’t give me the “courtesy thank you wave” in return.  I really can’t stand that!

Once I was driving behind a lawn maintenance truck, and he lost an expensive weed eater/edger thingy.  I pulled over and picked it up then hurried to speed up and catch him to return it.  And do you know when I finally flagged him down at a stop light and returned it, he didn’t even thank me!  Worse yet, once he got back in his car and the light turned green, he cut me off and almost ran me into a ditch!

Sometimes I feel like my car has a “cloak of invisibility” on it (which is similar, though different than a “cone of silence.”)  (It’s no secret that I LOVE classic TV, so if you do too, you may know what I’m talking about when I reference Maxwell Smart’s “Cone of Silence” from Get Smart.  Of course, he had a shoe phone and not a cell, so that makes things completely different.)

Anyway, when I drive and someone cuts me off or tries to plow into me, I almost always stick my arm out and say, “Watch it, man!”  (I picked this up years ago from The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour which was like an hour long version of I Love Lucy.  In the episode “Lucy Wins a Racehorse,” Lucy has to drive the horse in a race.  If you’ll watch here between 44:30 and 45:50, you’ll see what I mean.  And if you’ll watch the whole episode, you’ll be sure to laugh heartily for the next 50 minutes.)

Anyhow, I digress.  Despite drivers that don’t pay attention or are otherwise just plain rude, I also don’t like to be in the car with people who complain about the other bad drivers long after the incident has passed.  If we make the light, we make the light.  If we miss the light, maybe we just saved ourselves from being hit by a train.  It’s not worth getting all negative about for the next hour and a half.  (And if my sister Michelle is reading this, yes, I’m talking about you!…  I’m kidding.  She used to do this, but she’s calmed down about it a lot in recent years.  Thanks, Michelle.)

So, one cool thing that can happen when other drivers are rude, is that it can catch up to them and bite them in the posterior.  I LOVE when that happens!  Case in point:  Once, many moons ago, my sister and I were dating two members of a certain band.  We were on our way to a concert, and we got there early so we could use our all-access passes and hang out with the band before the show.  However, on our way there, a man cut us off and nearly ran us off the road.  Watch it, man! 

We kept driving, then ended up encountering him again later down the road.  He switched lanes rapidly, and this time nearly ran us into an oncoming truck!  We were obviously quite perturbed.  We slowed way down and hit some bad traffic, then ended up making it to the venue just in time to get our seats.  However, once we were in the venue parking lot, we had just eyed an available space, when out of nowhere the same maniacal driver came from the other direction, cut us off, and stole our parking spot!

We parked somewhere way out of the way, and were quite angry as we walked in during the first song.  Our band friends kept questioning us with their eyes and trying to read our lips as we took our seats, and we enjoyed the show and tried to let it go.

After the show, we went backstage and explained what had happened.  The whole band rallied behind us, and they were livid when they heard about the crazed motorist.  We waited while they changed, and we all headed back to our hotel and sat in the bar which was closed to the general public.

As we sat there visiting, a man came walking up with the guitar player.  The guitar player said, “Steve, you already know the guys.  And this is Rachel and Michelle.  They’re with us.  They’re like family.  You’ll love them.”  Then he turned to us and said, “Everyone, this is Steve.  I’ve known him since I was a kid.”

Steve smiled a crooked smile and blushed as he hung his head.  “Pleased to meet you,” he mumbled.

“Really?” I asked loudly.  “Because you were trying to kill us before the show!”

Michelle bowed up her chest.  “Yeah, whose grandma did you run over to park here outside the hotel?”

Everyone in the band looked at Steve as they realized HE was the maniacal driver who tried to kill us earlier!  He blushed and mumbled, “I was hoping you wouldn’t recognize me.  I’m really sorry about that, girls.”

It was hysterical and worth every moment of danger he put us in.  Don’t you love when you get to see comeuppance in action?

So tell me, have you ever had an encounter with a driver and later met them in another capacity?  (Perhaps with a potential employer or employee before an interview?  Now, THAT would be funny!)  Do you text and drive?  Do you talk on the phone and drive?  Do you know how many car lengths there are supposed to be between you and another driver in your lane?  Do you always give the courtesy thank you wave when someone lets you in ahead of them?