Monday, January 04, 2010

ad hoc adventures

Everything should go back to normal today, except for catching up on all the stuff that never seems to be quite caught-up in the first place. Friends, I missed you; I really did. My manager used a phrase one too many times, and we turned it into a joke. Can you guess what that phrase was?

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The time away was a work-related trip to a major missions conference. I sold books there as part of a team that set up book-of-the-day stations at strategic locations. For our central base of operations, we used a locker room as our ad hoc headquarters, and called it "the Batcave." This wasn't just any old locker room, mind you! This was none other than the locker room for the St. Louis Rams' Cheerleaders! As part of this book team, I was given all kinds of access to the site, and (being an assistant manager) I even had my very own key to the cheerleaders' locker room.

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Don't worry; I didn't do anything foolish. There were no cheerleaders in that locker room any time we were there, and even if there were, I have too good a thing with my wife to put my marriage in jeapardy.

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[continued...]

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There was talk about seeing this trip as an ad hoc adventure. My adventure began before even making it to the bus. For starters, I lost my itinerary. Then, on the drive to the bus, our minivan was doing a terrible job of keeping a good grip on the road, because of a thick coating of fresh, slippery snow. We lost traction on a side street, and slid into a ditch.

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Stepping outside to assess the situation, I observed that we were just inches from a stop sign. We didn't hit it--thank the Lord! Maybe if I just move straight back enough... no good: landscaping pillars (like railroad ties) are jutting up from the ground behind me, and I couldn't possibly drive over them. It looks like I'm pinned for good and this slippery snow won't let me get out.

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Just then, a red pickup drives up and offers to help. (Correction: the people inside the pickup offered to help. I didn't hear audible voices from motor vehicles.) These folks lived across the street from this ditch, and the lady said of her husband that he does this kind of stuff all the time. He tied a chain to our rear axle, and we were freed in less time than it took you to read this story. Well, almost.

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One adventure down, what's next?

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[continued...]

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Another adventure was an ad hoc journey to India. Not really--let's go back a bit. "Somebody" forgot to pack his deodorant, and had to go looking around downtown St. Louis for a convenience store. Along the way, he (I, that is) noticed an Indian restaurant. I have never eaten at an Indian restaurant.

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That night, my crew asked for suggestions on a place to eat. I told them about the place that I found, and that it was just a little less than a mile away. We walked (in freezing temps) a little different than my first trip, and when I got to Olive Street, I wasn't sure whether to turn right or left. It would not have been of great consequence, except that we were cold and hungry. I chose to turn right. After two blocks, I realized that it was the wrong direction. We had to turn back. My companions started grumbling. You know what? It's not easy to reassure a crowd (3 + me) of ravenous men who are finally getting a nice dinner after working all day Saturday and Sunday. Anyhoo, we finally made it to the restaurant...

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and it was closed.

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[continued...]

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My friends did not roast me on an ad hoc funeral pyre. They're so gracious! Let's go back to that convenience store. I couldn't find the deodorant with the shampoos and soaps. Instead, I found a sign that indicated that the deodorants are located behind the front registers, and see cashiers for assistance. What?!! That is so weird. The deodorant now has the behind-the-counter stigma of intimate or naughty things. "Um, yes... I'll have a newspaper and some Chiclets and... (mumbling) deodorant." The nervous customer is mortified as the clerk goes on the p.a. to get a price check on deodorant. Great--now the whole store knows that I'm interested in one of those behind-the-counter items! Catching a glance from an elderly gentleman, I instinctively offer a polite "how do." He just nods. I know what he's thinking... "Hello back, Mr. Stinky Pits!"

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Glad to be back, now let's see what kind of mess waits for me at the desk...

12 comments:

mommanator said...

sure sounds like an adventure, glad you are safely home. don't know why you were upset about the guy asking the price over megaphone, everyone buys deodorant or at least they should!

imac said...

Sounds like you had fun Craver - the Raver.lol.
Nice to see you home safe n sound.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Sure was a fun trip Craver. You know that old expression 'it never rains but it pours', well after the car almost went into the ditch I would have packed it up and gone home not willing to chance anything more going "wrong". LOL!! Yeah I know, I am a big brave girl aren't I? LOL!!

But at least you are back safe and sound amongst your friends now who do not laugh at you mis-adventures. (Ha! Ha!) No that wasn't a laugh, I was sneezing. :)

Gaelyn said...

Wow, what an adventure Craver. Sure hope you got that deodorant. ;-) Didn't realize it was an unmentionable product. Probably right beside the condoms and tampons. LOL!
I look forward to more of this "ad hoc" story.
Welcome home and Happy New Year!

Leeloo said...

You're hilarious, I'm just sitting in my office at work, laughing my butt off LOL. This sounds like quite the trip! I can't believe they had deodorant behind the counter, hahahaha!! Glad you're back safe and sound :D

Craver Vii said...

It wasn't embarrassing that a person should know that I use deodorant, as much as everybody knowing that I was purchasing something from "behind the counter," Mommanator. Oh yes, I DO use deodorant. Never that anti-perspirant stuff, just pure deodorant.

It's strange, Imac. I kept thinking about the safe part and hoping we would not crash. How morbid!

Gezundheit Joan! ...Hey!!!

Fear not Gaelyn, I am thoroughly deodorized. My modesty is slightly bruised, though.

Ouch Leeloo. I knew a guy who laughed his butt off... He had to wear prosthetic cheeks to hold his pants up. It's good to be home!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: That was a neat story for sure. I was in Montreal in early December and there is a nice restaraunt right beside the hotel. Guess what, it was closed. I finally ate at a pizza place where only one person spoke English.

Denise said...

Hi Craver, We have missed you and your great humor. What adventures you have had. Welcome home!

lime said...

well let me just add an ad hoc comment. glad to have you back and in one piece! sounds like it was quite the adventure.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: Back again' what was the key to the managers advice?

Craver Vii said...

Do you speak any French at all, Fishing Guy? I studied it for two years in high school but don't remember much any more.

Glad to be back, Denise. I'm afraid I wasn't very humorous in St. Louie. I went through a whole lot of Kleenex and tried very hard to sleep, but it wasn't until the very last night that I got some good rest.

What an adventure, Lime. It's like the song says (sniff), "Wherever we go, that's where the party's at." (Achoo!) What a time to be sick. I'm feeling much better now, though. :-)

Fishing Guy: Say what??

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Bwahahaha! That sure was an ad hoc adventure or two or three. Soooo, now I'm curious about what makes deodorant a behind-the-counter product.

Is there a sequel ad hoc story? ;-)