Monday, February 16, 2009

A Deadly Combo.

Friday the 13th smacks of superstition, foreboding and has a general sense spookiness about it. As it was in February this year, it was sort of like a mini Halloween in the dead of winter and I was looking forward to it. The next day was Valentines and that has never been one of my strong-suit holidays. And quite frankly, I don’t think of it as a holiday, I know Hallmark does, but I don’t.

Similar to mother, I find the cards, red plush teddy bears and the sentiment they are supposed to convey, well, cheap. I have never been good at planning for it or delivering the “perfect” gift. Christmas and birthdays I think I do a decent job of matching personality to present, but Valentines has been my Achilles heel when it comes to ‘holidays’

Last year was one of the better ones. Four of us single boys headed out for heart shaped pizza at Boston Pizza. No pressure for a gift or any grand romantic gesture, just show up and eat.

But this year, IronMan inspired me to give it the old college try and I know I have no one to blame but myself for the less than perfect results. I planned – I knew exactly what I wanted to get. Two out of three gifts were purchased when and where I had hoped. The third however would prove to be my downfall. I needed to go downtown to get what I was after but didn’t find a need to go before Friday night.

Easy enough I thought, after I teach my yoga class, I will stop in on my way to IronMan’s, wrap in the car and I would be done. That morning my plan started to unravel. Liza’s low fuel indicator started to flash on the way to work. “No worries” thought I, many a time I have gone to work and home with that happening. I would simply stop on the way home and gas up.

This is where it will start to sound like I am blaming others, but trust me, I know this was all me.
My boss, true to form, bumped our 2:30 – 3:30 meeting to 3:00 and then asked for another 10 minutes, 15, 20 etc. In the end, I left work an hour later than planned which made me rush to the Moksha studio. Class over, I invited people to stay in final resting “as long as they wanted”. Usually, that is about 5 minutes but not this night. Nooooo, I had a snoozer. Not wanting to go in a gather my music, mat etc, I waited without giving it much thought. I would just call IronMan and tell him I would be late.

Then it hit me, the store I wanted to go to would surely close at 9:00 on a Friday. The panic started. As soon as my last student was out of the room, I gathered my things and headed for Liza. I still needed to head home and grab my bag before heading out. The little gas tank flashed at me again as I headed home. I kissed Liza’s steering wheel and asked her to make it. She obliged and I was soon running upstairs, stuffing a last few things in my bag and I was gone. 30 minutes before closing, no time for gas.

Liza seemed in good spirits, 680 News said the Gardiner was smooth sailing and I knew there was a gas station on Jarvis. I was confident I would make it. Things were going great until I hit Dunn Avenue. Liza sputtered – just a little and she kept going….

Easing up the hill, she sputtered again. Once up on the flat top of the Gardiner she seemed fully recoverd. But then things quickly began to slow down. Luckily she managed to make the top of the Spadina ramp. I eased into the bull nose, put on my hazards and cursed. Foolishly I tried starting her again but it was all for nothing. Liza was staying put until she had some liquid refreshment.

Spadina to Jarvis, north to Wellington and back, would be at least an hour. My cell phone would have saved me… or it would have if it wasn’t in my work bag at home….and if it had credit on it….oh dear.

Locking Liza, I ran down the off ramp trying to look inconspicuous….not an easy thing to do. As I got to the bottom my biggest fear was that the people sitting at the red light would think I was panhandling. I spied a cab a leapt for joy! An hour my fanny…he can whip me there and back in 5 minutes.

Climbing into the back of the taxi I asked him if he knew of a gas station that was close by. As it turned, there were two that I had completely forgotten about, a Shell and Petro-Canada just over the hill north of Front Street.

With $4.25 in my $8 gas can, the nice cabbie dropped me at the foot of the off ramp. As I ran back up, my throat burned from the cold and exhaust fumes. I am pretty sure I tasted blood. Would Liza be there? Would she have been towed? Would there be a police officer there ready to hand me a ticket for being a spaz? Would someone have hit her?

Luckily, she was just as I left her. Lights blinking and gas tank empty. She was soon gassed up and ready to go. We made it to IronMan’s much later than he had expected us. I gave him his flowers and told him my story. He gave me a hug and told me it was alright. Then he made me some tea to warm my bones and some dinner to keep me from passing out.

It was a good adventure for a cold Friday the 13th , but I still am not a big fan of Valentines


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You little bugger letting your tank get that empty. I sure hope you learned your lesson. You could have been on the Gardiner.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

Little bugger? Have you seen the size of his arms? :)

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Evil Papi said...

pray tell what store were you trying to get to Papi? to buy what exactly Papi?

please share ... ;)

5:28 PM  

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