Thursday, January 8, 2009

The times, they are a changin'

Well, it turns out that instead of kowtowing and sucking up to the Universe, hoping against hope that if you bow and scrape enough like a little street urchin, the vagaries of fate won’t screw up your life at every opportunity.....the actual answer to it all is to say a hearty FUCK YOU to the Universe instead. Then, like a spurned lover (the Universe is obviously male, what with making us do the whole hard-to-get thing), Fate will come bounding along saying “wait! Come back! I didn’t mean it! Love meeeee!” And will do anything to entice you to fall victim to its wiles, yet again.

Let me reiterate this: "the secret” is apparently not to think la-la happy chipper positive thoughts about how completely ducky everything is, and not to sitting around waiting for things you’ve wished for, as if the Universe is just a big version of Santa Claus – but rather to think bitter thoughts and to view the Universe as a dark, hateful thing ready to pounce on you at the slightest inclination – because then the Universe will become alarmed that you’ve slipped from its grasp and will try to win you over. Apparently the Universe is like Rod Blagojevich – it doesn’t like to lose.

So I’ve bemoaned my bad luck, the crush of fate, etc., and since then I’ve gone merrily on my way seeking out black cats, loudly proclaiming what a perfect day it is at any given moment, and yes, even crossing the double line. You’d think at this point I’d have a plague of locusts hovering over a sinkhole in my backyard, illuminated by the glow of my garage on fire or something. Instead, I present to you this:

Several days ago Deanna and I are going to my friends’ house in Riverside, and we decide we should the proper thing and pick up a bottle of booze on the way. I pick up Deanna in Oak Park, and we’re driving down Harlem looking for a liquor store, and have just crossed over into the Badlands when we see a seedy-looking but busy liquor store on the corner, so we decide to stop. There’s a miniscule parking lot behind it, and to get there we have to turn right into a very narrow alley, then turn right into the lot. Later, after getting the alcohol, to get out of the lot I can only back up very very slowly and carefully, back the way I came in, as there’s no other way to go and no way to turn around. It’s worse than parking at Alpine Valley with a bunch of stoned Jack Johnson fans swarming around you. So I do all this and am facing the right way in the alley – another tough chore since there are 2 cars of people smoking crack that are blocking the alley going the other way – when suddenly some asshat turns off of Harlem into the alley. Now, proper alley etiquette dictates that since I’m driving down the ally and he’s just turned in, he should do a quick backup to let me out. Especially since it’s a one-car-width alley.

But noooo, Asshat refuses to do that, and starts yelling at me to do....something. Not sure where he thinks I can go, but that’s what I’m apparently supposed to do. And suddenly Deanna and I are facing down two thug gangbangers who don’t have the common sense god gave a green bean.

To back up a bit, I started out the evening in a rather dark mood, which Deanna knows so she knows I’m just Not In The Mood for this kind of bullshit. I had explained to her the reason for my bad mood – the compendium of constant bad luck, the fact of cancer in young women which they don’t know jack shit about and which is, because it grew to the point of being detected at a young age, BY DEFINITION fast-growing and thus has a poor prognosis - and to her exalted credit, she doesn’t try to say the stupid shit about how “oh, I’m sure it’ll be fine” and “oh, piffle, you don’t know that and we could all be hit by a bus tomorrow” and so on. Someday I’d like to meet this rogue killer bus that apparently barrels around the city mowing down people with callous indifference.

Anyway, there we are, and I refuse to move and so start yelling at the thugs – “Move your fucking car, you need to back up so that we can get out, you idiots!” And they’re yelling, and then their thug gangbanger pals on Harlem start yelling because they too want to get into the parking lot, and god forbid a MAN should deign to put his car into reverse, as that would obviously be a reflection on his manlyhood. In between the yelling, we just sit in our respective cars, because, as I tell Deanna, we’re in no hurry and we can wait there as long as it takes. Deanna remains silent, though I can see the little thought cloud clearly over her head: “Oh god, she’s going to get us shot, woe, and I have a long run in the morning and I haven’t yet run my first 50-miler, my life has so much unfinished business like that, oh god.” Then Thug Gangbanger rolls down his window (it’s cold, so there’s been a lot of yelling with windows closed) and yells to us in clear, dulcet tones: “You two bitches better move that car right now or I’ll come over there and slit your throats!”

So undoubtedly now you’re thinking, “Okay, Miss Tasha, where does the luck part come in? Because from where I’m sitting, you’re in a car with no escape route, facing down two gangbanging thugs who’re pissed off because you’re yelling at them using what you like to refer to as “salty” language. Not exactly a win-win.”

But you see there’s one little point I haven’t yet mentioned: the fact that literally across the street from our little parking lot/alley scenario are about 10 police cars and the accompanying swarm of officers, who were there when we pulled into Tyrone’s Liquor Store lot and are still there surrounding a car – probably your garden-variety traffic stop – when we leave. Yes, 10. In fact, when we were deciding if we should stop at Tyrone’s, Deanna looked at the police cars and commented on the Oak Park/River Forest “overkill” when it comes to stuff like this – and as she was saying this, we had to laugh because two more unmarked cars with sirens flashing pulled up.

So as Mr. Thugly rather loudly makes his earnest proclamation, the sea of cops takes notice that there’s a potential “situation” nearby, and then send one of their brethren over to investigate. Now, I fully expect that he’ll yell at all of us, because that’s what cops have to do when they don’t have all the facts. And in fact, Mr. Officer goes to Mr. Thugly’s car and yells “What the HELL are you doing, SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU before I haul you guys in!”

Then he walks up to our car, and I brace myself for the onslaught.

Mr. Officer: “Okay girls, sorry you have to deal with this, just sit tight and we’ll get this mess straightened out, hopefully before I Tazer that guy.”

Then he goes to the yahoos in the cars that are behind us blocking the alley: “What the HELL do you think you’re doing, blocking the alley? MOVE THESE CARS or I’ll arrest you now and HAUL YOU ALL IN!”

Back to me: “Okay miss, this should be clearing up soon, and then we can get you folks out of here, as soon as all of these idiots move their cars.” Then he adds "and be careful here in the alley, there's a post here and you don't want to scrape your car."

And lo and behold, everything moved around like clockwork, and in a final bit of graciousness, Mr. Oak Park Officer stopped traffic on Harlem Road so that we could pull out from the alley without a problem. We waved cheerily, and drove off – and then I start giggling, probably somewhat hysterically, but laughter nonetheless.

Me: “Oh my god, I can’t believe that – thank god all those cops were right there across the street! I have to say, that was pretty damn lucky.”
Deanna: “Glkjsdfljsp.” (I think she was choking on her tongue as she tried valiantly to stop herself from reaching over and strangling me.)

Of course, days later Deanna is still telling people about how I almost “got her killed.” To which I say, hey, what is life if not a fine and grand adventure?


tribabe said...

AWESOME! Although, I really wanted you to jump out of your car and go yell at those M-Fers to move before you bitch slapped them. Glad your safe now.

Deanna said...

This is the first post that includes me that is 100% true with no embellishments.

Motria said...

Tasha, I've located another appropriate target for your wrath:

On my way to work, I sometimes see this guy with a button on his bag that reads "It sucks to be me". He wears this, while 1) walking to his job (nice to have a job), 2)together with his wife (nice to have a partner), 3) while carrying his infant son to daycare (uh-huh), 4) with apparent use of his limbs (yep), and 5) presumably having just spent the night in a bed in his house (nice to not be homeless). I am tempted to ask him why exactly he thinks he is so unfortunate, when all signs point to a happy productive life.

Does he deserve an ass-kicking or what? I'll leave it to you.

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

Tribabe - trust me, I was tempted. That probably would have been my next - and final? - move, if the cops hadn't been there.

Deanna - I'm glad you finally recognize what I've been telling you all along, that I am merely a scribe, recording events as they actually occur.

Mot'ya - An ass-kicking is too kind. I say, go right to sniper fire. Boy, I so need me a gun....

Anonymous said...

"The Secret" can be life changing; it just has to be applied correctly:

...John :)

Secret said...

clickable link

jen said...

you know, the best part of the story as deanna tells it is that the cop muttered something about the fact that it was New Years Eve and given that these clowns had lost all sense of judgement at 8pm, there was a good chance they were gonna get arrested before the night was through....