Tuesday, September 28, 2010

cutting through the clutter

One day I asked my mom to drop me off at a highway rest stop, and then a Peter Pan bus filled with people who were drinking and gambling picked me up and whisked me toward New York City.

But that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about what happened when I tried to cut through the clutter.

You see, the only problem with cracking your first of many beers on a bus to New York well before noon on a Sunday is that by the time the afternoon rolls around, you’re pretty much beered out.

This was the predicament I found myself in on the fateful day when I joined the Dutch Tavern’s sojourn to Citi Field in August. After enjoying a couple of cold ones on the bus and a couple more in the parking lot, the thought of another ballpark brew was immensely unappealing.

We had just done an investigatory exploration of the park, and I distinctly remembered seeing a vendor selling Mike’s hard lemonade…. somewhere. I assured Ellie and bill that I’d berightback, and I set off to find that vendor.

It was nowhere. Nowhere! I wandered about in a hops fueled fugue state, quietly pleading with the saints to direct me toward the sweet nirvana of spiked lemonade. After a few laps, I was beginning to imagine that this quest was futile. I dejectedly slowed my manic pace and tried to bravely lift my sad sack of self from the doldrums and head back to my peeps.

As I soldiered up from the depths of despair and set my sights on finding the way back, something caught my eye. Something slushy. Something slushy with a pineapple in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it. Something slushy with a pineapple and a red cherry pierced through with an umbrella in it that said Bacardi on the side. <Cue angel choir>

I tackled politely approached the holder of this bounty and bowed before her with trembling acquiescence. “Please, ma’am” I stammered, “pray tell… is that a…a….” I could scarcely utter the words….”a PINA COLADA?!” She considered me, saw my plight, and had mercy. She offered the words of sage wisdom that would free me of my peril: “Yeah, there’s a rum stand over there.”

Oh, rapture! Joy! A rum stand!

Within moments I was the proud owner of my very own pina colada, icy and righteous and worth all twelve of my hard earned dollars. I clutched my prize lovingly and made my way back to our seats, stopping just briefly to use the ladies’ room on the way.

In the bathroom, I gingerly placed my sweet nectar of the gods atop the toilet paper roller while I undid my drawers. I gazed upon it as I did my bidniz, and then as I merrily stood to move on, I reached out to pick up my cup just as someone came into the stall next to mine and slammed her door shut.

What happened next is difficult to recall. In slow motion, my hand reached toward that condensating slippery vessel of love just as it began to teeter. An inhuman sound began to form in my lungs, forcing its way out into the heat of that day to become a primal command of “NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”


Oh, my beautiful baby. Reduced to a sticky puddle on the bathroom floor. I wept. Through my misery, I began to notice that the sounds I heard from those around me were not horrified admissions of guilt or pleas for forgiveness, they were angry voices. They were yelling! They were yelling at ME!

I stood there aghast, rum soaked and alone, trying to lick the few remaining drops of the drink from inside the cup while telling myself that it was okay, I probably didn’t need any more to drink anyway, and that one sip had been really refreshing.

The barbarians were upset that they’d been splashed by my $12 drink. I took as much time as I needed to construct a witty, wilting response that would allow them to see the error in their ways. It’s really too bad that by the time I was ready to come out, they were gone.

My cup was poised above the trash bin and I was ready to face the cold new world when I thought to pause. What would be the harm?

I shyly approached the Rum Cart guy like a Dickensonian orphan with my empty cup. "Please, sir...." I sheepishly implored: “Do you have any mercy for someone whose drink got knocked over in the bathroom by mean scary brutes?”

I believe his nametag read “Gabriel”, or it might have said Jesus. He grabbed my cup and said the most beautiful words ever spoken by a mere mortal……… “sure.”

And that is what this story is about.


Rain in PA said...

I just love happy endings!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, my beautiful baby.

That, Jacquie, is a righteous blog post.

I believe his nametag read “Gabriel”, or it might have said Jesus.


I was insanely jealous of your icy beverage. Until I got to the bus and cut through my own clutter with a no-longer-frozen margarita.

Cue angel choir


Mistah said...

This blog gave me a brain freeze. Love it!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Rum soaked and alone, oh poor baby. Thank goodness Gabriel took mercy on you, reinstilling your faith in the human race.

Because, really? Yelling after your devine drink was nothing but a gooey puddle? Shame on them.


Mom C said...

Pina Colada at a baseball game - aren't you supposed to be at a swim up pool in the Bahamas??? mom

julie said...

that is a beautiful story! it read like a fairy tale :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Reading it again a year later? Even better. Johnny Slips quotes this blogpost to this day, btw.