M. Giant's
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Tuesday, July 05, 2011  

Best and Brightest

There wasn't anything going on at the conference Saturday afternoon, so Trash and M. Edium and I got in the pickup we'd borrowed from my dad for this trip and drove down into the quaint, wooden-sidewalked, tourist-trap town of Jackson for dinner. Before heading back, we thought it wise to fill up the gas tank, since we're staying in a national park a half hour from the nearest commercial gas station. I had had a beer with dinner, so I went to jettison it while the tank was filling. Too bad the truck doesn't run on the kind of fuel that might have allowed me to conduct both tasks in the same place.

So I came back out and pulled the nozzle out of the tank. I had presumed that it had gotten full during my time in the bathroom, but I'm still not used to the gargantuan tank on this thing, which meant it was still filling. So of course gas spewed everywhere, including my clothes and shoes, before I figured out how to turn it off. Then I topped off the tank, which took three more seconds. If only I'd been a little slower.

Anyway, I wasn't about to get in my dad's truck with clothes reeking of gas, especially given how he's spending our time away replacing my car's back seat to get rid of the gas smell. Seemed like bad karma to give him the same problem that he was fixing for me. So we ended up driving back to the cabin with me wearing a hoodie I had in the back seat, and my underwear.

One feels a little awkward driving in one's underwear, even out here in this remote paradise. Because there was the traffic backup where the herd of bison was crossing the road and Trash nearly got into a fight with someone who persisted in blocking the road even when it was clear, and then there was the park ranger at the entry booth I had to talk to, and then Trash said that after we got back to the cottage and I had new pants, I needed to get the truck's windshield washed, since I didn't squeegee it in my underwear at the gas station where I'd taken the first steps toward immolating myself.

So then we get to the cottage and I'm like, "So you'll bring some pants out for me?" and Trash was like, "No." "Seriously," I said. "Seriously, no," she said. I tried to get M. Edium on my side, but he just laughed at me. Then they both got out of the truck and left me sitting there in my hoodie and underwear. "Any pants at all!" I hollered after them out the truck window.

After a minute or so, Trash thought it was hilarious to send M. Edium out with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. His, of course. "You'll stop laughing when I put these on and bust them out," I warned.

Shortly thereafter ,Trash sent him back with the worst pair of shorts I'd packed, a red rayon number with "Bacardi" on one leg for some reason. So at least I was able to get out of the truck again.

I still had work to do. I showered before I caught fire from a stray spark. I got my highly flammable clothes out of the cargo bed where Trash had tossed them, then washed them in the sink as best I could using hand soap and a drain plug that wouldn't stay closed. I left my tennis shoes out on the patio to let the fumes disperse. I drove to the park's closed service station and cleaned the windshield. Time passed.

A while later, Trash pulled up my Gmail on her new Kindle and handed it to me. I don't touch the thing if I can help it, because I don't want to get blamed when it breaks (a strategy that already succeeded, when her "old" Kindle crashed in South Dakota). I couldn't make any actual e-mails open, so Trash convinced me to walk up to the lodge with my laptop and use the Wi-Fi there to read the emails that were showing as new.

I didn't bother changing clothes, because by now it was almost eleven PM and there hadn't been any conference stuff going on for many hours, so I figured the lobby would be abandoned. I was wrong. So here I was among some of the most eminent and fascinating people of our time, wearing Bacardi shorts and a t-shirt that said "It's Just Safer To Assume I Know Karate."

And this was at a time and place for which I had very recently spent hundreds of dollars on clothes so that I wouldn't look like an idiot.

As an added bonus, the timing corresponded to one of Gmail's outages, so instead of being able to get in and out of there quickly like I'd hoped, I sat there for ten minutes staring at "Loading..." and other error messages to avoid eye contact with any of the astronauts or university professors I'd met earlier in the day.

Finally I slunk back to our room. A few minutes later, Trash tried to pull up Gmail on her phone. This time it worked. We read the unread message.

It was a message we had already opened and read that morning, and apparently marked as unread. So I had just presented myself to my fellow attendees dressed as a gym hobo for nothing, on several levels.

This really has been a unique and remarkable experience.

posted by M. Giant 4:25 PM 1 comments


This is hilarious.

By Anonymous Sara, at July 6, 2011 at 4:37 AM  

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