paying it forward: thank god for ohio.

Chickens, let me tell you a story about what happened last night.

Actually, let’s back it up.

My hot water is working.

My meeting was a success.

Hallelujah. 

Now, onto the good stuff.

ACT I: The Warehouse

My friend CJ and I are throwing a going away party for JK and her husband, since she’s decided to abandon us for Seattle (I mean, that’s not really how it’s going down but in my head it is), and after work we ventured over to Costco to pick up some supplies.

“I can’t wait to see you drive,” CJ said.

If we’d only known.

We got to Costco in one piece, since navigating Damen Avenue is something that even I can handle, and proceeded to fuel ourselves with Scrubway sandwiches before stepping foot into the warehouse.

Then things got a little hazy.

One giant, too.heavy.to.push.effectively cart later, we headed for the checkout lane.

CJ asked what she should do with the cart.

I smugly pointed to the side of the aisle labeled “cart.”

We assessed the damage and tried to decide if we had everything we needed.

Then I heard the cashier calling to us “Is your cart pre-rung up?”

I looked at CJ. “Answer him- No!” I demanded.

She told him it wasn’t pre-rung up.

He looked at us if we were crazy.

“Then you have to take everything out of the cart and put it on the belt,” he said.

CJ glared in my direction.

I handed him my Costco card.

He checked it twice for authenticity.

CJ didn’t stop glaring at me until we hit the parking lot.
ACT II: The Parking Lot

We struggled to wheel our gigantic, alcohol and snack-filled cart to the Matrix.

I pushed the automatic car door lock.

Nothing happened.

“It must be broken,” I mumbled to myself.

“Try the key,” CJ suggested from behind the giant cart.

I put the key in the lock, opened the door, and then proceeded to turn the car on.

Except that it wouldn’t.

I stared at CJ, dumbstruck.

For about 30 seconds.

“Did you leave your lights on?” she asked.

I shrugged.

“Your lights were on!” a guy shouted at me from behind his perfectly operating vehicle, and then drove off.

I continued to stare at CJ.

“Your battery’s dead,” she said.

The glare was back.

*****

Since I am obviously helpless in any situation which involves a car (or really asking for assistance in general), CJ gave me one more hard look and then walked off in search of assistance.

I loaded the groceries into the back seat.

Then I noticed some jumper cables in the back.

I climbed into the way back of the car, falling over the seat on my way.

I caught one woman laughing in my face.

I didn’t even care.

*****

CJ came back from her jaunt only to inform me that she hadn’t been able to find assistance. I had called my pal JD for help, but alas, she was 20 minutes away.

We noticed a man wearing an OU shirt (CJ’s alma mater), and I suggested (because of the aforementioned helplessness) that she go ask him if he could give us a jump.

She got him to agree with her Midwestern charm, and the next thing I knew, our cars were nose to nose.

This is not the time to be taking pictures, she hissed at me.

So I took another.

She’s obviously not amused.

A few minutes later, the guy’s girlfriend came out of the Costco toting a big screen television and wearing a puzzled expression. We explained our predicament and she said she was happy to help out an OU alum.

I have a newfound respect for the good people of Ohio.

After our car was up and running, we noticed the couple struggling to get their television into the back of their car.

“We should offer to take it in our car,” CJ said.

I hesitated.

I’m not the good people of Ohio.

She was right though, and so we offered to stow their television in the car and drive it to Logan Square.

Which I did, nearly killing us in the process, due to my lack of rear view mirror perspective.

“Don’t look back- just look ahead!” CJ said.

“I can’t believe they’re just letting us drive around their brand new TV!” I protested.

“They’re from Ohio- they’re a trusting people,” I was told by my Midwestern friend.

Lots of lessons learned tonight, chickens.

In the end though, we made it home, in one piece, with a car that worked and a sense of paying it forward.

I’m hoping this evening’s a little quieter though, my friends.

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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times, Near Disaster

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