Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Adventures in Sucktown

A short story, by Allison

Allison and Wendy arrive at the airport in Baton Rouge after two relatively scary flights. Bumpy rides are normal to some people. But the landing part spooks Allison every time.
Taking the first step out of the airport, Allison immediately feels the humidity hit her skin and hair. The piece of paper she had crumpled up in her hand succumbs to the humidity and becomes more like a wetnap than standard notebook paper.
After getting a cabbies attention, she stood waiting for Wendy and could already tell her hair was at least 4 inches taller than it had been minutes earlier. A bug flies at her and almost knocks her over.

Carl the cabbie took Allison and Wendy to their hotel, which was relatively nice, compared to some other Days Inns they had stayed in. Once checking in and changing, they call Carl the cabbie back and get a ride to the Baton Rouge Mellow Mushroom (which is the greatest restaurant chain on Earth). It is, after all, Allison's goal to eat at all the Mellow Mushrooms in the country.
After two delicious beers, some tasty cheesebread, and a wicked good cheesesteak sub, Allison gives her seal of approval and puts it at number 2 on the list of best Mellow Mushrooms (Boone will always be the best).

Carl the cabbie once again picks up the girls, and they drop by a convenience store where they discover that Louisiana sells liquor everywhere. Sweet. Back at the hotel, they drink a couple of beers before hitting the sack at 11:30.

5:30 comes way to early on Saturdays, as the Appalachian tailgate has moved to 7:30 am, and the cab is going to be at their hotel at 6:15. Good thing Katie is there to wake them up.

Since the tailgate was changed to 2 hours long instead of 4 hours, and outside instead of in (Hurricane Gustav, you bastard), the tailgate officials decide it would be best to offer a free-for-all on beer and bloody marys. Very early drinking ensues.

After an awesome meal of jambalaya, boude and red beans and rice, Allison, Wendy, and the rest of their group sit around and enjoy a raunchily good Cajun band, which includes a woman playing the washboard.

Once 9:30 rolls around, everyone heads to the stadium.

The adrenaline is high. The people are nice. The seats are fairly good. Allison and Wendy are so excited they can't contain their enthusiasm.

Then the game starts. After five minutes, the mood changes slightly, to anxiousness. Louisiana State University's football team scores 14 minutes in the first quarter.

The mood changes to scared.

After the first half, it starts getting very hot, and very sticky. Allison and Wendy realize their team is not going to win this ball game.

Once the game is over, really over, the girls leave the stadium, frustrated and hot. Allison is confused and unhappy and tries to find the rest of the group. It turns out they can not immediately get taxied back to the hotel. After several different people give them confusing directions (including policemen) and walking across campus twice, they finally locate the rest of the group at a pizza place called Reginelli's.

The seven people at the table are tired, hot and dirty. They eat their mediocre meals and attempt to make positive conversation. After eating, another hour passes before they can finally get a taxi. Most taxi companies only allow a maximum of five passengers per taxi. Since their are seven passengers, the taxi situation is even more complicated.

After several phone calls and waiting around while being hassled by some creepy guy, the group loads up all in one old, big, blue taxi. Five people in the back, two passengers and a driver up front, they are squeezed and sweaty. Halfway through this death-defying taxi ride, the driver turns to Allison and she realizes he is missing his left eye, a few finger parts, and shoes, making the ride that much more uncomfortable.

A few minutes later, our group is finally back at the hotel. Allison jumps in the shower as everyone prepares to nap in the air conditioning. The shower is low flow (like that episode of Seinfeld) but enough to make her feel better.

Allison gets out of the shower and the bathroom light goes out. She flips the switch a few times, then hollers to her roommates that her light is out. That's when Katie breaks to her the bad news: The power has gone out.

The power is out. The air conditioning is off. The phones can't charge. There is no t.v. and no radio. It's still hotter outside than in, so the group resigns to taking hot naps and sitting in the dark.

After several hours of sitting around the hotel room doing nothing, most of the group walks to McDonald's for a lovely (*Sarcasm*) meal of McDonald's. Grumbling and hot, they walk around Walgreens and WalMart as well, until Katie (who has stayed at the hotel to rest) lets the group know that the power has come back on (after 5 hours). The air conditioning (GLORIOUS AIR CONDITIONING!) is running, and they will soon be cool once again.

5:00 AM the next morning, Allison and Wendy head back to Baton Rouge airport, and kiss this un-fun state goodbye. Goodbye to Gustav, and goodbye to 1000% humidity.

Sure, Allison might go back to this state someday. Maybe even visit New Orleans one day (where some others had a lot of fun), but this won't happen anytime soon.

Luckily there's next Saturday, when the Apps will play another game, and get started on a winning season.

For pics go here.


Joan said...

I wish you had a happier story to tell.

Carmen Eckard said...

All in third person. Awesome.

I had a better weekend than you for sure. I did a lot of relaxing and rewarding Jon for turning 35.

Katie Bonk said...

That cab ride home story will never get old.