happened upon this scene
while out on a walk today
i’m not sure what happened
but it couldn’t have been good.
“every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.”
my boyfriend was an irish canadian, true and true, funny, and smart, and creative, and happy – a footloose and friendly graduate student and just what i needed at the time. i’d just been divorced, and we’d met in the states, he was my roommate’s cousin, here for a family visit. we’d planned to all go to an american baseball game together, but it was rained out, so he and i sat up all night, watching old movies, talking and laughing. he was kind of a cross between david letterman and tom hanks, with a bad boy streak, and i fell in love with him immediately. the first time i went to visit him in his hometown of ottawa, i was both a bit nervous and excited to see him. on our first day there, he took me to the beautiful town of hull, in quebec.
we rented a car and drove to a little neighborhood bar in the middle of town. once there, we were celebrating my visit with a few adult beverages and having a great time, and i began to spread my cheer around a bit and chat up the locals. having taken french in school for a number of years, it somehow all came back quickly, and i became amazingly more ‘fluent’ in direct correlation to the number of drinks i had. (l’alcohol math de francais theory)
i talked to everyone around me and soon was engaged in deep conversation with a local motorcycle rider.
we were having a ball, people were very friendly, and i was sure they could understand my french clearly. at some point, i even felt comfortable enough to take the motorcycle guy’s sunglasses off of his head and wear them myself, after asking him in french if it was okay. he responded to me in french with words that i had not heard in all my classes, and after my boyfriend spoke a bit of french back to him, i gave him back his glasses. we all smiled and said our goodbyes, and we decided it was probably a good time to head home.
we got into our car and as soon as we had driven 100 feet, we made a quick stop.
we were suddenly surrounded by a huge pack of police.
we were told to get out of the car with our hands up, and i wondered just what he was into that i hadn’t known about. i began to imagine all sorts of scenarios, he was really an international drug dealer, a gun runner, a smuggler, a spy?, and i told them i didn’t understand, as i did not speak a word of french.
once out of the car, they told me to put my shoes back on, as i was now barefoot for some reason, and ordered us to open the trunk and step back. i imagined there would be some contraband, a body – god knows what. i looked at him and wondered just who i had really become involved with. after a thorough search, and a questioning of each of us, they determined that we were not criminals after all, and explained that they’d had been staking us out for the last 2 hours while we were at the bar celebrating and speaking french, and that we had rented the exact make and model and color of a car that had been recently involved in a local armed robbery. they apologized profusely for the inconvenience and advised us to drive carefully.
i said goodbye to the police and we got back in our car to head out and talk about what an eventful day it had been. i took my shoes off once again and then we laughed until we cried all of the way back to his house. in english, i told him that i had believed he was a clever felon for just a bit, and in french, we told each other that we loved one another. as long as we dated, it never failed to be an adventure. right up until the day we said goodbye. and we remain friends.
I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. Oscar Wilde
image credits: rcmp, tumblr.com, wikipedia, moviesmakeover.com
just as they had many times before, p and her husband s, hit the road and made the journey from detroit to chicago to visit their grown children. they decided to take their time and spend the night along the way, as they were taking their older beloved dog with them, and wanted to make it an easy trip for him.
it was the long easter weekend, and they booked the only ‘dog-friendly lodging’ available, a chain motel, at their target stopping point – michigan city, indiana. this town, once known as ‘the coho capital of the world,‘ is now best known for its outlet malls, casino, and state prison. nyc it is not, but it happened to be located in just the right spot, the halfway point of the trip. they were fine with all this as it was just for a night, and in the morning they’d be off and on the road once again, headed for the windy city.
upon arriving at the motel, they checked in at the little front office, and made their way around the back to find their room and settle for the night. once in back, the first thing they noticed was the location of their room, and the second thing they noticed were the police officers, guns drawn, in defensive stance, aiming their weapons towards the room right next to theirs, involved in a standoff with the current resident. as p’s blood pressure quickly began to rise, s calmly put down his window to ask one of the officers if there was a problem, and if could they come through to get into their room. the dog now had his head out the window too, checking out the action and trying to figure out what was going on. while the officer was dumbfounded, by this request, p’s reaction was swift and strong -‘are you &^%$#@ kidding me?!?! put those windows up and let’s get the %$*& out of here and back to that office!’
s and the dog knew better than to mess with p when she started using symbols in her sentences, and they quickly backed out and returned to the office. when they asked the desk clerk what was going on, he looked at them calmly, saying,’i can’t tell you that.’ knowing there was nothing else available, they had no choice but to take a room, ‘as far away from the guns as possible.’ they didn’t sleep real well that night, but they never heard shots, and there is always something to be said for that. the next morning, they awoke early and headed out towards chicago, happy to be away from whatever had been going on.
chicago was great, the family visit was a good one, and all worries were behind them, as they headed for home. it was late afternoon when a light on their dash suddenly lit up, signaling a problem with the tire pressure. they pulled into the closest gas station and as they checked the tire that looked a bit low, it quickly went completely flat. a guy at the station replaced it with the donut tire and advised them not to drive more than 20 miles on it. it was easter sunday and nothing was open, so once again they ended up at their favorite motel, and requested their ‘usual room’ from the other night. the clerk seemed as surprised to see them as they were to see him.
they got the key and drove to their room, happy no standoffs were in play, and no swat vehicles were parked in the lot next to them. once inside, p went to take a shower, and noticed the shower curtain was missing. now, they’d been in this same room just 2 nights before, and the curtain had been in its place on the rod, so they wondered what possibly could have happened to it, as it was not the usual thing that someone would steal from a hotel room to take home with them.
s and the dog returned to the office, explained the situation to the clerk, who responded in his usual stoic manner, ‘hmm, i can’t say where it might be, but just take the one from the room next to you, the door’s unlocked.’ he truly is a corporate policy man and problem solver who can think on his toes. they trudged back to the room next to theirs, took down the curtain and installed it in their room’s shower. p was at her limit at this point, took her shower and they didn’t discuss it after that. later that night, when all were about to drift off into another restless sleep, they had to wonder if the missing shower curtain was somehow connected to the standoff, and perhaps even wondered what could have been wrapped in it? as for me, i wonder if they’ll return for their anniversary each year, though i think not.
This is an elegant hotel! Room service has an unlisted number.