Friday, April 07, 2006

Gaylords to the Rescue

When one is in Denver, one is not in the mountains. Should one want to go to the mountains, you must get in your car and drive to them. So that is what we decided to do on Saturday afternoon. Drew was already disappointed that it was too early in the season for us to ride horses, an activity he was looking forward to for the sheer hilarity of any resulting photos. I went to sleep in the car, dozing because I was tired and trying not to puke. I woke up once when Drew hit me in the leg and yelled "Bufffalo!". I looked but it was too late; I didn't see them. To this day, I'm not sure if he made up the buffalo as an excuse to punch me in the leg. Do wild buffalo roam on the sides of the highway?

The next time I woke up, Belstock was easing the car onto the shoulder of the highway. "Are we stopping?" I asked, looking around for buffalo.

"I think something is wrong with my car."

"Oh, okay," I said. Then he did stuff with the engine and the gear shift and stuff. You know, car stuff. We sat in the car with the Hazard lights on, as 16-wheel tractor trailers whizzed by, causing the little Acura to shake. Drew fished around for his wallet and looked through his cards. "Are you going to call Tripple A?"

"Yeah, there's something wrong with my car. It won't move. We're going to need a tow back to the city."

"Oh, okay," I said. We were high enough in the mountains that it had begun to snow. It was cold when I opened the car door.

Drew called AAA then paced around trying to find an open garage that would work on his car and figure out what we were going to do now that we were minus one automobile. I very helpfully sat in the car and read New York Magazine. Oh, those Grups! We are about 50 miles outsie of Denver and I felt badly because I knew the tow would be expensive.

We waited for the tow truck. "So," said Belstock. "These are the mountains."

"It's nice," I said. "Did we really pass buffalo back there?"

"Why don't you go climb up on that hill and I'll take a photo of you?" The snow had stopped.

"No thanks."

"You don't want to climb up on the hill?"

"Not right now."

The tow truck arrived and loaded the sweet little silver car onto the bed. We climbed into the cab for the ride back to the city. "Sorry about this, " Drew said to the driver. It turns out, the driver was a little miffed because there had been a big seven car accident right outside of where we were, but instead of cashing in on this potentially lucrative action, he had to haul us dopes back to the Big City. At least, I think that's what he was saying. Then he told us that because of the accident, there was heavy traffic on the eastbound direction of the highway and he didn't know how long we were going to have to sit in traffic. I started laughing, I couldn't help myself. Things were getting totally ridiculous.

Things took a great turn for me when I heard we were being towed to a garage called "Gaylord's". I was practically salivating over the potential blog headlines. The traffic wasn't too bad and the tow truck driver was neither smelly nor creepy. The garage we went to was in a rather undesiarable suburb of Denver and the place was closed on the weekend. After Drew paid for the tow (AAA covered the first 7 miles, the rest was on him), the truck drove away and left us in the parking lot. Belstock gathered up his things from his little car, already dreaming about buying a new Honda Element. The engine wasn't even cold yet. Then, he started walking.

"Where are we going?" I asked, following him.

"Someplace where I can pee. And were we can wait for a cab." As I said, it wasn't the best neighborhood, we passed a lot of body shops, motels and check-cashing places. We got to a convienence store tacked onto a gas station.

"No public restrooms," I pointed out the sign. Belstock asked the guy behind the counter if he could use the john.

"No, sorry. No public restrooms. Is crack!" I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. "Around here is motels, is drugs. That is why everybody is locking the bathrooms. Not you, not you. I'm not saying you are going to do drugs..."

"No, I understand, it's okay," said Belstock. As soon as we opened the door, I was dying laughing. "Are you scared?" said Drew. "Don't be scared. I'm sure you have crackheads in Brooklyn. "

"Tons," I said, wiping a tear from my eye. "But oh God, that was funny." We walked down a muddy road to a McDonald's where I used the facilities, firm in the belief that free public toilets across the globe are the greatest gift the McDonald Corporation has given the world. Drew called a taxi and when the Kenny Rodgers lookalike burn-out cabbie picked us up he asked, "So, what are you guys doing out here?"

"Long story," we said.

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