The Latest Adventure


Remember the car I had to put twelve hundred into for inspection?  Yeah, the big grey one.  Well, the radiator went.  Crap.  Really big crap.

So, we haul it over to A-Team so they can fix it.  Yay.  Meantime, back at the ranch, Stace’s stomach is rebelling against her as though she swallowed books by Marx (Groucho, of course) and it wants to start it’s own country/body in another zip code.  Thursday afternoon, they call and say the car’s ready.  I go to work, and sometime in the midst of all my encoding and monitoring, I come up with the idea that it’d be great if I could get the car without Stace having to haul herself all over the countryside.  Also, this way we’re not using the gas in two cars or driving one that’s out of inspection.  I decide right then to walk it.  Now, from our front door to Langhorne where the car was, according to Yahoo!, is just under 15 miles.  Now, that’s DRIVING.  I’d be going in a straight(ish) line, so that HAS to be less. 

Six AM comes, I leave work, drive home in her car, take Brian to school.  His teacher and one of the other’d kids mother ask how the car is, I tell them my plan.  They look at me like I’ve suddenly grown extra limbs out of every orifice while singing Material Girl in a kilt.  Brian’s teacher tells me that I’m crazy and she’ll drive me at lunch, the mother tells me she’d drive me if she didn’t have so many meetings.  So, I go out to the car, pretend I talk to Stace and she has stuff for me to do with her car during the day, so none of the plans will work.  I tell them I’m going to go home, sleep for a while, and then Stace and I will figure it out. 

Do I NEED to tell you that’s not what I did? 

I came home, ate an apple, changed into jeans and sneakers, and started walking.   Up County Line Road, behind the shopping center, past the pretzel place.  I get across Street Road by the police station while several phone company workers look at me as though to say, “Where is this tall pale hunk of a man walking?”   Right next to the police station, I see a sign, “Bridge Out Ahead.”  No problem, I’ll just go across the stream on the rocks or walk along the side of the bridge.  I walk, looking at the houses, wishing I had the money to get us one. 

There’s a problem with my stream idea.  The stream is actually fairly deep, and there’s Bob the Builder and his crew working on the bridge with it all blocked off.  Undaunted, I turn on the residential block next to the bridge.  Someone was getting carpet delivered.  This street also has a sign, “NO OUTLET.”  Must be hard to plug things in, I think.  At then end is a small bridge to get across the stream, which turned out to be part of someone’s driveway.  I cross their lawn, and through another house’s backyard onto yet ANOTHER street that has a bunch of houses I’d love to live in.  It was getting fairly warm, so I took my leather jacket off.    Don’t really know how to get out of this neighborhood, so I just follow the sidewalk.  About ten minutes later, I’m out back on one of the main roads.  Unfortunately, this one has no sidewalks and a lot of mud on the side.  Well, nuts.  Not every journey is comfortable, I guess.

I keep walking, up the hill.  Wish I had some music at this point.  There’s a pretty large lake that the road goes across.  Signs all over saying it’s a private lake no fishing swimming bathing cooking skating washing your hair.  I asked for music, so now the Signs song is going through my head.  (Incidentally, it hasn’t STOPPED–but I digress.)  Then I see more signs that it’s private property, it belongs to the water company, no trespassing, well, whatever.  Right next to it is a park that I think I’ll have to bring the kid back to.

About now, an hour into the walk, I realize that I should’ve maybe eaten something more than an apple.  Still, I press on like a Lee nail.  I come to a crossroad, go right and just keep going.  Eventually, I reach Buck Road–and more importantly, a Wawa.  I go in, buy a 1.5 liter bottle of water and yet another apple.  Now, right at this point, I had several paths I could’ve taken.  The flatter road was, well, flatter but kinda out of the way of where I wanted to go.  The most direct had several miles of hill to go up, no sidewalk, didn’t think I wanted to do that.  There was a third path, kinda combining both of the first two.  That’s the way I chose.  I climbed the rather steep hill next to the Wawa, ready to stick to the road.  That’s when I saw it–the railroad tracks.  The railroad tracks that ran right by the mall where I was heading. 

Unfortunately, to get down there meant I’d have to go down a rather steep hill.  I’d shortsightedly not brought my black mask nor did I have Stace in a long red dress with Humperdinck following on horseback.  Still, though, this way no one would see if I fell on my butt during my descent.  I didn’t, and I started walking along the railroad tracks.  Thought about when Dad brought me home a railroad spike from work when I was in first grade.  The fresh air was glorious.  I kept trudging along, and it was about now that I started thinking about Benu and the Hulk. 

See, on the Hulk and Phoenix, Our Heroes wander around on foot.  They never really showed much of the actual, you know, wandering, because it’s not terribly evenful.  Also, at this point, I realize that I’ve walked on 1)sidewalk, 2)blacktop, 3)mud, 4)snow, 5)ice, 6)stone, 7)dirt, 8)wood, and 9)metal since this epic began.  I saw some boulders with ice frozen flowing down that looked REALLY cool, wish I’d had my camera for that.

After about an hour, the service road next to the track splits off away from the track, so, never one desirous of being hit by the train that Momma’s about to be thrown from, I stick to the road.  Saw a fox.  (No, you sick perverts, not a blonde sunbathing, a REAL fox.)  Stepped in a mud puddle.  Well, crap.  Keep walking, not REALLY sure where I am.  Still, every road leads somewhere, and I amuse myself by thinking of Stace coming out of her office and seeing me there with the car.  Also think about the movies I’m writing, wishing I had paper or a working laptop to write down some of the ideas I’m getting.  That’s when I start to see the houses down the hill with no curtains facing the service road.  Mom would’ve been driven nuts by that.  

At this point in my journey of many steps, I came across something truly bizarre-a disassembled Mazda minus the engine.  At first, I’d thought it a Toyota, and I was hopeful since Stace’s Toyota is in need of a new door handle.  Also, a gold sneaker was on a stick coming out of the ground as though it were hung there to dry.  Alas, it was a green Mazda left there to, well, surprise schmucks that are walking to get their own cars.

All this time, even though I knew I was heading in the right direction, sort of, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was.  Still, I figured I had to be getting close, I’d been at this for three hours now without a stop.  Then I saw the park, and realized that I really wasn’t all that close.  Poopy.  Still, I was comitted by this point (or NEEDED to be) so I kept on, occasionally hearing the power lines over my head buzzing and seeing tracks from ATV’s in the mud.  Saw another abandoned car, this one way older and in one piece, rusting away.  I heard a lot of traffic coming up.  Eventually, I saw that I was going over 413, at the exact spot where Stace got hit but got blamed for it, thus leading to our living in Huntingdon Valley.  An ambulance went underneath me, irony of ironies.

I kept going.  The train tracks rejoined me.  Walked over another overpass, and realized that I could take a bit of a shortcut if I got down from there.  The other side of the tracks was pretty overgrown, and I wasn’t sure how to get down.  I found a way, but stepped in another puddle.  There were a collection of tires there, some with the wheels in them, and many empty beer cases.  It was like old racers went there to mourn blown tires.

The phone rang.  It was Stace, wondering if I’d gotten any sleep.  I told her, of course, no.  When she asked why, I told her because I was three quarters of the way to the car, and that I was going to take the money out of the bank to pay for it.  She’d had the same idea, but instead of the hundred fifty, she’d accidentally taken out FOUR hundred fifty.  She also couldn’t believe I was walking.  Thought about making a crack about strolling and dancing, but she was at work so she had to get off the phone.

I got down the hill, and realized that I was actually much closer than I’d thought.  Perspective from a railroad service road looking down is a bit odd, so I didn’t realize where I was.  Being so close, I decided to sit on the grass and take a break.  This was a mistake, because it was really hard to get up.  My feet conspired with my legs to remind me I hadn’t been to sleep since 10:30 the previous morning. 

“Come on, guys, we’re close!” I said to my feet.

“Nuh uh,” my feet replied. 

“But if we go NOW, we can get to the car and SIT, and you won’t have to walk anymore!”  I realized that my negotiating was pretty lame, especially since I was trying to make a deal with parts of my own body.  I started moving again, but I’d swear my feet were mumbling about how I never take them dancing anymore.  I tell them to be quiet, and keep going.  Cross over two more sets of railroad tracks.  After the second, some brain donor in a blue SUV buzzes me, honking his horn and yelling.  I wish him nothing but angels, peace, and explosive diarrhea.

Finally, I see the mall, and the corner that I have to go around to get to the car.  There’s a body shop for one of the dealerships right next to where I’m going.  I hope that I can cut through the parking lot, but the big chainlink fence that I’m in no mood to climb is in my way.  I walk on, feeling like my feet are magnetized to the ground.  I round the corner and see it–there it is–MY GOD THAT IS A PIECE OF BEAUTY CARVED BY GOD AND THE CHRYSLER ENGINEERS!!!!!! 

I go inside, my friend Al’s not there, so I talk to Mark, the new mechanic they got, tell him we’ll bring the money back.  Well, at least Stace won’t have to drive back.  I get in the car, call Stace, and head to get Brian.  After a while, I get to school.  They’re all running around on the playground while my legs feel about the consistency of cold spaghetti that’s been left in the sun.  Brian wants me to pick him up, run around with him, do all my normal things. 

Ain’t happening, kid. 

We get Stace, go pay for the car, (so much for not using the gas)  and then go to Friendly’s.  I’m famished, and I realize that a banana split will give me the potassium I need to keep from cramping up later.  We get home, Stace puts me in Brian’s room, and that’s all I remembered until morning.

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~ by Sean on March 16, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Latest Adventure”

  1. […] from the Super Market a car ran a red light and hit Liz while she was walking The Latest Adventure – undergroundspacestation.wordpress.com 03/16/2009 Remember the car I had to put twelve hundred […]

  2. You fool!!! You dementedly crazy fool!!! Have years of bad horror films taught you nothing???

    You go wandering around in practically abandoned areas, you get detoured by a bridge that’s out of service and you find yourself walking along train tracks where a long deserted car sits next to the (likely) grave marker of its former owner? Don’t you realize how close you were to running into a masked maniac armed with an ax, a chainsaw and a machete?

    Haven’t we all learned by now that long woods in country areas like that just end with meeting little zombie ghost children armed with deadly mining tools and a taste for human flesh?

    Hasn’t years of late night creature features taught you that treks such as these almost always guarantee that you’ll be the first victim of the big shaggy looking thing that shambles out of the woods after awakening from its million year slumber or after having its underground world uncovered by those two idiots from the city poking around for faults near the train track?

    Have you learned nothing at all?!?!?

    And what about your friends and family? Are they even sure you’re still you? You could have concocted this clever story to explain why poor Sean was really gone that long. We all know that those small, out of the way wooded areas are where the UFOs hide and grab unsuspecting humans who wander around areas like that so that they can be replaced with synthetic clones acting as vessels for the aliens’ have mind. I feel so sorry for your poor wife. Once she was happy and secure in her marriage to a pretty decent fellow. Now? She could be married to a monster from outer space for all she knows.

    You fo0lish, foolish man.

  3. And now at last we can unite and rid the world of Chandler and take him over for HE JUST KNOWS TOO MUCH!!!!

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