so today . . . is halloween. and i have a horror story for you. but it is ok, because even while you are saying "eeeek!" you will also laugh. i think.
last sunday, rollie and i went to manhattan beach for pastor's retreat. this is a yearly event where the nazarene pastors in our area get together, ostensibly to rest and recharge. there is some resting that happens (usually after midnight,) and recharging (usually monday afternoon at lunch... and maybe at the movies,) but we also have times of worship and a special speaker.
rollie got a phone call on sunday from the pastor who was going to lead worship. he wasn't bringing a whole band--it was just going to be him and his guitar. but he thought it might be a good addition if rollie played his bass as well. rollie, who loves to play the bass, said sure!
that was mistake #1.
i had thought we might drive my car--my cute, little, fun, fast car--on this short break from reality. but when i learned that rollie's bass guitar, and more importantly, his giant amp were going along with us, i knew we would be driving the rodeo. which was actually fine with me--the weather was supposed to be a little bit cloudy and cool, and maybe rainy anyway.
we got to the hotel, checked in, and carried our bags to our room. rollie unpacked, because even though we were only going to be there for two nights, it's what he does. i, on the other hand, tend to start out with everything in my suitcase, but over the course of my stay i scatter things about. so by the time we leave my suitcase is empty, but there is no organization to how it gets that way...
when we were settled, rollie said he was going to go down and bring his guitar and amp in and get it set up to play. i kicked back on the couch (yes, we had a pretty nice room. not as large as some people--jim and dan--but it was still really nice,) and read a book.
several minutes later, and earlier than i had expected, rollie returned. "you are not going to believe this," he said.
what usually follows after someone says those words is rarely good. those words are hardly ever followed with "we won the lottery!" or "i just saw robert downey, jr!" or "the blazers won the championship!" (ok, we did hear those last words once, a long time ago...)
he continued. "i took the amp out of the rodeo, turned around to close the door (that was mistake #2,) and when i turned back, the amp was gone!"
what?!?! (this is what i was thinking) how could someone sneak up behind him and carry that thing away without him knowing it. it is huge! it must weigh over 100 pounds! and how will he be able to play without an amp! he needs that thing...
i looked at him quizzically. he continued. "i heard someone shouting, so i turned the other way and a flight attendant was yelling at me 'it's rolling!' when i realized what she was saying, i turned back, and it was rolling across the parking lot, picking up speed as it went!"
(oh, did i mention that his amp is on wheels? apparently really strong, sturdy wheels...)
i laughed. i could just picture it. he went on, "it isn't funny! i took off after it, running as fast as i could, but i couldn't catch it. it rolled about 50 yards! and it hit a car."
uh oh. "yes," he said. and then he stopped and shook his head. "it hit a porsche."
are you kidding me?!?!?! he hit a porsche?!?!? with his bass amp?!?!?!? all i can think is, i wonder if our car insurance will pay for it. i mean, it wasn't our car that hit it, but it was sort of a vehicle. it had wheels...
"was it a new porsche?" i asked, praying that it was an already dented 15 year old model.
"i couldn't tell," he said, "but it looked pretty new." he went on to tell me that the amp rolled into a section of the parking lot that was almost deserted, except for two cars--the porsche and an older suv. (rollie's car is the red one on the left with the tire on the back. the porsche was parked on the right where that person is standing.) it went right past all the empty parking spaces, sneaked past the suv, and hit the porsche right above the wheel well. and when he got there, just two steps behind the runaway amp, he could see that it had taken out a huge gouge. he left a note on the windshield, and his contact info at the front desk, because it was raining and he was afraid it might make the note on the car illegible. ( just wait, it gets better...)
oh yes, it was also raining--one of the five days that it rains here every year.
when he got done telling me the story, he just sat there, shaking his head in disbelief. he looked a little sick. visions of angry porsche owners and thousand dollar repair bills were dancing in our heads. "well," i said, "there isn't a lot you can do about it. i guess we will just have to wait until he calls back..."
and so we waited. and he called back. but somehow rollie's phone sent the call straight to voicemail. when he realized he had missed the call, he immediately returned it, only to reach the porsche owner's own voicemail. and this is what he heard... (get ready, here it comes...)
"hello, you have reached the law offices of..."
yep. he didn't just hit a porsche--he hit a porsche that was owned by a lawyer! (that was mistake #3)