As the details roll in and over us let me take just a few moments of your time with the funniest thing I saw yesterday: A woman drove into the motel parking lot. She was a member of the U-Haul Army. Had a nice new-looking SUV loaded on a trailer on the back of the truck. It was packed full of stuff. She grabbed a 12-pack of beer from the passenger, closed the door, headed away, then the car alarm went off. It was night.
She turned around. Went click. Nothing happened. It just kept going oink … oink … oink …
Mortified by the fact she was blasting the entire compound with news of her arrival, she, losing as little bit, just a little bit, of her efficiency, clicked again and again.
Still, nothing. The damn car alarm wouldn’t stop blasting away.
Then she went back into the passenger side, opened the door. However, since it was packed full of stuff, she couldn’t get to the steering wheel to get to whatever she needed to do to shut it off.
By now you might see where I am going with this: It’s not completely unlike Jethro Tull’s classic tune, “Locomotive Breath.”
Not that funny, actually.
Anyhow, to complete the thought: She finally scratched her way through to the steering wheel. Clawed at that for a bit while the beeping continued. By this time, you could feel her total self-loathing and horror from fifty feet away. I felt sorry for her. Been there. Done that.
Next, she ran around the vehicle, carrying her twelve-pack of trendy beer, placed it on the side, and started fumbling. Again. This time, she worked so hard at it, her hands couldn’t manage her own small motor functions. Next, the plastic handle of her vehicle broke. Still, bravely, she finally managed to get the driver side door open.
An American hero, by now.
She had become a noise pollution issue, but, was doing all she could do, based on what was the weird science of such devices, to get it turned off. Clearly, it was out of sequence. But how to get it back into the sequence?
Her kingdom for a sequence!
It still wouldn’t stop. She stepped back, thought for a while. But the wind was blasting so hard that it blew the car door closed.
It was locked again.
You can’t make this stuff up.
She unlocked it, again.
Fumbled with the fuses.
Couldn’t get that going.
I watched, in awe, at her tenacity. I wanted to help. But I didn’t want to add to her misery. I was just wondering about the impacts to the motel guests. Lights were going on. Upstairs, I heard some guys from Pennsylvania yell, “What the f…!”
The door opened again, closed again, due to the wind.
Finally, she, with great difficulty, managed to get her hood opened and disengaged the car battery. The vehicle alarm (did I mention it was an SUV on a trailer? … I think so) had ceased.
In the night, with the world waiting for news on the nuclear disaster in tearfully torn up old mighty Japan, and millions of people crying themselves to sleep, I offered the best consolation I could when she realized I was watching the whole event.
“So,” I said, across the parking lot to her, “It wasn’t a completely perfect day.”