The Flight of the Bumblebee Part I

by Rachel on December 10, 2010

Fact: I am in love with a man who drives a bright yellow SUV, circa 2000. Not only is it bright yellow, but it also has two wide stripes going up the hood, over the top, and down the back.

Since he competes in triathlons, it also sports a black bike rack on the back.

Like…a stinger.

Anyhow, let’s get back to Kara’s visit to Houston, shall we?

Wednesday morning, we got up bright and early to get our day started. I had taken the day off work, so I enjoyed waking up at the same exact time anyway and going and getting some Starbucks because Kara is a coffee addict. Although I had taken the day off of work, I had a coaching chat in the morning, which I did before giving Kara a nice taste of Core Fusion from YogaVibes.

An hour later, with considerably tighter thighs, we showered and made a plan for the day. I wanted to take Kara out to lunch at Tiny Boxwood’s, an adorable little restaurant in Houston that is attached to a nursery (plants, not brats). And after that? Well, her sole mission while in Houston was to get a pair of cowboy boots. She’s apparently just a country girl stuck in the Midwest. She flew down wearing one pair of cowboy boots, with a plan to buy a new “real” pair while here. Considering that my cowboy booties are from Macy’s, I had to do a little research on where we could get them, but we eventually decided Cavender’s would be our best option.

By the time we both did our hair and make-up, it was nearly lunchtime, so we were eager to get to Tiny’s. We had been driving down my street for about a quarter-mile when a guy pulled up next to us and honked. Considering that Kara has that inexplicable-but-you-know-it’s-a-real-thing-quality-officially-known-as-black-guys-love-me-syndrome, I totally just thought it was someone trying to holler. But when I looked over, it was an older white guy. Since I have I-think-they-want-to-Strom-Thurmond-me-syndrome, I thought he was after me. But instead of mouthing something inappropriate, he mouthed, “FLAT TIRE!”

God.

Damn.

It.

I know a thing or two about car trouble in Houston and those things aren’t good.

I pulled over to the nearest parking lot and inspected my tire. It was, in fact, rather flat. What to do, what to do?

First, we decided we’d put some air in it. Luckily, we were on a busy road with a ton of gas stations. Unluckily, we drove past about six before we came to one with air.

Great! AIR! Not free air, but air nonetheless.

But…now what the hell was I supposed to do with it? I’ve put air in tires before, but I was thrown off by the fact that my tire was missing the cap over the valve. I wasn’t sure if it was actually missing the cap…or if I was just stupid, and was about to stand there attempting to put air into a tire with a capped valve. Hm.

I called Eric. No answer.

So, I did what any responsible, resourceful woman would do. I pulled down my V-neck an inch, readjusted my tits, and went and asked the guy who worked there to show me how to use it.

Turns out, the cap was missing, so I would have been fine, but whatever. I like making new friends.

He told me there was probably a leak and to take it to a tire repair shop immediately.

Luckily, we were on a street with about 20 mechanics — the most difficult part would be choosing one. We took the easiest option: the one across the street. The guy working there was very nice, but he told me they wouldn’t be able to get to my car for a while.

Well, my dear aunt did not fly all the way to Houston to sit in a mechanic’s shop for two hours. And anyway, I was so hungry, I was ready to gnaw my arm off. I decided at that point that it would be better to drive Eric’s car for the afternoon.

I told the mechanic I’d be back momentarily.

Since all this happened within a mile of my apartment and Eric’s office is really, really close to my apartment, and even closer to the mechanic’s, I figured I could pull this off, even with a leaky tire.

I called Eric again. Still no answer. I decided it was entirely possible that he was out of the office and that my only option was to just take his car. Kara supported this decision so I drove back to my apartment, threw it in park, and ran up the stairs, stopping only to grab us some snacks. Then I came flying back down the stairs, raised my fist clutching granola bars and Eric’s car key, and shouted, “We’re taking the Bumblebee!”

So we went to Eric’s office but…the Bumblebee was MIA. I decided it was probably in the parking garage and that I had a few options:

  1. I could sneak into the structure, get away with taking the car, and text him to tell him not to worry, that I had his car and everything was under control
  2. I could sneak into the structure, get away with taking his car, and not text him and see if I could get it back before he even realized it was gone
  3. I could attempt to sneak into the structure and possibly get arrested because it might actually look like I was stealing his car
  4. I could interrupt his busy day by showing up at his desk to “ask” him if I could take his car

Even though I’d never been inside Eric’s building, I decided to go with #4. Thank goodness Eric has mentioned the specifics of how his company is laid out in the building or I would have wandered around in there for an hour. But I headed straight to reception. I didn’t feel like telling her the whole story.

“Oh, I’m just here to take my boyfriend’s car,” I told the young woman working there. “I have a key, I just need to know where to find it. He’s not answering my calls.”

She did not even question this and told me where it likely was in the parking garage. I liked her, and also, I’m putting that whole thing in the “In Case We Break Up and I Want to Go Batshit” file.

She called Eric. “Your girlfriend is here to see you. She said she tried to call you.”

From Eric on the other side of the phone, “Oh did she?”

Given that I’ve never been in Eric’s office and shouldn’t have really known how to be there, I could understand his slight confusion. Still, I wasn’t interested in small talk when he arrived. I told him that I had a flat tire and that I was taking his car. He looked weary as he tried to ask questions like, “Where is your car now?” and “How did you get here?” but I just didn’t have time for that! I kept saying it was under control, that I was simply there out of common I’m-about-to-steal-your-car courtesy.

“Well,” he said. “Let me give you the keys.”

“Oh it’s OK! I’ve got a key!” I said cheerfully, totally cementing the Psycho Girlfriend of the Year Award.

He gave me that weary look again.

“Eric, I’m starving! I have to goooo!”

He said he’d better give me his keys, because he was pretty sure that if I didn’t open the car with his clicker, the alarm would go off.

Ha — I’m so glad I chose #4.

He also gave me directions to find his car in the parking structure, which was rather helpful. Had he not, I would have been wandering around in there for 20 minutes — and honestly, I probably would have been kidnapped before I had the chance to kidnap the Bumblebee.

I ran down to the parking structure, found the Bumblebee, threw it in drive, and came roaring out of garage and pulled up beside Kara, who was still in my car in front of the office.

“Let’s go, man!” I shouted. I resisted the urge to toot the Bumblebee’s horn. (I’m not going to lie, I had to dig deep for that maturity.)

I mean, despite how shitty car trouble generally is, I was having a great time. We headed back down to the mechanic and left my car there. Then Kara hopped in the Bumblebee and we went to begin our Houston afternoon.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah @ L4L December 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

“nursery (plants not brats)” L.O.L. Kind of like “Indian (dot, not feather)”.

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2 zenlizzie December 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

Car troubles are the WORST, so having the good luck of being close to home, a patient boyfriend, and a good attitude seems like a good way to deal with it.
My favorite gym at my university is named after Strom Thurmond. And it wasn’t built in the 60’s, it opened in like, 2006. Sad, but true.

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3 Dori December 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

“So, I did what any responsible, resourceful woman would do. I pulled down my V-neck an inch, readjusted my tits, and went and asked the guy who worked there to show me how to use it.”

Exactly.

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4 Caitlin December 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

I cannot wait to read your books. This was an amazing play-by-play of why I love your crazy life. I felt like I was there (and laughing all the while.) Oh, and I love the Bumblebee and I can say that having personally ridden in it.

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5 Marg December 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

I want to see pictures of the bumblebee now. My boyfriend in highschool had a bright yellow jeep that he sold right before we started dating. He was known for that thing. So yeah I was kinda disappointed I never got to be the girlfriend in the bright yellow jeep.

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6 Bess December 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm

OMG this is so the story of my life anytime I go on a road trip with the friend I am coming to Texas with, down to the last v-neck adjustment and all!

I one-time beckoned over the first guy I saw in a uniform, only to find he actually drives the Wonder Bread truck. He totally helped us though.

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7 kate December 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

that is a great story. thats my total crisis mode too- “this can’t possibly be happening to me, i was supposed to go shopping today. must find a way to make this all go away.”

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8 Trinidad Pena December 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm

We definitely need a picture of the bumble bee!

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9 Kendra December 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Oh, this SO reminds me of when I was having issues with my car battery… especially the part about pulling down the V-neck.

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10 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

your blog fills a void i had no idea i had in my life. thank you for making me laugh with your hysterical, witty and smart stories! LOVE them.

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11 angela December 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Ha… you’re hilarious. I never once had a flat tire before this summer when there suddenly was a giant hole in one of mine. Not really sure how I managed that.

You should have taken a picture of the look on Eric’s face when you told him you were taking his car. Bet it was priceless. ;)

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