The Safe Kids Venture

I have to tell you about this job I did last Tuesday. Now, being as though I don’t have a real job that pays a real salary, I need to take a lot of part time jobs to stay only a few pages behind. Well, the guy that got me the job with the Ravens asked if I was available to work from 10 PM until 3 AM on Monday night and the following day from noon until about 5. I said “sure” and hung up not even thinking to ask him what I’d be doing or what I’d be getting paid. A few days later, he called back just to tell me exactly where and when to meet him. By then, I had the presence of mind to ask him what I’d actually be doing. He told me I’d be driving new cars back and forth to DC. Sure. Whatever. Well, I got there, and I found out that I would be driving these brand new Chevy Ventures from a firehouse in Crawford to the Washington Monument for a Safe Kids promotion that they (I still don’t know who “they” are) were doing. Including me, there were 18 vans driving down to DC at a time. Now I’ve only been to DC once or twice, and I’ve never driven there. And when we started driving, I didn’t know A) where exactly we were going, B) how to get there, or C) where the hell I was. They didn’t think to go over directions on how to get there. A few people knew where they were going because they had been there already, but this guy mostly thought that we would never get separated. And if we did get separated, we’d be going slow enough that the others could catch up. First of all, I’ve been in a two-car caravan that has gotten separated before. And before we left, the guy in charge asked if there was anybody who didn’t know DC at all. I was 1 of 4 people that raised their hands. And somehow, inevitably, I got stuck in the lead at a red light. In fact, it was within a mile of the firehouse. Everybody made a left onto route 50, and I got stuck waiting for the light. I figured, “I’m pretty smart. I’ll just figure this out.” Well, it’s not that easy. I made the left and the road split immediately into 3 different routes, all looking just as good as the next to me. So rather than guess, I pulled into the very right lane, put my flashers on and drove about 30 miles an hour. At least 6 people behind me decided to follow me. Apparently, they didn’t understand my sense of desperation. Finally, somebody passed me and I floored it and cut across three lanes of traffic and a small median to stay with him. And I had to do 85 to catch him, and he was still pulling away. So much for the “plan.” But I stayed with him when I got him. There was a point in which I looked behind me and realized that I had nobody there. So if I lost this guy, I was screwed. Left to just wander around DC for eternity in a Safe Kids Chevy Venture. Or until I ran out of gas. So I was staying with him no matter what. I wasn’t looking at street lights, oncoming traffic, small children, nothing. Nothing but the tail lights, that is. I ran 9 red lights between the two days. I found it kind of ironic we were driving vans with “Safe Kids” written all over it 85 miles an hour through red lights all night. But irony or no irony, I got a paycheck before I left.

Quote Of the Day 1/17/00

Me: “I’ve been driving so long my ass is starting to hurt.”
Guy: “I think you’re doing it wrong.”

Why do they give minivans names like “Venture,” “Expedition,” and “Pathfinder?” Who are these parents kidding. You’re not going to pouch cheetah, you’re picking up Billy and Jenny from soccer and choir practice.

Driving a Chevy to the levee,

Still Standing Right Here…

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