Would you ever ask me to go on a trip with you? I mean, really? Do you read this blog?
Apparently, my friend Janae does not.
My poor, little, sick friend friend asked me to go with her to the Cleveland Clinic. She needed to get a MRA/MRI on her stomach.
Janae picked me up at 9:30 in the morning on Tuesday and we set out for the day. In the car, there was a Starbucks coffee waiting for me (The mark of a true friend. She even ordered it right...1/2 decaf with cream.) That would be last thing thing either of us would have for a long time. She couldn't eat for 4-6 hours prior to the test. Since we were on a 4 hour car trip (one way). I decided that I would not eat or drink either. I mean, how mean would that be?
We arrived a little after 2 for an appointment that was supposed to be at 2:40. She was called back about 3.
About 4:30, I decided I might start eating my book... one page at a time. But then I looked at the 14 year old bald girl, with the knit hat, sitting in a wheelchair across from me who also had not eaten all day. (I overheard. I'm not nosey), and I decided I could wait.
Plus I felt really sorry for her. Her mom was a jerk. She kept snapping at her and talking really mean to her. But then, that same mom would say these really funny things too. For instance, the wait was getting to everyone and I got the sense that waiting like this was not the norm. So, one time, the mom glanced over at the obligatory waiting room fish tank and said, "I think I'm going to go stick my head in that fish tank and drown myself."
I wanted to laugh really hard at that comment, but I didn't want to give her the satisfaction of thinking she was funny.
When I finally saw Janae again around 5, I had a hard time containing myself while telling her about the fish tank comment. Waiting rooms + no food... that'll do it to you.
Janae's test was 15 minutes. When they called her back, they just stuck her in another waiting room about 50 feet from the one I was sitting in. We each sat by ourselves for 2 hours. Geesh! At least I had a book.
The reason for the excruciating wait... a church burnt down the night before. A church that was practically connected to the Cleveland Clinic. That church... it had been standing since the early 1800's. The day before I came, it burnt down. I'm afraid it wasn't a coincidence. I'm afraid it just goes with the territory. (I'm the territory.)
Anyway, the smoke shut down the main MRI wing, so everyone had to be shuffled over to this other wing. And, just to top it off, one of those MRI machines was broken.
So, as we walked all over THE CITY that is the Cleveland Clinic, the faint smell of smoke was in the air. We made our way to Janae's doctor, so she could talk to her... for approximately 3 minutes.
Well, ok then!
The next order of business was to eat. Since we hadn't eat all day, we decided to treat ourselves to something really nice. We even went on a wild goose chase... and I am pretty sure it was out of the way to find... a Chick-Fil-A.
Yep! That's what the sick one wanted and so I said, "My pleasure." And, by way of that comment, you should be able to tell that we eat there often. Maybe she thinks that's the only place we can eat. Because... now that I think about it... I think the only other place we've eaten together was at a tapas bar in Chicago. And, Starbucks.... we drink a lot of coffee. Hmmm... we're gonna have to broaden our horizons.
Anyway, we made a random stop at some outlet mall... shopped for about 45 minutes. When we were about 75 minutes away from home, I realized we had been together almost 12 hours, and we had not managed to run out of conversation for even 5 minutes.
About 10 after 9, I was driving her car and noticed that the gas light was on. So, I interrupted her and said, “Hey! Your gas light is on!”
Now, before I tell you what she said, let me say this... anytime I have to use my Paul's car, you can almost take it to the bank that it’s on empty and that little gas light is screaming at me. I always run in and yell at him and he always says, “OH! You’ll be fine. You can go another 30 miles!”
So, when I told Janae her gas light was on what I heard her say was, “Oh you can go for awhile! What she actually said was, “You should get off at the next exit.”
Exits had come and gone and we were just talking away... I mean we only had another hour together so we had to get it all in.
All of a sudden I felt the car lose power as I continued to push on the gas pedal. According to Janae (because this is her favorite part of the story) (but keep in mind, there were no other witnesses, so this information is disputable.) According to Janae, I threw my hands in the air and I said, "That's it!! We're done!!"
I managed to get to the shoulder of the HIGHWAY and roll within a half mile of the exit. After we stopped laughing, we got out of the car and started walking.
To steer clear of the semi trucks that were blowing past us at 90 mph, we walked in the grass which was uneven and muddy. Very pleasant.
We got to the gas station, bought a gas can, filled it and walked back.
Once we finally got back to the car, we had to put the gas can together. Who knew!
Keep in mind... it's dark and we're on a highway. With cars. And trucks. Driving by. Fast.
To put it mildly, we had a hard time with that stupid plastic jug. I'm pretty sure that the majority of the gas rolled down the car onto the road. Finally, we just decided to see if we managed to get enough in the tank to start the car and get us to the gas station.
14 hours after our day began, we were home.
Paul was not happy with me about the whole running out of gas incident. I said to him the next day, "Well, if it helps, I wasn't a bit scared."
He looked at me like I was growing a third eye or something and he said, "Neither were the people of Pompeii before it started raining lava on them!!"
(I don't even know what that means.)
But, it probably didn't help that that made me laugh really hard. We thought Janae's husband, Michael, would be the one that got mad. Instead, Janae found this laying in the kitchen the next day:
P.S The moral of the story is... when your gas light comes on, get gas. I know that should go without saying, but.... I'm just saying.
P.S.S. Really weigh your options before inviting me along on a trip.