Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday Driving



I reserved a zip car this morning from 11:30 to 2:00 so that I could make the 30 minute drive up to Lynn to pick up my paintings and bring them back home. I woke up, took a shower, and bought a coffee, but was still a little groggy by the time I got to the spot where the car was supposed to be parked. To my surprise, my reserved Scion named "Brent" was not there. Emmanuel was there, Francona was there, but no Brent. I started to walk home to call zipcar (I should get a cell phone) when I saw Brent at a stop light. I motioned to the woman and she realized that she was late and that I must be the person who had Brent reserved for 11:30, so she pulled over, apologized and we made the transfer. No problem. I was hitting the road at 11:40 and the good folks at the Gulu Gulu Cafe said "noonish" so I should get there around on time. Still with only a couple sips of coffee in me I set off on Mass Ave, figuring I'd take Mem Drive to the Longfellow Bridge and follow the signs to Lynn on the other side of the river (I forgot the directions but I've navigated that way successfully before). Seems like you should stay to the right to get onto the bridge that goes across the river to your right. Nope. That brings you under the bridge towards Lechmere and Charlestown. I realized I had forgotten my bag with the sheets and towels that I use to transport the paintings without scratching them. But it was already 11:50 and I'd lose another 15 minutes if I circled back, so I decided to keep going. I saw a sign for Everett and some route going North, so I headed that direction. All of a sudden I was on 93 North and I couldn't remember exactly where that went, but figured it was North which was the right direction and there'd be a sign for a cutoff to Chelsea, Lynn, Salem and the area. Nope, no sign. For some reason I still thought there was a way to salvage this route. Nope. Eventually, I realized that I was almost in New Hampshire and I decided to jump on 495, because that brings you east, probably back to Essex or Gloucester or something and then I'll just shoot south down the coast. ... nope. 495 goes Northeast or Southwest. At this point I was pissed, in North Andover, and really late (I should get a cell phone). I finally pulled over and found a map in the glove compartment. Obviously, I was way off course and had absolutely no idea what the Northeastern part of the state looked like (North Shore's for Italians, South Shore's for Irish). But it looked like I could take 28 South and shoot down to 129 East, and then pop over to 1 and make it a scant 45 minutes late. Well, there's no shooting or popping down that route and nothing scant about it. And fucking Sunday drivers everywhere, driving 10 mph UNDER the speed limit. And pompous looking Philips Academy twats walking around and yuppie Wakefield couples out for a Sunday walk along the water. And road rage exploding out of every pore in my body. 90 minutes after I took over Brent's helm from the other driver, I arrived at my destination. I should have called zipcar to try to extend my reservation but ... (I should get a cellphone). I called from the cafe and after 10 minutes on hold, the representative told me that someone else reserved the car for 2 PM and there would be a $50 fine if I was late. So I grabbed the paintings, chucked them in the car as quick as possible, got my money, and hit the road at 1:31. I drove like a maniac, screamed like a maniac, and missed the exit for the Tobin bridge like a maniac. I dished out the $5.50 for the Pike but it was already 1:55. I was screwed. I unloaded the paintings and got the car back to its spot by 2:20, 20 minutes and 50 dollars too late. But when I got home, there was a message on the machine from my favorite zipcar representative of all time who had tracked down the person who reserved it for 2:00, convinced them to make it 2:30, and extended my reservation to 2:30 so I wouldn't get the late fee. Thanks zipcar. You rule.

And now for a completely unrelated cartoon by nataliedee, sent to me by Dearest Cupcake:



Yeahr they will.

17 comments:

marshall said...

Next time, Dan, call me and you can take my wagon. No late fees, and you could even be the one who names the car. But if you name it Brent II I will revoke the privilege.

Dan said...

I may take you up on that. And I think I'll name it Graig.

Dearest Cupcake said...

I remember sitting in my car crying when I first moved to Boston and ended up at Logan Airport for the third time in one evening attempting to get to downtown from Cambridge.

Lauren said...

I love zip-car!!! But they do need some GPS tracking systems in their cars.

Oh and let me know if you are going to any Yanks games this season. I am in!

Dan said...

I was one bad lane change away from ending up in Terminal A.

GPS would have been nice. A driver would have been nicer. I need to get me a driver.

I'll keep you posted on the Yanks situation. We should make a field trip.

Dan said...

that reminds me - 16 and 1/2 hours until the Yankees' first pitch of the season.

blythe said...

the idea of never driving on the masspike/91/95/495 is pure heaven at the moment. ah.

Dan said...

I have no idea what the roads are like in Oklahoma, but I'm guessing they're better labeled than they are here. Then again, if I had spent 60 seconds on mapquest, I would have gotten there in 30 minutes instead of 90. And that's my fault.

N-Lo said...

As for what Marshall said, ditto for me and the corrolla.

i'd even have helped you.

Dan said...

thanks. I'm not sure the "Adam" corrolla could carry all the paintings (4 foot by 4 foot one in particular), but I appreciate the offer.

Duffless said...

Have you considered getting a cell phone?

Dan said...

a what now?

lc said...

a trac phone. they're all the rage.

i know. i'm burying my posts again.

Dan said...

What's a trac phone? Is that what my mom calls her cellphone. I was actually looking into cheap walkie talkies earlier today. Seriously. We use them down in New Orleans.

Dan said...

Also, my mom has tracked down my youtube account, which, if she searches it exhaustively, will lead her here. It's inevitable. But no, that doesn't mean you can tell her the url.

lc said...

um, she can't even find your number on her trac phone. I think you're safe.

incidentally, your brother can't find his way to the house you grew up in from the next town over. so i wouldn't sweat the family navigational skills. internet or otherwise.

Dan said...

He's probably blocking it out.