5 November, 2006
Well, that was a fun day…only not. I got up at 5:45am to run cross town and pick up my friend Jess to do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (or, in my case, slow stroll for the cure). Quick shower, a breakfast bar and water later and I’m on my way. Pick up Jess and head back north to the parking garage – the website advised parking in the garage and taking a shuttle bus to the actual race grounds. We get parked with no problem and then follow the crowds to the buses. The lines are huge, but buses are lined up waiting to take people, so things move quickly and in a very encouraging efficient manner.
The buses drop us off and we walk to the race grounds. It takes a bit, but we find the registration tent so that Jess can get registered. That completed, we start to wander around. People are everywhere and there’s a lot to see. We make our way towards to start line and wait. And wait. And wait. What, are those runners already coming back? Huh. Wonder when we can start. Waiting. Still waiting.
We decide to go see where we can get the freebie pink scarves people are wearing. Roam. Roam. Ah, here they are. Free scarves in hand, we walk back towards the start line. The walkers aren’t moving yet. We run into a fence that seems to be separating the “crowd” from the line of people waiting to walk. Okay, let’s get to the end of the fence. Oh, those aren’t people waiting to walk – those are runners who have returned and are trapped. It’s the dumbest design I’ve ever seen. At the end of the fence, the line curves around to the far side so that walkers are lined up in a large “U” shape. Runners who have already been on the route and returned, are guided through the timing point and on the inside of the fence…so they end up trapped in the giant U of waiting walkers. They are hot, sweaty and want to walk things off, but are stuck and are getting more and more crowded by the minute. Some are trying to muscle their way through the end of the U (which isn’t fenced) and some are giving up and climbing over the unstable fence.
We keep moving back – trying to get to the end of the fence – and keep getting stuck in traffic. After about an hour of standing, waiting and trying to move forward, we say “screw this” and walk away. We visit some of the sponsor tents, buy some of the official merchandise (gotta support the cause, man) and head back to the shuttle bus. We look back and see that walkers are still standing there waiting to walk!
I drop Jess back off at her house and, after a failed attempt to meet her new kitty, head home. I notice the car is running on fumes and stop to get some gas. I didn’t bring my purse with me and only have $10 cash on hand. I go inside, plop down the $10 and tell the man my pump number. Walk back out, pick up the gas handle and start to unscrew the lid on my gas tank. Sadly, I didn’t notice that the person before me had left the pump handle locked open. Gas all over the fucking place. $3 later, I figure out that the handle is locked open, get it turned off and put the remaining $7 in my tank. Covered in gas, I go in and tell the guy he might want to hose down the area. He says we need to push my car out of the puddle before I start it up – that seems prudent to me, so we push. I open up all the windows and drive home – eyes watering the whole time.
Once home, I hose off myself, my shoes and the side of the car. Batsy, who came running towards the car as I pulled into the driveway, is not fazed by all the water. I get onto the porch and take my shoes off – planning on leaving them outside to dry and air out. Batsy doesn’t like the smell of the shoes, but he sticks around. I don’t want to step into the house with my soaking wet socks, so I open the front door, take off one sock, put that foot onto the wood floor and then repeat for the other foot. This leaves the door open long enough for Batsy to get into the house. He saunters into the kitchen while I’m trying to dry my feet and get my gas soaked clothes off. He then walks into the living room and attacks Mishka. I try and separate them while running my clothes out to the laundry room and dropping them into the washing machine, but it’s not working. I get the clothes going and then run back into the living room. I didn’t see the fight, but based on their current positions (Mishka right where he started; Batsy across the room), I think Mishka won. I open the front door and Batsy flees.
I then took about a half-hour shower trying to get rid of the gasoline smell – but I still smell like gas and so does the house. I can’t imagine how bad it is in the car. Anyone know how to get the smell of gas out of things?