Broken Pipes and Conspiracy Theories by Paul

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The past 7 days have been a challenge.  Between the money stress that accompanies student life, the muscle soreness that accompanies lifting weights for the first time in months, the anxiety of beginning a new semester (my last, by the way), worrying about work beyond school, and a 24-hour bout with a bug that had me dashing gingerly to the restroom at regular intervals, I wasn’t prepared for this morning.

At the beginning of the week I told myself that 5:30 am was the time I needed to be rolling out of bed.  Yesterday – courtesy of “the bug” – I was up at 4:15.  Today, I was up on time and out the door on schedule.  The plan?  Go to the gym and work out some of my paralyzing soreness.  I was feeling good – emotionally.  I was hoping that the workout would help me feel good – physically.

Here’s how it went from there:  I make the 25 minute drive in to the school both eager and full of dread.  I decide to park at the Institute building – because I can park there for free (Seminary/Institute really does pay dividends at ASU).  I pull up to the gate to scan my parking card at 6:25am.  The green light comes on and the reader beeps.  The mechanical arm doesn’t budge.  I think “hmm.  that’s strange.”  I scan again.  Green light?  Check.  Beep?  Check.  So why isn’t the stupid arm moving?!!  I can see from my vantage point that there is someone in the building.  So, I shift in my seat, stretch my arm out, and then do that whole fat-man-rocking thing — you know, when someone has parked just a Liiittle too far away from a buzzer, an ATM, or some other type of drive-up window and they flail around in some type of controlled seizure to reach whatever it is that they need.  I felt like a T-rex trying to scratch its tail.

I’m convinced that as men get older, gain weight, and get a little rounder around the middle there is a period of denial.  A period where the mind convinces them that they’re still 12-years old with infinite dexterity.  Then there comes that ever-so-valuable moment of realization.  For me it came as I tried to climb the inside panel of the car door using only my left bum-cheek and third-rib with my arm outstretched and a vein about to burst in my head . . . with the seat belt still buckled.  My arms felt like they were all of a sudden 6-inches long and my body was as wide as Kentucky.

Anyway, my shifting and rocking finally strike the perfect balance and I am able to press the handy-dandy intercom buzzer to plead for admittance.  Then I relax back into my seat and wait for a response.  I’m praying that the person in the building will actually answer, because after going through the pains of pushing that button I’m not sure I could do it again.  No answer.  “Alright,” I think to myself.  “Here we go again.”  Sadly, one seizure was all I could muster.  I couldn’t reach the button a second time.  So I backed up and drove away in a huff!!  There’s a not-so-free parking lot closer to the gym, and I’d rather pay the extra money than sit there looking like some mentally-impaired version of Randy from a Christmas Story when he was rolling around on the ground trying to get up.

So I drive around the campus perimeter to the not-so-free lot.  Bonus!  The arm is already up!!  “Maybe it’s free day at the pay lot,” I think.  So I park, feeling very triumphant.  “Stupid Institute parking lot!  That’ll teach you to make me look stupid flailing around my car, arm outstretched, straining like a constipated kid to reach a stupid button that no one is going to answer anyway!”  I park, then gather my gym bag and stroll across the street to the rec center.  There was a lot of activity out in front of the building, but the summer construction crews are doing a lot of last minute work before the fall term.  As I approached the door, there was a rec-center employee there greeting people and holding the door open.  “Wow!” I thought.  “They’re really stepping up their game in the service department.”  As I got closer, however, he said, “We’re closed today.”

Good feeling gone!!

That’s when I noticed that water was dripping – more like pouring – from the ceiling and the entire floor was covered with towels and whatever else may soak up water.  “Pipe broke.  They’re just getting the water shut off now.  We’ll be closed all day.  Sorry.”

All I could do was shake my head, smile, and walk away.  No workout today.

Wait! No shower?  Geographically, I was half-way to work!  That means I would have to drive 25 minutes to get home just to get cleaned up and drive 45 minutes to go to work.  I sat pondering this predicament in my free parking space with the car door open for a few minutes.  With a sigh, I  closed the door and drove home, concluding that the world is conspiring against me.

At least there’s WordPress to flush it all out and down the drain . . .  into the public domain.

Enjoy your day.

Mine’s already gotten better.


~ by pandmcox on August 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “Broken Pipes and Conspiracy Theories by Paul”

  1. You have just summed up my last year. Thank you.


  2. I was certain the gate was going to be down on the parking lot when you tried to leave, forcing you to pay full price because you didn’t have a ticket – or something like that. See? It was such a bad time afterall.

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