Friday, November 21, 2014

Fort Worth IDAL Diaries: Convention Center/Detention Center

Boy, didn't this turn out to be true!
Thursday, October 2nd
Ah, my day off! Or so I thought when I reviewed my schedule. The start of my luxurious day is a run with my friend George Hackford. Then Sue and I will load up our classroom supplies in BOCT (Balls of Clay Truck from now on) and enjoy sightseeing in Fort Worth. Then we will relax and get ready for the Mad Hatter Party at our leisure.
But this is Topsy Turvy Thursday and nothing really goes as planned.

First, I take George on a run. But not a run by the river or thru a park as promised. Oh no, I take him on a run to the freeway underpasses and the dead end streets strewn with broken glass, empty Cheetos bags, wads of gum, and discarded clothing.  I keep telling him "that pretty running trail is just ahead." He is starting to doubt our friendship.
He is recovering from a knee injury which means he has to go slow. I am fairly quick. George is good natured but we both know the possible outcome of our trip:
We make it back from our excursion into the under-belly of Fort Worth unscathed.  George may run slower then me but he is much smarter. He goes upstairs to get ready for the day. Me? I decide to go straight to the convention center. Sue pretends not to notice my stinky condition and goes with me.
Now I can not find anywhere to park BOCT except at a parking meter. So I fish out coins-meters don't count pennies so don't waste them-and we go inside.  After many failed attempts at an answer,  convention staff tell me I may park at a loading dock at Noon. Ugh! It is 10am. So we drive, fish out more coins, and eat breakfast. A server drops a whole tray of food right behind us. Hmmm-maybe I am bad luck today?
We go back to the convention center and circle a few times-no luck-the loading docks are blocked. I go to the loose change stash in the BOCT console and feed the meter again. The police ride horses downtown and one takes a huge dump by my truck (the horse not the cop). Wow. The signs telling me to adjust my day are strong. But I ignore them. Of course.
A convention staffer tells me if I am quick then I may park at the back dock. Quick! That I understand. Bob Andrews loans us his flat dolly and we toss everything we brought on top of it. As Sue is adding what I think are the last boxes, I run to get BOCT and move him to the loading dock. Where this happens:
As I am loading my truck, a man driving a fork lift stops. He yells, "Yo!  Yes you, blonde girl. You can't park that truck there. You are blocking an entry." I calmly but tiredly tell him that I have been asking convention staff since 10am where I could load up my truck and this is where they told me to go. 
"I know this is not your problem sir, but I am just trying to get this truck loaded." "I was told to park here." We are shoving in boxes like mad women.
I have two boxes left to put in the truck. "What are you thinking?" he yells. "You better move that truck...NOW!" He picks up a walkie- talkie and says, "I am calling a tow truck and the police."
Oh no he didn't.  I admit it-I loose my mind and dignity. All the tiredness, frustration, and tension is released on this man. He actually looks shocked or maybe he thinks I am crazy.
"I am calling a tow truck and the police right now!"  He has retreated to the forklift.
Is orange really the new black? I don't stick around to find out.  Somehow I maneuver BOCT around the fork-lift and make it back to the hotel.
Oh crap! I have forgotten Sue. During my brush with the law, she went back into the center to find help. She calls and tells me we have a few things left to load.  How is that even possible? So I once again park at a meter and really dig (I mean dig, in- between the seats and under the mats) for change. We find a side entry that is unlocked and Sue stands guard over the last bit of our stuff. I run (again) to the truck....
And this is sticking under my windshield wiper!
With the compliments of stinky horse poo added in! I quickly find Sue and we make a run for it!
I am a mess.
It is getting late. We decided to go to the stockyards so I may calm down.
See I haven't showered or changed yet! I will fit right in the stockyards!
We walk around the tourist area but it is hot and the weather starts to look bad. As we stop for gas, I can see the wind whipping the trees. This doesn't look good. We make it back to the parking garage as this starts:
It is getting hard to see but I can just make out one parking spot left that is covered. Bruce's truck is big and long. It is also new. As I gently ease BOCT into a protected area, this happens:
It is like the Plagues of Egypt.
here are the plaques of Egypt
I really hope we don't get to that last one, me being the eldest child and all that...
Then suddenly the sky clears. It is like none of the day even happened. We are cleansed!
My cell phone rings. It is Bruce. "Someone from Fort Worth just called me."
Oh no. I curse the Balls of Clay Truck with it's catchy signs and visible phone number!
"Which one called you? The policeman or the forklift driver?"  I am biting my new nails.
"What are talking about?  Why are police and forklift drivers involved?" He seems confused, so I will go along with it.
"Well" I start, "this is a long story..."
"Someone called to apologize for yelling at you. For loosing control and letting a situation escalate."
I start to explain what happened when this comes on the lobby television: 
A wall of an old building in the stockyards blew over. It destroyed several cars. That is where we had parked BOCT just an hour ago! Wow! This is really my lucky day. My friend George is safe. Sue doesn't need to bail me out of jail. We managed to keep the new truck from being destroyed by pelting rain, hail, and a falling wall!

I am relieved.  Bruce is still on the phone.

"Look, just tell me about it when you get home. Is my truck alright?" he asks.