Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Happy 7th of July!!!

Ok, so I'm three days late. So what.

I had an interesting 4th of July. My parents and I got in the family car around 6:15 pm to head down to Main St. to get something to eat, and ultimately watch the fireworks show at the beach which was scheduled to start at 9:00 pm. Of course, even with our exceptionally poor planning, there was absolutely nowhere to park within flying distance of the beach. My dad was driving, and my mom and I were his crack-parking-spot spotting team. One of the conversations that we had went something like this:

Dad: Ok, you guys have to look for parking spots because I have to concentrate on not crashing or running over anybody.

Mom: Sean? Are you looking?

Me: There's a spot. *Points*

Dad: You mean the place in front of the fire hydrant?

Me: Oh...

So several false alarms and half a tank of gas later, we finally found a spot, got out, and hailed a taxi to drive us to the airport so we could go to the beach.

Eventually, we made our way down to Main St. which happened to be more crowded than I've ever seen before. And strangely enough, we weren't the only people with the idea to eat dinner here at 7:00 pm. We were originally thinking of going to some sit-down restaurant, but after seeing the crowds, we decided fast-food might be better suited to this situation. So we walked down to Taco Bell (Oh boy, something different) and looked inside. At first glance, there didn't seem to be many people in there. So I started to get hopeful and began to think about what I wanted to get. As we walked to the end of the building, we realized once again that our idea was far from original. Sure, the inside of Taco Bell wasn't too populated. But the line that led outside of the store and halfway down Main St. was another story. Time for a change of plans...again.

Since we didn't want to risk being in that line and missing the fireworks show, we decided to try going to Subway. The good news was that there was no line. The bad news was that they closed at 6:00 pm, in respect for July 4th according to the note on the door. I think that was just their excuse for avoiding the mad dinner rush. So instead, we got in line for some hot dog place next door. 2 minutes later, we got impatient and decided to go back to Taco Bell and brave their unmoving line. 2 minutes later, we decided we weren't that hungry, and decided to go to Jamba Juice. I got a regular size Strawberries Wild, after about a 15 minute wait.

After we all got our Jamba Juice, we went down to the beach to wait about an hour and a half for the fireworks show. If I could have done three things differently, this is what I would have done:

1. I would have gone to the bathroom first.
2. I would have brought something more than a flannel shirt to wear over my t-shirt.
3. I wouldn't have gotten a drink made from ICE to have at the beach when the temperature and the wind were already freezing cold and the sun had almost set.

That's a killer combination. A big drink + no bathroom trips for over 3 hours + sub-arctic temperatures + inadequate clothing = 1 frozen bladder. And oh was I feeling it.

At a little after 9 pm, the fireworks started. They were launched off of a barge in the ocean. However, the people putting on the show had some tough competition. Some people about 50 feet to the left of us had a fireworks launcher and were shooting them off into the air during lulls in the show. They were getting more cheers and attention than the people actually doing the show. The real show was rather lackluster for the most part. It had its moments, but it also had a lot of downtime and it progressed really slowly. And it was only about 20 minutes long, if that.

The end of the show meant the beginning of two things. The search for the car, and the search for an unoccupied bathroom. Of course, my mind was more focused on the bladder, err, I mean the latter. So along I waddled, gritting my teeth as I tried to go as fast as I could without making any sudden moves. Of course all the public bathrooms had lines, along with the port-a-potties and the bathrooms in one of the parking structures. Eventually I realized that I was just going to have to make my own bathroom.

So as my parents and I were trying to find our car, I was on the lookout for a secluded spot to do number 1. Unfortunately, there were hundreds of other people trying to find their cars too, so there weren't many secluded spots anywhere. Just as I was about to give up hope, we came upon an alley that only had a few people in it down at the other end. So I frantically looked for a good spot, and came across a dark driveway with a fence blocking the view of the house, and it was far enough in to hide me from the people in the alley, unless they walked by. Perfect! So I started to run to where the fence was, and ended up tripping and nearly falling over a practically-invisible foot-tall metal fence enclosing a garden or was too dark to tell.

Anyway, long story short, I peed like a horse, and several minutes later we were back to our search for the car. At one point as we were looking for it, I was trying to see a street sign, so I took a couple steps off of the sidewalk and stopped to look at the sign because I couldn't see it from the sidewalk. Evidently this reckless action of mine scared some lady riding her bike because she rang her wimpy little bike horn at me, even though I wasn't even in her way and I had clearly stopped before she was even within several feet of me. I even saw her before I entered the street, which is why I made sure to stop before I got in her way. But nooooo, according to my parents and some slack-jawed yokel at a stop sign in that intersection, I "almost got ran over!" Oh dear me, a girl riding her bike with the wimpy bell-like horn going 5 mph nearly flattened me. Except for the small and seemingly insignificant fact that I STOPPED BECAUSE I SAW HER COMING AND I WASN'T IN HER WAY! OH DEAR LORD, I ALMOST DIED!

Since we didn't get to eat at the Taco Bell on Main St., we decided to go to the one that I work at to get some late-night snacks. When we got there, it was a little past 10:00 pm. By the time we left, the drive-thru line was stretching out and around the parking lot.

The next day at work, I talked to the manager that was working there last night, Thaddus, and asked him what it was like. He said there were non-stop orders for several hours, and that they were mostly huge $10-20+ orders, including a whopper of a $30+ order, from drunk people who probably had little idea of what they were doing. He said they were all really loud and obnoxious and there were even drunk people walking up to the window asking for free tacos throughout the night.

Just when I thought I really missed out (Yeah right), that day at work, after Thaddus told me that, the same basic thing happened. There were non-stop orders from about 5 or 6 pm to 9 pm. I was supposed to get off at 9 pm. I ended up getting my break at 9:30 pm, and leaving at 10 pm. So yeah, I had an eventful July 4th and 5th. Whew, this was a long blog. If you read it all the way through, congratulations, you win a free taco! Go get drunk and walk up to your local Taco Bell drive-thru window and claim your prize.

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