RØB Severson (jabberwocky) wrote,
RØB Severson

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12 November 2000

The prophet of the Mormon church gave a speech that was broadcast to Centralized locations of Mormon worship on this night at 6:00PM CST. I did not attend, though my mother urged me to do so. In fact, she went so far as to make it sound as if I didn't have a choice...yeah...as if, indeed.
Instead, I was going to Webster University to see some French films (Le Petit Voleur and Seule). I went to Webster University, I saw the films, I took a video and a DVD back to the Webster University library, and I headed home. On the way home (about ¾ mile before the Mason Exit on Highway 40 Westbound), I ran out of gas. I wasn't expecting this to happen at all; my trip odometer only said 351 or so; usually it gets to 365 or more before it's maxed out. At any rate, I was going to fill it with gas on the way to the movies, but went to Jason Young's house instead in order to pick up a keyboard that he is lending me for practice. I figured I'd be fine to get back home, to a gas station and all. No such luck. Car stopped working in the aforementioned place, and in addition, it's pouring down that rain that's like needles, and it's as windy as hell. The car stopped working at about 9:00PM, just to give you a guage of where we are here, timewise. So, with umbrella in hand, I got out of the car and started walking.
I got to the Mason Road exit, and took it. I didn't really know where to go from there, so I just kinda started walking down Mason, going south. I eventually hit Clayton, and walked a bit east from there, only to find that a nearby Amoco was closed, as were all the other shops in the plaza, from which I may have otherwise made a phone call or two. So I walked west on Clayton instead. I must have walked a very long time along that road in that direction. In fact, I know I did. It's a wonder I'm still alive; if the pure fright of being on a poorly-lit back-country road late at night wasn't enough to kill me, the attack dogs barking and chasing me, or the cars that couldn't seem to keep from the narrow shoulder on which I was walking, or the cold, or the wet, or the hunger, or the fatigue, or the rage should have killed me. No such luck; I had even resorted to hitchhiking at one point, but in West County, I don't reckon they pick up such riffraff as I (I was wearing a white shirt and a tie with slacks and nice shoes; did I mention? Of course, luckily, it was all underneath a thermal hooded sweatshirt). Then Rick Shapiro comes along. I reckon I was in front of the neighborhood called, I believe, "Clayton House" or something like that. He called from his van, asking if I needed to use a cell phone or something. Well, I didn't have a whole lot to lose, save an umbrella and some pocket lint. So I took his cell phone, and first I dialed the phone number of the Warner household, but since I hadn't dialed 636, the call didn't go through. Then Mr. Shapiro made it apparent that he would take me to a gas station and back to my car, and therefore I didn't really need a ride, so instead of re-dialing the Warner number with a 636 prefix, I just dialed my own home phone number (also with a 636 prefix). I told my Dad what had happened (at this point, it was about 10:30PM), and he seemed to understand; I gave him the number for Mr. Shapiro's cell phone, he jots it down, and I get in the van with Mr. Shapiro. We drive to the Texaco at Clayton and 141, where he apparently goes all the time; he claims to know the people at the gas station and says that they'll be willing to lend him a gas carn. He gets the can, fills it with gas (leaving me in the car to un-numbify my hands and other appendages), and we're off. We kind of get to talking, I mention I'm a film production major at Webster University; he tells me he's friends with Bob Gale, who was one of the producers for Back To The Future, and some other dude, who produces The Real World...it was nice; he was a super-nice guy. He waited for me to put the gas in my car, made sure I was running okay, then we parted and drove our separate ways. Before that happened, though, he said to me: "Do something nice for someone else, huh?" (Did anyone see Pay It Forward? That's what it reminded me of). He wouldn't accept any money or anything. After an entire night of thinking "none of these West County basterds is ever going to stop to see what's wrong here; they just see a guy with an umbrella walking down the side of a dark road late on a Sunday night while it's pouring down rain and windy as hell," and also thinking "I really should start helping people on the side of the road" and then amending that to "I'm definitely gonna start helping people on the side of the road" and amending it further to "I'm definitely gonna start helping people on the side of the road, but only when there's someone else in the car with me" (being a firm believe in "the buddy system," myself), Rick Shapiro said that. I was "touched," after a night full of yelling at God and cursing my ill fate, and doing a number of other blasphemous and would-be embarrassing things (that is, they'd have been embarrassing if anyone had heard them), is all I'm saying. However, I'm now at home, and doing all right, although my hands still smell like gasoline, even after scrubbing them like hell in the bathroom of the Amoco on Long Road. Quite a night; one to remember. I just had to keep telling myself "it'll make for a good story..."...unfortunately, that only took me so far.
I think that's all the story I had to tell; I returned home at around 11:15PM, and should be in bed now, but I'm not. At least I got this bad-ass keyboard here now; I can finally do some private practicing and whatnot...even though the thing won't fit in my room. Regardless, I'll wrap this up by saying thanks to Jason Young and to Rick Shapiro especially, who, if I ever make any movies, will get special thanks on each one.

Over 'N' Out.

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