Thrill and Danger in the Desert

Wow! What a thriller of a Superbowl.

For those expecting a Superbowl recap, you will have to wait until Saturday. You shouldn’t have missed the game anyway. Life is about adventure, and sometimes my adventures are more harrowing than what takes place on the field.

At 4:30pm on Saturday, I made a decision to go to the Superbowl. I have watched them on tv with millions of people, but never been to one. 50 years from now, when I have grandchildren, and they are watching clips of Eli Manning and “the scramble,” I will tell them that the day the Giants shocked the world…I was there.

Yet life after the Superbowl was not good. First of all, I could not even get a plane ticket home from Phoenix to Los Angeles. I was going to have to fly into Long Beach, which meant my cab ride would be exorbitant. Compared to the price of Superbowl tickets, I could live with this. What I did not factor into my flight home was the fact that parts of Arizona never change their clocks. Half of the year, LA and Phoenix are exactly the same time. This time of year, Phoenix is one hour ahead.

This meant that kickoff was after 4pm, not 3pm. That meant that there was no way to make my outbound flight, and there were no other flights. So I decided to drive all the way back to LA, a 5 hour drive according to what people told me. Yet this was an inconvenience. Trying to get to my car was a nightmare.

I was one of the last people to leave the stadium, since I wanted to soak up every ounce of Superbowl memory. Had I walked with others to my car, it would have been fine. I walked alone, and I could not find my car. I did not park at the stadium. I parked at the local high school, which was near the stadium. Yet the people who told me where the high school was located were wrong. I walked back and forth for what must have been 3 or 4 miles. In an awful development, I learned that there were two high schools. They were both near each other, but on opposite sides of the stadium.

I called Hertz, and they told me that even though the car had a GPS tracker, they could not locate the car using that device. I was always under the impression that if a car is lost or stolen, they can find it. Perhaps Hertz just did not care. I even knocked on the doors of complete strangers at night, begging and pleading for directions.

My situation was desperate, and realizing that I was on the street in a city I knew nothing about late at night caused me to do the one thing that I did not want to do. I called 911.

Some may say calling 911 in this type of situation is extreme, but I literally felt like I was going to die on the streets of Phoenix. The police officer from the Glendale Police Department said I did the right thing by calling him, and that he would help me. He was very reassuring. Some people may dislike cops (which I don’t), but boy was I glad when he showed up. I explained to him that I clearly remembered the location of the car with regards to being across the street from a sign that had the name of the high school. I could not remember which high school, so he asked me which exit I came off of from the freeway to begin with.

He put my stuff in the back of his car, and after patting me down and making sure I had no weapons on me, he let me ride in the front of the squad car so I would only feel like an imbecile, and not a criminal. He said, “If you have to ride in a squad car as a civilian, this is the way to do it.” We went back on the freeway, looped around, and then I clearly saw the sign. I was at the wrong high school earlier, and 3 miles from where my car was. When I saw my own car I felt relieved, and after putting my stuff in the car, I asked the officer if I could give him a hug. He said yes.

It turns out the guy was a Charger fan, but his duty to help allowed him to save the life of a member of the Raider Nation. I told him that I would root for the Chargers to go 14-2 next year, provided they lose to the Raiders. He laughed. He waited for me to make sure my car would start. It did, and the GPS tracker told me I had 368 miles to go to reach Los Angeles. It was now 12:20am.

For legal reasons I cannot confirm or deny how fast I was driving on the way home, but if I had been pulled over, I would have just thanked the officer for saving my life. I will be sending a thank you note to the officer from Glendale, Arizona.

The only people on the road were truckers and me. I have always liked truckers, and have always loved the movie Smokey and the Bandit. Before getting into that trilogy, it seems that every song on the radio deal with driving.

“Life is a highway…I’m gonna ride it all night long.”

“Been driving all night, my hands wet on the wheel.”

“Here I go again on my own…going down the only road I’ve ever known.”

At least I didn’t have to hear a depressing song, “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight.”

Yet when the radio station went fuzzy, not a good thing on long drives, it was the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy that sustained me. I was “Westboun and Down.” Yet instead of hauling illegal liquor from Atlanta to Texas, I was hauling my own tired self from Phoenix to Los Angeles. The Bandit Express was now the Tygrrrr Express.

“You heard about the Legend of Jesse James…John Henry just to mention some names…well there’s a driving legend in the west today…A man called Tygrrrr from L.A. CA. Every gear jammer knows his name…they say he’s got ice water running through his veins…foot like lead…and nerves of steel…gonna go to glory riding 18 wheels”

Nerves of steel not counting my near death and frayed nerves on the streets of Phoenix. Once in the car, I was calm.

“I hit California in a driving rain…so hard I couldn’t even see the passing lane…started to shift when I lost a gear…hit the breaks, found they had no air…the road ahead was steep and long, and everybody who saw it, thought the Tygrrrr was gone.

My wheels jacknifed turned completely round, I was going down backwards bout the speed of sound. Alot of folks seen it, but they all say, you better head out, better clear the way…well I got to the bottom…safe and sound…everybody asked ‘Tygrrrr, how’d you make it down,’ I said ‘folks when the wheels picked up too much speed, I just run along beside it and drug my feet.’

You heard the legend of Jesse James…John Henry just to mention some names…There’s a driving legend in the west today…a man called Tygrrrr from L.A. CA…Every gearjammer knows his name…they say he’s got icewater running through his veins…foot like lead, nerves of steel…gonna go to glory riding 18 wheels.”

Hey, at least it was better than driving songs such as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “The smell of death,” and Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone (although Radar Love was cited earlier).”

“Westbound and Down, loaded up and trucking…we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done…we gotta long way to go, and a short time to get there…westbound, for another Tygrrrr run. Put your foot hard on the pedal…son never mind them breaks…let it all hang out cause we got a run to make…”

Snowman: Hey Bandit, why are we doing this?

Bandit: Why not?

Snowman: They said it couldn’t be done.

Bandit: That’s the reason son.

Snowman: That’s good with Fred. we’re clear.

“If I keep it on the ground, when I put that hammer down…I’ll be Cali bound and flying…I’ve got my tin in the wind, let it all hang out again…how you gonna win if you aint trying.”

The Tygrrrr Express made its way through the desert, and eventually I did figure out how to work the windshield wipers. Arizona was easy, but I even managed to miss an exit in Los Angeles, where I have lived since 1990. I ended up downtown, adding 30 minutes.

“Hear that roar of thunder…hear those wild screams…every boy’s hero…every lady’s dream…flying down the highway headed west…in a streak of black lightning, called the Tygrrrr Express…

Look out the Tygrrrr’s prowling…look out the Tygrrrr’s growling…look out the Tygrrrr’s on the move…Look out the Tygrrrr’s growling, get your money and warn the women…tell the others they can all take a rest…cause they’ll never catch the Tygrrrr Express.”

I made it back to my bed at 5:30am, but thanks to that time zone thing that had vexed me earlier, it was only 4:30am. I made it to work, at least physically.

Yes, the young antihero of this blog who occasionally puts the Super in Superbowl is back at home, safe and sound.

So tell the others all to take a rest…cause they’ll never catch the Tygrrrr Express.


5 Responses to “Thrill and Danger in the Desert”

  1. micky2 says:

    I thought you didnt drink ?

  2. charly martel says:

    Drunk with fatigue I’d say. ;-)

  3. Cyber Pastor says:

    OH wow, I didn’t know you got to go to the game. I have been very happy with both the last two years. My Colts win, and then New England doesn’t!!!!


  4. Skeezix says:

    It was better on TV in Arizona I hear. Porn was free!

    The New Conservative Party in 2010


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