Escape From Philly

Last week, I took a trip to Lancaster, PA, to visit a friend of mine.  I must say that every single day I was there, I was involved in a situation I had never been a part of before.  Like things that people may never have happen to them in their lives.  I’ll just get right to them… 

One day I was at the mall, with a couple friends and a little girl (my friends niece).  As you can see, I had her up on my on my shoulders: 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Well, after about 10 minutes of her being on my shoulders, I felt an odd feeling that I had never felt before.  It felt like someone tried to spit on my neck, but no spit came out.  It was an odd air burst.  Then there was another, and another.  I thought I had it figured out, but I wasnt quite sure yet.   

All of a sudden, the little girl says “I want to get down.”  I say, “Yea, it’s about that time.”  She then runs over to her mother and says “I have to tell you a secret.  I farted.”   

I standing there like “This is ricodamdiculous.  I’ve just been crop dusted.”  I was directly farted on, right to the neck, three times.  I smell like a public bathroom, so I stay away from my other friends, who are all laughing at me.  Awesome. 

  

Another day, there was a big BBQ/party that basically lasted from 6pm until 4am.  While in the midst of the party I met this woman who asked to take a picture with me because I was so tall (as usual).  So I took it and added my own little twist: 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

After the picture, the woman seemed to always be near me for the rest of the night.  She kept calling me pretty eyes and whatnot.  Not necessarily unusual (I am rather striking), but still a bit odd considering that I was not really acknowledging her.   

One of my friends and I pass out in the basement of the house at the end of the night.  He is on one side of the room near the TV, Im on another side, near the stairs.   

I wake up in the morning a little earlier than I want to because I hear a couple of voices.  I realize that its the same woman and her girlfriend, sitting on the couch in the basement.  They are straight up watching us sleep.  I pretend to still be asleep, so I can hear what they are saying. 

“Oh yea baby, roll over for me”, I hear her say.  I’m laying there thinking “this is wrong. So0o wrong.”   

I fall asleep again.  I wake up two hours later and they are still there, watching us.  I hear her say “that’s beautiful over there, and that’s handsome right there.  Beautiful and Handsome.”  I pop right up this time.  My boy has started to wake up too.  “Hey handsome,” she says to me, “and you too beautiful,” she says to Darryl.   

I got up and walked out of the room.  That was it for her. 

  

On the last day, I had to make moves to go home.  I had to take the train from Lancaster to Philadelphia because I was flying out of Philly.  As I arrived at the Philly Amtrak, I had to take the SEPTA train to the Airport.  SO, I dragged my bad up to the counter for the SEPTA train tickets, and I asked the guy how much these tickets cost.  He said they cost $5.50.  I realized that I only had $2.13 is cash and change on me, so I asked him where an ATM was (I looked stupid because it was right behind me).  I walked up the the ATM to withdraw $20.  DENIED.  What?  How could that be?  Direct Deposit should have gone through the day before.  Well, just how much money was in there then?  $0.68.  68 cents, my man, 68 cents.   

I’m in downtown Philly.  I’ve got $2.13 in cash and $0.68 on my card and a flight back to San Diego that takes off in 2 hours from an airport that is gonna cost $5.50 to get to.  How the hell am I gonna escape from Pennsylvania?   

I check my wallet once again.  There’s a check for $25 dollars that my friend had given me 5 months ago.  It’s from Bank of America.  I decide that if I’m gonna make it out of here, I will need to get to Bank of America and cash this check.  The thing is, I already know that Bank of America is lame and that they don’t cash checks without 2 valid forms of I.D.  I’ve got my license (valid) and my expired passport (NOT valid).  So, if for some reason I could get to a BofA soon, there’s only a 20% chance I could trick the teller into thinking that my passport is still valid. 

“Time to roll the dice,” I thought to myself as I walked out to the taxi area.  I tried to hail like 3 taxis before one stopped for me.  It was a black guy driving.  As I got in, he mentioned that nobody but him would have stopped.  It then hit me that, if this check thing didnt work out, not only would I be stuck in Penn, but that I wouldnt be able to pay the only taxi driver who would pick up a black guy, so he might kill me.  I dunno what I’m thinking but I know that on TV, the east coast is a crazy place where things like that could happen.   

“Do you know where Bank of America is?,” I asked as we got moving.   

“Nope, let me try to find out,”  he replied. 

I was watching the meter carefully.  I knew that I would need  to pay for a ride to and from this place, and still have $5.50 left over for the damn SEPTA train.  I was calling 411 to try to find a close one, but everything was automated.  We drove around for a few minutes before I could get one out of this automated thing.  BofA was only a few blocks away. 

We parked at BofA and the meter was at $9…running.  I went inside.  As I walked in, there were 3 tellers open.  To the far left (closest to me at the time) was a young, attractive black woman.  “Nope!”, I thought to myself.  No way was I gonna embarrass myself in front of her with my $25 dollar check.  Furthest to the right was an older white lady, she seemed in charge.  I wasn’t gonna mess with her either.  I needed this check to go through, she seemed like she would have no compassion for the lack of valid I.D.’s.  Right in the middle, was a 30-35 yr old black woman.  I had to go to her by default, but this was no guarantee.   

I handed her my check and let her know that I needed it cashed.  She asked for my I.D.  I gave it to her.  “Just one?”, I thought to myself.  A good sign.  She starts doing a lot of typing into her computer.  Too much typing? It was hard to tell, but this check was only for $25.  What the hell would take so long.  She then walks it over to the old white woman in charge.  DAMMIT.  No way, exactly what I didnt want.  They confer and head behind closed doors.  You would think that I was taking out $25,000, not $25.  I know that the meter outside is still running.  How high is it by now?  So many questions, not enough answers.   

She comes back and types some more.  Finally she asks to me to endorse the check.  Yes! As Borat would say: “Great Success!  Sexy time explosion!”  She handed me my $25 and I was off.   

The taxi meter was only at $12.40.  Perfect.  “Where’s the nearest SEPTA station, my man?”, I asked.  “Hold on.”, he replied.   

I paid him $15 ( it was like $13.20) when I got out of the cab.  Sweet.  I had $12.13 now.  I got a bomb ass Philly Cheesesteak and still had money to spare for the SEPTA. 

Well, as a result of the whole fiasco, I got to the airport about 45 minutes before takeoff.  That is normally not a problem, but on Southwest Airlines, seating is based on who gets there first.  I was forced to get a “C” boarding card, meaning that I would definitely have a seat in between two 300 lb. wildebeasts.  This was going to be a 5 and a half hour flight, I had to get “my seat”.  “My seat” is on every southwest flight.  It has no seat in front of it and it’s the exit row.  This seat is the only seat I can sit in on the whole plane and be comfortable at all.  The problem is that these random 4 foot 10 women will take that seat if they beat me to it.  I will literally stare them down the whole time as I walk past them.  I give a look that says “You have got to be kidding me, you joke.” 

I digress.  So, I asked the customer service rep for a pre-board slip so that I could get on before everyone else.  Southwest has enacted policy recently that says that you cant sit in my seat if you pre-board.  I knew I couldn’t get my seat with the pre-board seat, but maybe I could get bulkhead and have some space.   

When I got on the plane, some dumbass woman had already “reserved” the entire bulkhead section.  Feeling dejected, I walked down and sat in the seat directly behind “my seat”.  The flight attendant asked me if I was a pre-board guy.  I said that I was, hoping that she would have compassion and put me into my seat anyways.  No dice.  She walked to the back, and another attendant walked back towards me.  This attendant noticed how tall I was.  She asked if I played in the NBA.  This is when I realized that there was a glimpse of possibility.  I mean, coddamn, this had been a long ass day already, I needed my seat. 

“Yes, I was on an NBA team.”, I said confidently.  She then asked me if I would autograph something for her kids.  I replied, “I will, if you can get me that seat.”   

She looked at me and said “O.K.  But, were you a pre-board?”  I said that I was.  She then made a big time play and told me to sit there anyways.  She then told the other attendant that I had made a mistake and that I misunderstood the whole pre-board thing.   

The plane was full by this time, and she came back with some things for me to autograph.  She asked me “What team did you play for?”  I said “The Sacramento Kings.”  I figured that if she googled my name it would have some mention of the kings from last years summer league.  I was supposed to go, but before we got on the bus I was told that I wasnt needed.  Not exactly a lie, but not what she was looking for.  Either way, she would find out sometime.  I have big time plans for this summer anyways.  By this time next year I think I will be one of those guys.  I signed the stuff with “Go Kings!!!” on it and gave it back to her.  Yes.  Boom.  Got my seat.   

“I couldnt help but overhear…you’re in the NBA?”, someone behind me asks. 

“Oh snap”, I starting thinking, “this could be bad.”  Within minutes, everyone on the coddamn plane was all hyped up about me being in the NBA.  They were all asking me questions about the league: “What’s it like playing with Ron Artest?  What do you think about Kobe?  How’s Madison Square Garden?”  I had to come up with answers to all these questions on the fly even though there were all false.  Basically, at the end of the flight, all these people thought that they had met their first NBA athlete, when in reality they didn’t.  A hopeful D-Leaguer with aspirations much higher than his current position is that they got — a random guy who wanted a good seat.  Regardless, I finally escaped from Pennsylvania…comfortably. 

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