Let’s begin with the ride home from Cincinnati.
Wait. Back up to the First Watch parking lot, where five damsels in distress — including one on crutches! – were largely ignored.
If this were a Dateline hidden camera special revealing the compassion of the Greater Cincinnati area, there would be a montage of half-interested men on their way to breakfast, shaking their heads and refusing to assist as we push a broken-down black VW Bug across a parking lot the equivalent of the Graceland Shopping Center.
We’ve got it, guys, no problem. Enjoy your pancakes.
To add further to the insult, the manager at First Watch refused to let us inquire about the Red Mazda sports car that was parked in front of us, preventing us from getting the jumpstart Colleen’s car wouldn’t need anyway. We would have to wait, he told us. Don’t want to disturb anyone’s Gravy Train.
So Colleen’s car wouldn’t start as we were attempting to travel back home from Porkopolis. So we rode home in the tow truck. With the driver. All three of us. Cozy. Talkin’. For 110 miles.
Here are the top five things I know about Jason, our 24-year-old chauffeur:
1.) He had just recently broken up with his 37-year-old girlfriend, who retaliated by slashing his tires, forcing him to contact a towing agency, which ultimately led to him securing the job in the first place.
2.) Having his tires slashed was mild compared to her previous break-up reaction. She did $500 in damage by smashing out all his car windows. She has three kids from a previous coitus, but Jason still feels like a kid himself sometimes. This often leads to tension in the relationship.
3.) Once, while armed and intoxicated, he got into a fight at a party. The cops came and told him he would be arrested if he attempted to drive. Wanting to return home, Jason called AAA, and paid the driver $20 to have them tow his vehicle about 5 miles down the road. Thinking he had escaped, he was disappointed to learn that the cop followed Jason and the tow truck, but was relieved when the cop let him continue his drive home anyway. ”I pulled a fast one on him and he liked that,” Jason says.
4.) He thinks drinking beer is “as cool as hell, right there, man.”
5.) He has an English Bulldog named Soldier. (woot! woot!)
It could have been much worse, Colleen and I decided. He was neither fat nor smelly nor psycho and his teeth were fairly straight, which is one of the most important signs of a good driver. He did make us stop at a few houses on the way there, which felt odd, and he did ask us a little too often if “we liked to party,” and he did make that weird comment about the lingerie store as he was giving us a tour of the Bridal Capital of the World in Reading, Ohio, but all in all, it was not a bad trip for the three of us.
When we got to Columbus, Colleen’s dad was waiting in the ACN parking lot with a trailer of his own. All is well. We hope Jason stays in touch.
Also, I love Mae’s friends. It’s comforting to know that those near and dear to you are in good hands. That was maybe the best part about the visit. That, and just a chill weekend with the girls, playing Scrabulous, watching movies as well as visiting some of the highlights of her neighborhood. The Green Papyrus and the Red Tree were solid establishments.
If you didn’t know, Mae had her foot broken and put back together again, and is taking it in stride. You have not lived until you have seen her maneuver a Hoverround in the grocery store. Those things turn on a dime. She is a total Dude Magnet as she makes her way up and down the aisles.
Special shout-out to Talya Strader, who was severely missed. I imagine that Poor Colleen really needed an ally.
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