I’m writing this in the back of an SUV. I am some serious, precious cargo. Not really, but I wanted to write the word cargo. Now that it’s out of my system, I have to spill some deets with how tour life has been going. Make a cup of coco (unless you’re reading this and live in Florida, in which case you’ll regret ever beginning to read this blog only to find such a miserable suggestion), get out your Snuggie and prepare for some hardcore literary brilliance. Sort of.
Know how they always joke about getting the “bad karma” out of the way before you go on tour? I was the lucky bastard to hit situational gold when I was leaving from North Port => Gainesville Tuesday afternoon. I thought my car had been riding a little more oddly than usual, which isn’t really saying much to begin with. For those unaware, I have a ’93 Honda Accord. It is… a satanic pile of metal (to say the least). But I figured that it was actually curing itself of all its various maladies since the motor mounts were no longer making the cabin a massage chair upon stopping at red lights. Oh, and it smelled more like a car instead of an exhaust sanctuary. I was revving to go and left around two-ish, merged onto 75N and thought everything was gravy (though, for the record, gravy is disgusting). I called Fick’s drummer Kellen to let him know I was en route and prepped for the 4 hour drive. I put on our first cd, “Futureshock”, and buckled down for a mental practice run-through. After about ten minutes on the highway, my car pulled another one of its ridiculously evil stunts.
I suddenly saw a black chunk of plasticrubbercarinnards fly out from under front of my car. Obviously, there is no way to avoid roadside hazards caused by one’s own car, so I did what only a pathetic, helpless driver could do: I ran over it. Next thing I know, I hear a sickening crunch; the smell of rubber and automobilic spite was perfuming my nostrils with a buxom cry against the human race. At this point in the story, I’d like to say I was a “calm Christine”…
But I was not.
I immediately called our drummer and pulled over on the side of the highway, too shaken to get out and asses the damages for at least a few minutes. The ABS light was glaring at me with orange vengeance, which confounded me even more. Had my brakes gone? Was I missing some sort of brake belt? My fears were racing faster than my car could decelerate. And then: Was my engine even still there? I told him I’d call back, then called my mommy. Guys, girls, ladies and gents: If you think you can handle your shit in a time of confusion and crisis, remember that your mother will always be around to pull your head out of your ass for you. And my mother, fabulous of a woman as she is, knows exactly how to bring down my panic meter from EXTREME PARANOIA I’M DYING WHAT DO I DO to All Right, This Is A Lot Of Messed Up But At Least I Am Still Alive.
When I got out of the car, I circled around it a few times in a vulture-like fashion, assuming it was either dead or dying. I noticed a floodgate had been opened by the front passenger tire. Clear liquid poured out, which reinitiated my panic. Brake fluid? Transmission fluid? Lighter fluid? Blood? I reported all of these things to my mother who told me to call AAA and describe the problem and ask for a tow truck. Me being a daredevil (and also a dumbass about all things cars), lamely asked, “Well, do you think I could attempt to drive it, or…?” Just get a tow truck and calm down.
So I waited on the side of 75, so close that I was still within North Port lines. I alternated cursing my demonmobile and sweat-crying (when you’re so flipped out that you sweat and cry and you can’t tell which is which on your face). It took a good 20 minutes on hold with AAA before going through the motions of confirming your “how many questions can you handle being asked while assuming your car has undergone irreparable damage” membership.
In the time soon after, one heavenly gentleman pulled over in a beat-up looking van. Just what I needed- a pervert to pass the time. He asked if I needed help and I’m assuming he though I was twelve since I kept repeating that I didn’t know what had happened to my car but that my mom was coming to pick me up. How old am I again? Oh right, not twelve. He reached into a cooler and got me an unopened, un-roofied water, and shared some car horror stories of his own, saying that junkers are often more high maintenance than babies. He speculated that the liquid was brake fluid and wished me well. Thank you, random saint on the side of 75N.
My mom eventually found me as the sky started getting all adverse and crappy. We loaded everything for tour into her two door Yaris and set off for home. I had left the car key under the floor mat so that I could at least get away from such a depressing site. Made it back home with still no word from the towing company. We needed to get a move on since I still wanted to make band practice- especially because I was set to play Fick’s entire discography, which I had never played before. Charming. My mom agreed to drive me to Tampa so that I wouldn’t have to call the idea of touring quits, and Kellen agreed to drive to Tampa to pick me up.
Let me take the time to insert here how solid Kellen has always been when coming through for me. He has driven me to many venues before shows of my other band (the Minks) including the Social, the Beacham, and even House of Blues, all because he knew my car was the spawn of Satan. Oh, and because he’s a stand up guy. He also rescued a kitten, which may not seem metal but is. And though this isn’t entirely the time or place, his drumming will make your shit yourself. And then you’ll have to call your mommy and cry into the receiver because of how hard his playing will blow your mind. Really. You might not even want to listen to Fick if you’re a wussy little bitch. Good, glad we got that cleared up.
Though I had a slight freak out at the AAA rep after spotting my car STILL on the side of the highway two hours after my initial call, the drive was smooth otherwise. We switched cars in a Lazy Boy parking lot then hit the road for Gainesville. By the time we got in, I was pretty crabby and exhausted. We ended up running through as much of the set as we could before I almost suffered a mental (not metal) breakdown. We weren’t going to leave until 11am on Wednesday, so there was time to sleep off all the bad vibes.
Because Kellen is a glorious human being, he made me a blowout meal of vegetarian, smorgasbording skewers when we left practice. A Jew making kabobs? Glory. Full meal included: watermelon & feta salad; pearl couscous with sundried tomatoes; garlic and orange-glazed baby bok choy; Italian-dressed portabella, soy-ginger tempeh, & tofu ceviche with red and green peppers and onion. And all the while, his rescue-kitten Jezebel fluttered about and mewed, “Luk et meh. Eye’m sew kyute.” Considering I speak Flangdas (I’ll explain my cat language someday), we had a nice little conversation that consisted of me pretty much squealing about said kitten for 20 minutes straight. (Note: I apparently am a bit obsessive about kittens. Whoops.)
Overall, it was the perfect way to decompress after an unnecessarily hectic day. But the real cray-ness would start right off the bat Wednesday morning. Stay tuned! Tour! Inside information! Gig life! Boys! Girls! Things with Stuff!
Fine Young Poet : Em
an artist who chooses to starve