Monday, September 28, 2009

Seeking Salvation

Clay and I need furniture for the apartment. Right now, I’m sleeping on cushions, and Clay is on an air mattress that deflates halfway through the night, so he has to refill it at about 4 AM. Our clothes, dishes, and pretty much everything else are basically still in boxes or scattered around the room. We need beds, shelves, and some way to cook food. The microwave just isn’t cutting it.

We decided to check out the Salvation Army store but didn’t know the location of the nearest one. I entered “Salvation Army” into my GPS (whom I’ve named “Laura,” major bonus points for those who get the reference; hint: my car’s name is the Colonial One). The nearest entry was about five miles away. I thought my aunt had said there was one closer, but I figured she must have been mistaken. There was a strange abbreviation to the entry, something like “Bessmr Chdn.” I had no clue what it stood for, but figured it didn’t really matter.

It was about 3:30 when we took off, which marks the beginning of rush hour in LA. BTW, “rush hour” is a misleading term, since it lasts until about 9 at night. After about 30 minutes, we turned onto the street Laura indicated was the address. It was oddly barren except for a few industrial-looking buildings. When we pulled up to the address that was listed, what was there was in no way what we expected. Apparently we had stumbled upon the Children’s Support Center of the Salvation Army, not a discount store. That was what “Chdn” stood for.

Luckily, Clay has a very odd sense of humor and laughed heartily upon understanding the situation. We looked up “Salvation Army” again on the GPS, and this time I made sure there were no bizarre, abbreviated words in the entry. We set off again into the teeming LA traffic.

Still in the height of rush hour, it took us at least another 30 minutes to get to the address Laura so happily supplied. This neighborhood was equally inappropriate for a store as the first one was: mostly apartments and smaller residential buildings. This time, we had found the Salvation Army’s housing center. The repeated ridiculous situation must have pushed Clay over the edge, because his laugh took on a slightly hysterical tone.

We ultimately called it a day without reaching our original destination. By this time, we were all the way in Hollywood. Clay suggested we stop for coffee, and I heartily agreed. I got a green tea latte with soy milk (mmm…), and about halfway through I decided it was a good idea to flip the cup over and cover my cell phone in hot, sticky tea. I desperately tried to get all the tea off as fast as I could. I’ve lost two phones due to liquid damage before, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it happen again.

In my panic, my brain came up with a great idea: get the tea off the phony by licking it! So I did. I licked my phone in the middle of Starbucks. This, I think, marked a new low in my life. I never imagined myself licking my cell phone, but here I was in Hollywood licking electronics. I’ve always called myself a technophile, but this seemed borderline fetishist. I assure you, I would have bought the phone dinner if it were capable of eating. Maybe it was karma, or maybe the licking really did help, but my phone came out of the disaster no worse for the wear, albeit slightly stickier.

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