Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Game 33 - Mets
Which Reminds Me . . .

Diamondbacks 9, Mets 5
Record: 14-19

So the Mets lose another one out in the desert. Speaking of the desert, there's a place in Daytona Beach (the cheesiest place in which I have ever spent time) called the Desert Inn. It was the source of many, many silly stories from a week spent there for Spring Break over a decade ago. There were jail hosings/macings and rescues, race riots behind us at the Naughty By Nature/Primus/Salt N Pepa/Ugly Kid Joe (??) show, near deaths in the Intracoastal Waterway, Ted Nugent sightings, and just random weird occurrences, like this one:

So we're concluding the nightly jaunt down the "strip" of Daytona, a trek that has become tired even for action-starved college kids from Williamsburg, VA. After the umpteenth terrible wet T-shirt contest (one which featured an O.D.U. student baring it all to win enough cash for a bus ticket back to Norfolk -- I suppose I could have offered her a lift when I was talking to her minutes before her display), a few of us slugged our last dollar-draughts and began to make our way out to the boulevard for the long, long walk home.

In the nightly battle of laziness versus beer money, beer money usually won out and we'd hoof it rather than pay for a taxi. On this night, for whatever reason, someone made an executive decision and hoisted a thumb. After a few cabs whizzed by, a huge, black limo swerved into the parking lot, nearly clipping us, and screeched to a halt next to us. Just before the doors opened, thoughts ranged from the grand (rock stars, porn queens, free mini-bar) to the horrific (gangsters, gay porn queens, obnoxious drunk frat guys like us). The fact that they'd pulled over at all made us even wonder if, perhaps, they knew us. Within the cavernous limousine, however, was none of the above: a few college co-eds who wanted nothing other than to be generous with the free limo service they'd won.

We climbed in and graciously thanked the girls, then painfully staggered into the idle chit-chat which came to us about as easily as Advanced Swahili. Early in the course of the conversation, though, after one of us had mentioned our college, one of the young ladies blurted out, "William & Mary?" and began the inquiry I had heard a million times and snidely mocked a million more. To ask someone from a college of 5,000 students if they know so-and-so is an act of naive optimism usually reserved for bubbly, young co-eds, and this girl fit the bill. Especially when they usually ask if you know John, the brown-haired guy who's about 5'11" with medium build.

Anyway, as she launched in, the impulse to poke fun had already left the brain and was headed toward the larynx when she completed the question and the ears sent an urgent newsflash to halt all speech. This just in:

"Do you know Chuck Carter or Whitney?"

It's hard to gauge whether it was the sheer odds of someone pulling up in a limo, letting us in, and then asking me if I knew me, or if it was the sense that we might be on Candid Camera (nowadays there are a dozen shows who might have pulled this stunt), or if it was the confusion as to who in hell this person was, or possibly the funnels of malt beverage that were bubbling up by now in my belly. Anyway, I stammered a bit, then replied: "Well, . . . I'm Whitney."

I should leave it at that, but here's the boring explanation: Chuck Carter was one of our guys who'd graduated the previous spring, and when his sister had come to visit the year before, this girl had accompanied her. I'd lived in a place with six other guys, including Chuck, and I guess I must have made an impression. I think it had to do with my donning her cow costume (complete with udders) along with Carter for the Halloween party. Anyway, it was a remarkable small world occurrence, and one that ended a few more blocks north.

And this not-that-amusing, had-to-be-there, what-a-coinkidink story is miles more interesting than reporting on the New York Mets flubbing up in Arizona again last night. Please, Mets, don't make me turn this blog into Whitney's Boring College Stories Redux. Win a friggin' game.

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