I just ran from the basement of a Super8 motel in Gurnee, Illinois, in my underwear; this is what I get for taunting the Chicago Curse.
The curse goes back many years. I attempted, and failed, to get to Chicago several times since I was about 19 and every time, something happened. Most of the time it was me getting sick. My first sucessful trip through Chicago came last March when I headed to Milwaukee for a Ken Bruen signing on St. Patrick’s Day. The next sucessful trip to Chicago came for BCon last September. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ken Bruen was at both sucessful trips. He’s the cure to the Chicago Curse.
So my first time through Chicago without St. Ken? My car dies in front of the Six Flags Great America sign on I-94 in Gurnee, Illinois. I think maybe it’s out of gas since my gas gauge is screwy, so I hitch a ride with a cabbie to the next gas station and buy a gallon of gas and hitch a ride back to my car with a guy and his kid, but not before I trounce through knee-deep slush and muck to cross the street, soaking the legs of my jeans. I call a dealer for a tow and a fix. They tow, but can’t fix it till Monday. So I go across the street to the Super8 motel, check myself in and immediately throw my jeans in the dryer available in the basement and run up to my room.
Now I think you’re caught up.
I was on my way to see Duane and the Jordan clan in Milwaukee so it’s really all their fault. Theirs and General Motors who makes the crappiest cars this side of Yugo.
I went through several emotional stages in the last three hours. At first, I just broke down in tears, frustrated and confused, and alone. I made some phone calls, established contact with people I know and realized none of them were anywhere near being able to help me. I tried to start the car over and over again before finally admitting to myself that magic wasn’t going to fix it and I needed to get it off the expressway. So I put my spies to work scowering the Internet for towing companies and Chevrolet dealerships near me. They came through for me, which is the only reason I’m finally somewhere safe. So after the tears came frustration and then anger and then more frustration until finally I couldn’t stand it any longer and peed along side of the rode. The tow truck showed up shortly after that.
I got a decent price on the hotel room and it has free wireless Internet and cable TV so as I’m typing this I’m starting to calm down and fell like everything’s going to be all right. But now I have to go check on my pants in the dryer and figure out how to kill a weekend in Gurneeeeeee.