Monday, August 30, 2010

to beale or not to beale....

After lunch at Rendevous, we were rolled up on the bed like slugs...I was deep into my nap and mindless at that point.  You know the point, when you lose all conscious and subconscious thought and are somewhere out in lala land.

I woke up to the sound of someone screaming.  Not distant screaming.  Screaming right in my ear.  About the time I realized that someone was screaming, Steve, who is a violent sleeper anyway, sits bolt upright on the bed and shouts "WHAT IS THAT?"

I was coming awake more slowly and said "it's the TV."

Steve: "NO IT ISN'T!!!"

Me: "well I don't know what it is then."

About the time we decide it isn't the TV, it is the wall talking, the wall says:

"This is an emergency.  There has been a fire reported in the building.  Walk to the nearest exit and leave the building now."

I am thinking I will just take my chances and finish my nap, but oh noooo, Stevie has other ideas...he has JUMPED out of the bed by now and is screaming at me "WHAT DO WE TAKE?  WHAT DO WE TAKE?  MY CPAP? THE SUITCASE????"

I calmly tell him we will take nothing, then grab little girl and my purse on my way out.   I don't go anywhere without little girl and my purse...

me and little girl



 About the time we are ready to walk out the door, someone starts POUNDING on the door and screaming "Y'ALL BETTER COME ON AND GET OUTTA THERE NOW!!!"

It's Mona.  Bless her.  She is gonna make sure I am safe.  We open the door and step out in the hall.  The hall is empty.  But I hear Mona screaming "C'MON C'MON!!!! NOW!!!!" like a voice from the great beyond.  I holler "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?"  and hear feet running and she sticks her head around the corner wayyyy down at the end of the hall and hollers "C'MON!!!"  I start trotting toward her, or where she was because by now she is gone again...Stevie is just now coming out of the room.  I am shot full of adrenaline by now because of Mona, and I start goading and cussing him to get his ass in gear and come on.

Now to someone who has worked in the coal mines, this little episode was kind of anticlimactic.  Stevie never even broke a sweat as we headed for the stairs.  I am running back and forth between him and Mona, trying to be the glue that keeps us connected.  We get to the stairs, and start down them.  I see Mona for about 1 flight and then she disappears again.

Did I mention we were on the 9th floor?  Oh yes, my karma has struck me square in the ass again and is chasing me down that damn flight of stairs.  Every now and then I hear Mona's voice drifting up the stairwell to hurry before we burn up.  I did pretty good for the first three flights I think, although I did try to bail out on the seventh floor parking deck where the dog guests go for a poop.  But Steve hollered at me to keep going so I sadly waved goodbye to the brown patch of poop grass and kept going.  At some point Steve passed me.  I don't remember him doing it but there he was and I was in the rear...and thinking oh hell no I am not gonna end up barbecued in a Memphis hotel.  I kept going down, down and after about 6 flights my legs are starting to feel the jello effect, you know what I mean, when the adrenaline wears off and all of a sudden there isn't shit in you to keep you going.  I tried to bail out on 2 other floors that looked mighty inviting but got cussed again.  We all finally made it down....Mona swearing that she smelled smoke and Steve telling her no it was dirt she was smelling...

We burst through a door at the bottom of 9 flights of stairs from hell and...we were standing on the street.  There was no one around us.  Then I noticed we were about half a block down from the entrance to the hotel.  We all trudged up to the hotel and planted ourselves among the small group of people coming out of stairwells here and there.  I am thinking the whole thing is a farce, then we hear it...

Sirens.  Yep, Memphis' finest showed up in three huge ass firetrucks, all rigged out in fire gear and several of them rush into the building.  One catches a car ride to the top of the parking deck (I thought that was a bit strange) and so I wait to smell smoke or something, whatever happens when there is a real fire.

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing happens.  After a few more minutes they all leave.  There was a small overheated part to the elevator on top of the building that set it all off.  And the firemen are all gone.

And the elevators don't work.  As this slowly sinks into my brain I am thinking I will die if I have to go back UP 9 flights of stairs, those same stairs I just spent 1 minute from hell coming down....no way am I going to do that...and things are looking grimmer by the second when all of a sudden a hotel employee offers the group by the front door a ride to the top in his car.  Everyone in the crowd just looks at him like he is speaking Greek...don't they realize this is salvation on four wheels?  It takes us about 2 seconds to run to that car and throw our asses inside...and off we go to the top...then he tells us..

he can only take us to the 7th floor.  That is as high as the parking deck goes.  I think ok how bad can two flights of stairs up be?

It can be damn bad I found out.  I made it up the first flight on sheer determination...about halfway up the second flight I am beginning to have doubts, and about halfway up the second half of the last flight I am contemplating just giving up and dying right there.  Stevie to the rescue.  He has climbed thousands of steps and shows me how to lock my knee and let the leg rest a second or two before you take the next step.  I make it up, into the hall, down the hall and into our room and collapse face down on the bed telling myself that next time I will have to see flames before I leave the room.

Things I learned that day:

1. Never let your treadmill sit unused in your computer room.  It is your best friend.  Use it and treat it well.

2. Plane karma can turn to hotel karma in the blink of an eye.

3.  Never count on your friends to wait on you.  They will save their own ass first every time.

4. Stay as close to the ground floor as you can.

5. Firemen look pretty darn cute close up.

Memphis adventure to be continued.....
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