Shell Game (Day 4)

On Saturday morning, November 8th, I drove exactly 150 miles in one hour forty five minutes. I had slept in til about 8am, and then spent a solid two hours at the complimentary hot breakfast. Waffles, Eggs, Bacon, Yogurt, all of it.

So with my first true bellyful in many days, I left a La Quinta Inn & Suites just outside San Antonio Texas at, well I guess it would have been around 10am. The sun seemed round. The air felt crisp. The wind was blowing hard out of the North.

Me? Well I was finally heading West.

Real early on, I remember seeing a small pack of fat bottomed girls on a frontage road along Hwy 10. The eight of them were all wearing standard day glow, and had rear view mirrors attached to their helmets. Long been a sign of the times. Good for them I thought.

I also remember seeing a consortium of little league fields. Not like a handful of fields, more like a couple dozen of them. Acres upon acres of perfectly carved out baseball fields, all of which appeared to be neatly manicured, with fences, foul posts, covered dugouts, grandstands, scoreboards, you name it. Games were in progress. Snack bars were in full affect.

I couldn’t help but to think back to the once famous 1976 AA Angels, and teammates Beau Mercurio, Danny Thull, Teddy Canedy, and Jon Aufdemburg. Naturally, I began thinking about grade school friends like Kelly Ryan, Kirby Piazza, and Pat Hegarty.

I found a radio station that was playing Classic Rock, and cranked it. Texas was being downright glorious. Cruise control was set at 85mph. I slipped into a No Repeat 20 song set.

Well next thing I knew, I was low on gas. Like real low. The red jig was resting against the black nob. I knew there was reserve but it also felt like I was hindering on nowhere.

It was my bad.  Blame it on letting my guard down.  Look no further than the fact that I was now conducting life in the grand ol’ US of A.  I suppose I supposed that no matter how fucked a situation I could ever get myself into, there was sure to be a safe and easy way out.  

So with all of the above in mind, I made the executive decision NOT to fill the tank at the gas station across the street from La Quinta Inn & Suites because I wanted to drain the dreadful 86 Octane Mexico Gas out of my tank.

And you know what?? I did a damn good job of it.

But guess what?? No worries brah.

And you know why?? Because there She was.

I pulled into this One Shell Town. There were two pumps. Gas was $3.03/gallon.

Before exiting the van, I looked to where my wallet should have been. No dice.

I recall putting my finger on my personal panic button. I tried to remain calm.

Calm wasn’t working. I frantically began pulling apart my van in 40mph wind.

It was high noon, and the reality of the situation was ridiculously overwhelming.

I walked inside Shell. I explained to the lady that I was out of gas and money.

I told her that the last time I saw my wallet was while I was eating waffles.

I phoned Jan and explained my situation. By 12:30 she had a BofA rep on the line.

I told the rep that I was out of cash in BofA, but had money at Wells. He googled it.

“There’s a Wells Fargo in San Angelo about 70 miles away. They close at 2.”

I checked the map.  From Sonora, it appeared to be a straight shot up Hwy 277.

Time was ticking. I was freaking. The wind was howling. I had to make a move.

Scouring the van one last time felt tempting.  I’m an idiot.  What to do, what to do.

I asked the minimum wage employee if I could borrow $25 for gas. She had $22.

With passport in hand, I sped to San Angelo, TX. I arrived at 1:55pm.  Whew!

“You must be Jackass. Welcome to Wells Fargo. We have been expecting you.”