Funny Thing About Life

David Haut

David Haut

David Haut

How could I get lost? The directions were so simple. Take I-44 East to St. Louis, go north on I-55, turn left, then right, stop at the big tree, go under two overpasses, over two underpasses, pass three parking lots and it’s the first building on your left. How could anyone screw that up? Apparently, I’m not anyone.

My car is a 1999 Honda Civic, all standard, nothing fast, nothing furious, nothing even remotely mean. It’s the perfect balance between economy and, well economy. Plus, it’s a cool color.

I took it to St. Louis for a media banquet last weekend, making me glad my car didn’t fall apart like I did.

I made it to St. Louis just fine, to the city that is. It took me approximately 3.2 seconds to get lost in downtown east St. Louis, the place where white guys stick out like a dorito in a bowl of pretzels. It was ok, though, I was greeted by a large group of guys who, for some reason, seemed happy to see me.

Well, by greeted, mean scared off, since that’s what they did. It could have just been a misunderstanding, but I wasn’t going to stick around and find out.

I found the hotel after that, but somehow I missed the giant sign that said SELF-PARK with an arrow on it. Instead I drove through the valet, around the block, and into an armored parking lot. The security guard talked to me in fluent cop jargon. He used words like parameter, sector, vacate and premises. I tried my best not to laugh, although I think I looked like I was trying to keep milk from flowing out of my nose.

The guy at the hotel was not very nice either, so I kept asking him dumb questions. I asked him where I could find the stairs, the parking lot and which floor 583 was on. He probably didn’t believe I was a writer. I can’t believe he gave me a key card. I wasn’t even spending an entire night at the hotel.

I spent the hour in between the trip and the banquet watching TV. I drove four and a half hours to watch a soccer match.

The drive home was fun as well. We left St. Louis I drank four cans of Red Bull and had two snickers. When I paid for it the lady looked at me like I was buying cyanide. I guess they look at everybody like that at 3 a.m.

We stopped four times on the way home; my passengers had the bladders of 8-year-old girls.

We pulled into Joplin a little after 4 a.m., coming down from the three hour Red Bull high, nestled within the safety of my two door ex luxury coupe.

St. Louis was glad to see me leave.