15 August 2008

Fate and Favourites

As some of you may have noticed, I am continually suggesting shows I reckon to be worth the while to attend over at The Donnybrook Writing Academy's regular Friday feature The Problem of Leisure. My favourites tend to appear a lot, but since the folks running things over there haven't complained about my continual recommendations of Bad Luck City, Bad Weather California, Bela Karoli, Overcasters, and Porlolo, I will keep recommending them, as I deem apt.

This week was no exception:

The Truth: The Mercury Cafe.
Porlolo, Joseph Pope III and Ian Cooke. 9 PM

I’ve never been to the Mercury Cafe. I realize that might be hard to believe. This place has been around longer than many interesting Denver places and it’s often talked about by an eclectic and large set of people. One look at it’s calendar will evidence that this is an involved and community-minded place. And you can eat very healthy sounding food there too. So, why wouldn’t I have been there at least once? I can’t explain.

The eternally hip Radio 1190 presents an all-ages show at the Merc this Saturday. That means youngsters can come. The always lovely Porlolo, the ever charming Ian Cooke and the equally endearing Joseph Pope III will all perform. And it is only $7. I am tempted to ferry myself and my little entourage over there for a listen. According to the calendar, if you get there too early you’ll run into a Green Party benefit…is Ralph Nader really still running for president?

I thought this would be a good show to take the kids to, they love Porlolo and Ian Cooke and I think they'd like Joe Pope's music too. But then I remembered that $7 means per person. With my little entourage, that gets outta my current budget for an evening. So I decided, well, I guess not. But then, fatefully, my rental car wouldn't start. Why fatefully? And what does that have to do with the show? I'll tell you.

This is the story of how I got stuck in a Chevy Cobalt listening to Radio 1190 late Thursday morning and ended up with a plus one to the show.

Wednesday I took my none-so-gold-as-mine minivan for a major tune up. I was overdue. Oh, I mentioned, could you check the brakes? They seem a little off. I guess that happens when all the brake fluid has drained out of the rear drums. They weren't working at all the auto repair place told me. Oh and the transmission solenoid is leaking. And the front axle something. And something, something. I couldn't take listening anymore than to find out I could get it all fixed for a little under 2K. But, they would put me in a rental car for the next day no charge. Okay. That's how I got the Chevy Cobalt. It was the only car they had.

Besides feeling a little like the Yugo I learned to drive manual in, it was okay. At least it was getting me around to places I needed to go. Until I was in the parking lot of that assisted living center, needing to get to a lunch appointment. The key wouldn't turn. I called the rental place and they said, um, yeah that's happened before. Try jiggling the steering wheel. Do you have your foot on the brake? Take the key out and put it back in. No? Jiggle the wheel again. Near to ten minutes of this in the sun, and finally it starts. And at that very moment the dj was giving away tickets to the show. Third caller. I called. You are the second caller. Oh no I said. But you can call back he said. So I did. And I won. Now I only have two tickets to pay for and that is much better.

As for that Cobalt...when I got home, the key wouldn't turn again and all the jiggling and finessing of the key was for naught. I had to call the rental car travel club rescue service. The tow truck driver tries the same to the same effect and says, Oh, I know how to fix this. He jogs back to his truck and comes back with a hammer, smiling, It just needs a little TLC. My eyes bugged out as he starts hammering on the key in the ignition. And you know what? Yeah, it fixed it.

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