“Let’s meet at Stumptown for coffee this time.” Hans said when planning our eighth adventure planning session.
The reason for this location is not that Stumptown has overrated coffee and lots of apple computers. The reason is because Hans’ motorcycle is broken, the battery is dead, the license plate tabs are expired, and he has yet to get a Washington drivers license. Therefore, Stumptown, being within walking distance of his apartment is quite convenient.
On the drive there with my colleague Roberta, she received a text saying that we should meet a Hot Mama’s pizza down the street from Stumptown first.
This was my first time to Hot Mama’s and let me tell you, Hot Mama may own the place, but she certainly doesn’t work there. As we ordered our pizza by the slice, the receptionist cursed under her breath as she tried vainly to pick up the stiff wedges of old pizza onto her spatula only to have it tumble back to the counter because it was congealed to the other pieces.
The man who rang us up wore a yellow football jersey. Well, I think it was officially white at one time, but that was many years and many grease stains ago.
In other words, pretty hip by Seattle standards.
Sitting down next to Hans, I made sure to complain about the lack of atmosphere and cold pizza.
“Are you sure you are ready for adventure?” He asked amiably.
Finishing the pizza without asphyxiating we waded through the puddles to Stumptown whereupon my stomach and intestines cramped and twisted as they were assaulted by the grease bomb I had just dropped on them.
As I waited outside the restroom, holding my hands to my injured stomach, I could see Roberta and Hans snickering about my gastric fortitude and how I would fare with foreign cuisine. (I have a trick with how to deal with foods in wayward lands, but I’ll save that for future blogs).
When the ordeal was taken care of, I rejoined my companions to discuss plans.
First topic of conversation; “So Hans, did you like the blog post about our team logo?”
“Oh, the one about the Jabberwocky? Yeah, it was real ace.”
“It’s called a Jerboa.” I said, “Did you really read the blog?”
“Well, I looked at the picture and agreed it would be easy to finger paint.”
“Did you read the part where I made up all sorts of fibs about the Jerboa? You know, like saying it can glide with it’s ears and lays eggs even though it is a mammal?”
“Uh, no, I didn’t get that far.” He admitted. “Oh, but I have a friend. She says she reads every word of your blog.” Hans nodded eagerly.
I was about to launch into a didactic lecture one why our distracted nature made it so easy for people to spread disinformation on the internet, but Roberta quickly diverted the conversation.
“Have we arranged a way to buy a car and store it in England? Maybe how to get it insured?”
“Nope.” Hans and I answered in unison.
Realizing we needed a plan for this, we quickly planned to make a plan later in February.
Feeling productive we moved onto Hans’ new purse.
“It’s a satchel.” He said with a tone that ended that line of discussion.
With that done we moved on to the topic of team shirts, “We got you one.” Roberta told Hans.
I showed him mine, fitted, black, and emblazoned with the team logo.
“Oh cool, I love the Chupacabra even more now.”
“Jerboa, Hans. The animal that defines our team is called a Jerboa.”
“Yeah, yeah, awesome. Where’s my shirt?” He asked.
“We forgot it at home, you’ll have to wait until the next meeting.”
After so much productivity we decided we should move on to other pressing matters such as complaining about the Seattle rain and dark, gray clouds. We justified our complaining by saying that we were practicing for Russia, to understand a little more of the Russian culture before we arrived. Hans and I realized that we both had read a book by Dostoyevsky, and decided that everyone on the trip had to have had the pleasure of wading through Crime and Punishment and we made it a mandatory requirement for our team. Roberta has no idea of the joy she is about to have.
With that it was time to take Roberta to work and I offered Hans a ride home.
“Nah, I’ll be fine.”
“I don’t want anyone to mug you and steal your purse.” I told him with concern.
Despite this he said that his purse and he would be going to some bar where they featured all sorts of refurbished, retro pinball machines and then he would risk life, purse, and limb walking home.
In hindsight, I haven’t talked to him since then. I wonder if he made it?