Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chattanooga Tigers

I've got a little story for you Ags.

And, just to wet your appetite, let me start off with the quote of the entire Tennessee Trip.
Dad to Laura:

"Do you have a pen and paper because you're going to need to take notes in order to remember all this excitement for the blog!"
Last weekend Danny and I drove out to the thriving metropolis of Chattanooga, Tennessee. My little brother, Jonathan, more commonly know as Joey, is going to Chattanooga State Technical College. when referring to Joey's school I have been instructed to say, simply, Chatt State, supposedly it's cooler, or as cool as you get at a junior college. He plays baseball for their team and studies a little in his spare time.

Here's the baseball player with his proud parents!

However, the baseball game was just the side note, the appetizer before the meal of excitment, the precursor to all things crazy, the calm leading up to the storm.

The trip started out normal - I, Laura, forgot Danny's pants. Yes, that's right - he had no pants, only shorts. There we were 100 miles into our drive, and I realize his pants are still hanging in the doorway of our bedroom. I had ironed them so nicely and there they hung, ready to be worn. Another proud wife moment.

So, Saturday morning, after a great eggs, hashbrown, and wild hog sausage breakfast fixed by Joey for his guests, Joey left to warm up for the game, and we set out to explore the Chattanooga Target, careful to lock his apartment behind us. After tyring on every pair of khakis in the Men's Department, we got our caffeine fix at Starbucks and then headed to the baseball field.

Here's Joey on the left, standing while his team bats.

The Chattanooga Tigers won the game, Joey went on the field to water down the dirt and to warm up, and Danny got some studying in for his online class. Yes, Danny read at the baseball game. Forget the snacks, the talking, the cheering - Danny had his nose in a book.

After the game we hurried home so the guys could shower (and look good), and then we wanted to grab dinner together and hit the road home. We were unloading the car at Joey's apartment, and Danny went to unlock the door. As I walked up he was digging through his pockets. He looked up at me and asked, "Did I give you the key?"

"No, I am pretty sure I forgot the pants, but I know I didn't forget the key!"

He looked puzzled and exclaimed, "I put the loose key in this small zipper pocket. I even thought it would be perfect so I wouldn't lose . . ." His voice trailed off as his finger appeared through a hole in the bottom of his pocket.

"No way. This only happens in movies. You must have put it in another pocket." I replied and began sticking my hand in all 56 pockets on his pair of cargo shorts.

But every pocket was empty. It was 5:00 p.m.

Soon, five people were searching the cars, digging through the dirt, attempting to pick the lock on the door, and prying at the closed windows.

We tried credit cards, coat hangers, screw drivers, and every key on every key ring (from the house in Texas to the apartment in South Carolina) hoping something would open that apartment door. We called emergency maintenence, but they didn't do lock outs after hours. Well, we wouldn't be calling emergency maintenence if it were during business hours now would we!

At 6:00 pm Mom and I set out for the Target. We did our best to look under all the cars that were in the vacinity of where Danny and I had parked that morning without looking suspicious. We talked to the guard, customer serivce, scoured the men's department, and looked in every dressing room stall, praying to see a glimmer of brass. The key was no where to be found.

We returned to the apartment at dusk to find three frustrated men who has spent more than an hour on the phone with maintenence and locksmiths. No one was open and no one was willing to help us.

Finally, at 7:30 pm a large truck pulled up to Joey's apartment and a merciful maintenence man hopped out. We had never been so excited to see the bare walls and floors of Joey's apartment. And, he not only opened Joey's door, but he made extra copies of the key. We started hiding copies of that key in Joey's car, under the mat, in every pants pocket.

Joey, happy that he can open his door!

After the maintenence man left we all started piling into the suburban to go to the restaurant, all WAY too hungry to be packed into a small space together. As we get in we hear Joey call out, "I can't find by car keys."

No, no, no. we tumble out of the car grumbling and complaining about Joey's apartment: the bermuda triangle of car keys.

For his birthday we are buying Joey a keyless, fingerprint entry to anything that locks, his car, his apartment, anything.

To see all Tennessee pictures, click here.


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