Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beach Tale: The Hilarious Adventures of Dillon in Deagu

          Those of you of a certain vintage may remember the “I Love Lucy” episodes where Cousin Ernest (played by Tennessee Ernie Ford) comes for a visit.  So Country Bumpkin in the Big City makes for big laughs.  You can watch the entire episode here:  http://www.tv.com/shows/i-love-lucy/tennessee-ernie-visits-17131/
          It’s just as funny (in hindsight anyway) when a rather-sheltered young man heads off to see the world.  My son, like Lucy, is a red-head, which sometimes seems to equate for a magnet for troublesome situations.  You can’t help but laugh.  So I'm thinking I'll put my writing skills to work and develop a sitcom of my own.  I'll call it "The Hilarious Adventures of Dillon in Deagu".  All based on actual escapades of my son.  Like I say, I can laugh…now…
  Series Premier Episode:
          A two-suitcase limit is difficult for the most frugal of international travelers.  But packing for an entire year (possibly more) is not for the feint of heart.  My son Dillon (name changed to protect the innocent) faced that challenge in 2012. 
          Enter our main character, a young lad who thinks it necessary to include a year’s supply of soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and other essentials for his journey. That doesn't leave much room room left for clothes (starting with 45 of his favorite t-shirts) and posters and electronic devices, etc.   He shoves everything into two of the biggest rolling duffle bags (one bright red, one sedate blue) that Lands End sells. I mean seriously, they are big enough to hide a dead body! (In fact, that gives me an idea!  Look for a body in a duffle in one of my upcoming mysteries!) 

        Son packs the duffles to within a stitch of their lives.  Then adds one “carry-on” backpack stuffed with emergency essentials (to include a brand spankin’ new iMac), and well, suffice it to say there was a whole lot of stuff to schlep.
          An online search shows that the domestic flight from Providence to LaGuardia allows two suitcases of 50 pounds each.  Dillon lifts each stuffed duffle with one hand and curls the bag.  “It’s under fifty,” he proclaims.
          Early the next morning (like 4 a.m. early) dear husband takes dear son off to the Providence Airport to begin the adventure. First stop: New York City. 
         It turns out the bags weigh more than 50 pounds each.  A lot more!  Three-hundred-and-fifty smackaroos in added fees more!  Just to get from Providence to New York!  But it was too late to make the three-hour drive or put him on the four-hour Amtrack.  So Dillon pays the fee, and heads off to see the world with about $5 in his pocket and no paycheck for 45 days.
          This less-than-worldly boy has to make the dreaded transfer from LaGuardia to JFK airports.  Can you believe there is no shuttle bus between the two?  Nope.  You can take the train (not as easy as it sounds) or a bus (even more difficult-especially with 160 pounds of baggage) or the suggested method of hiring a taxi. 
          Taxi it is.
          At the baggage claim, VTS (that’s Very Trusting Son) is approached by a man inquiring if he needed a taxi, to which VTS thinks, Wow, how lucky for me! and says, "Yes."  The man, of a nationality you would expect in a New York City cab driver to be, grabs Dillon’s bags and heads for the exit.  Dillon hefts his backpack and follows.
          CCD (Crazy Cab Driver) zips past all of the official taxis cued up outside the door.
          They keep walking and walking.
          Then they walk some more.  To the end of the sidewalk.
          There the CCD hangs a left and enters the parking garage. VTS follows, rather reluctantly, but not wanting to loose sight of all of his worldly belongings.
          They keep walking.
          Eventually they stop at a non-descript sedan. CCD pops the trunk then pops the boy’s luggage in the trunk.  CCD gets in the driver seat.
          Dillon at this point is wondering if this guy is really a taxi driver. 
          So VTBNAWBNS (very trusting but now a wee-bit nervous son) gets in the back seat.  He asks the question that a worldlier traveler would have asked back at the baggage claim area, “How much?”
          CD looks over his shoulder, gives Dillon the once over (he’s dressed rather nicely), then says, “For you, seventy-five bucks.”
          Yikes!  Dillon does not have $75.  Not even close.  He says, “Okay, but I’ll need to stop by an ATM on the way.”
          “No problem,” CD says, and off they zip into the traffic that defines the big city. 
          As they travel through a not-so-good section of New York City (I think the official description from son at the time was “the underbelly”), CD pulls up in front of a small gas station/convenience store.  You know the kind, bars on the filthy window, old signs posted hawking cigarettes and beer, with oodles of “unsavory” types lowing about. 
          CD says, “I need gas.  There’s an ATM around the back.”
          Son is now nervous beyond belief. There is no place to run, no place to hide, no gaggle of policemen with whom to seek safety.  
          <<Cue the impending doom music as as viewers allow THE-SCARIEST-OF-ALL-SCARY-SCENARIOS to play through their minds.>>
            Dillon gabs his backpack and heads for the ATM, leaving his two duffles of worldly possessions locked in the trunk of CCD's cab. 
         <<This is what's known in the business as a "cliff-hanger" leaving the viewer wanting more but instead we take a commercial break.>>

          Welcome back to The Hilarious Adventures of Donald in Deagu. We'd left our young traveler heading off to an ATM machine. What horrible fate awaited him there?
          Nothing, thankfully.
          When Dillon returns from the ATM, the cab is still parked at the pump.  Come to find out, the CCD stopped at that convenience store because it was owned by a relative and CCD gets a discount.         
          Cue the laugh track as all heave a big sigh of relief.
          The final shot of our little sitcom is of Dillon heading into JFK hauling his huge red and blue duffle bags and one huge backpack on his back.  Next stop, Deagu, South Korea.  Oh, the hilarious adventures of Dillon in Deagu are just beginning! 

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