Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Old Man and The Puck

I can't remember the exact date that this happened,  but I do know that it was during the mid-season of the recent American Idol.  The weather was decent enough for me to take a little trip over the hill and visit one of my favorite spots...Santa Cruz. 

I decided to take the local bus downtown to the San Jose Diridon station,  and then hook up with the Highway 17 Express bus,  which would take me all the way to the Metro Station in downtown Santa Cruz.

The trip over the hill wasn't too bad--if you don't mind dealing with abnormally loud headphone music and obscene chatter, coming from people who were raised on Jerry Springer and Def Jam Comedy hour.  The trip wasn't that bad at all.  Thankfully I had a newspaper with me...or else I'd be ready to punch somebody.

After arriving there,  I took my usual route on foot to the beach and boardwalk.  It's just something I enjoy doing,  since I don't get much exercise here--sitting in front of my computer.  A whole mile and a half really does wonders for the body. ( Not counting the exercise I'd be getting from walking to the end of the pier and back. )

Spending time at the end of the pier does my mind good,  since I can just sit on one of the 'non-crapped on' benches--that had seemed to avoid the wrath of the local seagulls--and just stare out at the ocean.  Allowing my thoughts to just flutter freely within my skull.  It was a serene moment,  indeed.

I gathered myself,  said a few choice words to the barking sea lions below,  and then wandered off.  To the boardwalk arcade.  My new church.  Do you know why?  Because they have a drum simulator called the MTV Drumscape,  and...it's...awesome!!

Beating on them drums,  even without knowing what the hell I was doing,  just released so much built aggression.  I could handle anything after that.

If you're wondering where the Old Man and The Puck comes in,  don't worry... It's coming.

I wasted some more time in the Metro area,  consuming a milk shake and listening to homeless people ask me for spare change,  and then it was time for me to go.  I had spent a little more time than I had wanted to,  beating on the drums,  and it was getting a little late in the afternoon. 

I just managed to catch the 4:30 pm bus heading back to San Jose,  just barely though.  Lucky for me,  it was running a little late.  The line was kinda long,  which meant that we were gonna be stuffed in there pretty good--not always a good thing.  But,  I had to get home somehow,  so there was no use in complaining.

Traffic didn't help either,  which put us further behind on the time schedule.  We finally arrived,  yet the last local bus going my way home had already left.  I was going to have to find an alternate way home.

After 3 miles of walking,  riding 20 minutes or so on the light rail,  and waiting almost 20 minutes for an alternate bus that dropped me off at a cross street 2 1/2 miles from my house...my loooong day,  was almost over.  I crossed at the light,  and started my trek.  My trek back home.

It was getting dark,  so I had to hurry if I didn't want to miss too much of the beginning of American Idol.  My feet moved swiftly down the sidewalk.  Passing side streets and barking dogs in the front yard.  I was on a mission.  I couldn't miss American Idol.

Almost halfway there,  I came upon a house lined with tall shrubs.  The house sat right at the corner of an approaching side street--one that I could see coming,  just up ahead.  I don't like corners that are obstructed,  especially by large shrubs.  I seen 'Halloween' and the thought of Michael Myers or some nut,  jumping out from one of those bushes...just sent shivers up my spine.  But I had to put it out of my mind and continue on.

Just as I neared the corner,  a faint whirring sound began to break the night air.  It was almost mechanical--like gears grinding or something.  I grew closer to the corner,  and was just upon it when all of a sudden...

AN OLD MAN,  in a blue electric 'scooter',  with a yellow plastic HOCKEY PUCK in his mouth,  comes barelling around the corner.  His scooter almost tipping over--balancing on two wheels.  A maniacal expression pasted his sweaty face.

I dove into a small flowerbed that lined the streetside,  avoiding this crazy madman as he sped by--laughing fiendishly the whole way.  I watched him disappear around the corner of the previous side street just as...

TWO TEENAGERS, dressed in 'hockey gear' came tearing around the corner as well.  Obviously chasing the old man who had just stole their hockey puck.  They ran by as I lay in the flowerbed.  Amazed at what I had just witnessed,  and had narrowly avoided.  A third kid,  dressed in 'goalie gear',  completed the trio--as he brought up the rear.  All three of them,  racing down the sidewalk--disappearing around the corner.

I picked myself up off of the ground,  brushed myself off,  and just stood there for at least a minute.  What the hell just happened?!!

Shaking my head in disbelief,  I remembered abut American Idol...and got my feet moving again.  And the whole time I was double-timing it home,  I could only think of one thing... What would James Durbin have done?!!

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