Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Little Pink Houses (And The Wedding)....Part 1

I know...its been awhile.
Dad's kidneys have gotten so bad, as a result from his blood cancer, that he's now on dialysis 3 times a week plus with with his bi-weekly chemo treatments, its all starting to take a pretty big toll on him. So, its been very hectic here in 'Efenland' and it doesn't appear to be getting better anytime soon. But.. we had a wedding to go to in Sarasota (wife's niece) and had made all the plans to ensure that everything was covered while we were gone.

Was all set for a week's vacation (or as they say in 'LauraVille'...vacay;) 1/2 of it in Key West and the other remaining time in Sarasota (for the wedding). That was until I got a phone call the Saturday night before we were leaving....at 9:32 PM to be exact. It was my Mother, telling me that she had slipped on a rug and that '911' was on the way. "Are you hurt?" I asked. "Well...I hit my head and there's alot of blood". I rush right over and the EMT's are there. I find my Mother in the bedroom, sitting on the floor with her back against the bed...and there's blood...blood fucking everywhere. They had a bandage around her forehead and I could see that her shoulder looked 'funny'.

I get Dad settled and off I go, following the ambulance to the hospital. It's now almost 10:30. They get her right into ER but thats where things slowed 'somewhat'. Her care was good but being that she has other medical conditions, test after test is performed..with a lengthy waiting period between each one. Finally the ER Dr. comes in and tells me that not only does she have a broken shoulder but its dislocated. He tried to put it back in but no luck. He said either an Ortho Surgeon could do it manually or he'd have to put it back surgically. Mom gets into her own room at 4:15 and I get home close to 5:00.

Well, our plane was supposed to leave in 6 hours so I get on the phone and cancel everything..plane, hotel(s), and car rentals. I felt really bad for my Mrs. Efen because I knew how much she had been looking forward to our trip and coupled with the fact that my sister was coming in from Orlando for the week to take care of my Dad, well, it seemed like a rare opportunity lost.

After seeing my Mother, I go to see Dad. The 1st question he asks is "What times your plane leaving?" I tell him the changes I made and he gets alittle pissed. "Listen, you've been dealing with me and your Mother for 10 months now, with no breaks at all. You need to get away from this crap. Your sister will be here in a couple of hours, she can handle everything....so go and quit worrying". Uh...wasn't sure what to do. Didn't what my sister walking into all of this w/o me here to help. I wait til she gets there and asks her what she thinks? She says 'GO'. Fuck...I was really feeling guilty about just leaving this for someone else to handle but my sister is more than capable so I decided we would. Couldn't do the Key West thing, just not enough time, that and the air fare had doubled.

Finally decided we'd fly into Tampa Monday night, drive to St. Pete Beach and stay at a hotel we had saw online until Thursday when we'd drive down to Sarasota, for the weekend wedding. Last minute trips are never cheap but the need to go far out-weighed the cost.

Arrive in Tampa Monday night and go to the car rental place. I found a pretty good deal on a 'mid-size' so I had that reserved. Go to the counter and give Rental Guy my name.

RG: Okay, got you all set-up. We have you in a very nice PT Cruiser!

Me: You can forget that.

RG: I don't understand.

Me: I won't pay you to drive a car I wouldn't be caught dead driving.

RG: Sir...most people love them!

Me: Thats great for 'most' people, I'm not one of them. I don't care what you have to do, upgrade me, whatever.

RG: Well...that will cost you more.

Me: I just said 'I don't care'...just put me in something that doesn't look like I'm trying to recapture my youth in a pretend 'cool car'.

RG: Okay..no problem. I'm sure you'd like to take out the additional insurance because etc etc etc etc etc etc

Me: (I tuned out all that shit after 'additional') Listen, I have a Corporate Insurance Policy and it even covers shit like being attacked by a plague of locusts or Jamaican drug smugglers so I don't need it or want it

RG: Let me explain the benefits to you...

Me: Let me explain something to you..You either rent me something at your jacked up last-minute price and forget the Insurance scam or I'll walk over there (me pointing) and rent something from them.

RG: Here ya go, Sir. Please sign here and have a nice trip.

Motherfuckers...they try to take advantage of people who don't know any better and those that are travel-weary and are too tired to 'fight back'. Gutless pricks...I hate 'em.

Now, we have to cross the street with all of our fucking bags, go up a fuckin elevator to the 4th level, them carry our shit another 50 fuckin yards to the 'Pick-up Kiosk'. I give the guy my papers, he hands me the keys and tells me 'Its in Spot 46....just up the ramp on your left'.

"WTF?? Are you fuckin tellin me that I have to go get this fuckin car MYSELF and drive it back here to load up our fuckin bags??? Are you fucking SERIOUS?"

'Uh...well...I can go get it for you, if you want?"

"Buddy...take a guess".

"Ok...I'll be right back".

Seriously...I'm renting this fucking over-priced car from them and they expect me to do part of their fucking job? Geezus...no wonder this country is so fucked up..I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this wasn't some sort of 'Company Policy'...fucking morons, from top to bottom.

I'm not going to even get into the phone call I received from the Car Rental place, after we had driven 20 fuckin miles, tellin me we left a bag at the Kiosk. You can pretty much guess who I blamed that on...I tell ya, that drive from Tampa to St. Pete Beach can be a pretty quiet one. But the hotel was very nice (as pictured) and soon all was forgiven...ok..I was forgiven ;)

Part 2 to follow...which includes some pretty funny shit ;)