I have found that fast food establishments in strange towns when you are by yourself seem to be good places to contemplate the gravity of things and life in general. As I sat yesterday in the Taco Bell in Walker LA, I began having a surreal moment. What small, innoculous events had led me to this point in time and space? And how much was I going to pay for these Volcano Nachos later?
“Big things have small beginnings.”-David in Prometheus
My adventure began approximately 6 months prior when Cellular South changed over to a new company named CSpire. Cellular South (FYI) pretty much has a monopoly on the cell phone market in MS. They own all the towers and for more than a decade have been the only company with reliable coverage in my home state. Their coverage, however, got increasingly worse since CSpire took over. So I listened to a few people that assured me that Verizon had improved their coverage in my rural area. I will not listen to these people ever again for the record. I sold my CSpire smart phone to a coworkers daughter and went all in. I have never owned an iPhone so after some back and forth research about droids vs iPhones, I decided to throw in my lot with Apple for this next spin around the cellular merry go round. I needed to buy a used iPhone outright so I wouldn’t have to sign a new two year contract with my childrens blood with the new iPhone 5 coming out in (prob) October according to the online rumor mills. Well, after diving into the most aggravating website on the internet (Craigslist), I found myself a Verizon iPhone. I paid my cancellation fees at CSpire and moved my disgruntled butt over to Verizon. Upon getting back to my house, I immediately realized I had made a mistake. The Verizon phone was dropping calls like a housewife dumping her husband for the night to go see Magic Mike. I have a 14 day grace period to cancel everything with Verizon and get most of my money back. The clock is ticking.
We enter stage 2. I need to tuck my tail between my legs and lumber back over to CSpire. Back to Craigslist I go looking for a CSpire iPhone. Well, apparently CSpire iPhones are a MUCH rarer animal than VerizoniPhones. Everyone is still under contract and let’s be honest, it’s kinda hard to find an iPhone owner that doesn’t love their phone. So I fell back on Ebay. There were a couple of auctions for CSpire iPhones ending soon so I started bidding. I won one of the auctions and when I looked at the seller, realized it was a pawn shop in Walker LA. A quick check on Google Maps told me Walker LA was almost to Baton Rouge, a little over a two hour drive. I did some quick mental Olympics and decided to head out the next morning to go get my phone. Trust me, I know some of you are thinking I am crazy at this point and all I can tell you is “What took you so long?” So I headed out about 7am in pretty good spirits. A little mini road trip, just me and my thoughts. I actually came up with a nifty idea on the way there but didn’t follow through. Spontaneous, non rehearsed acapella karaoke. I was actually going to do Ice Ice Baby and post it to the internets. I finally decided this probably wasn’t wise to do while I was driving so this definitely ended up being yalls loss. Anywho, I arrived at the pawn shop and after a quick check to make sure it was CSpire, turned the truck back towards South Mississippi. As I was leaving Walker LA, I had a fleeting thought that this was one of those towns that I would never set foot in again. I was working under the assumption that the day wasn’t about to turn to complete shit.
So I get back to Diberville where the CSpire store is and march in with my iPhones. As the girl is setting everything up (and even without a smartass “I knew you’d be back” grin), she looked up and told me that the iPhone I had just driven 4 hours roundtrip to get was STOLEN. Now, about 100 things raced through my mind simultaneously. Not the least of which was a quick estimation for time to the exit door. I am not really used to being in possession of stolen material and wasn’t really sure if I wasn’t going to be having a conversation with the po-po soon. But it didn’t go that way at all. She just gave it back to me and said there was nothing she could do. So I left the store not really knowing what my next move was. Correction, I knew what my next move was, I just REALLY, REALLY didn’t like it. I was going to have to drive BACK to Walker LA to get my money back for this hot iPhone. I would be lying if I said I didn’t entertain the thought of flushing the $400 down the toilet to save myself the coming repeat – 4 hour marathon to another state. The miser in me won out though so I pointed my chariot West once again. I wasn’t near as chipper on the return trip. There were no thoughts of hilarious karaoke videos on facebook. There was some thoughtful reconsideration of my stance on the death penalty as it pertains to thieves.
So, after taking the phone back to the pawn shop and getting a refund, I stopped at the Taco Bell to get some supper. This was a good time for reflection and that’s what I did. I often think about cause and effect in our lives. The little decisions that lead to other, usually unintended consequences. I had driven almost 9 hours this day and had nothing to show for it. Still had a phone that didn’t work well at home. Probable blood clot working it’s way to my heart from sitting that many hours. I was in a semi mental coma. A good state to figure out the secrets to life or walk into walls. It’s a toss up.
I am at the end of my time limit with Verizon. I have decided to just stick it out until the new IPhone comes out and then move back to CSpire. For their part, CSPIRE SWEARS all their problems will be rectified by September. We will see. What did I learn from this adventure and what can you take away from it? Hell, I don’t know. But being me is rarely boring.