Thursday, June 25, 2009
Where were the Gods of Transmission today? Olympus? Nashville (the Athens of the South)? Athens (the unofficial other Athens of the South)? They certainly weren't in rush hour traffic 20 miles outside of Atlanta where we sat, sweaty without AC, feeling our van slip gears. Mere mortals, we had no choice but to exit the highway and seek the advice of a vehicular oracle. As a side note, Matt had just created a Facebook event for our Miami show with the tagline "most likely our conversion van will make it back to Miami without suffering irreparable mechanical failure." It seemed our recently "topped-off" transmission fluid was actually too full, or volatile enough to trick the dipstick. The oracle told us to stay, that certain failure would befall us before we even reached Athens. He had a vision of a Code 1870, a vision of a torque converter slipping. We had visions of Florida. We discussed a handful of options: paying thousands of dollars to Mr. Transmission, scrapping the van in that parking lot and renting another for the last few days, and attempting to drive DeathVan while also driving a back-up rental van alongside it in case of a breakdown. At this point Athens was out of the question (sorry, Laminated Cat, maybe we can share a bill in the future...) but how were we getting home? All of the rental car offices were closed and we had decided against spending thousands of dollars for the repair, which left us with one choice: we had to go for it. The oracle said we'd have no chance of making it an hour to Athens, so we said "Ha! Let's make a run for Orlando! It's only 8 hours away and the worst that can happen is breaking down in the middle of nowhere at 2:00 AM, having to get towed, finding a cheap motel, and waking up without transportation! Yeow! Wagons-ho!" So we did it. No one said a word for the first 5 hours. Nick entered a meditative state with the excitement of (possibly) heading home, I drifted in and out of sleep, enjoying the cool breeze and setting sun, Matt did much of the same and listened to the Arcade Fire's Funeral and Neon Bible, Luke read The Watchmen by flashlight, and Paul finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude by the light of his cell phone, having to press a key every ten minutes in order to refresh the light. We "toot toot too-too toot too-toooooooooooot"-ed into Florida without a single transmission slip and reached Nick's apartment in Orlando by 2:00 AM. Oracle-schmoracle. We stayed up for another couple hours and giddily enjoyed our triumph. We just might make it home!