May 24

Yin and Yang: the (almost) catastrophe with Seth Godin

OK, as I said in my last post, today was one of the best days of my life – right up until after the ‘event’. I suppose that balance must be maintained in all things and given that it was such a great day, something not so great was bound to happen. This, for me, is an extremely embarrasing story – which means that for you, it will be hilarious!

Some background: We had to get Seth Godin back to the airport right after he was done speaking. I volunteered to drive him there and was really looking forward to it. My car is a humble commuter car – not exactly what I wanted to be driving Seth Godin around in! It just so happens that my Uncle owns a car lot in Orem, so I called him up and told him what was going on and asked if I could borrow a really nice car for the day. He was, of course, fine with it.

So, this morning I picked up a sweet 2005 Mercedes 320 ML (i think i remember that right) – the Mercedes SUV and headed to Salt Lake. Then we finished the event and Seth was ready to leave. I need to set the scene of urgency here – Seth’s flight was at 5:04, he needed to be to the airport no later than 4:30, we got in the car at 3:55 so we were in a hurry, but had plenty of time. Seth definately did NOT want to miss his flight as it was the last flight out for the evening.

So, we jump in the Mercedes, start talking and head out. We got two blocks away and the car died – right in the middle of the road. I threw it in park and tried to start it – again and again and again. Seth said “This is a Mercedes, it’s not supposed to break!” We jumped out of the car and Seth started calling a cab – I pushed the car off to the side of the road and tried to start it again. I finally gave up on the car and tried to see if I could help get a cab. Seth was pretty frantic at this point.

Right then, Jimmy Zimmerman and Brian Corrales drove by and stopped and asked if we needed help. I said “Take us to the airport!” they said “Hop in!”, so we did.

Normally at this time, south bound traffic is scary and north bound traffic isn’t too bad so I was planning on taking I15 to 215 to 80 to get to the airport. Jimmy did just that and as soon as we got on I15 traffic was STOPPED! We jumped off at 6th North and headed South to I80. Actually, it was a LOT more crazy than that! Seth was online with his laptop looking up maps and stuff, Jimmy and Brian were trying to navigate us out and I was trying to be helpful. Basically, we were all talking a lot and not listening.

Then we got on I80 and got Seth to the airport – actually at 4:10 – Seth had plenty of time! I hope that he made his flight ok.

It doesn’t end (for me) there though – Jimmy brought me back into town, I called Ryan Hansen, my business partner, and he was still packing up TagJungle stuff at the Salt Palace. I had Jimmy drop me off there and Ryan and I went to the gas station (because the car sounded ok and just wasn’t turning over, I thought that maybe it was out of gas) where we borrowed a gas can and filled it. Ryan took me back to the car, I put the gas in and the car started just fine! Ryan was heading home, I was heading to an after-event dinner with the WordMob team. We went our seperate ways and I headed to the gas station to fill up.

A block and a half away, the car died again. I was frustrated and figured that somehow the 1 1/2 gallons of gas wasn’t filling things properly or something so I pushed the car half a block to the gas station. I put in a bunch of gas and tried to start it. Nothing. At this point I was really, really frustrated, pushing a Mercedes down the street with a really bad haircut – I hadn’t cleaned it up yet so I had patches of hair, some of it really long, still randomly distributed all over my head. Ryan had commented that I looked kind of like a psycho who escaped from the mental hospital. Basically, I looked like a demented thug pushing a Mercedes down the road!

I called my Uncle to let him know the car was dead. He said he’d call a tow truck and call right back. He called back and said they couldn’t be there for two hours – and then my phone battery died! I thought, well at least I have my EVDO card and my laptop, I can get online and get someone to come pick me up or something. Turns out, I left my EVDO card in Ryan’s truck! I had NO communication devices at all!

I was at 600 South and 200 West – the dinner was at 400 South and 700 East, 11 blocks away. By now enough time had passed that I was worried they would leave before I got there, so I walked as fast as I could, carrying 2 bags (my laptop backpack and my camera backpack) to Ruby River.

Fortunately they were still there and I made it home ok (Ash gave me a ride). I know I’ll be laughing at this in a day or two, but right now it REALLY SUCKS! What was potentially going to be a really cool cap to the end of the day turned into a huge mess.

Oh well, it was still a great day!

2 pings

  1. Phil801 - Geek Blog » Thoughts on Seth Godin

    [...] to me was “What can I do to help you?” and we discussed several things. Then the car died which is another story – here. Through the whole car incident, he was clearly frustrated but still had a great sense of humor and [...]

  2. Phil801 - Geek Blog » Phil’s Pontifications

    [...] Yin and Yang: the (almost) catastrophe with Seth Godin [...]

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