Worst Experience Trying To See The Yankees by Jay
by A Guest Author

Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you keep trying.... For that day, or that task, you are destined to fail.... The world will keep fucking with you until you just give up in disgust... Good news, it works the other way, too... It's a bad day for Jay.... Here's hoping he got some good ones as well....

I'm not even sure how old I was when this happened. I'm thinking I was like 19-21. That would put the year at 1989-1991. Thinking back, I have to slap myself for even wanting to go see the Yankees during that time. It was an era that I would rather just forget, since they were so bad. This was the Dale Berra/Bobby Meachem era.

The day started out like any other. It was a Saturday. ystad.jpgThere was beautiful weather. I can't remember what I was doing, but my brother comes up to me and says, "Carlton's mother has 4 tickets for the Yankees game and said we could have them." Of course we could. Who the hell wanted to see those losers? It was like giving away Royals tickets today. But it was the Yankees, the tix were free and I had nothing better to do.

So me, my brother Matt and his friends Carlton and Jason hopped into my 1979 Ford Granada and took off for the game. Yes, I drove this pale blue 4 door Granada. It was a decent car and for whatever reason, was probably the cleanest and neatest car I ever owned.

We lived in Carteret, NJ so we had to hop on the NJ Turnpike and head on up to the George Washington Bridge to get over the Bronx and the stadium. Everything was fine until we got off the Turnpike and got on whatever road it was that took us to the GWB. Traffic. Bad traffic. We're talking moving a few inches at a time traffic. And I knew we were a good ways away from the bridge. But it was still relatively early and I thought that we might miss batting practice and still get there in time for the game. That was the plan.

That was, until the car broke down. Sitting in that traffic, doing nothing more than idling for most of the time, the car just stalled and it would not start again. It wasn't overheating. I had plenty of gas. I just couldn't get the thing started again. The hazards go on, and people are beeping and I'm getting hot sitting in the car. I try to start it a few more times, but not too much because the battery will go dead. I check things and I got the feeling I needed a new fuel filter.

At this point I don't know what the hell to do. All of a sudden, a flat bed tow truck appears out of nowhere. Sitting on the flatbed area is a guy in a freaking Pinto or Pacer. Some kind of little crap car like that. It's an Indian guy with the big turban and everything (forgive me if my use of 'turban' isn't politically correct). He looks like he's having just as bad a day as I am. The two guys that climb out of the cab are on me in seconds telling me they can tow me out of there for $50. It was obvious these guys weren't licensed to be towing around there because they wanted to hook my car up fast.....with all of us in it. With a reputable tower, they're not going to allow the people to ride in the car they are towing. But we took the chance. That was a mistake.

The guy driving takes off like a bat out of hell. He's weaving through the traffic, driving over medians, flipping people off, beeping at others. We're in the car, helpless fools, sitting there wondering when we were going to die. I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "We're been driven around by psychos!" At one point he goes over a curb. I hear this loud BANG as the back of my car goes up the curb. He doesn't even slow down. Most towing guys have service stations they work with. Not these clowns. They just started pulling up at any service station and asking if they can work on my car. When guys at the place were saying, "No" because they were booked or too busy, the one guy starts making hand gestures, doing the thing with the thumb on the nose and waving the fingers, calling them names, etc. As much as I was pissed off, I couldn't help but laugh.

They finally find a place that will change the fuel filter.cartow.jpg The owner of this service station looked like he was 102 years old. Guys from around the area seemed to walk in off the street and just start doing things, which caused my brother's friend to quip, "What the hell kind of place is this? Do guys just walk in and start working? "I'm here Bubba. What do I do?"" This caused us to nickname the place 'Bubba's Backyard Garage.'

After waiting for what seemed like hours (and probably was), one of Bubba's cohorts comes over and changes the fuel filter. Two hours of waiting for 10 minutes worth of work. The car starts, I pay the guy and look to head home. At this point I notice that my gas tank is under a quarter of a tank. I was near full at the beginning of the day. I made a quick check to see if anything was leaking and it wasn't, so I continued on. I later found out that the Psycho Towing Brothers with their curb hop led to a nice big dent in my gas tank. Right where the sensor and line were to get the gas from the tank to the engine. So even though the tank was full, the car thought there was less than a quarter of a tank. For weeks before I got rid of the car, I had to fill up everyday which would net me around three gallons of gas each time.

So here I am, now hot and angry, driving home on the Turnpike when the front end of the car starts shaking like crazy. I pull over and guess what awaits? A flat tire. And guess where? About 1/4 mile from Exit 12 and Carteret. So now I have to change a freaking tire in the heat, a quarter mile away from our exit and about 2 miles from my house with a pool waiting. The thing that really irked me was the tire that went flat was pretty new, but since it was under warranty, I could get a new one. So imagine how much more pissed off I was when my brother's friend Carlton decided to have fun and roll that same tire down the side of the hill we were on. Since we were near the exit, the Turnpike inclined and there was just a hill off the shoulder with nothing at the bottom but weeds and fence that led into where oil tanks were located.

Now if you've ever seen the movie 'No Way Out' with Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman, you know there's a scene in it where Costner and his buddy are in the Phillippines at some strip bar. Costner is trying to make a phone call and his buddy just grabs coins he has next to the phone and throws them on stage. Costner's character looks at his friend and says "That's my money (pointing to what was left near the phone). That's my money (pointing to what was thrown on the stage). Go get it." His friends looks at him incredulously and Costner just says again, "Go get it."

I said the same thing to Carlton. "I need that tire. Go get it." He looked at me like I was crazy. "Go get it!" He was practically in tears in large part because he had these brand new sneakers on and he didn't want to get them dirty because his mother would get mad. At that point, thanks to the lousy day I was having, I wanted to punch his mother in the face for giving us those tickets, so I didn't give a rats ass how much trouble he was going to get into. I told him to get his ass down that hill and get the tire. He did it.

So we start to drive away, but the tire sounds bad. Something wasn't right. And it wasn't. In my haste, hunger (we hadn't eaten), and heat, I did something ridiculously stupid. I put the tire on the wrong way. Having had changed tires many times, I still to this day cannot fathom how I could have done something so stupid. But I did. So there I was again, jacking the car up and flipping the tire over. We finally got home.

To be honest, I cannot even remember what happened after I got the tire on correctly. I just know that it was one of the worst days of my life and I didn't even get to see the game. Knowing had crappy my day was, I am certain the Yankees won that day.


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