May 2003

Last night, Amanda, Deirdre, Monica, and I successfully delivered a large package of toilet paper to the front porch of the other Amanda, along with a note that said:

Do it yourself.

The Lazy Toilet-Paperers

Wednesday night at about half past six, Jenn and I decided we would go see Cinderella at eight o’clock at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Jenn was in Ontario, so she chose to drive down to Costa Mesa and then ride with me to Rancho Santa Margarita. It would have taken less time if we’d met at the show, but Jenn had never been there before, and the trip would have involved taking several toll roads, so it seemed like meeting in Costa Mesa was a better option.

However, God did not want us to see Cinderella.

While Jenn was on her way to my apartment, I called Amanda (who was in the show) to ask if she could reserve tickets. She explained that tickets could only be reserved with advance payment in cash, and she was not carrying enough cash. Therefore, we couldn’t make a reservation. We would simply have to hope that the relatively small theatre did not sell out.

Jenn arrived at half past seven, and I knew from experience that it would take us nearly half an hour to get to Santa Margarita. We were most likely going to arrive right at eight o’clock, so we left immediately. We took my car because I have FastTrack for the toll roads.

Just as we left, the gas light in my car came on. I knew from experience that I could go approximately twenty-five to thirty miles once the gas light was illuminated. Unfortunately, I knew from MapQuest that Rancho Santa Margarita was exactly twenty-seven miles away.

At about ten minutes till eight o’clock, when we got on the last toll road and were approaching Rancho Santa Margarita, and when my gas gauge was pointing directly at “zero,” it suddenly began to rain heavily.

We got off the toll road at Santa Margarita Parkway and still had several more miles to drive to our destination. We decided that stopping at a gas station was mandatory at this point even though we had no time to spare. After only one mile, we saw a Shell station approaching on the right side of the road. I prepared to turn into the driveway as I drove past, only to find out that the Shell station did not have a driveway. There was quite literally no way to enter the Shell station from Santa Margarita Parkway. Apparently if we wanted to visit Shell, we should have used our psychic powers and made a right turn at the signal light before the station, followed by a sharp left turn into it. However, it was too late for that, and we assumed there would be another station.

Several miles further down the road, nearly at our destination, with the rain still pouring down heavily, with approximately five minutes left until showtime, and with my gas gauge well past “zero,” we came upon a Chevron station. I suspected that the Chevron station would be closed, but it was open. Then I suspected that they would have a problem with my credit card, but they did not. Finally I suspected that we’d be stuck with one of those insanely slow pumps that seems to drool its gas into the tank, but we were not. It was a bit of an effort to leave the Chevron station, since much like the Shell station, there was only one oddly-positioned driveway, but it wasn’t much of a problem. Things were starting to look brighter, I thought.

Finally, a few minutes after eight o’clock, we arrived at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. At this point it occurred to me that all previous performances I’d seen at the school were in the Drama Lab, but that Cinderella was being presented in the Eagle Dome. Of course, I had no idea where on campus the Eagle Dome was located.

We wandered onto campus, in the rain, without an umbrella (because I had checked the weather that very morning and there was no mention of rain anytime during the coming week). After walking completely around the school, we finally found a person and asked him where the Eagle Dome was located. He pointed us toward a corner of the school whose existence we hadn’t noticed, and toward a dome-shaped building in that corner.

We ran over to the Eagle Dome, in the rain, and there was a line outside the door of high school students who were trying to figure out who owed whom money, who had bought how many tickets in advance, and how much each owed for the remaining tickets. We stood there in line behind them, in the rain, without an umbrella, until they finally figured things out and went inside.

Fortunately for us, the show was not sold out, it had not started yet, and we were able to obtain two tickets for the discounted price of ten dollars each.

And then, of course, the show was terrible.

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