Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pete the tour guide.

Yesterday at a party some folks were talking about this post.
This is the only one that I had deleted due to a complaint. I am re-posting it because the person that sort-of complained is no longer reading this blog. Of course, since I haven't posted anything here for a year, nobody else is reading it either.
I am posting this for the folks at that party.
Now I will be able to read it too!

Pete the tour guide.
The eight of us had just finished a very nice meal and Beth and I were settling in for a nice evening of laughs and chatting. Well it turned out that the party was going out on the town. Beth and I had to make a decision --- now. We wanted to go back to our motel room because we were a little low on energy, but we thought that we could handle a short tour. Beth wanted to ride in our own car because we expected that we weren't going to be staying out as late as everyone else. Everybody was heading to the cars before we knew what was going on. Everybody was in a hurry.
I offered to give a ride to someone that had already had quite a bit to drink, and we were going to walk down the road to where our car was parked, and then Beth, “Pete”, and I were going to ride to the place together in our van, we would hang out for a while with the others, and then Pete would come home early with Beth and I.
While I was waiting for Pete to find his shoes, Beth took the opportunity to hitch a ride to our car from another couple because Beth had the wrong shoes on for a comfy walk. She would get her other shoes and we would pick her up and go meet the others. That was the NEW plan.

Pete came out but didn't want to walk down the road to our van, so he suggested that we take one of the Hummers. OK, that will fit into the plan, let's go pick up Beth.

The motel room was dark and Beth wasn't in the van. I went into the motel room and yoohoo'd...
It seems that Beth had gotten into Lenny and Ginny's car for the short ride to our car.

Lenny is a person that we had recently met that could be the poster boy for the Asperger's Association of America.

Lenny means well, and is a very nice person, but has never learned how to listen to what other people say. Every “conversation” is one-way. We have known Ginny for years, we have just met her new boyfriend Lenny. Well Beth is in the backseat of these two friends. Lenny is driving. Ginny is being quiet as usual so she can stay below the radar. Beth keeps trying to cut into Lenny's “conversation” (with the dashboard, it seems) so that she could remind Lenny that she was getting out at our motel to pick up our car and some different shoes, but it was too late. The mouth was accelerating and so was the car.
Beth started modifying her plan to include the uncomfortable shoes, no pocketbook, no money, no van, and no Warren. He will catch up.

Warren and Pete back in the Hummer: I drive to the crossroads and asked Pete “left or right?”.
Pete says “I don't know”.
“Whaddyamean you DON'T know?” “You live here, where are they all going?”
I don't know.”
The plan starts falling apart. “You don't know where they are going? Do you have your phone?”
“I'm going back to get mine.”
Noooooo no noooooo, we don't need it, I'll take you to where they are, just turn right.”
“Are you sure?” ... “??????” ... “??????????”
Yes! Turn right!

I start driving while trying to remember what my plan was so that I could start deconstructing it.”
Pete tells me that anyplace we go in this town we will be treated like royalty.
They all know me --- turn in here --- let's go in here --- last time I went in here somebody clocked me with a board across the back of my head. Never did figure out who it was...”
While my mind was grinding that little nugget up, I couldn't shake the picture of the Queen of England trying to avoid having a board knock off her jeweled crown as she entered this friendly establishment.

I noted out loud that I didn't recognize any of the cars in the parking lot.
Well that's no problem, they'll end up here.” “I guarantee that they'll end up here!”
Pete continued, “They'll start at The Old Fart Lodge, and then go to The Working Bar, and then go to Stinky's Man Cave, and then they'll end up here at Badger's Sing-a-long.” We'll just start here, have a few beers and go the other way and we'll probably bump into them!” He said proudly.

I asked Pete if he has actually EVER been successful with a plan like this?

Please note that I had not had anything to drink, and I had now revised my plans so that I would be drinking water ALL night long, and there was the possibility that it was going to be a very long night.

Anyhow, Pete didn't answer...
I asked him again...
“Has a plan this dopey EVER worked for you before?”
I felt that the evening's plans were still being rewritten.

Pete dropped the bomb: “What? You want to actually FIND them?”
I thought we would just hang out together tonight, I mean jeeesh, you've been together for FIVE-THOUSAND-Miles, aren't you tired of being together yet???”
I thought we'd have a Man's night. You know, have some drinks and meet them back home.”

Now I knew that Beth would never be able to get Lenny to stop talking long enough to hear her pleas to go home when she was tired, and Lenny certainly wouldn't notice if she had fallen asleep somewhere, so I KNEW that I had to find Beth. She would be fine for a while, but once she got sleepy Lenny would lose her like a set of car keys.

We forged on. I decided to skip right ahead to the top of Pete's theoretical order of bar-hopping.
With Pete's help I was able to drive the Hummer right to the place on the first try. Pete seemed to be doing OK. He still wanted to go play but he knew i wanted to collect Beth first, for some reason.
We pulled up to the Old Farts Lodge and Pete wouldn't get out of the car. He said “that place is only for OLD people, they won't be in there. I'll wait here.”
I took the keys and walked the ten feet to the front door. I looked in. There was no way they would be there, one couple was waltzing and everybody else was sucking on oxygen.
Then over in the corner, there they were, looking like teenagers at a grownup's restaurant. I popped out, got Pete and in we went.

It was interesting, no it wasn't, it was pretty boring. I hung onto Beth. Before long the band had to get back to the home, so it was decided that we were all going to go down the street to the Working Man's Bar (I realized that Pete really did understand how things worked around here).

Everybody walked except me and Pete. He wanted to ride there in the Hummer, but I kept my eye on Beth as we relocated.
This bar had a folk-rock-angst band and a lot of incredibly drunk young girls.

I was enjoying the band but eventually two of the ladies in our group were tired and were going to go home. They hugged Pete, Beth, and I goodbye. They couldn't say goodbye to Lenny and Ginny because they had disappeared without telling anyone. We found out the next morning that they had migrated through Stinky's and ended up at Badger's Sing-a-long and had a very good time until closing. They had forgotten to tell anyone they were leaving. They probably had forgotten that they were even WITH anyone.

Back at the Working Man's Bar, Beth and I had to try to pry Pete off of his bar stool. When Beth and I were busy with goodbyes and making plans to meet again, Pete had stealthily tiptoed away from the table and was now firmly planted at the bar and was buying a round for everyone.
Beth told Pete that she was tired.
He said “OK, one more drink...”. After years of experience, Beth knew what that meant.

So she stood there.

Pete said “are you gonna stand there and watch me like my grandmother?”

Beth said “YES!”

After a while it became clear that it was Pete who had to change his plans.

Beth and I rushed Pete past the bouncer (because Pete felt some sort of urge to start a fight with him) and across to the Hummer, and we headed home with Pete telling us story after story. They were pretty good stories. I came to an intersection that kinda looked familiar, “Pete! Do I turn here?”
Sure! Why not?!”
We drove until we got to a restaurant that I recognized, that I KNEW was way past Pete's place.
“Pete! We missed your driveway! Where IS it?”
I don't know. I usually get home before it's dark out.” (I wasn't sure whether he was talking about the absence of sunlight or some kind of Pete-consciousness.)
So we had to slowly drive along the road with the flashers on so that Pete could find where his housing development was. Beth and I finally found it. Almost there. You can't see any of the houses from the road, just long winding asphalt driveways, which we found all looked exactly the same to Pete (after darkness sets in). It took a couple of false turns but we eventually got back. We dropped Pete off. After 15 minutes I gave up trying to get him to go into his house, and so I just left him playing with his dogs in the yard while Beth and I went back to our motel room.
Just as we had originally planned.

All of the names of everybody in this story (except for Beth) have been changed.
The conversations were not changed. Our plans were changed.
---------- for the curious ---------------
Information about Aspergers Syndrome.
Wrong, a site for people with Aspergers.


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