And you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from Hull Ma,
Aboard this tiny ship.
Laneit was a mighty sailin’ man,
Maz brave and sure.
The class of 1997 set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour…
Throughout history, there have been several famous transportation disasters. The Titanic, the Hindenburg, and even the Costa Concordia became part of history. But did you know, The Nerds Uncanny have a disaster of their own?
Okay, so it’s more along the lines of Wile E Coyote than the Hindenburg, but the point is we lived to tell about it. This story features Laneit, John, myself and our buddy Wah Kee. There’s a lot of great stories I can tell about Mr. Kee, but for now all you need to know is that in the late 1990’s Wah Kee drove like Mr. Magoo.
The following is a true Story of courage and survival, parental guidance may be suggested.
January 15, 1998, a date which will live in infamy.
On that fateful day, I was returning to Boston after spending the holidays with my family in Guatemala. That day it was a nice 75 degree morning, and with a long layover scheduled in Miami, I thought it was smart to wear shorts. As I settled into my seat, the pilot told us we we’d be heading straight into a blizzard. There was a chance we’d have to land in Baltimore or New York. Back then I was terrified of flying, and the American Airlines pilot telling me we’re about to fly into a blizzard did not help my fears. Oh well, why worry? Laneit and the guys were picking me up at Logan Airport, so I had that to look forward to.
My flight beat the storm and I was soon reunited with The Nerds Uncanny. I thought they were picking me up in my car, but they showed up in Wah Kee’s Audi. Sure, I was a bit cold but I figured I’d be home soon enough. In the car Laneit said he wanted to stop by the South Shore Plaza for something. I don’t remember how long we stayed at the Plaza, but when we returned to the car, there was maybe an inch of snow on the ground. Wah Kee was behind the wheel, Laneit in the passenger seat. John was behind Wah Kee and I was sitting behind Laneit.
As Wah Kee took the turn behind Pizzeria Uno, Laneit said, “Careful, Kee. The roads might be a little…” Nick never finished the sentence. To this day I don’t know who screamed. I know it wasn’t me, and I don’t believe it was John because the screams seemed to come from the front seats. All I do know is that I heard an “Arrrrrgh!”
Before we knew it, the Audi was riding on two wheels while the others bounced and smashed off the curb. We slid about 200 feet or so, riding the curb the whole way. I was sure we’d hit a tree or two, but we only took down a couple of sticks. We got out of the car to survey the damage, and Wah Kee proudly proclaimed, “Ehh, we’re fine guys. No problem whatsoever.” About the same time Nick discovered the two front wheels were facing in. Now, I’m no mechanic, but even I knew that wasn’t a good thing.
So there we were, stuck on a curb, no front wheels, snow coming down, me wearing shorts, Wah Kee in denial, John along for the ride, and none of us had any idea what do next. Then a lucky break. It turned out I had my AAA card in my luggage. Why I would need that on a plane, I dunno. Laneit was hungry so he suggested the two of us walk over to Pizzeria Uno so I could call AAA and he could get a pizza. By this point the snow was really coming down, and it took about 15 minutes for AAA to understand I wasn’t driving my car. Once they had all the details they told me the good news: Due to the storm, It would be 2 1/2 — 4 hours for the tow truck to show up. YAY!
Laneit apologized, but he didn’t have to. To be honest, I was just happy to be on the ground. Back at the scene of the crime, Wah Kee and John were sitting on the curb watching another car do donuts in the snow. John got pissed because he thought people would see the donuts and assume we were the ones making them and then crashed. If only it had been that exciting.
After 2 hours, the tow truck showed up. I think a tear ran down Wah Kee’s face as they raised his Audi into the truck. Then we realized there was no way we’d all fit in the tow truck, especially with all the luggage. Then, another stroke of luck. A car pulled over because the driver knew Wah-Kee and offered us a ride. We all piled into this little 2 door car, Wah-Kee up front; the rest of us and the luggage in back. I seem to remember John sitting on Laneit’s lap, but I believe he was just sitting on my carry-on bags. Once we were all inside, and the tow truck was gone, Wah Kee realized, “Oh crap, my parents are gonna kill me!” Our new driver giggled and said, “Don’t worry. My dad gets pissed every time I total my car.”
Wait a minute, “Every time” ?!?
John’s eyes bugged out, as he whimpered something about not wanting to be in another accident. But Kee’s friend got us home in one piece and I was in bed by 1 am. When I boarded the plane that morning, I thought if something happened, it would happen on the plane, not 8 miles from home. I’m glad none of us were hurt, but things would have been better if I had a jacket, and some pants.
Oh, and Laneit never shared his pizza. jerk.
this is John’s take on the episode:
Once again, “Every time I total my car”?! This is who we get to drive us home in a freaking blizzard, a graduate of the Billy Joel School of Driving? One thing about Jose’s story, though; I thought the car that picked us up was a station wagon, not a two door. I guess they make two door station wagons. I don’t know. It’s all a blur. All I really remember is Jose kept saying that he had a winter coat in his car, and it would have been nice if he had it on. I think we were supposed to pick him up in his car, but used Wah-Kee’s instead. I forget why. Like he said, I was just along for the ride. But if I had to guess, I’d say it was because Jose didn’t want Wah-Kee driving his car.
Anyway, Jose left out one tiny detail, which was that for some reason, the driver’s side back door on the Audi couldn’t be opened from the inside. This wasn’t a result of the accident; it was always like that. You had to be let out, like a police car. I think there was a big suitcase or something in the middle seat separating me and Jose, so he could get out on his side, but I was stuck in the car until someone thought to open the door.