Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The one about the time the Holy Ghost sent me to Taco Bell. Even though I wasn't hungry.

First of all, don't forget to go VOTE for Beeswax! Pretty please? 

So my old friend Hallie came through town a few weeks ago and requested a trip to El Charro. Hallie and I met in the 5th grade, at a Magnet school in LA. Hallie was from the Palisades, so when we were 12 and reached that awkward age when everybody looks pretty much awful and seeks to make it worse with horrid haircuts, Hallie got one of those asymmetrical numbers. I was from the not-nearly-so-cool Valley, and so I decided to part my hair down the center and have it feathered all the way down. Plus, I added some horrendous bangs. And sparkly blue eye shadow up to the brows. We both looked fairly bad, but Hallie looked cool-bad, and I just looked regular-bad. 

(Is no wonder, really, that I cannot embrace this retro 80's style thing that is going on. I see neon with geometrics and have post-traumatic stress flashbacks. Is like asking a veteran to relive the war. Only, not really like that at all. Is bad simile, and offensive to veterans. Sorry, veterans.)

Anyhow, fashion aside, while I was driving up to El Charro that day last month, I thought of another time I was in that neighborhood, back in August 1992. And since, I have had a niggling feeling that I should write it down.

I was 18. The guy I was dating was in some sort of band. They were practicing in an empty warehouse at about Country club and Broadway, which is (and was) not a nice neighborhood. I drove down from where we lived in north Mesa to watch them practice, and when they finished, after 1 a.m., I hopped in my little white Acura Integra and started home. About a mile on,  I realized I was being followed. 

Behind me was an at least ten-year-old American boat of a car, lowered considerably, and packed full of boisterous, probably inebriated men. At a stop light, they all climbed out the windows and hooted at me. I jammed down the accelerator, let out the clutch, and tried mightily to shake them. They stayed dangerously close behind. At the next red light, I slowed, checked for cross traffic, then went right through the light. They followed. I was going fast, 70 maybe, in a 45 zone. I hoped a cop would see my illegal maneuvers, but the roads, still wet and shiny from the monsoon rains earlier in the evening, were completely clear.

It occurred to me that I couldn't go home. Because then, they would know where I lived. And also, how would I safely get from car to house? 

I began to sweat. And mutter things. And I drove faster still. And they crept closer. I couldn't look in my rearview mirror because I could see their shiny eyes and tight grins.

I was out of ideas. And so I began to pray.

Immediately, a voice came to my mind. Like a command.

Go to Taco Bell.

And I actually laughed.  

I'm really not hungry, thanks, I said aloud. It honestly sounded like the worst idea ever.

You know, I might feel like some tacos later, when I am not about to be wrecked, raped, and possibly worse. How about some help in finding a police station?

But the voice in my head was calm and peaceful,  and I was not. And it seemed very insistent that I go to Taco Bell. 

And since it seemed like the best and only option I had, I started toward the nearest Taco Bell, at Brown Road and Mesa Drive.

It was open. 24 hours, I think.

I pulled into the drive-thru, in front of the speaker, and behind a 15 passenger van. The men in the low-rider, 6 of them, pulled in behind me, got out of their car, surrounded mine, and pounded on my windows and shook my car, whilst screaming and leering. I was trapped. I couldn't roll down my windows, so I honked my horn insistently, hoping the workers inside would come outside and call the police.

Instead, something else happened.

From inside the van ahead came a whole herd of very, very attractive boys, all wearing maroon baseball caps. 

The first fellow came around the back of the van, opened it, and started tossing baseball bats to the other pretty fellows that followed him.

Turns out, I had pulled in directly behind the Stanford University baseball team. 

The boys ran toward my car, waving their bats around and looking hot and fierce, like young warriors.

My pursuers jumped back in their ride, backed out of the drive-thru line, and left, tires squealing.

When I was sure they were gone, I rolled down my window. The handsome man-children checked to make sure I was okay, then told me to wait while they got their burritos, so they could escort me home. 

I still have no idea what the Stanford Baseball team was doing at a Mesa, Arizona Taco Bell in the middle of the fetching night. 

I was so flustered from my possible near-death experience, and thinking about how my prayer had totally, without any question in my whole brain, been answered, against my own logic and judgment, that   I neglected to get any of those baseball players' phone numbers.

I know. Was terrible waste of smart, cute boys.

Oh, and 
P.S. Hallie, I totally apologize if you liked your 12-year-old haircut. Yours was WAY better than mine.


Natalie said...

Oh my gosh, Kelly! What a crazy story! I'm so thankful for bat-wielding Stanford boys that require a 4th meal!

Mallory said...

What a neat story! I'm going to take that as a sign that God likes Taco Bell, and my husband shouldn't be so opposed to it.

corrie said...

Crazy scary.
No better way to be rescued, though. Listening to the spirit and a van full of smart athletic college boys.

The Fear Fam said...

What a wonderful story! I'm actually tearing up a little. So now you've got me crying and laughing and I look like a lunatic. Thanks a lot!

debilyn said...

Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways!

Very inspirational story...thanks for sharing =)

Jennifer said...

Wow! Great story.

Barbaloot said...

Wow. What a great/scary/inspiring story! I've never been a fan of baseball myself...but that could change your mind real quick.

Shelane said...

maybe was for me, the reason you needed to tell story? only can i have the subtitles please, cuz i still don't know what to do.

wait, nat called you kelly. does that mean you know her in real life? cuz i know her in real life and she is super awesome.

awesome story. apparently i'm a cry baby today.

One Sassy Mama said...

What in the world? Talk about a miracle at Taco Bell! Who would've thunk it...from this day forward I will no longer call it Crappy Bell. I heart those Stanford boys.

This is me said...

The days before cell phones were super scary. I'm not sure how we survived. I thought I was being followed home from Target a few weeks ago and I called my husband and had him stand out on the driveway to wait for me. Turns out, it was my next door neighbor who also happened to be out shopping that night. I was slightly embarrassed but mostly just grateful for my cell phone!

Jaime Theler said...

What a fantastic story! It almost makes up for the Vietnam-like 80's style flashbacks.
*huddled in a corner, shaking and mumbling. "No, no more leg warmers. I know I rolled the bottom of my jeans so tight it almost cut off circulation to my feet, but I'm reformed."*

wonder woman said...

Is extraordinary.

When you said they got out and started beating your windows, I thought you were going to say you were joking! I'd be terrified.

Nice to know God's looking out for you. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Lizzie said...

total oppo from my experience at taco bell---when the spirit told me not to go on a SUNDAY and I did and it got robbed.

Brittaney said...

I hope you win your contest. That story gave me chills and I know when we feel the spirit sometimes we get crazy answers, but I am glad you listened. What an amazing experience. Go Stanford!

Anonymous said...

Amazing. I love stories like this! I'm so glad you lived to tell about it, and I'll never watch another baseball game in my life without thinking of this!

erin said...

Sheesh Kelly! What a crazy night! Great story. Oh, and I voted for you :)

Jolene said...

What a post! It made me laugh (I had sweet 80s hair), strengthened my testimony and made me crave a mexi-melt all in a period of 2 minutes.

twin2trip said...

Are you even kidding....Now that is a great story, written by a great writer? How come I didn't even know about this story that happened in our hood.

Oh go, fight, win little white Acura. I have a special place in my heart for her.

Don't worry I voted for you.


Lisa said...

Wow Kelly, that's an amazing story; it brought me to tears. How terribly scary that must have been for you! Thanks goodness you listened to the promptings or else I'd have no Beeswax to read! And that would be SAD!!!

I voted for you...of course! You rock!

heather said...

This is the best story ever, and truly disappointing about the neglecting to get their phone numbers.

ALSO I almost got to meet you at WC. I hugged your mom and said hi to Jenn and then told them (the ones I know in real life) how much I love you. Your mom tried to make an introduction, but we were in a pretty good crowd of people, and I'm pretty sure you were booking it to get a good spot in the fudge line at the bookstore. At least I'm guessing that is where you were off to at such a fast pace. :)

Beeswax said...

No fudge, but close. I was off to get a cookie dough shake at the Wilk! Was this in front of the HFAC?

Jen told me she had just been talking to a girl who reads my blog, and I said WHO? and she said your name, and I said WHAT's her screen name? Or her blog name? And she didn't know. So it was an enigma. Until now!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Would you, pretty please, submit this to bloggers annex so that it can be published? Go to www.bloggesrannex.com. Thanks!

Shanana said...

Wow! That was so cool, I think you should see if President Monson would quote it in the next general conference. He might have to get permission to use the Taco Bell rights, but I'm sure they'd say it was okay.

Heather A said...

Fabulous. Holy cow, I got chills reading it. I am going to vote for you 12 more times, and then share your story at our next FHE!

Rebecca Frame said...

funniest dang story i have ever read!!

almost peed my pants...:)...but didn't...thank goodness...am wearing true religion jeans today.


Anonymous said...

That is a great story. Go Stanford.

Geo said...

Fabulous! Go Stanford, indeed.