Notice I didn’t post “I went…” in that headline. There is a really good reason for that, because I didn’t go to the fair. This morning I was supposed to mow the lawn but we had another frog strangler thunderstorm in the pre-dawn darkness that turned the lawn into a lake, making mowing impossible again. This is like the third time in a row that this has happened, the lawn is almost dry enough to run the lawnmower and we get rained on in the night turning the lawn into a swamp or worse. That thunderstorm is important later in the story.
So Mrs. the Poet and I were planning on getting up early so I could mow the lawn, which turned out about like you would expect it would with standing water over a sea of mud. We were smart enough that this time we didn’t even try to do it. So I went back to bed to catch up on sleep deprivation (see later in the blog post) and Mrs. the Poet took advantage of my being unconscious to get an early shower and dressed. I finally awoke on my own and got newsed, showered, and dressed for myself and we left for the fair. The first part of the trip was uneventful as we bought a lottery ticket to break a $20 bill and caught the bus to the transit center. We got to the transit center and the sign that usually tells when the next train is due is putting up an announcement that the Orange Line is only running between DFW Airport and Bachman Station, which I found odd as they didn’t say anything about the Green Line, which shares track and stations between Bachman Station and Pearl Street Station. After we got on the train going to Downtown Dallas the conductor announced that the tracks were blocked at Cityplace Station and there was a “bus bridge” to Pearl Station where we would catch our train. That was the plan, anyway. We get on the shuttle and as we are getting close to Pearl Station we see a train dead on the tracks blocking a street crossing and when we get to Pearl Station we discover that our train isn’t running but there is a shuttle to get to the Fair. We walk over to the line for the shuttle to the Fair and I hear people complaining about how long it has been since they got in line and discover the line for the bus to the fair is about an hour long, compared to the bus that goes back to the Blue Line at Mockingbird Station having a 10 minute wait. Mrs. the Poet decided that she no longer wanted to do all that standing around waiting for a bus to do all that walking at the Fair and about that time she gets hit by a gust funneled between the buildings downtown and gets blown about 5 feet sideways. We decided that sampling cars and deep-fried foods in these conditions was probably NOT a Good Idea but that procuring sustenance probably would be, so we set out to walk to one of the many eateries within walking distance from the corner of Pearl and Bryan, when another gust came through that almost knocked her off her feet. This one was even worse than the one that caused her to stagger about 5 feet sideways. There is “enough” and then there is “too much” and that line had just been crossed with Mrs. the Poet as what should have been a simple 30 minute (+/-) trip to the State Fair of Texas had turned into an episode of Extreme Weather. We went arm-in-arm so that Mrs. the Poet did not get injured by another rogue gust (my problem was mainly keeping my cane under control when I wasn’t putting weight on it) to the closest place selling food and beverage, the Peet’s Tea and Coffee at the Sheraton Hotel (formerly Adam’s Mark). As we entered the lobby another gust grabbed the revolving door and collapsed it onto a very frightened little girl, fortunately without shattering the glass. She had the poop scared out of her, but appeared to be otherwise unharmed. Mrs. the Poet was Not Very Happy at this point, but as we were finally indoors and out of the wind she decided to go ahead and have a hot beverage. We ordered coffee and muffins as I had not had much to eat in anticipation of Deep-Fried Fair Food and it was well past lunch at that point, costing us $20 before another “senior discount” took it to just over $15 >sigh< Mrs. the Poet and I discussed my getting unrequested "senior discounts" since I was 37 YO and working compressed night shifts.
After our snack we set about returning to WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, after making the trip to Downtown Hell. And yes, I "went there" with the joke. And the other joke, too. And very shortly you're going to laugh… Getting on the shuttle back to Mockingbird Station was no problem as a steady stream were passing the temporary stop on the corner, disgorging passengers at one location and moving a few feet down to pick up at another. Things were crowded but moved fairly quickly and another bus full of people were moved to Mockingbird. At Mockingbird things started to get kerfuffled, because they were limited to how many trains they had when things went south inside the tunnel at Cityplace Station, and the wind had been bringing trees down on the catenary all day, slowing things even more. So there were not enough train cars to carry the number of people that needed to get somewhere, particularly on the Red/Orange side of the station, which normally had about 3 times as many cars heading North out of the station as they had available, normal operations included both Red and Orange line trains going all the way to Parker Road Station with the maximum number of cars they can stuff into a stop, 3. But all they had were a few Red Line trains with only the mid-day set of 2 cars each. During rush hour on the line that runs to Plano they have trains running every 5 minutes with 3 cars each, but what they had was enough every 10 minutes for half of the line and 20 minutes headway the rest of the trip, with 2/3 of the load capacity of normal. And that is assuming the maximum number of trains possible was trapped north of the incident that blocked the tunnel and none were involved in that incident that I still haven’t heard about. So to say that the platform at Mockingbird Station was crowded would be a gross understatement.
After all that we got home and had dinner and I started to compose this post.
Saturday was “fun” for variable values of “fun”. I got a late start on the post Friday and was planning on wrapping up on the bus and train on the way to the RPG group, but was stymied in that for some reason I could not create links while off line between something in the WP composing page and the Chrome OS on my laptop. So after the adventures of the RPG and the adventure of getting home I had to finish posting the Friday post on Sunday.
Speaking of RPG we had a good session, playing some Heroes for a while until that session played out as far as the GM had planned when one of the players did something totally unexpected and completely blew away the planned course of the game. His character decided to work for a mercenary as a possible mole, which caused the GM to invoke his “go to work for the Bad Guys makes your character an NPC if you’re playing a Hero” house rule. We thought he was going to be a mole, not removed from the game.
So we shifted to our Palladium game with my mage running around with a paranormal investigator/psychic, and a guy that talks to animals and sometimes takes over their bodies. We were back outside the portal where the people responsible for opening the portal and possibly what was on the other side of the portal were coming back to finish what they had started and bringing whatever it was they were trying to bring over to our world. They came in three waves because of the different speeds of the boats they had managed to rent, with the first wave being wiped out completely by our booby-trapping the dock, and the second wave getting decimated by the animal guy’s 90 foot snake with the head the size of an original VW Beetle, then wiped out by a few grenades and a few thousand piranha. About that time the bomb that was set to spray Holy Water in the evil temple went off and punched a hole in the jungle on the far side of the river from all the psychic energy released through the portal. The guy who had his chest split open and bleeding into the pool was staggering back up the path from the temple on the other side of the portal and we couldn’t touch him with any of our weapons because nothing remained in contact with the path and was sent to someplace else, but all the stuff we blew up around the portal trying to keep it on the ground eventually caused the portal to collapse and cut the vivisected guy off on the other side of the portal from our world.
It was at this point we discovered that we had missed the last train back to home for half of the group, and decided to play for a little while longer but I don’t remember much of this part of the session as I was in various stages of mental exhaustion and shut down progressively through the rest of the session. I remember we were going to a “haunted” house, and I remembered there being a square courtyard in the middle of the house and some kind of grass that was not grass but the tops of long. bamboo-like plants/creatures (where the cutoff between “magical plants” and creatures is, is something beyond the scope of this blog). Then some dumbass decided to throw an incendiary grenade into the bamboo things which let loose whatever the bamboo things were trapping down there with their magic absorption (that I only discovered because I got woke up during this bit) and caused an effect similar to the portal collapse in the jungle. It was decided at this point that playing Role Playing Games was pointless when a major player in the party is only semi-conscious and I was also starting to suffer the effects of not having my damaged leg elevated as it was starting to swell to the point that circulation to my foot was getting cut off by my shoe I was only laid down for about 40 minutes when antsy boy decided we had to catch the very first train out…
And that is enough writing for one night, as the swelling I mentioned in the last paragraph is starting to bother me again.
PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet