Sunday, February 19, 2012

Addicted to technology and the day I almost died

Marathon training (for the Go! St. Louis Marathon) is in full swing and I ran 20 miles on this past beautiful Saturday morning. Following that successful run, I went to Mardi Gras and almost died.

St. Louis' Mardi Gras celebration is the second largest in the nation, behind - you guessed it! - New Orleans. The last time I was in St. Louis during this time of year I was 17 and for some reason that I can't even imagine my parents wouldn't have found it appropriate for me to attend an all-out rager, so this was my first time checking out the scene. And what a scene it was. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it was certainly a wild ride, packed with thousands of people, and frankly, overwhelming. {I get overwhelmed very easily, but whatever}

Since I got a bit of a slower start to my morning and had to toss in a quick almost 3 hour run, I didn't head down to Soulard until about 3, so I was thrust into the craziness when everyone else had already been downing their body weight in beer since about 8 a.m. YIKES doesn't even begin to describe my feelings!

I met up with one of my close guy friends, his girlfriend and some other friends at one random street corner and had made plans to meet up with another friend in the muy exclusivo (not actually) Bud Light tent, for which you need a ticket in order to enter. Despite my friend's warnings about creepy men and reminders of my ability to get lost on the way from my bedroom to the bathroom, I meandered off solo to meet my friend. En route....MY PHONE DIED. I put that in all caps to express my anguish. What did people do before cell phones? I'm fairly certain they spent the vast majority of their life lost and looking for their friends. At this point in time, my life sort of flashed before my eyes as I realized that I was most likely going to die in Soulard and never see anyone I love again. I'm so casual and non-dramatic.

I knew I would never be able to find the first group of friends I was with again, and I couldn't let my other friends in the tent know that I was there to bring me a ticket for entry. The cab situation was dire at best. Essentially, I was stuck.

Thankfully, sort of, I ran into a high school classmate of mine, a guy who I would classify as a friend but also as one of the sketchiest characters in the book. His phone died too, so we were two phoneless souls, and he was also really weird. One time in 10th grade he passed me a note in Mr. McKone's math class that was essentially a five paragraph essay on why he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I politely declined. Anyway. There was a good thirty minute period during which we were alone together, it was uncomfortable, he's not much of one for personal space.

We ultimately ran into some other high school friends, he ran away muttering something about being in trouble with his ladyfriend {I can only imagine} and I skipped off into the distance with my friends, eventually to warm up in another friend's apartment where I could charge my phone. I made it. I survived Mardi Gras. How? I'm still not sure. A lot of luck and some very large beers definitely played a part. I can't help but think about how narrow of an escape I made! What if I had never run into a friend? Cabs were nearly impossible to hail, I couldn't call one, I couldn't call my dad to come save me, I felt so very helpless! And yet, even ten years ago, most people attending Mardi Gras likely did not have cell phones. And, as I haven't read statistics suggesting otherwise, they all survived. Or if they died it was not because they lost their friends. But really - can you imagine that?!

So the lesson here is to always charge your cell phone, and if your well-meaning friend advises you not to wander off by yourself at a crazy outdoor drinking event, maybe you should listen.

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Mardi Gras?
Do you have a scary cell phone fail story?

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