Let me start this story about massively embarrassing myself in front of my community by saying it’s not what you think: I'm definitely not going to be dropping any poop jokes at any point in here…or am I?
It all began on a cold, cold January day
Anywhoo, the story begins way, way back in January of 2015. NextSpace River North was reeling from the disaster of a brutally cold winter that had kept many of our members home. Funny thing that – when the wind is cold enough to make your face feel like raw hamburger, most people surprisingly choose to work from home. Who’d a thought? But I digress! The important thing to remember is that this January day was much like the other January days – what we call a two-coater (minimum of two coats needed to be outside).
In an effort to reward the brave, kind, noble souls that had chosen to spend their day with us, I volunteered to make a run to Chipotle and pick us up some lunch. Nothing brings a community together quite like Mexican food: it’s science. We got everyone to place their orders online with my name as pickup, which went infinitely easier than I was expecting. Shout out to Chipotle for having an easy way for groups to order individual things online. What I was sure was going to be a task much like herding cats ended up being the easiest part of the day. Uber called, money secured, mouth watering, let’s do this. I get to Chipotle and the line is out the door, but moving quickly. I grab our order and a truly badass woman helps identify each item, marking it with a name for each member as we go. I’m decently sure this woman was an actual saint, and should be worshipped accordingly. I called the Uber back and went outside to wait. Here’s where the story gets good:
50 Pounds of Chipotle and no Uber in Sight
The app kept updating that the driver was three minutes away. Three minutes would go by and he would be three minutes away. Ten minutes later a blacked out Suburban matching the picture on the app pulls up – on the end of the opposite block - and waves me over. No big deal – definitely not carrying 50lbs of rapidly cooling chicken in my arms or anything. I trot over, the dude sees me carrying 12 bags of food and does the noble thing – he gets back in the car. I open the door, confirm it’s him, toss (figuratively) the food in the backseat and hop in.
As I hop in, I hear a sound akin to a tree splitting in half after being struck by lighting. A huge ripping, cracking sound. This sound is immediately followed a rush of cool air that tingles the skin on both my hip and my ankle. With a look of horror matched only by that of Wendy in The Shining when Jack was tearing through the door, I looked down.
A Pants Disaster
A big ol' tear in the pantaloons greeted me. Not a tiny rip either, I’m talking exposed skin from my ankle to my hipbone, making sure that everyone knew I was wearing black boxer-briefs that day. The driver didn’t notice, and I was really hoping that was about to be a common theme for the rest of the day. Back at the space, three things happened simultaneously:
I wrapped myself in my very long pea coat (not long enough to stop people from noticing my bare ankle, mind you, but long enough to cover the good bits).
I got everyone their food like a ninja.
I texted a close friend/community member named Ishmael asking for gym shorts, since I knew he usually came in around this time.
Sadly, Ishmael wasn’t planning on coming in for a while, so I was on my own. Now, River North is a NICE area, most of the places to buy things here range from galleries to gyms to coffee shops to a couple express-style grocery stores. Not many options for “pants” on that list. Luckily, a Sports Authority is close to the space (about six city blocks).
I left someone in charge, wrapped myself right, safety pinned my trousers as best I could and headed out. Keep in mind that while I’m walking to this Sports Authority, it hasn’t magically warmed up – it’s still about 15 degrees with the wind always blowing. I don’t care if you recently won the Safety Pinning Your Pants World Championships – my body hurt. Also worth mentioning that I was far too proud to use my credit card (much less the company one) for a personal errand, even though the bosses would have laughed and looked the other way.
I got to the sports store, realized that work out pants were about $65 (I work out a lot, and buy a ton of clothes, but I’ve never paid that for pants). Forgetting that it was about 15 degrees outside, I grabbed a pair of shorts, bought them, and headed back to the space – not bothering to change before doing so.
Let me paint a picture for you of what I looked like after changing: blue polo shirt, grey, teal and orange gym shorts, knee high black socks, wing tip shoes, long pea coat. Sit on that image a while. I’ll wait.
Last part of the story: I decided this would be a GREAT time to call it a day. I called a Lyft, since I like them more than Uber now and the train I take home was a 30 minute walk away, and went to wait outside. 10 seconds later, the dude pulled up. I hopped in his front seat, he shook my hand, looked me up and down and said, “Rough day, huh son?”
I laughed. “Let me tell you a story.”