02 November 2006

Things to try: part one

I have done some odd stuff in my life. I have flown in helicopters (loved it!). And hot air balloons (too early in the morning). And I know how to drive a tractor, a backhoe and how to arc weld (seems handier than it is). I have built a Rose Parade Float (with the help of about 300 other people). I have interviewed some famous people (without major disaster). Hugged George Foreman (he is HUUUUGE). Flirted shamelessly with Anthony Bourdain (even though he smokes). And Susie Bright (I can't explain it but you just have to flirt with Susie Bright).

But one of the strangest experiences of my life was at a car stereo store, and you can have the same experience, if you want to.

I was writing an article about cars with huge stereo systems and how they drive people insane. Some people call them boom cars. Because I don't have any 19-year-old male friends, I had never experienced the effects of riding in one of these cars, but I wanted to know. Research.

I went to a car audio store and asked the 19-year-old male salesguys to let me go in the testing room. Then I had them crank their most expensive system up ALL THE WAY. At least as all the way as a middle-aged woman could stand.

You don't hear it so much as feel it. You aren't moving with the "music" (it is so loud that it doesn't sound musical anymore) - the music is moving YOU. Your HAIR bounces up and down. Your eyeballs bounce in your head. You are one bouncing mutha.

I lasted about 45 seconds before I staggered out. It was the one time in my life that I might describe myself as thoroughly flummoxed, and I stayed all a-twitter for hours afterward.

I wouldn't do it again, but it was unforgettable. And you can do it, too, for free. Why not? Check it out. Let me know how it goes.

What was YOUR strangest experience? I mean, in a safe-for-work kind of way.

21 comments:

Holly Capote said...

I once contracted poison ivy on the Mississippi. It was winter and I was wearing a wetsuit. It went inside me. I itched internally. Stephen King or the SAW III people could have had fun with my misery. Plus, it was winter and raining and I was alone. That's a few days I don't want to do over.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I was once behind a Victoria's Secret supermodel in an airport cafe line. I was too busy staring at her that I didn't even notice what I picked up to buy: A candy bar. Sigh. She had fruit and a water. Double sigh. Not all that strange but humbling.

Eden said...

I rode a Segway in a mall in Boulder, CO. It is the most Yuppie thing I've ever done.

wendy boucher said...

Oh, Suebob. So many strange experiences, so little time. I'll pick looking for a restaurant on New Years on the island of Rhodes. NOTHING was open. We finally followed some people into what turned out to be a private club but they fed us anyway. Mystery meat. Nobody spoke english but we ordered Retsina and soon we were all speaking the same language.

happy and blue 2 said...

I was once the only person in a stripper bar when the stripper came out.
It was innocent too. I went into the small bar because I had a headache from the music in the big bar upstairs.
I thought it was just a lounge type place. Guess the stage and poles should have given it away but I'm kind of naive..

Mignon said...

I had to test impoverished homes in Macon, Georgia and St. Louis(!) for electromagnetic radiation as part of a government-contracted study. The people were nice, the basements were f*ing scary. Silence of the Lambs, without the fun party music.

Meg said...

Probably getting lost in Cuba and having five different people provide completely different directions to my destination. None of which were correct.

Her Bad Mother said...

You flirted with Anthony Bourdain? JEALOUS. SO JEALOUS.

Her Bad Mother said...

Oh. I partied with Johnny Depp once. Watched him trash a hotel room.

I would trade that experience for Anthony Bourdain.

Stephanie A. said...

"Flirted shamelessly with Anthony Bourdain (even though he smokes)." This is why I'm falling for you fast- I literally feel the same way about AB. Granted, I haven't had the wonderful experience of flirting with him, but still, I know what you mean about maybe being able to overlook the fact that he smokes. Maybe.

On to my experience. I lived in Paris for a year and my best friend, her husband, and my husband all came to visit me for Christmas/New Year. After having a yummy dinner, we went to the Champs Elysees where I had heard "a few people gather" right around midnight. Try a few thousand. Well, after midnight hit I went from being surrounded by cute (though drunk) Parisians to feeling like it was the end of the freaking world. Seriously, people were giving religious lectures, people were beating people with billy clubs and broken wine bottles, looting, peeing in the street (guilty!). Insane. And, as if all of that weren't enough, 4 young guys attacked me and ripped open my blouse. My friends had my back on three of the guys, but the fourth one I had to knock out with a punch to the face.

Totally out of what's in my normal world, but I do kind of look back at it fondly.

Chair said...

The Canadian Federal government paid me (and a few others) to learn to use and legally handle 12-gauge shot guns for the purpose of sampling 1-inch long caterpillars from virgin spruce forests (never been harvested) that were the equivalent of about 100 feet tall at regular intervals throughout the summer. (We had to shoot the branches down because they were too tall to use pole-pruners.)

Then over the winter I would work part-time doing caterpillar autopsies.

I shit you not.

wordgirl said...

Worked at the police department one summer (while in college). My job? To call people with small cases...like stolen hubcaps...to assure them that the case was still open and to ask them if there was anything else (aside from the information I had) they wanted to add to the report. Of course, it was "open" in the way all unsolved-but-really-unimportant cases are. Roughly translated it means: Well...we don't know who stole your hubcaps and we don't care. That's what you get for buying gold rims for your skanky car when you can't afford to pay the electric bill in your house. However, we do care what the community thinks of us, so we're paying this young chick to call you up and pretend on our behalf that we care. You know...so you'll think we're doing a better job than we are.

SUEB0B said...

HBM - Johnny Depp? Jealous back at you.

I am not, however, jealous of caterpillar autopsies or poison ivy.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I don't know who Anthony Bourdain is. Should I be worried about that?

NoShowMo said...

Less than a month after 9/11/2001, I flew in a tiny plane through a thunderstorm to the edge of Southwest Virginia to tour a coal mine. To get to the mine, we had to take a five minute elevator ride just to get underground, and then rode in these special, open vehicles for SEVEN miles from the elevator to get to the main site where the mining was taking place. The risk of fire or explosion from coalbed methane gas was so great we could not even use a disposable camera, much less a flash, because of the electrical charge. When we returned to the surface, we were told the depth we went -- 300 ft greater than the tallest tower of the WTC. Strange, and humbling, and magical all at the same time.

Holly Capote said...

Gonna post again: had to fly all crookedy through a canyon once and the pontoons of our plane clipped the tree tops on the way out. Very Indiana Jonesy, especially since it was an ancient plane from the 30s with a rattling dash.

And I didn't tell the whole story of my first story: I ended up being the hero one night (I still had the inside ivy.) when a small boat broke its tethering line and drifted down a channel. My kayak was the only boat that could fetch it so I towed it upriver in the dark. Everyone wanted to buy me a drink and slap my back. I just wanted to die.

jess said...

Anthony Bourdain! OMG. Very jealous.

I can't think of a single experience.

Suzanne said...

On my birthday, I sat in a restaurant while my two grandmothers had a high decible (probably as loud as the stereo room you went into) argument about who had the better fur caot. It went like this:
Bubbe: I love my mink coat. It is beautiful. It is the best fur coat anyone ever had.

Grannie: Oh yeah? Well I love my beaver. My beaver is soft and fuzzy, and everyone loves to rub it because it feels so good.

Bubbe: My mink is the best. It is new and keeps me so warm.

Grannie: My beaver may be old, but it is still cozy and keeps me warm. I love my beaver.

My mom and I nearly fell down from laughing as people turned and stared at my granny.

SUEB0B said...

Thank you everyone for sharing. Suzanne, your family is truly wack.

MsLittlePea said...

I used to have a boyfriend in high school who had "system" in his car. It drove me insane-I mean I hated it insane not the I thought it was so cool insane-frankly it was embarrassing-like I want to drive around the damn town in a car with a stereo system that was worth more than it was. He was sweet though and turned it down for me.

Now here's the really scary confession-I once cheered for Bush(the father when he was campaigning in 92) when my school was invited at a campaign event. Somewhere out there there's a picture of me in the paper right behind him with a smirk on my face because I was pretending, for my best friend's benefit to grab his ass. My only excuse for not being embarrassed to admit this is-hey I was a damn 16 year old f- cheerleader whose main concern was nail polish and MTV, like I knew anything about politics then! That was the only time I ever cheered for a Bush. I still like nail polish and MTV though...

Eden said...

I love my beaver too.

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