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A Pink Cadillac and My Intuition

I do not have what you would call good instincts.

I forget to turn the oven off regularly.  At work, if asked to get something from our road box I will often look  in the wrong room despite the fact that our box was moved to a different room 3 days ago.  And in college, it took me until well into my junior before I believed that guys weren’t “just being nice” to me when they complimented me and bought me drinks at parties.

But my instincts were finally vindicated today.  For once, they were right.

A week and a half ago, we loaded our next show, Miss Saigon, into the theater.  It’s a rental that we got from another theatre, already built and put together, and we (the electrics department,) began sifting through and looking for pieces that needed wiring and repair.  One of the biggest pieces in this rental is a bright pink Cadillac.  (It’s actually the hollowed-out body of a Cadillac with a golf cart engine inside, but damn if it doesn’t look like the real thing.)   Naturally, everyone is drawn to the Cadillac, and desperately want to drive it around.  I mean, it’s sitting in an empty convention center, with nothing but empty concrete floor sprawling in front of it; who wouldn’t want it take it for a spin?

Apparently, everyone but me.  As I stood and watched my co-workers each hop over its painted side, don their sunglasses, and take it for a  ride, I couldn’t squelch the uneasy feeling in my stomach that told me that this wasn’t okay.  I couldn’t say why, only that if I got behind that wheel something bad would happen.  Maybe I’d accidentally crash it into a wall.  Maybe I’d be rounding the corner just as the artistic director walked into the room.  Maybe I’d be on the very far side of the room when the battery died, making it glaringly obvious that someone had been driving it.  I couldn’t say; all I knew is that my gut told me not to get in that pink Cadillac.

Of course, none of these things happened to any of my friends.  They drove all over the convention center, laughing and squealing, while I stood by the rest of the scenery, feeling awkward and  lame.  And as the week went by, it became abundantly clear that I was a member of a very exclusive club: People Who Hadn’t Driven the Cadillac.  It seemed like everyone had been behind the wheel of the car; from the lowliest intern to members of production staff, everyone seemed to have made those tires squeal at least once.  There were even stories of crew members taking family down and letting them take the car for a drive.  Everyone had driven that car, and it was starting to look like once again, my fear of consequences had made me the stuffy stick-in-the-mud who was too scared to have a little fun.

Until today.

We’re shooting the shit with a member of the production team, and we hear that the pink Cadillac is broken.  Apparently, it will no longer drive forward, only reverse.  There’s a single spring in the engine that switches it from forward to reverse, and this spring broke.  Seeing as it’s meant to be driven very slowly from upstage to downstage (approximately 50 ft,) and not at top throttle around the center, I can only imagine that the repeated joy rides didn’t help.  There’s no way of knowing how it broke, if it was being driven when it broke, or if it was barely hanging on by a rusted thread when it came off the truck.  But all we know is that it came off the truck running, and now it’s not.

I’m not happy that the pink Cadillac is broken.  Luckily, it’s not an electrics problem, but someone’s still going to have to fix it.  But for once, I feel really good about my guts.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I’ve missed out on a crazy-ass fun time because I was scared of “getting in trouble,” or looked like a jack-ass because I wasn’t paying attention.  Of course, it’s not like I’ve “won” anything by not driving the car.  No one who did was punished, and it’s unlikely that anyone even cares that it was driven; this is professional summer theatre, no one has time for petty shit like that.

But I feel that for once, my intuition was right.  Will I quit leaving the stove on?  Unlikely, but one time, I relied on my guts, and they were right.

It’s a start.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • mark July 9, 2009, 10:09 pm

    Right on! I get it, I’m like that too – hesitant to haphazardly break the rules for fun when everyone else does without hesitation or consequence. Karma – it all comes around in karma.

  • Brad July 9, 2009, 10:13 pm

    We did the exact same things with the All Shook Up motercyles last year – til they broke.

  • adriana July 10, 2009, 9:59 am

    Good going.. I know exactly how you felt – I’m usually that one who can be called a “stick in the mud,” too. I’m glad your instincts paid off for you this time!

  • Camels & Chocolate July 10, 2009, 12:15 pm

    I’ve always been the SAME way–chicken shit about getting in trouble, doing something wrong, breaking a bright pink Cadillac! Perhaps, that’s why I have a spotless record and never was suspended/expelled/sent to the principal, but that overly cautious nature did make me feel lame until I was about, well, 26 😉

  • SassyGirl July 10, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Whether your intuitions “work” or not, I think it’s always good sense to trust your intuitions. So, good job you!

  • chinkygirlmel July 11, 2009, 8:27 pm

    It’s a good thing you went with your gut feeling. I go with my gut feeling too, I get that feeling that something just doesn’t seem right and well… my gut proves me right. =)

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