We discovered, years ago, that Tom Petty music was a bad omen. It all began when I came home from college for Christmas break. Art & Did accosted me the first night I was home. They had made elaborate plans to take me out for my birthday (side note: my birthday is in May, not December). They came bearing gifts, dressed me up, and swept me off into the night. The plans included visiting local eataries & telling the server it was my birthday so we could gourge on free desert. Our night even had a theme song: You Don't Know How it Feels. We drove around town listening to the single (on casette...the B side was Girl on LSD) & singing at the top of our lungs. We made it to Ruby Tuesdays & then headed out of town when Art's car (a Toyota Corrola named 'Olla) overheated trapping us in town for the night.
Instead Art & Did decided to take me to Willy's house. Willy was a young man who'd been a friend of ours in high school. There had been a falling out between us the night of the infamous OJ Simpson car chase that resulted in Did's boyfriend, Roleg, getting arrested. I hadn't talked to Willy since. Art & Did assured me that all was well with him & it was safe to visit. Long story short....Willy & I reunited & dated for about 18 months. 18 horrible, deranged, stupid like a rock months that resulted in me having to move out of state. And it's all Tom Petty's fault!
Just over a year later, Art, Did & I made a trip back to my college to visit a friend of mine who was about to leave for 6 months in Indonesia. In my brilliance I decided to surprise him. Unfortunately that meant we drove 8 hours, 240 miles in a small snow storm to see him for about 20 minutes.
The friends we were supposed to bunk in with decided to have a Dungeons & Dragons all nighter leaving us no where to sleep...especially since one of the "gamers" was Art's ex-boyfriend. Not a pretty thing. So we dug into our dwindling funds & rented a circa 1972 hotel room from a very concerned old Chineese man who repeatedly said, "You have party? You no have party in room. We no want party here. You have party? You no have party in room. No loud music. No party," no matter how many times we told him we just wanted a place to sleep.
Having nothing to do in the tiny college town, the next night, Did decided we should go to St.Louis instead. We drove the 2+ hours & got there at about 3 in the morning. We were driving through a rather bad neighborhood (and arguing about whether it was a dangerous place to be. I kept insiting Did turn the car around & she kept saying, "This isn't a bad neighborhood. Look at the beautiful architecture!" I said I didn't care about the architecture, I cared about the hookers on the corner fighting with their pimp & the guy shooting up under the street lamp), when we were stopped by a fire truck. I kid you not. They pulled up next to us & motioned for us to roll down the window. The fireman looked at the three, obviously lost girls in a car covered in sparkly daisy stickers with 0ut-of-state plates & said, "Are you lost?" I yelled Yes! as Did was saying No. The fireman said, "Turn your car around right now & get back on the interstate." Did said, "We're just looking for a hotel." He said, "Turn this car around RIGHT NOW and get back on the interstate!"
When we finally made it back a hotel, Did said she was going to go in and get a room. I asked where she got the money (as at this point we all only had enough for food & gas to get home). She said, "You have the money." That was our emergency fund...in other words, my bill money for the rest of the month. I said that's not what it was for, so she got back in the car & we drove the 350 miles home in comparitive silence. It was the worst trip ever.
What does that have to do with Tom Petty? The theme song for that trip was Into the Great Wide Open.
Finally there was the night Art & I were taking visiting friends to Nashville to the Underground to go dancing. We spent all afternoon getting ready (including SP-Art's now ex-husband- who felt the need to wear not only eyeliner & an obscene shirt, but also an ankle lenght plaid skirt), loaded the car to capacity, and hit the road. We got as far as the north side of town when the car broke down & we ended up walking for help...the motley crew we were. That night also started out with Tom Petty.
Sunday I was cheering for the New England Patriots (because Green Bay didn't make it to the Super Bowl...they really need to win one. Those are some seriously hard core fans!). As soon as I found out Tom Petty was playing I knew in my heart there was no way my team would win.
All these problems were not caused by a lack of planning or common sense...they were all caused by the evil powers of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. I do not shudder at the sight of a crow. I shudder at the opening bars of Mary Jane's Last Dance.