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01 August 2007

lesson learned

yesterday was my first full day at the job. i'm never late, rather, more often than not, i'm early, and such was the case yesterday. i left the hotel around 6:20 in case i hit traffic on the turnpike which i hadn't yet driven in the morning. i popped onto the turnpike, grabbed my ticket and slid the very tip of it into the CD player slot until iw as going to need it at my exit. this is a habit i've been doing probably since the first time i drove on a turnpike. i'm going to drive 11 miles to take the first exit, $0.75, no big deal since it saves a good bit of time. with about 2 miles to the exit, i look over and my ticket is gone. SHIT!! i recall glancing at a small sign when i pulled the ticket stating that if you lose the ticket you are charged full turnpike price (since they can't determine where you got on)... THAT'S $22.75!!! so, i start (safely) looking on the passenger side floor, under the mats, under my feet. it's not in the console, i don't think it flew out the window... then i decided to look IN the CD player. i pushed the dust-repelling felt "lips" apart (that sounds naughty), lo and behold, that sonuvabitchin' CD player ate my toll ticket. i've NEVER had that happen before, but apparently, toyota stock CD players are intensely sensitive, and suck anything in you put in the slot (there i go being naughty again).

i decide i need to pull over and find something to dig it out with. i pull over to an emergency pull-off on the turnpike, and go to my tool bag. oh yeah, i have a tool bag. not much of it was use because it is primarily precision measurement devices, but i DID have my leatherman, tool of the gods. the problem wasn't that it sucked the ticket it, it was that it realized it wasn't a CD and tried to eject it. when it did that, the ticket became lodged in a lip just below the CD slot. i yanked the leatherman out of it's sheath, transformed it to pliers-mode, and went to digging away at the CD player. after a few minutes i'd moved it to the front, but every time i tried to extract it, it tore a bit, so i got drastic and vandalized the car. not really vanadalized, i morphed it back to the knife and jammed it in there to move the dust-felt thingy out of the way and popped it out of it's slot. then i slid the knife along the edge to remove the ticket from the slot it was jammed in, then pliered it out. it was definitely worse for the wear. i wasn't sure if the toll booth operator would take it, as the part that said what booth i hopped on at was hanging by a thread, but he took it, no problem.

so that's my story for the day, i've learned my lesson and i'll no longer put my toll tickets in paper-eating toyota CD players anymore. oh, and i still got to work 5 minutes early.

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