Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sometimes crazy things happen to me....

I kind of posted about this on Facebook, but I could not pass up writing the whole story down because it was so funny. It easily has to be in my top ten best moments of all time.

The story goes like this...

I was driving the Alzheimer's bus on friday the 13th and so naturally, I should have expected something even more crazy than normal happening. And really, for the most part, something exciting happens just about every time we go. However, this day was extra special.

I wanted to drive them down to Utah Lake and thought it would be really pretty to go through Saratoga Springs. I got the directions a little confused so I took a right when I should have gone left. After getting to about draper I realized I was going the opposite direction of the lake and needed to find a place to turn around. Ha.

The bus can be quite the beast to flip a U turn, not to mention worrying about the 3 wheel chairs plus the 10 sitting in seats without seat belts. Needless to say, I am about 50 times more careful when driving the thing than I am in real life (and I am still a very cautious driver in real life).

So I am looking and looking for a place to turn around and I see Camp Williams (a military base) to my right and a construction site to my left. The construction site does not look different than your average construction site at first glance and I see a perfectly great place to turn around.

I pull in and am behind a semi watching a security guard/construction worker taking information down from the truck in front and then let him in after a while. I don't think much of it and pull up and ask, "Is it ok if I just flip around right here? I just need a place to turn around and it is hard to do in this thing."

Well....he did not look happy. He said, "Do you have any idea where you are? You passed three huge signs that say this is a government construction site and you can't come in here. You would have to be blind to miss them."

I am seriously confused at this point because I am 99.9% sure that I did not see a sign and neither did the aide that was with me in the back...not to mention three signs. He then asks me for my driver's license and I am kind of starting to panic at this point. Meanwhile, my residents in the back are very confused....and they are ALREADY confused. The guy comes back and says, "Miss Gould, I am going to need you to pull to the side here, we'll have to detain the vehicle for a time."

Now, I am really worried. What is the big deal? I really just need to turn around. Also, can this guy read the side of our bus? You would have to be blind not to see it :). It says, "Bel Aire Senior Living and Alzheimer's Care". We are not a huge threat here.

I look in my mirror as this guard is taking pictures of me, the bus, writing down all of this information and doing a full on background check. I am now freaking out here. At this point I don't know what is going on and how I am going to get all of these people home if I am in some huge trouble. It could sound like I am overreacting here, but as you watch a big, scary, black Suburban with tinted windows with government plates pull up behind you to talk to the guard...I think you would sweat too. Like I said in normal life I would freak out, but when you're responsible for 15 confused elderly people as is hard to describe the anxiety. Finally, 20 minutes later he comes back and says that I can pull around. As well as telling my how much trouble I was in and making me feel like the dumbest person to walk the planet. I told him how I was going to pull into Camp Williams but that seemed a lot more difficult to turn around and then told me that I would be in just as much trouble if I was to pull in there.


Well, sorry I am a dumb civilian and don't know about all of these top secret government and army protocol! Sheesh.

Granted, I am glad they take security so seriously for the sake of our country. I just wish he would have explained it to me and done it a little nicer because of the situation I was in. It really was an innocent mistake and I just really didn't know that THIS project is going on...a giant NSA spy center database. It is going to look like this I guess.

Big deal alert.

And I just drove up to it in an old folk's bus like I owned the place.

I should have told them that they should be so lucky it was us and not someone else. After all, half can't see, the other can't hear, and none of them will remember.

So if you live in Utah, just go ahead and avoid that place. Like the plague. Because if not, they will be mad. Real, real mad. And you will probably be breaching National Security.

But nothing is like breaching national security with a bunch of old folks in a bus...nothing.

It definitely called for a Diet Coke after I caught my breath and had a good laugh.

In the end, however, I got those sweet people home safe and sound, blissfully unaware.

Thank freakin' goodness.

PS. When I finally turned around we searched behind us to find the signs. I didn't not see a one. Not one that said "authorized personnel", or "do not enter" or "this is top secret and you better not even think of turning in here" or anything else. Just one big sign with and arrow that said "parking".