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Reflecting on poor plans & assorted affairs
Georgia Carter-Castro and the mighty Turbo.

Anybody else feel like we’re beginning the second act of a Greek tragedy? One with a myriad of villains, clowns, and dolts — but not a hero in sight. Like we’re walking en masse into a concert none of us want to see but are compelled to attend because free tickets were involved?

“I know Nickelback and The Monkees don’t seem like anything worth trudging through, but they’re doing a 30 minute mash-up of the “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” song...How bad can it be?!” — Lloyd Barbasol

Bad Lloyd. Very Bad.

We’ve walked headlong and chin high into this disaster. All while pointing the finger in every direction except the direction of the mirror. Stupid plans make stupid results. This is a steadfast and proven method I’ve personally incorporated into most aspects of my life.

But on rare occasions the pot at the end of the Poor Planning Rainbow can be spun into gold. Or at least a reasonable facsimile of something shiny.

* Time Machine to December 1990 *


A tale of poor planning

It was my Senior year of high school, and Christmas Formal was at hand. I’d taken the first few months of school to reincorporate myself into hallway society. As I’d spent the lion’s share of my Junior year doing  . . .

Well, Nothing.

It was instrumental that I cultivate and grow a new image. From Eddie Haskell, back into the Wally that I never was. Finding the perfect Christmas Formal date would fast track me, back into the good graces of the movers and shakers of our own Dallas or Knot’s Landing type fiefdom.

I’d been “dating” a cheerleader and friend to start off the year (we’ll call her Lana to protect the innocent.) Nothing serious – a standard cordial friendship, one releasing us both back into the wilds of high school society as she’d had a long term relationship just ending. One involving a close friend. 

Poor planning moment #1.

She accepted my invitation to the Christmas Formal, and my transformation was full steam ahead. Until about 10 days before the dance when my good friend and her Ex (We’ll call him Johnboy) was back on the scene. Their rekindled romance didn’t deter me. I’d shown myself to be a dateable and recycled commodity. One that many a cheerleader would now be willing to pull off the scrap heap.

But I’d committed to take her to the dance and needed to weather that awkward storm before sailing my ship into different shores.

In a perfect world there would’ve been a simple concession and fix for our situation. Johnboy and I could simply swap dates – if his date were willing. However, his date was my cousin and no matter how desperate I am to find a Portuguese girl — that ain’t the ticket.

Not to mention Johnboy and Lana are extremely good people, and they wanted to handle this sticky wicket with delicate hands. I however have all the tact and formality of Kramer from Seinfeld eating M&M’s from a bowl with his toes. I didn’t understand why we didn’t just apprise my cousin as to the situation. We just moved forward with blinders. Even deciding to have dinner together as a group.

Poor planning moment #2

My cousin is no dummy and I’m fairly sure she could sense the situation. Our group of 8 chowing down at Mallard’s – mixed and mingled comfortably. Other than the fact my date was making googly eyes at my friend across the table, I was full steam ahead with my evening.

The dance was ditched in short fashion as a party was underway at the brand new Best Western in town. The standard rabble of humanity not interested in attending a dance would be there. A perfect place to put my cardigan and turtle necked look for the evening into play. All while trying to figure out how to sneak off this date I committed my hard earned dollar to.

It seems a different world and a different life, but we’d rented what seemed an entire hallway. Rows and rooms full of kids doing things they absolutely should not be doing — and looking good while at it.

I tried to stay attentive to my date, all while keeping an open eye from the crow’s nest looking for any straggler that may wanna jump ship. Then the bow of my boat was hit with a wave, one that would change the course of the night . . .

Hey, do you mind if me and Lana take off? We were gonna go to her house if that was cool with you?” — Johnboy

Lana was within eyeshot of this fisherman’s trade. Making sure to give me a sheepish nod of uncertainty, but making it clear this was her desire.

“Ummmmm, what are you gonna tell my cousin?” — Me

He reached into his pocket and handed me his flask and stash, trying to make sure Lana didn’t see the transaction. 

“Here. Can you take care of that for me?” - Johnboy

Words were no longer necessary. A gentlemen’s agreement had been reached. I’d been shuffled back into the high society deck that ran the school. My night could finally begin . . .

It was about an hour later when my cousin found me in a random room.

“Where is Johnboy?! Somebody told me he left with Lana” 

Before I could muster some BS story, in an attempt to save face for my pal Johnboy, my cousin said “I don’t really care, I saw them making eyes at each other all night . . . “

Then what’s the problem?!

“I left my purse and keys in his car. My mom is gone. I have no way to get into my house.”


Poor Planning moment #3

 (But not by me – by Johnboy)

It was late enough in the evening that my “courage” was up. I turned to friend Vince Romito . . .

“I know where Johnboy’s car is. You two wanna have some fun?” 

We hopped in my pickup and headed to Lana’s house. The tension was thick and delicious. I knew full well that I’d just made a flask trade — but moments like these render any and all transactions null and void.

I gave a quiet knock at the door, as to not wake Lana’s parents. The look on her face was worth the price of Mallard’s.

“What are you doing here?!?!” — Lana whispered

It was then Johnboy peered from the end of the hallway, shooting me the death eyes of a mariner scorned.

“Johnboy, my cousin left her purse and keys in your car. I need to get them.” - Me

There was a moment of relief that washed over him . . .

Until he realized my cousin and Vince were standing 20 feet behind me on the curb. He fumbled for his keys and handed them my way. I could’ve forced him into a quasi-Bataan Death March to open his vehicle but took pity in the moment.

I grabbed the purse and smiling like a slit watermelon handed back his keys.

As he slowly closed the door, quietly muttering “I’m gonna kill you Teicheira!” 

My cousin shouted, “Thanks for the evening. Goodnight Johnboy!”

We sailed back to the Best Western, belly laughing like drunken sailors the whole way. Poor Planning has its moments.

“It’s not Where ya do, It’s What ya do”