Knights in White Sparks

Back in April, my mother and I went to see The Moody Blues.

For men well in their 70s, they put on a great show. And as expected, they ended their surprisingly long set with their most memorable song, “Knights in White Satin”. I still don’t understand it. Sure, I’ve read the lyrics, I assume it’s a love song, but I have no clue what knights or cloth have to do with it. Maybe it has something to do with the death of chivalry?

What’s this have to do with what you (fair reader) are about to digest? Probably nothing; probably everything. But it does – albeit awkwardly – transition to what happened a week later.

Mum and I decided to travel together to Southern California. We determined that the best way for us to get around was to split a rental car while we were down there. She would get it for the first few days to do whatever, and I would have it for my “the business trip” up to Long Beach.

The car we prepaid for was this:

A Chevy Spark – a bright white one. It was a really tiny car.

The rental car company tried their darnedest to upgrade us (at twice the original cost), but we determined that the li’l ol’ Spark was enough. For the most part, it was. It got us from Point A to Point B with all the pomp and circumstance of a Pomeranian.

That following Tuesday it was my turn with the tiny car. I sputtered along I-5 for a good two hours until I reached Long Beach. Aside from a designed dislike of going uphill, the car did fine. It carried my stuff, it was a smooth ride, and it only cost $17 to fill the gas tank (even at California prices).

For those three days, I was attending World Tea Expo. The event was exactly as it sounds. To save on hotel fair, I temporarily resided in Orange County with my cousin – commandeering his couch. Each morning, during those three days, I sputtered along in my tiny car to the Long Beach Convention Center and back. And each time, I got a funny look from passersby. I was a rather rotund man in a really tiny car.

On the third day of the Expo, I attended an after-party of sorts. One of the visiting vendors – Tealet – hosted a beach house tea party. (Yes, that’s totally a thing.)

Amidst the revelry, I went out into the backyard and encountered two guys talking. They were giving each other’s origin stories of how they got into tea. Michael Ortiz (co-owner of JoJo Tea) regaled us with this epic tale involving silent Taoist masters and Buddhist temples. I sat in rapt attention . . .

Then my phone pinged.

It was a message from a fellow tea blogger, Nicole “Tea For Me Please” Martin. It read: “Please help me.”

She informed me that a strange woman was accosting her at a bus stop.

Said banshee was claiming that Nicole owed money to some friends of hers. Violence was threatened. The incident caused her to miss the bus, and she was – at that moment – stranded in downtown Long Beach. The bus depot was nowhere near within walking distance.

I interrupted Michaels’ epic Taoist master tale with a, “I really want to hear the rest of this, but I have to rescue Nicole.”

Metaphoric armor donned, I sprinted to my tiny white steed of a car. I don’t even remember how long it took me to run (or rather, fast-walk) those two blocks, but it seemed mere seconds. I stuck the key in the ignition, the li’l Spark sprang to life, and we were off in a tiny white blur.

I found the stranded Nicole, signaled her to get in, and “galloped” away before a surveying police vehicle thought I was illegally parking. Once she recovered her breath, she explained her predicament. We made it back to the after-party in due time and shared the story with an engaged audience.

At that moment, I finally understood what that Moody Blues song was getting at. It was subjective.

For me, it meant: Chivalry is not dead. It just sometimes drives a really tiny car.

Image photoshopped by Nicole Martin

For the rest of Nicole’s bus stop story, go HERE.

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Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 Musings, Steep Stories

8 Comments to Knights in White Sparks

  1. Firstly, $17US is a pitifully small amount to pay for a tank of fuel. You should try living anywhere that isn’t the US. Had you had an actual horse, it would cost you far more to fuel it.
    But well done.

  2. Robert Godden (The Devotea) on May 20th, 2015
  3. @Robert – Yes, I know it’s a pittance compared to the rest of the world. Everyone else pays double what we do. I get it; the U.S. sucks. Moving on.

    And thank you.

  4. Geoffrey F. Norman on May 20th, 2015
  5. ha! Great story. I can totally picture it. Glad you rescued her – chivalry ain’t dead.

  6. Ali on May 20th, 2015
  7. The World Tea Fair must have been amazing. Love your story and that you came to her rescue! I have my share of strange Tri-Met stories here in PDX too 🙂

  8. Denise on May 20th, 2015
  9. $17 to fill? It must have been a 4 gallon tank!

    But well done with your rescue.

  10. Katrina on May 20th, 2015
  11. $17? I love the many stories within this post, but that $17 is sticking in my head.

  12. Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife on May 20th, 2015
  13. I had no idea that happened that evening! I’m glad the mango-armed gypsy couldn’t out run the two tea bloggers in the mini car. But seriously, I’m glad it ended with two good-humored blog posts. Also, Peter looks a bit like “the thinker”, but clothed, in the tea party photo.

  14. Rosie Thompson (@chaitowntea) on May 20th, 2015
  15. “Chivalry is not dead. It just sometimes drives a really tiny car.” Love it!

  16. Niraj Lama on May 21st, 2015

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