Amelia Goes to Superhero School

The most important thing for a bike messenger is a feel for the area to cover.  Maps tell you a lot but they can’t give you details, like potholes and construction areas, places where a bike can run over stuff.  I had come into town a couple days early to not only pick up the bike and get settled but to familiarize myself with the city.

After a fairly quiet night with only a couple shots fired, I got up before dawn and headed out looking for food.  I think every city in the country has either an iHop™ or a Waffle House™.   Not sure if they believed me when I ordered three of their complete breakfasts but they believed me when I ate it all. Sated, at least for an hour or so, adjusting the straps on my backpack, I pushed off heading for downtown Millennium City.

            I kept it at a sedate 45 or so, much faster would have raised more eyebrows than my ass in spandex but I got to downtown Millennium City just about morning rush hour, which is perfect.  Gave me a chance to get the feel of traffic.  Every city that I rode in had a different feel, like LA feels like everybody’s trying to kill bikers but this place didn’t quite have the same feel.  I think they are just trying to maim.

I cruised up and down the lengths of all the major arteries before branching off to the side streets looking for shortcuts.  Couple of other messengers breezed by on fixer and I figured I see them in an accident before the month was out. 

About an hour in and my stomach started howling, snarling and begging for food so I pull a steak place and ordered a pair of 16 ounce New York strips.  I actually don’t care for a strip steak but they are marginally cheaper than a pair of rib eyes.  The baked potato bar took a huge hit to fill in the corners.  I tipped what I felt I could afford … which was probably a disappointment but I left the place with a open mouthed staff trying to figure out where I’d stuffed all that food when I was wearing spandex.

I’d had to of course, eat everything at ‘slo’ speed so I didn’t scare the normal. It gave me a chance to look up this Rocky Grimm and his superhero school.  Wasn’t that far, I was surprised.  I figured it would be out on the edge someplace, not nearly in downtown.

I took my time cruising around the area just to see what was in the neighborhood before ending up in front of a slatted chain link fence across from a convenience story.  Well, I headed across the street and folded up my bike to lock it to a light pole.  Not too bad, cable through everything that would come off, then headed for the back of the place.

Convenience stores are good for more than fuel and a place to lock up a bike, they all have dumpsters.  No, I was not going to climb into a dumpster but a quick look around and I had on my armor and helmet.  A blink later, I was opening the gate to the superhero school.

First, not impressed. Looks a little like a rundown warehouse in LA, with less graffiti. Even the ‘parking lot’ could have use a couple seconds with a weed whacker. It turned out to be better on the inside and smelled of fresh paint.  Nice reception desk, without the ubiquitous receptionist filing blood red nails and chewing gum … nobody around. So, I called the 1 800 CALLNO and got a recording which I didn’t hear in the office I was standing in.  Said I’d get a callback.

Couch was nice, big surprise, I’d expected ‘industrial plastic’ but it was actually leather.  That I appreciated.  No static charge to build up every time I moved. Also appreciated the lack of cheap carpet for the same reason.

So, time to kill … that is NOT easy for me to do.  I read every magazine in the room … four times … no call … Got up, checked on my bike … had to move just right to see it through those slats in the fence … but still there … well, that took a whole minute.

I began to think they might be testing my patience, well I’m a speedster but I could be patient … even if it killed me … nearly did and my stomach was growling, okay, whimpering, by the time they returned my call.  Fifty-seven minutes later.  I ask you, is this any way to run a school?

I think I flustered the hell out of the person on the other end.  They said they were just the answering service but couldn’t really answer any questions but they suggested I take an enrollment form from the desk and fill it out.  Then I could just leave it or come back for some cyber security class on Wednesday.  Decided not to live the form on the desk where anyone could just waltz in and steal it.

But, my stomach chose to roar so I blinked bay across the street, did the dumpster thing and came out back in my riding gear.  I think a set a store record when I took their entire stock of tacquitos but it was only twenty–three and with the Super-duper drink I had to eat sitting on the sidewalk outside.  The guy did put more tacquitos on and I gave them enough time to get hot before buying all of them too … with a second Super-duper.  They had no problem with me using their bathroom after that … and I got my first offer of a date.

Guy was not bad, and I didn’t have anything against him but, I mean come on … he makes like eight bucks an hour, right, and I just ate fifty bucks in rolled up tacos … he couldn’t afford me!

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