Thursday, September 2, 2010


I have a habit of going on walks that are far too long for my own good. Today was the longest walk I've ever purposely gone on. It was, unfortunately, a bit too long. Longer than I'd planned, too.

I left my house at twenty past eight in the morning. I headed through various suburban areas until all there was was a road. This was eventually met with a hospital and a new housing estate, which in turn became a bigger road. This bigger road had nothing on one side of it and commercial buildings on the other side. I focused on the derelict world to my right; unused fields of grass and weeds as far as the eye could see, interrupted by power lines and a massive silo of I-don't-know-what. On the other side of a fence there was a courtyard of grit and stone and nothing else in it.

The road continued like this until everything became commercial. There was businesses all around me in the industrial estates, and the sun was scorching me from above. I was in search of Ferris Bueller's work place. I intended to get there before him, to surprise him when he showed up.

I got lost in the industrial estate he was supposed to work in. I called the place he works; it wasn't supposed to be open. Two rings and, "Good morning, *insert name of business here*" Hang up! It was Ferris. Shit on a stick it was Ferris. He did not know it was me.

My plan was ruined. He was there early. He's never there early. He's been there late, before, but never early. I was definitely not going to beat him there. And I still couldn't find the place. I called 11850. Nothing, only a number I already knew. I texted 57118. Nothing, only the old address and contact details. I checked the Internet and got a unit number. I asked around. No one had heard of the place.

Shit. On. A. Stick.

I called the place again. It was open, by now. I asked where they were. Ferris hadn't answered. I was safe, for now. The guy who was speaking didn't know where to go from where I was. And he called Ferris's surname. Hang up! Another close call. And messing with their heads for a second time.

I decided to try the other way into the industrial estate, going back onto the main road. And there it was, outside the estate. I swore, a bit. But I went in. No one. Went up the stairs. And again. And again. Yes, they were up several flights of stairs. They had the whole building, and the customers had to walk all the way up the stairs. I immediately asked if Ferris Bueller was there. Of course he was there - I'd seen his car outside; he'd answered the phone earlier and I'd hung up on him. He came out from his office - yeah, he has an office. "Paul Carroll," he said.

I was brought into his office. I gave him a Mystery Envelope. We chatted a bit. He showed me an article from the newspaper that he was in for hurling. He showed me how he sometimes gets up to devilment. Then he had to go out to watch the showroom. One of his co-workers came back. He said, "So how did you get here?" And I told him, "I walked." He asked, "From where?" I said, "From *insert name of my area here*."

The look of shock on Ferris's face was priceless! "You walked?!" I shrugged. I told them, "I also got lost across the road. For an hour."

Ferris showed me his smoking spot. It was out of the way. Reminded me of John Green's smoking hole in Looking For Alaska. We went to the front of the building. He offered me a lift some of the way. I declined politely. He went inside, I left.

Oh. My. God. Hot day + Paul = Dead. Vans + Walking = Pain. 13 miles. At least. Owie!

I took no photos, but I had a good time. And, most importantly, I wasn't at home to go crazy during the morning hours. Success! I won't hear from Ferris for a few days unless he gets really drunk (always possible, considering where he's going this weekend). Haven't heard from very many people of late. Don't want to walk for a while. I just want to sleep until Tuesday.

Advanced Scheming is hard, sometimes. And twice it's brought me to strange and unknown industrial estates. I just didn't want so much the first time...

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