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Old 10-09-2005, 08:44 AM   #1
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From the Worst to the Best...unbelievable!!!!

To celebrate our five year wedding anniversary I planned to surprise my husband with tickets to see U2 in Milwaukee on Sunday, September 25, 2005. To get him to go to Milwaukee, I asked Jim (my husband) if he would be interested in visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum on Saturday. He agreed, thus my plan was set in motion...I was SO excited!!!

We left our home in Green Bay early Saturday morning and decided to stop for some coffee before taking to the highway for the near two hour journey south. Upon our departure from the coffee stop we were making a right-turn at an intersection when we were hit from behind by an inattentive driver in another car. No one was injured, insurance information was exchanged, and even though Jim and I were a bit disgruntled with the event, we proceeded on our trek to Milwaukee.

We arrived safely in Milwaukee, but due to an event on Milwaukee's Lakefront, our exit from the freeway was detoured. In trying to find an alternate route to get to the Museum (which is on the Lakefront), we found ourselves traveling some narrow side-streets downtown. On one such street we came upon a Municipal vehicle carrying a city employee (aka Meter Maid) who was trudging slowly along and chalking the tires of the parked cars. We patiently inched along behind the "Parking Patrol" car with the hope that the driver would soon turn onto another side-street so we could get around her and continue on our way. Suddenly we heard a horn honking loudly to our left rear. Jim glanced back to his left to see what the fuss was about. In doing so, he slightly released his foot from the brake...apparently just as the "Parking Patrol" driver pressed on her brake: *BUMP!* We tap into the "Parking Patrol" car. Our license plate was deformed slightly, but no damage to the patrol car. The patrol driver notified her supervisor by radio and the police were summoned. No ticket was issued as the officer stated that is was a "minor, innocent mistake." It was a lucky break considering Jim was up for a delivery driver position at United Parcel Service (UPS) after gruelingly loading the UPS trucks for the last 10 years. If a ticket was issued he would have been deferred from driving "the big brown truck" for another year. Insurance information was exchanged as a precautionary measure and the driver of the patrol car stated she just had a slight headache (gee...ME TOO!! STRESS!!!). We were on our way, finally, to the museum with two traffic accidents under out belts and on our minds.

We had a pleasant stroll around the museum, even though the events of the day caused us to miss the official museum tour we had been planning to take. We left the museum in better spirits than we had upon our arrival. We got in the car and I asked Jim to retrieve my purse from the trunk. He opened the trunk where I had our suitcase (containing new clothes I had purchased for him as a gift) and a big sign stating "Happy Anniversary! I Love You!" Jim was now aware that we were staying at a hotel in Milwaukee for the night. Since the U2 Concert (which he didn't know about yet) was on Sunday evening, I booked our hotel room for Saturday AND Sunday night. I had arranged for Jim to have Monday off from BOTH of his jobs (he didn't know this yet either). I was still excited about revealing these surprises and I wasn't going to let two little "fender-benders" get in the way of my plan!

We checked in to our hotel and were off to yet another surprise I had arranged. I told him I had made a four o'clock reservation at a certain restaurant (which I didn't), but upon our arrival to the restaurant there stood his roommate from college whom he hadn't seen in about six years. Yep, I set that up too!

Well, the restaurant we met at didn't open for business until 5 p.m., so we had 45 minutes to kill. We decided to just drive around until then......This turned out to be a HUGE mistake!

We drove by a few landmarks and the apartment building they lived in throughout their college years. Jim and his friend were reminiscing about their past while we casually drove around. We turned a corner near a park where, ironically, a peace rally was taking place when WHAM!!!! We were T-boned by another vehicle! (I AM NOT KIDDING!!) Turns out that Jim ran a red light. At that moment I knew the dream of Jim's driving career at UPS would be put on hold for yet another year. No one from either vehicle was injured in any way (the one blessing in this whole fiasco). By the way, the other vehicle involved was a Porsche Cayenne, which is roughly worth about 100 grand brand new (yikes!). A police report was made and, of course, Jim was issued a citation for "disobeying an official signal," thus sealing his destiny of loading trucks for another long tiresome year. Oh yeah, and insurance information was exchanged once again. I have always cursed paying insane auto insurance premiums until this fateful day.

My poor, decrepit car was fortunately still drivable, even though the driver door would not close and the seatbelt didn't release so as to be useable. The frame of the car was bent into the interior and the door panels were demolished. Another of my thoughts at the time of accident number three: "WE ARE GOING TO SEE U2! I DON'T CARE IF WE HAVE TO CRAWL TO THE BRADLEY CENTER! WE ARE GOING DAMMIT!"

So Jim carefully and skittishly drove my sad car to the parking ramp at our hotel. On the way there I told him the true reason I brought him to Milwaukee: "Jim, we're going to see U2 tomorrow night." Jim's reaction: "OH MY GOD!!! OHHHH MYYY GODDD!!!!!!" Then slight sobbing. (Can you tell he's a fan?)

We restlessly slept in our hotel room that night, excited about the concert, but melancholy from the ridiculousness of the day. At least the trauma was over (little did we know of the aftermath to come).

Morning came. It was rainy, but we were thankful to see a new day. Luckily God miraculously placed two umbrellas in my broken car that we used as we walked the rainy streets of Milwaukee (I still don't know why there were two umbrellas in my car...I can see one, but two?). We decided to walk around the Bradley Center in the hopes of seeing any members of the band. We met a wonderful couple who were set up outside the entrance gates waiting for U2's arrival. We chatted and found out that they were also from the Green Bay area. We departed for lunch then stopped by Starbucks for a coffee treat. Afterwards, I asked Jim if he wanted to stop and see if our new friends had any luck meeting any members of the band. He decided that we should just head back to our hotel room instead.

We got ready to go see the show in hopes of temporarily forgetting our worries of the day before. We left our room for the concert and arrived at the doors of the Bradley Center. I reached down to retrieve our tickets out of the side cargo pocket of my pants and (*ching ching*) my wedding ring flew off my finger and rolled across the ground. It's okay...I was able to chase it down...whew!

The show we witnessed was one of the most moving, spiritual, and harmonious events of my entire life. The vibe in the venue was positive and you could feel love and cohesiveness encircle you and suck you into a pocket of warmth. It was awesome!!!

We were able to find and chat with our new friends from the outside gate and asked them if they were able to meet any of the band. Sure enough! Around the same time I mentioned to Jim that we should go back to the gate and check on them, they witnessed the arrival of Bono and got to shake his hand and chat with him for a moment. An opportunity missed...which was to be expected considering the luck we were having that weekend. On the positive side, we indeed were able to escape the reality of what had occurred the day before and I would endure three more car accidents just to see a U2 show again. They are just that powerful.

Now for the financially and mentally disappointing aftermath:
--The damage to my car is estimated at over five thousand dollars. (Up goes our premiums!)
--We have to pay a one thousand dollar deductible. (Who has that kind of money just laying around to cough up to an insurance company?)
--My car won't be fixed for about 3 weeks and the loaner car I was given is nothing short of a pile of crap...but I guess I should be thankful that I can get around.
--And here's the kicker: The parking patrol lady from the second (and most minor) accident is claiming she is injured. I hope she enjoys the insurance money she'll be basically stealing from us and the workman's comp and disability she'll be collecting. The only satisfaction I'll have in that is the faith that God will be just in dealing with her dishonesty and false claims.

I hope you enjoyed the story of my U2 experience and if you are interested in contributing to help pay my insurance deductible...I am set up on PayPal. hee hee (no, really, any cash to spare?)

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Old 10-09-2005, 06:56 PM   #2
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Wow, quite the weekend! Very interesting story to share, I'm sorry about your hard luck with the cars

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:32 AM   #3
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Wow, quite an expensive weekend, TatChic. At least the concert was great. I know it won't cancel out all the bad things that happened but that, plus the look on your husbanad's face when you told him about the concert...great! Happy anniversary!
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:47 AM   #4
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Wow!!! Sorry about your misfortunes! What a cool wife you are though!
"Knight in shining Zubaz."

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments...

& Thanks for letting me share my story with you.
So here's the breakdown:
2 Tickets: $520 (so-called ticket broker)
2 nights at hotel: $205
Vertigo Tour t-shirt: $35
Car insurance deductible: $1000
Meals (including frappucinos...yum): $80
Experience: PRICELESS!!!!

I'd do it all again!!!
Plus I have a great and memorable story to tell.
And yeah, I AM a great wife. I didn't even yell at him for running the red light.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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at your misfortunes

to the wife that you are

my wife did something similiar 2 weeks ago. she took me to Atlantic City for a quiet weekend, just the 2 of us.

She suprised me w/ having 4 of my friends and wives show up too. We had a great time.

Aren't suprises great?
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, surprises are great when they go as planned!
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:32 AM   #8
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What a story. Glad to hear that you two are alright, physically at least. As bad as it was (prior to the show), it could have been much worse.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:13 AM   #9
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Re: Thanks for the comments...

Originally posted by TatChic
2 Tickets: $520 (so-called ticket broker)
I think they're called ticket brokers because they're trying to make you go broke.

Sorry about the bad experiences leading up to the concert... hopefully this means things will go better next time!

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