Fool Us Once...

Thursday, December 16, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Game 3: Greenville
Game 3: Greenville

Maybe we thought the spell had been broken.  Or we fell for that old saw about lightning not striking in the same place twice.  After all, it has been almost two years since we stopped in Greenville, South Carolina, filled up with gas, and had to have the van towed to a Honda dealer because it wouldn't start.  Surely that was behind us and it was safe to add Greenville to our hockey tour, right?  Wrong!
Things began happening when we arrived on Monday evening.  After we enjoyed a terrific dinner at the local PF Chang, Ken discovered that a piece had chipped off one of his front teeth.  Yet we didn't make the Greenville connection.  Tuesday morning we left a popular letterboxing area after we repeatedly saw a person of unknown intentions loitering in the area.  We're not usually suspicious of strangers but something in his demeanor and the way he kept reappearing near us raised a red flag.  Was it the Greenville curse again?  We had yet to connect the dots.

Tuesday night awareness began dawning.  We drove to the Bi-Lo Arena eager to watch the Greenville Road Warriors face off against the Gwinnett Gladiators from metro Atlanta.  Arriving after the teams warmed up, we picked up our Two-Fer-Tuesday freebies at the concession stand and located our seats.  "Wow!  What a bargain," we exclaimed.  "This is really great!"

When the Zamboni left the ice after making just one round, we wondered what might be wrong.  As we sat waiting for the machine to return and complete the ice resurfacing, we noticed some ominous signs.  First, employees from each team came to the team benches and collected all the hockey sticks.  Next, the water bottles and towels for the players were removed.  Still we waited, as other fans demanded information from the hapless ushers.  Finally, the announcement came.  "Due to unsafe ice conditions," the game was being cancelled and would be rescheduled later.
After fans waited in line twenty minutes for a refund, a team official finally came to the box office and reported to the crowd that the team was not prepared (i.e., could not figure out how) to return our money so we should call the next day to find out how we could obtain our reimbursement.  Obvious now, right?  Time to leave Greenville.  But nooooo.... We still refused to read the writing on the wall.

Since there was another game scheduled Wednesday night and our game in Charleston was not until Thursday, what the heck?  Let's stay in Greenville.  (Insert dope slap here.  Please!)

While letterboxing at Paris Mountain State Park Wednesday afternoon, we were treated to yet another sign:  the engine malfunction warning light on our van.  Back we went to visit our friends at Breakaway Honda. 
That's where we got the good news ("Your rear catalytic converter needs to be replaced; it could be worse.  It won't cost as much as the other one.") and the bad news ("That part is backordered nationally; we don't know when it may be avalable.")  We were assured that it would probably maybe be sort of safe to drive the van and it might not damage the engine too much.  That's when we got the heck out of..... 

Nope, we didn't.  We still hadn't seen our hockey game, darn it!  Feeling like the gullible fools we were, we returned to the arena Wednesday night to give the team a chance to let us make another wasted trip.  This time the joke was on us.  They actually played the game.  Greenville's players may have partied a bit when the Tuesday game was cancelled.  Despite a quick start, scoring barely a minute into the first period, Greenville lost the game 5-1 to the Florida Everblades.  Rowdy the Road Hog tried to get the team fired up, but the division-leading Road Warriors were clearly off their game.  Two of the team's better players had just been called up to the AHL, and their absence showed.

And finally, finally we heeded the long string of omens and decided to depart from Greenville, South Carolina, our favorite town, and head to Charleston for Game 4.

Greenville Stats
Chipped teeth:  1 (cost TBD)
Money lost (difference in ticket price for Tues. & Wed. games):  $6.00
Diagnosis of automotive problem:  $90.00
Lessons learned:  Wouldn't ya think??

Game Stats
Shots on goal:  54
Penalty minutes:  18
Attendance:  2,675
Broken sticks:  6
Flying pucks:  2
Missing teeth (players):  89
OHE:  3.25

Trip Stats
Miles driven:  2,143
Goals scored:  16
Shots on goal:  184
Penalty minutes:  112
Letterboxes found:  39
Temp range:  14° to 58° F.