Rod Stewart, Carefree Peppermint Gum and Answer Machine Miracles [ With Audio]

Rod Stewart, Carefree Peppermint Gum and Answer Machine Miracles [ With Audio]

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“Miracles can happen, even to those who are small, flammable, and dressed all in black.”
― Lemony Snicket

This being a Flash Back Friday, it gives me the opportunity to recall events, places, people and bad hair styles from my past. So, when I sat down to write, this story of a mystical experience I had back in the day came to mind.
It is just one of many I experienced back then.

If you recall, I was having a hard time of it back in the early nineties.
I had a good life. Great job, money, travel, the whole shebang, but I had opened myself up to a very life altering spiritual experience – awakening is a better word, and it had knocked me on my ass – spiritually speaking.
(I wrote a few posts about it. You can find them under We Have An Agreement in the search section of the sidebar)

I was having a hell of a time staying grounded which has its own set of problems, the worst ones being, I HATED how I felt and I could find NO joy in life.

“If this is enlightenment? It sucks and you can have it!” I’d yell to no one in particular.

It is my understanding, garnered from the very extensive and exhaustive study of ME and my experience; that the Universe in order to keep you in the game, lays a carpet studded with mystical miracles at your feet. In a blatant display of showoffery, they are so IN YOUR FACE that as whacked out and pissed off as you’ve become – you still see them.

So, I’m a wackjob on my way to work a jewelry show, and I stop at a drugstore on my route to get my favorite gum at the time, Carefree peppermint. It came in a hurt your eyes, bright yellow package, with twenty four delicious sticks of yumminess that you’d pull out from the top. It was one of the few things that made me happy, so of course the drugstore was out of it. Nothing else appealed to me, so I left – gum less and grumpy.

As I pulled onto LaCienega and waited at the light across from the Beverly Center, I could hear the radio in the car to the left of me, even with my windows up, blaring the Rod Stewart song “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.
As I shot the two young men with the questionable musical taste, my best exasperated, too cool for school, are you f-ing kidding me, stink eye; the one closest, motioned for me to roll down my window.
Did I mention that they looked like angels? GQ model angels, with big white toothed smiles? But since it was West Hollywood I just assumed they were gay and going to ask for directions.

I rolled down my window at the longest red light in history, and the beautiful model/angel reached out to hand me something. I know I made a WTF face as I pulled my whole body to the left to be able to reach my arm far enough to take what he was so intent on giving me.

It had a bright yellow wrapper. It was a stick of my Carefree Peppermint Gum!
I kid you not.

I sat there, holding the gum, with my bottom jaw hanging in my lap, while the drivers behind me began to honk, as the light had been green for a second already, and they were very important and I was making them late. 

The two smiley guys were up ahead, the Rod Stewart song still hanging in the hair like cheap perfume.

If you know that section of LaCienega heading south, you know there are several lights in quick secession that are synced up in such a way that they are perpetually red.
It’s a joke, but not the funny kind, and if I hadn’t been on my gum quest I would have avoided it at all costs.

So in less than a minute I am again stopped next to my new best friends, who are still smiling, Rod is still singing, and I’m composed enough to mouth Thank You while holding up the gum.
We did that for three lights until they finally turned left. Either the song had finished or they were embarrassed that they had given me their last piece of gum.

Okay, so I knew that was weird. I’m not even sure I told anyone. I had turned so dark and odd at that point, dressing all in black with pennies in my shoes, that I don’t think anyone was taking anything I said seriously anyway.

Here’s the kicker.
When I got back to the shop after doing the show in Santa Monica for three days, I went about my usual mindless tasks, one of them being to check the answer machine.
Yes, early ninties, remember? Cell phones were the size and weight of bricks. We all had answer machines, and the one that day at work told me it was full.

73 messages.
Jeez.
Okay.
Press Play.

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there’s no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles that’s what you do

Yep. Rod Stewart, THAT song, every message until the tape ran out.

Explain that away.

I guess I just needed minty fresh breath and to hear that I was loved, and BOY did I!
Xox

Tell me the story of your miracle!

Xox

Here’s the audio if that’s what you prefer.
https://soundcloud.com/jbertolus/rod-stewart-carefree


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My version of life. My stories. Told in my own words.

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