I was in an adult education class in those temporary annex buildings with co-worker Mr. Patton. Sure we had an assignment due but the instructor was no where to be found. A couple of new students arrived, an active duty Air Force and a Cadet. The Cadet had a name tag which identified his last name as, "CLONSIH" a name I recognized as someone I knew, but his long, unkempt hair hid most of his facial recognition from me. We had met some time back and had worked really well together - he had an IQ of 300. His designation in a brand new field was "00000000" to indicate he was the first Cadet. But it was Mr. Patton's birthday or anniversary so we had to bust out of class to get some beer. Which is how we ended up in Nevada, on Friday night, trying to get to Santa Fe. It was dusk and cars filled with rednecks lined both sides of the highways, blocked off secondary roads, and parked along hills and overpasses. This was how rednecks in Nevada spent their weekends. Sitting in their cars on the side of the road. And no one would tell me how to get to Santa Fe. Obviously, with the party being tonight, Mr. Patton and I were in a hurry - we had many miles to go. We'd attempted to follow the GPS on my phone at first, but between the roads all going from paved to dirt and hairpin turns going nowhere, I had to get out of the car and ask. I found one guy who had never heard of Santa Fe, but he admitted he knew we were in Nevada. Using that as a basis, and explaining where we were in relationship to where I wanted to go, I was able to get him to tell me which route I needed to take to get there. I got into my Tiburon and Mr. Patton was holding a rather large automatic pistol - it looked like a Glock - and explaining to me that someone had reached in and taken the keys while I was gone. I attempted to start the car and dawning comprehension of his words struck. I asked him for his weapon. He was hesitant but handed it over. I got out of my Hyundai and approached the guy who was holding my keys in his hand. I asked for them. As he attempted to step around me I fired into the ground. He attempted the step around me the other direction, and again I fired into the ground. Finally, I struck his hand with the base of the pistol and caught the dropped keys in my other hand. It seemed to be what he was waiting for - assault, and did not pursue the issue further. I got back into my car and Mr. Patton and I headed to Santa Fe.
My wife and I were visiting a high-IQ ex-Air Force friend of mine and her high-IQ partner. We were also to rendezvous with our children who were on vacation visiting friends of their own. We pulled into beautiful Big Sandy, Texas amongst the thick pines and decided we needed to rearrange the items in the car to get everything to fit once we picked up the kids. I parked my Tiburon a bit of a distance from everything and unpacked half the car. But we got called away and ended up getting iPads for the children. I put personalized logic problems on them for them to solve - my way of saying, "welcome home I've missed you" and set them up in the nearby restaurant we would be dining with our friends later that evening. With half the stuff still in the car I unpacked it at a separate location but then it was time for dinner, with the restaurant being an equal distance but in between my two stacks of items which needed to be neatly assembled into my small car in order to hold it all. Our dinner was a tearful, emotional reunion punctuated with extreme joy. The children arrived on schedule and were fascinated with both their iPads and the logic problems I had created for them and became engrossed while we continued visiting. At some point my wife and I decided to load up the car leaving our children in the care of our friends at the restaurant, but we were dismayed to find that it had snowed! All of our belongings were covered in snow - I was unsure I'd even be able to locate them - so we jumped in the car and I began backtracking my steps in reverse. Sadly, I could neither navigate nor control speed with acceleration or brakes. At one point I told my wife, "Watch," while I shifted into neutral, disengaged the gas, and pulled completely on the emergency brake. It simply wasn't working. We jumped curbs (I did manage to steer between two parked cars) and ran aground. I could move forward back onto pavement but always slid back through the snow-covered grass. My friends were getting frustrated with how long it was taking us to complete what should have been a simply task so after loading only half our stuff we arrived back at the restaurant where my friends partner became overly emotional at the thought I was leaving and chided me for having been so standoffish initially. I laughed a bittersweet laugh, and explained that's just how I was and felt similarly about our pending departure.