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6527212 November 08, 2008

Buckhead: A Day in the Life

Despite having an IQ of 145, earning two degrees, authoring two diverse books, and enjoying a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, I still find myself in stupid situations from time to time. OK ... too many times .... How does this happen? Well, here's a perfect example. It all revolves around Buckhead, GA. (Yes, there is such a place.)

Here's the sequence of events with yours truly playing the buckhead:

1) Buckhead has crazy business trip. Flies from Philly to Seattle on November 4th, and then from Seattle to Atlanta on November 6th. Upon late arrival in Atlanta, Buckhead has one sore foot from clumsy injury, one throbbing hand from a recent kitchen buckhead scissor clipping incident, and ye ole' cramps. To top it off, Buckhead happens to be suffering from fairly severe allergy symptoms. Diagnosis: allergic to state of Washington. Takes longer than anticipated to retrieve luggage and exit airport.

2) Buckhead must hurry to shower and meet physician for important dinner meeting at 7 pm. Doesn't have time to look up restaurant on line as planned. Says to buckheaded self, "I'll trust the Hertz Nav system!" (Buckhead decision #1).

3) Buckhead has street address and phone number of restaurant but not city. Assumes it's in Marietta, location of physician's office (Buckhead decision #2).

4) When address doesn't turn up in Nav system, Buckhead calls restaurant and asks woman if the restaurant is in Marietta. Woman says, "No, we're in Buckhead." Buckhead says, "B - U - C -K -H-E-A-D? Okay, I'll put that in my Nav system. Gee, thanks!" Woman says, "You're mighty welcome." Smiles all around.

5) Address still does not turn up in Nav system. The clock is ticking so Buckhead decides to get Nav directions to Buckhead, and resourcefully figure out exact location upon her arrival. (Buckhead decision #3).

6) Buckhead is stressed when she sees that Buckhead is 70 miles away! Rushes to Buckhead at top speed. Calls restaurant to change reservation to 7:30 and asks kind woman to notify her party (the physician) that she will be late. "Please tell Dr. --- to have a drink. I'll be there," Buckhead says with a smile. Heart pounding, foot pushing pedal.

7) Finally arrives in Buckhead, population of 1. Calls restaurant for specific directions. Woman asks where Buckhead is at the moment. Buckhead says that she just took the Buckhead exit off I-20. Woman states that there is no exit for Buckhead. Red flags are flapping about in Buckhead's head.

8) Buckhead begins to freak out. Calls every relative she has who is familiar with MapQuest. Of course, no one answers.

9) Calls restaurant again and asks woman (who sounds 16) investigative questions. Uses her sharp questioning skills to finally get out of the kind 16-year-old-sounding-girl-woman that the restaurant is in Atlanta! Buckhead is just the neighborhood!

What the buck!?!x%#!

10) Buckhead asks the girl/woman to give the physician her cell phone number, and begins the 70 mile drive back to Atlanta. Physician soon calls but Buckhead doesn't feel vibrating cell over her own shaking caused by extreme frustration, hunger, sore foot, throbbing hand, and ye ole' cramps. Constant sneezes don't help.

11) Physician calls again and Buckhead apologizes. Then sets up office visit for next day. Flight home to Philly will have to be changed. Buckhead then listens to physician's message from first attempt to contact. He's at the bar having a second scotch. Buckhead hopes he didn't drive home toasted.

12) Finally at the Marriott, Buckhead takes two advil and tucks herself into bed, all while pronouncing November 6th a bad day. Decides that buckhead is her new favorite word. After all that, it was perfect! Falls asleep with a smile because she loves words, but has a bad dream.

Lessons from the twelve-step story:

1) Always know exactly where you're headed before taking off.

2) Do not put all your eggs in one basket ... or one Nav system!

3) Always know where you are. Restaurant owners and staff: When someone calls seeking directions, tell them the city or town NOT the neighborhood. Like our mom told you, it's important to know your address!

4) Never take the Buckhead exit off I-20 in Georgia. There is nothing there!

5) No matter how many degrees or IQ points you have, buckhead moments can still happen to you. Trust me, they keep you humble.

And because Buckhead always tries to keep smiling, here's the bright side:

1) Buckhead was able to meet the physician's super staff during a productive office visit the next day.

2) Southern grown Buckhead had the opportunity to drive her rented Mustang through Atlanta the next day listening to Southern Man and Sweet Home Alabama. She felt 18 again for at least 10 minutes. Priceless!

3) Buckhead found a new favorite word. Feel free to use it ...

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More aberration stories coming next week!

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