SXSW: Story #1 - Walk it off… Part 2
On to Part 2....
So as I mentioned before -- people were great. Very supportive and helpful, since I was supposed to be taking it easy. One night we were at the Austin Music Hall and had to make our way all the way over to Stubb's. Usually, we would just walk it, get a pedicab or a taxi -- but me limping along for any period of time just wasn't a practical idea -- so a friend in Transpo offered to let me on a shuttle between the two venues. This was a 15 passenger van in which a VIP would also be driven to Stubb's. This happened to be a stunt woman from NZ who was the subject of a showcased SXSW documentary and her friends.
She was exceptionally gracious and offered for me to ride in the middle bench and they in the back, so I could more easily get in and out of the van. I'm thinking - here is this stunt woman who has probably had countless injuries -- and she is being nice to me about my sad little ankle sprain. I resolved to be tough and not grimace as I stepped up into the van. I slid onto the bench seat next to a friend of mine, so I was closest to the van side doors.
The driver must have just finished a stint as a domino's pizza driver, because he was intent on getting us there fast as possible. As he sped off in one direction, we were all busy talking about who we were going to see at the next venue. Suddenly the driver yells, "This is a one-way street!" ... and apparently he's going the wrong way... so without a "hold on" he whips the van around to do a U-turn. Not expecting this sudden change in inertia, I start to slide off my seat toward the van doors and landed with all my body weight on my twisted ankle in the van step area next to the doors, twisting it again. This time, I had not been drinking... and I felt the immediate sear of pain.
The van now speeding in the right direction, my friend helped pull me back into my seat. I'm concentrating on biting my lip. There is no crying at SXSW. There is especially no crying when you are getting a free ride instead of walking. And there is absolutely no crying in front of a stunt woman for your sissy little ankle boo-boo.
We pull up in front of Stubb's and I step out of the van gingerly, then hobble out of the way for everyone else to disembark. The stunt woman gets out and comes over to me and very kindly says, "Are you okay? You're really hurt aren't you?" Well nothing will make a girl cry faster than the unexpected kindness of a stranger... so immediately the tears I'm trying to suppress start to well up in my eyes. Women know this. It's a rule.
She sees my reaction and says, "Oh, it's not helping for me to be nice is it?" I shake my head as a definite 'No'. She smiles, cocks her head and says to me (in the nicest way possible) "Suck it up Bitch."
I take a big breath, exhale and walk it off. It's SXSW .. that's what you do. You get to have a stunt woman to tell you to suck it up. Awesome.