We were on our way to the airport last Friday for our match the next day. Our President Monique was driving some of us in a van they call ‘Frank the Tank.’ Frank is old. Not just kinda old, like SUPER old. The sliding door in the back falls off the hinge every time you open it. There is duct tape ALL over. The engine is behind the front seats. And he sounds like a construction yard while driving.

Anyways, we’re on our way to the airport, and I start telling Mira the story about how last year in Vienna, the bus broke down on one of our trips and we never made it to the match. It ended up being a pretty funny story that involved a lot of waving at trucks and riding in Austrian police cars, but I was hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with another breakdown.

Well, I spoke too soon! Literally, as soon as I was finishing that story, we hear a ‘POP!’ and white smoke starts billowing all in front and even in the car. PANIC MODE. We had just pulled off the airport exit off the highway. There was lots of shocked faces and grabbing of bags. Tiff, sitting closest to the door was urged pretty aggressively by Coop to “OPEN THE DOOR AND GET OUT.” We were still rolling up the off ramp and into the roundabout. Tiff definitely considered jumping out of the moving vehicle for a second and then decided against it (we weren’t going very fast at that point and stopped maybe 40 feet ahead of us on the curb). But as soon as Frank got stopped on the curb, it was EVACUATE mode. The panic had subsided at first, and then we realized we really don’t know what’s going on or happened, what if it blows up?? So I grabbed my bag and jetted out of that van and away into the grass.

Thankfully our President’s husband was following maybe 10 minutes behind us in case of such an emergency. I guess Frank had made some questionable sounds in the first 5 minutes of our drive so they were on semi-alert. But we waited in the cold for the pick up to finish off the last 3 minutes to the airport. After that initial scare, it was all laughs and smiles about how ridiculous the past 20 minutes had been.

The Prez trying to sort things out


Reaction from Coop

Tiph and Alex’s Reaction

RIP Frank the Tank. I only knew you for a short while, but boy did you make an impression.