Laura Cotton sweet talked a ride on Carnival Tuesday but didn't think about how dark it would be in the back of a delivery van.

We walked to the Queen’s Park Savannah and that was as far as Teri and Jamund could go.  After two days of “playing mas” and filming for on the road for Trinidad Carnival, their feet were plum tired. Now … taxis and other hired cars coming along the Savannah on the eve of Carnival Tuesday was an unlikely miracle. So as their ultimate hostess, I pulled out the sweet talk.

I spotted a delivery van stopped at the side of the road near Pollo Tropical. In full costume I approached the two gentlemen in the cab with a smile and greeting.

“I’m looking for a ride to the Carlton Savannah. Just on the other side of the Savannah.”

“Ehhh … We hear there is real traffic around Lady Young.”

“Oh, good news is that Savannah is two way so you can go and turn right back around.  Quick!”

They deliberated.

“We have one seat.”

“Oh,  but there are three of us. If you can’t do it, no worries … But what do you have in the back?”

“Nothing. We just delivered Tribe’s dinner.”

“So we could sit back there.”

They looked at me like I had four heads. “But it’s like an oven.”

“Oh, we are only going two minutes down the road.” I laid a doe-eyed look on ‘em.

“You gotta headpiece?”

“Yes. But not on me.  If I get it to you will you give us a ride?”

Deal done.

I called over Teri and Jamund. Teri hopped in the middle seat in the cab and then the guys opened the sliding door to the back.

Yeah … it was really like an oven.  The floors, ceiling and walls lined with insulated aluminum foil. Jamund and I slid in with our backs to the wall and our feet to the open door.

Then they closed the door.

Pitch black.

I really didn’t think about what the “oven” would be like with the door closed. I laughed so hard I could barely breathe.

After our initial fit of laughter, Jamund and I snapped some photos. Now … just imagine how bright a camera flash is when it reflects off that much aluminum foil.

After about two minutes of moving, we felt the truck stop. Carnival traffic.

And then it started getting warm.

“Ummm … it’s getting hot.” Jamund said and then jokingly raised his voice to the three in the cab, “We can’t breathe back here.”

So the driver punched a hole in the foil between the cab and the back. Ahh … fresh air and a bit of light.

The truck started to move again … fast.

Teri said over her shoulder, “I don’t know what he is doing, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal. He’s passing all the traffic.”

The truck stops again.

“Dread … the police.”

WHO gets pulled over on Carnival Tuesday? Well …. I can testify that our driver who drove in the middle lane of the two-way savannah (the lane with the “Two Way Traffic” police signs) did.

Hidden in the back, I heard the driver spin a story about a police officer down the way giving him permission to drive in this lane. And I heard the police officer grumbling about the driver smoking, taking liberties, having no respect for those in traffic, and then letting him go.

Jamund suggested we pretend we were dead just in case the police peaked in the back. I laughed. Could you imagine?!

We reached the Carlton Savannah in seven minutes. When the valet opened up the sliding door, he jumped at the site of two familiar guests sitting, smiling and sweating.

We thanked our drivers and I took the number of the man who wanted the headpiece. (A delivery I did complete one week later).

Resourcefulness is a wonderful thing.