I should have been a cop. One with a big ass gun. Not that I'd use it, or anything, but the affect would be awesome. Maybe if I cut the cord on my Vidal Sassoon blow dryer and point it out the car window, I could get some "respect?" My life passes before my eyes several times before I arrive at work each day, and my boss wonders why I kneel and the kiss the ground once I arrive.
My commute to work is akin to tight flight schedule. It takes me 20 minutes from my home "runway" to my first layover at the local convenience store where I load up on caffeinated beverages. My body requires a certain amount of caffeine to function properly. If denied even one ounce, I do not play well with others the rest of the day.
After takeoff, I have approximately 9.5 minutes to my final destination, work, where I slide into my office chair and login to my computer with 30-45 seconds to spare. Now I understand things can happen to upset my schedule and I allot 3.5 minutes for this, as well as 15-30 seconds of self evaluation before I detonate because of the delay. If all goes well, I use this extra time to peruse the breakfast aisle for M&M's or Hot Tamales. If not, then I'm strictly on liquid caffeine and checking my pulse by 10:00 am.
But...if something messes with my fine-tuned schedule, I become a force equivalent to the Bermuda Triangle, where anyone daring to breach the perimeter, could end up with their picture on a milk carton. Today, was almost one of those days.
Scene setup, critical to a story. I live in a small town where the "forefathers" never thought straight streets were of any benefit to their horse drawn carriages. Not a lot of rush hour traffic back then. Every street in my community "meanders." "Scenic byways" are straighter. Then there is the misappropriation of city taxes being used for anything other than street repair. The street department's idea of fixing a hole large enough to swallow a Volkswagen (which is the size mandated as "repairable") is to dump enough asphalt to form a small mountain, and let the traffic slowly over time, mush it flat to street level.
Also, sidewalks are reserved for streets that high profile dignitaries would travel passing through, and if there are sidewalks, joggers, mothers with infants in strollers, dog walkers, and teenagers with a death wish, avoid entirely. Therefore, I'm driving through a freakin' obstacle course every morning.
I consider myself a safe driver when my eyes are open. However, this morning I left late, allowing only 1.5 minutes for any calamities, so I've edged my speed up a notch, to fall within the questionable "5 mile over" ticket. I'm dodging the struggling bicycle enthusiast (some people should not wear spandex), barely missing "Jogging Barbie" pushing her latest offspring in an overpriced stroller. This road is barely wide enough to allow cars to pass without exchanging paint colors.
Ahead of me, smoothing out the freshly filled potholes, bounces a low-rider "rust-test-in-progress." He's not moving over. I start my morning calisthenics, flexing my middle finger so its ready to demonstrate my salutations at the jumbling rent-a-wreck aiming for me. We're close enough now, I can count 3 "special beings" occupying the front seat, barely old enough to drive and possibly still in "pull-ups."
I roll down my window, immediately swamped with the choking smell of fresh cut hay, which triggers a coughing fit. My bladder is being tested mightily. The truck is close enough I can feel the vibration from the bass speakers traveling the pavement and competing with the soundtrack to Mamma Mia playing over my stock stereo system. I can barely make out the words to "Supertrooper" and I'm getting pissed.
I failed to mention this quaint, but beautiful place I live in is consumed with "snowbirds" or as I affectionately refer to them, "Q-tips", because they're just little tufts of white heads peaking through their oversized steering wheels, while driving automobiles still manufactured with 8 foot hoods. They arrive shortly before the pumpkins are carved and start dissipating sometime after Memorial Day. A few die while they're here, lessening the crowd, but some stay and buy real estate...and drive their monster-mobiles at the most inopportune times of day. Like rush hour.
I've come to the conclusion the post office offers free coffee and doughnuts to anyone over 80 with a valid drivers license, if they arrive between 7:45 and 8:15 am on weekdays.
The three munchkins in their booster seats barreling down the country road are ill equipped to handle "Q-tip intervention," but I see the red caddy easing to the intersection. However, the "Lance Armstrong wanna-be" I passed a few moments ago, picked up speed on the downward incline and is checking himself out in my right side mirror. I can't watch him, the "three amigos" and "Gramps" all at the same time, and still maintain warp speed to be to work on time. Something's got to give.
Out of the corner of the eye not twitching, I spy "robo-cop" with his "blowdryer" aimed at the menagerie in motion. Which one of us will cross the finish line first and get to autograph his notebook, taking home our paper prize? Not me. I back off, nearly causing my cycling athlete to crash into the ditch, no longer being propelled by the vast wind speed of my Mazda3. However, the 3 stooges and grandpa are duking it out for the intersection, neither aware they are on "camera." But Q-tips or "floating islands" are famous for surprises. Gramps sails through the stop sign, the baby geniuses slam on the brakes (which I'm surprised worked), and a "slow speed" chase ensues, complete with lights and sirens.
An acknowledgement of respect that we both dodged a bullet, passes between our smirks as I roll by the pickup truck. My triathlete in training? Checking out his spandex shorts. I'm guessing something is amiss by Barbie's turned up nose when she passes.
I slide into my seat, Diet Coke, coffee, and M-and-M's intact, with 10 seconds to spare. Its a good day.
**Since I shot myself in the foot and signed up for two online classes at the same time, my weekend blog shall remain silent. I know, you're heartbroken. Hopefully, I'll be back on track for Wacky Wednesday next week. Till then, stay out of trouble, or don't get caught.**