Or So I Thought….

Ever have one of those days?

I was so looking forward to having a rare day off today. With Easter coming early and working through spring break, missing a week of work with the passing of my dad, and trying to make up that work, I was ready for a day at home. I need a haircut; I need to clean my guns; I need to clean out dad’s truck so I can take it to have it detailed (clean it to have it cleaned- it is really dirty!). Plus, I have a little work left to do for Sunday.

I wanted to sleep late- no go. I had to take my beautiful daughter to school. I was coming right back, and that is where my wonderful day turned into a circus.

I was just running down the mountain, so I wore shorts and a t-shirt, house shoes, and a world-class bedhead. 43 degrees outside, but no big deal- I’ll be right back.

Or so I thought.

When I slammed the door to get the latch to work, it inadvertently locked. My house keys were on the kitchen counter. I realized that when I returned from the school.

No big deal, I thought, I’ll call my son on my cell and have him bring a key. But my cell phone was on the counter, next to my keys.

Following a brief, but intense, effort to try to break the door knob, I knew I’d need to develop a plan. Have you ever had to develop a plan while shivering in the garage? Anyway, my plan was to go to the bank and withdraw some cash (I did have my wallet), order breakfast at McDonald’s in order to get some change so I could find a payphone to call my wife and get her to call my son’s school to let him come home to unlock the door. Nothing to it!

Or so I thought.

I went to the ATM, and was third in line behind two people who were either illiterate or didn’t speak english and were using a translation manual to get them through the ATM process. One had to open their car door in order to get to the control panel they couldn’t reach. So it took a while- no big deal. A couple of deep breaths, and I had my temper under control. I finally took my turn and hurried off with my cash, which promptly fell to the floor underneath my right foot. I had to stop to pick it up, blocking the vehicle behind me form accessing the ATM for about three seconds. It seemed like a lot longer with his horn blaring in my ear.

I took the cash to McDonald’s, where I was the ninth car in line at the drive-through widow. No big deal, I’ll just take my turn. Today was slow day, evidently a special marketing opportunity to help customers learn patience. Finally, my turn came, and I ordered a sausage biscuit with egg. The lady I paid was very professional and polite. The lady who gave my my order looked like she had worked all night with the flu. She was less than pleasant. Oh well, no big deal.

Or so I thought.

I left McDonald’s to try and find a pay phone I could reach from inside my truck. While driving around, I also noticed that my sausage biscuit with egg had cheese on it, a definite no-no in my world. By that time, I had a lot invested in that biscuit, so-

I went back to McDonald’s and got in the drive-through line again. I waited through the slow-day marketing experience again. When my turn arrived again, I told the nice lady about the problem. Only they nice lady and the flu lady had changed places. She was not happy- but changed my sandwich anyway. OK. On to find a payphone.

How long has it been since you’ve tried to find a payphone? Especially one where I could use it from within my truck? Remember it is 43 degrees outside and I’m sporting shorts, tshirt, house shoes, and bedhead.

I finally settled on a payphone at a remote gas station. The phone was in the front of the station, and the station was deserted when I got out. While I inserted the change, and began the call, the parking lot suddenly filled with vehicles, and more than a few were waiting on the payphone. They were dressed in baggy pants, army jackets, and hoodies or bandannas. I needed to make this fast.

I called my wife, who didn’t answer her phone. I left a message, got in the truck, and drove home as fast as I could. Surely she’ll get the message and my son will be over soon….

Or so I thought.

She got the message, and then promptly forgot to call the school. For half an hour, she wondered around with those 4th graders, taking care of them and their needs in that warm classroom while I was stuck in the garage. While I waited, I cleaned out the door pockets and console of the truck- I had .22 LR, .22 shorts, 12gauge slugs, .30-.30 win, .38 special, toothpicks, cucumber and turnip seeds all in the door pockets alone.

Finally, my son drove up, laughing his sweet laugh that makes me want to rip his hair out. He unlocked the door without a work, then drove back to school.

I think I’ll go back to bed and get up again and try to start this day over. It’ll have to get better…

Or so I think….

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