The journey of five miles began with a single misstep. Oh, who are we kidding here? There were enough missteps to account for a drunken millipede trying to walk a sobriety field test straight line!
I was nearly to the low water bridge when the first noncompliers caught my attention. Four cars and a van sat on the edge of the road. Unoccupied. Every now and then, we have a car of people who try to fish in the foot-deep water. Or a couple of cars where people have met up for some likely unlawful interactions. But this was FIVE vehicles. The van was not even a proper shaggin' wagon, but of a type like the old VW bus, with its windows broken out. I looked down both sides of the creek as I crossed the bridge, and saw nary a passenger.
On to town. A short detour to the Country Mart. Then back to the light to await my release to cross that intersection and procure my delicious daily beverage. A motorcycle was parked in my desired spot, but as I waited for the light to go green, the rider strolled out and picked up his helmet from the seat. He caressed it. Put it on his head. Caressed it some more. Climbed on his bike. Fiddled with the mirrors. My light changed, and that guy was still in MY rightful spot!
I drove around the building to my second favorite parking space. It's by the air hose and dumpster. But NO! I couldn't get to it! A truck hooked to a camper trailer better than a tiny house was trying to back up from that area because a truck pulling a gooseneck trailer holding a backhoe was parked there, the gooseneck still in the road behind the chicken store, while a guy crawled around putting air in the backhoe tires.
I tried to get out of the way by parking in my third favorite spot, overlooking the deep, deep ditch between the chicken store lot and Hick's pharmacy, but there was a white truck hooked to a little trailer holding a lawnmower taking up about five spaces sideways. I shot around the diesel pumps being blocked by the camper trailer guy and eased by the backhoe on the back road to come around to the parking lot again.
I had to wait to make my left turn in, only to see the truck I was waiting on TAKE MY RIGHTFUL SPOT that had been vacated by the motorcycle. Alas. I had to park where I never park, way down front by where the fake 150th Backroads' birthday cake was erected (heh, heh, you know what I said) last year.
I got my soda and two scratch-off tickets, and on the way out, the door was held open for me by a former pupil who was coming in. He asked how I was doing, and I told him, "I have a big soda, and a couple lottery tickets, and IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY!" Only it wasn't. Well...maybe later it was, when I won $40 on one of those tickets. But I didn't yet know what traffic perils would befall me on the way home.
Back at the low water bridge, the area was now teeming with little children swarming like army ants on the march. The van was now parked ON the bridge, all but blocking traffic both ways, with a canoe strapped to the top. ONE canoe. I assume it worked like a wobbly aquatic clown car with all those kids. I squeezed T-Hoe past that questionable exercise in child endangerment, and headed for EmBee and then home.
But NO! I did not stop for the mail, because there was a white compact car parked under the first No Trespassing sign, with a 44 oz foam cup on the ground by the passenger side, its plastic lid ajar, with the straw still poking through. Oh, the sodamanity! Or the littermanity. The gal behind the steering wheel holding her phone to her nose gave me the side-eye as I drove past. ME! The one who actually LIVES up in there! Heh, heh, the joke was on her. That location gets worse reception than our President at a NASCAR race. Side-Eye's boyfriend/husband/gay best friend/partner in crime was wading his beer belly through the middle of the creek, his athletic (I use the term loosely) shorts sagging to his buttcrack, tattoos fading the the sun.
What was THIS? Several hundred feet on up our gravel road, past the second No Trespassing sign, was a white truck pulling a lawnmower on a trailer parked IN the road. The driver climbed out, looked back at me, left the door open, and walked around the truck toward a little path to a shallow waterfall. A tryst, perhaps, with Beer Belly Tattoo? Or stopping to take a whiz? You can bet that guy does not live up in here. A liver would not bother to stop there, but go on to his place where he lives. Just take that mower on home. Not stop to adjust it or have a tryst with a tattooed beer belly guy or take a whiz.
I must say, I was exhausted from that trip. Good thing I had 44 oz of pick-me-up right there in T-Hoe's cup holder. Good thing I didn't have a fifth of Jack Daniels (for Hick, of course, that's where I pick one up for him occasionally, Val herself being a teetotaler) in my other hand when that former pupil held the gas station chicken store door open for me.
Come to think of it...that might have made it an even greater day.