Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Rat Races to Town for Caffeine

Some days, the universe tries to deny my 44 oz. Diet Coke. Not even in a subtle manner. Today, I had to contend with...

1-The Forgotten Cup. That's right. I walked out of the house and into the garage and started up the driveway without my refill cup! Lucky for my that I am a virtual Boy Scout when it comes to preparedness. I had an extra cup stashed between the back seats. Can't be paying full price for a new styrofoam cup. Not with the price of gas used to get me to and from town.

2-The Road Stripers. Seriously. When is the last time I encountered MoDOT road crews laying down the center yellow stripes on my blacktop county roads? Let me see...I think it would be...NEVER! So there's a lead truck with a sign commanding me to keep right, which is kind of hard when there is no shoulder, and the striper metal pole spraying thingy comes way over into my lane. So I had to hang half a tire off the edge and come to a stop until the sprayer and its two school-bus yellow dump trucks that followed it like security guards passed by.

3-The Duped and the Darter. People not from here can't figure out the traffic lanes in town. That's because they were designed by some young whippersnapper who had always been awarded awards for showing up more than fifty percent of the time, and breathing in and out on his own. The Duped chugged through the just-turned-green light at the speed of an arthritic tortoise with commitment issues. The Duped finally pulled into the left turn lane at the next light. Instead of surging ahead in my rightful space, I had to slam on the brakes to avoid crashing into The Darter, who came off the exit ramp to my right, shot across two lanes into mine, then slammed on his brakes. In the middle of the road. I don't blame the bad drivers. I blame the intersection designer. We survived for years with only one four-way stop. Now the three lights and disappearing lanes are a bit much. I hate progress. And you kids get off my lawn! (Did you see me brandishing my cane?)

4. The Scoff-Parker. At the gas station chicken/44 oz. Diet Coke store, a nincompoop was parked in a non-parking spot. Six pull-in spaces, clearly marked, and this doofus pulled in by the front of the building and blocked gas pumps and the main path to the door. It took me an extra fifteen seconds to walk around that nincompoopmobile.

5. The Neverending Dairy Queen Line. The boys wanted me to bring home lunch. I was 8th in line at the DQ drive-thru. AND the old lady in front of me kept backing up. What's up with that? We were on level ground. Yet she slowly came back and back and back. I was afraid I would have to honk at her. She was not very attentive. If I didn't know better, I would say she was leaned over texting, backing without a clue. Or maybe she was just lifting a cheek to fart.

6. The Funeral Procession That Blocked the Stoplight. Yeah. Must have been a local celebrity. I've never seen such a line of cars. The police car sat right in the middle of the intersection, stopping traffic in all four directions. I wasn't even out on the road yet from DQ. Traffic was that backed up.

At least there was nothing wrong with my precious elixir. Just the extra time needed to procure it and haul it safely home. My nerves can't take much more of this summer vacation stress.


  1. Again, if you were volunteering at a school during summer school, you wouldn't have all that summer vacation stress.

    Think of all the thirsty minds just waiting to be quenched by the knowledge you could dispense...

  2. And you thought the stresses from school were bad. I encountered yayhoos (not Yahoos) all day yesterday. One shot off the off ramp and right in front of me turning onto the on ramp across the street. What the heck? A change of heart? Did he see an ex wife alongside him on the highway and decide to dart off and then back on!

  3. I thought of you when I saw a recent TV ad where a Keurig-like machine makes carbonated drinks in your home. This is supposedly inexpensive and as good as the real stuff.

  4. Sioux,
    These comments are making me thirsty!

    You are a magnet for those ramp people. They are drawn toward you like moths to a flame, ants to a picnic, and Val to a 44 oz. Diet Coke.

    I've seen those commercials. I've seen the gadgets in Walmart. The drinks look all bubbly and carbonated, but I am skeptical about the taste. Maybe I'll get one for the counter of my proposed handbasket factory, and give away samples. That way my habit becomes a business write-off.