The trip was fairly uneventful until we reached Bill-Paying Town, where my appointment was in the clinic in the same building as the hospital. Let the record show that we used to have TWO hospitals here in Backroads, but that Hick's went out of business, and mine and the boys' absorbed some of its staff. Anyhoo...Hick doesn't know his way around my hospital very well, especially now that they've upgraded the ER.
Hick missed the first turn that can you get in there. "Is this it? Will this take me there?"
"NO! It's an apartment complex. It doesn't go through. You should have gone by the surgery center. I thought you knew! You've had surgery there twice." Sheesh! It's not like we're in a big city. Bill-Paying town has a population of 18,000.
Hick went on to the main road, almost turned into the EXIT lane of the roads divided by the hospital sign, and tried to drop me off at the ER. "I know I have a cold, but it's really not that serious!"
The plan was for him to park, come wait inside in the chairs by the elevator while I was upstairs, and then go bring T-Hoe to pick me up. However, the lab had the audacity to demand all cell phones and BEEPERS be turned off inside its confines, and I didn't text Hick to get the car. I'd told him, "I can probably walk back out. I don't care if I'm wheezing AFTER my appointment." Silly me. I'd thought Hick would park in the first available space. But we walked out to the LAST ROW, (me without a coat) even though upon arrival, I'd noticed only the first two rows were full. I remember, because I'd thought, "Oh. Veteran's Day. I guess not many people want to get up early for the doctor." Hick swore that the rows were all full and this was the best he could do.
On the way home, we stopped by Walmart for Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels, and spent over $60 (without finding any pinwheels). I don't normally have Hick with me at Walmart. I climbed out of T-Hoe, and immediately lost him.
"Here. I was getting you a cart."
"Why in the Not-Heaven would I want to push a cold cart around the store?"
"There may not be any inside. The cart rack was overflowing."
Hick continued to push MY cart/walker. Tried to push it right in the exit door. So I had to scold him about using the entrance. Where rows of carts were waiting. While I was busy discovering the lack of pinwheels, Hick ordered himself some General Tso's chicken from the deli counter, for lunch, to go with his fried rice left from Friday's supper. I must say, he handled that transaction with no problem.
Buying his new favorite Golden Delicious apples, however, WAS a problem. Hick bought some at the auction the other night, and of course they were the best apples ever invented, grown, and sold at an auction. So he was looking for some. He wheeled the cart he got me right down the apple aisle.
"What about your Golden Delicious apples?"
"They don't have none."
"Um. I think they do." I said, picking up a 10-lb bag clearly labeled Golden Delicious.
Hick continued pushing the cart he got for me, while I walked along without swinging my arms like Molly Shannon in a Seinfeld episode. Because I didn't know what to do with my arms. They're always on the cart! Of course Hick made wide turns around the ends of the aisles, narrowly avoiding several collisions.
While I was buying olives and flat-sliced sandwich pickles, Hick was harvesting two bags of sugar free candy off the other side of the aisle. Looking at me accusatorily as he put them in the cart. As if I don't look for them every week. I can't get them if their space is not stocked.
On the spaghetti aisle, which Hick thought should be by the mac and cheese aisle (au contraire, my baffled bear), he decided that after 29 years of demanding spaghetti noodles (which I don't like), what he REALLY likes is rigatoni.
On the soda aisle, Hick had the six-packs of bottled Diet Mountain Dew placed all wrong on the side of the cart, with the bar code turned away from the checker. So he had to turn them around (with my suggestion). Once in line, the checker forgot to ring up the soda, because Hick was standing at the head of the cart, where I couldn't push it all the way through so the checker could use her hand-scanner by taking one step around her bag carousel. I reminded her, of course. Because I'M HONEST LIKE THAT.
Hick was also blocking the escape route of the checker on our right, from her tiny workspace at her register. She excused herself, trying to get out of her prison, and Hick said, "That's alright. You're okay." As if HE was the one in control, and not HER, trying to do her job.
Yes, I appreciate Hick taking the time to drive me to my appointment on a snow-forecast morning. I bear him no ill will for being a bumbling bear. In fact, I didn't even yell at him. And he didn't even say, baiting-like, "I should have known I would do something wrong!" so I could reply, "I knew you would, too!"
Nope. We were home by 11:30, with half the day still ahead of us. To spend separately, of course.