Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I spend most of my day hauling children to and from school. I wonder at times if I actually live in my car. Seriously, I could be stranded in my car for days before I started to miss the comforts of home. In fact, if I were to get stranded alone, it would be longer than that. (This is the point I should add pictures, but for the life of me I cannot find the charger for my digital camera so we are all out of luck.) There are days when I have considered not even bothering to get out of the car between drop offs and pick ups. What’s the point? I can become the infamous car blogger. (Note to self: Look into hooking up laptop to steering wheel.)
So yesterday being a Wednesday, I was all over town as always. But with a twist. I had my husband’s car. It just was not right. My radio stations were not programmed. I didn’t have any of my own CDs. And there was not one Diet Coke, one cookie or even a piece of candy to tide me over. The biggest horror is that there was not ONE extra pair of shoes in the trunk. Who lives that way?
So at 9:00pm, much to my dismay I had to once again jump in the Car That Is Not Mine and run to the store. Across the street from the store is a 7-11. Suddenly I realized I MUST HAVE a Slurpee. I haven’t had a Slurpee in probably 20 years, but I really needed one RIGHT THEN. My only dilemma was that in order cross this street, I had to maneuver across 6 lanes of traffic under construction. One lane open. One closed. One open., Median. Open lane. Closed lane. Open lane. Then the Slurpee Haven. Normally, in my
second home own car I would whip through that kind of car dodging situation without blinking an eye. But remember, I was in The Car That Was Not Mine. And it is a standard. The last time I owned a standard was about the last time I had a Slurpee. Could I be brave enough to slalom through the barricades and cars in a car that was not as familiar to me as my own?
Must. Have. Slurpee. I ground the car into first. (Hey, I told you it had been a while since owning a standard.) I dodged and ducked and whipped around barrels and flew past cars to safely arrive at the 7-11. I grabbed my money and dashed into the store. Just as the door was closing I hear that horrifying sound. The unmistakable sound of metal smashing metal, glass shattering in wreckage just outside in the parking lot. I couldn’t look. I grabbed the guy standing beside me and begged him to look and make sure my husband’s car was not hit.
“What kind of car is it?” he asked.
“Red. It is red. See if the RED CAR WAS HIT!”
He went outside and returned to reassure me that the red car was in fact fine. However.
“NO! Don’t say however!”
“However, they are locked together about a foot behind you, so you aren’t going anywhere for a while.”
After grabbing my Slurpee (which had lost a lot of its appeal by then), I leaned up against the counter and started talking to the 7-11 counter-boy.
“So, Johnny, does this sort of thing happen often here?”
“Uhhh, my name in not Johnny. Why are you calling me Johnny?”
“You have no name-tag and ‘7-11 counter-dude’ seemed rather odd since we’ll be hanging out for a while.”
“Works for me,” he shrugged. “This usually only happens on weekends when the teenagers are acting like idiots. Those two look like adults acting like idiots.”
Then the guy I grabbed to make sure that it was not The Car That Is Not Mine was not involved offered to take me down the corner and buy me a beer to wait it out.
Sure. I am always into jumping into cars with strangers to go grab a beer while waiting out a couple of cars that look to be copulating.
“That is so nice of you, but Johnny and I here have plans to hang out. I can’t just drop him. It would be rude. You know. Like leaving a party with someone other than the one who brought you. But really, the offer is so appreciated.” (I think Johnny choked back a laugh, but I couldn’t look at him for fear of laughing.
After about 15 minutes of really idle and quite boring chit-chat, I look at Johnny and say, “You know what movie line keeps going through my mind over and over?”
“Let me guess. ‘Of all of the 7-11’s in all of the world, I decide to stop at this one?’ Or a variation of some Casablanca line?”
I stare at him. This kid certainly didn’t look to be someone who would quote Casablanca. Now I felt stupid. “No, ummm…not so much. Actually, I was thinking of the infamous: ‘Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K’ but of course using 7-11 instead.”
Now it was his turn to stare at me. “No. Way. You did NOT just pull out a reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Dude. That is so lame!”
“Is not. It is totally appropriate here. Admit it. You’re thinking it now too. HA!”
It was then that we saw the copulating cars separate and move out of my way.
“Well, Johnny, it’s been fun. Stay cool!” And in the lameness of the moment we high-fived.
The moral of the story? Seriously? You think anything that pulls a quote from Bill & Ted has a moral? Not even.
But the Slurpee was kind of good.