Have you ever had one of those days that you just want to rewind and start over? No harm, no foul – just everybody go back to your marks and let’s try to get it right this time. My daughter’s car would not start right away last night, so I kind of prepared myself mentally for today’s inevitable trials. You know the drill, - make an appointment at the car shop; get the car tucked in with a probe in its tailpipe; and then find a ride back home to wait it out. Then comes the tearful goodbyes as I try to spend some quality time with my money. We try to be brave, but we’ve known each other far too long to try and lie to one another. There is no way to sugar coat it, soon ‘Franklins, Grants, n’ Jacksons’ and I will be parting ways - never to see each other again. Goodbye old friends – I will miss your cocaine-laced embrace.
So today starts out as planned and I give up my car to the kid so she can get to work. After my daughter leaves, I get ready to take her car in and amazingly the beast starts up perfectly without issue. As wonderful as that sounds, I groan, because the only thing WORSE than an electrical problem is an INTERMITTENT electrical problem. I set my negativity aside and already feel a little encouragement however. If I had to have the car towed out of one of the garages, it would have been very hard to get a giant flatbed up on the apron, so since the car was on the road - things were already looking up! I motored happily along for all of 1 mile when the car suddenly shut down. I guided the 4-wheeled paperweight gently to the curb in front of a house that happened to be for sale, on an attractive suburban neighborhood street.
I was not too exasperated since I told you that I had steeled myself previously for just such good fortune. I called the Auto Club and they told me a truck would arrive within 45 minutes. I don’t believe them. In the past 45 minutes usually means they will arrive in 35 minutes on the outside. I really need to use the restroom but I am a mile from home in one direction and a mile from a park porta potty in the other. I briefly think about all the diuretics I had for breakfast, then I think about asking to use the restroom of the house that’s for sale. I ultimately decide it is not the best way to meet new neighbors, so I choose to walk instead and try to forget my dilated bladder. I can’t risk trying to get to my house and back before the flatbed truck arrives, so I essentially walk in big circles around my car.
Now despite over 275 blog stories which prove otherwise, I am not an idiot. I know it is not exactly normal behavior for a middle aged geezer to be walking in a race track pattern up and down the street, reversing course and doing it all over again … and again … and … But at the same time, I’m clearly no threat. It’s hot out and I’m sweating like a big warmed over suckling pig. I am careful not to loiter too long in front of anyone’s home so they don’t get concerned that a sweaty yeti is on the loose. My daughter’s car is a conspicuously bright red convertible and therefore a lousy 'get-away' car. It also barely holds people much less contraband or 'ham-Burglar' tools – so what’s to fear?
Well apparently quite a bit because, though I had only been walking in circles for about 15 minutes, I first noted a County police car slowly pass me and then another police car behind him. As they went up about a block they made a ‘U turn’ and headed back my way. By that time, a Paddy Wagon police truck pulled up behind me and in front of my disabled car. I kept walking calmly but knew what was coming. The first two policemen pulled behind my car and made a visit to the ‘house for sale’. By then I had rounded my race track and was walking back towards the whole gaggle of County servants. One policeman crossed the road to intercept me politely but with his right hand clearly resting on his holster.
I have to admit I was none too pleased and less receptive to public interrogation than usual. (One tiny murder spree and the police seem to hold that against you forever) I was polite but obviously curt and disgusted. Jeez, couldn’t you have waited at least 30 minutes into my walk to break up the monotony a little? Now all of the excitement is front loaded and I will be bored until the Auto Club gets here. Apparently I checked out ok because the police quickly determined I was not going to hurt the occupant of that house with the sign in the lawn. I told the cop “The house is for sale – all kinds of unknown people will be hanging around it for the next 3 months”. Thank goodness my daughter did not have some horrible outstanding warrant on the car that she had forgotten to mention. As the police officer started to walk back to his car, I told him to let the worried lady know that ‘I still would be out here skulking around until the truck comes for my car’. He glared at me and said he intended to. I don't think he liked me or he was still suspicious of my intentions. I didn't mean anything by the excessive fidgeting and wild-eyed crazed looks - remember I had to go to the bathroom!
93 minutes I trod the sidewalks until that dumb Auto Club truck came. I cannot tell you how happy I was to get away from that stupid house that was for sale. Part of me wants to take a check over for the full purchase price of that dump and TEAR IT UP in front of the owner’s face and tell her I would have bought the place until she called the cops on me. I have a better idea though. Every day for the next month or so, I am going to tow some kind of registered vehicle I own and park it in front of her house. Who knows, I may even get some illegal aliens and we will sell tacos and schnitzel there too? Surely someone around her needs a big old truckload of manure to fertilize their lawn right? I know where she lives and I know she won’t mind any of it – as long as I don’t walk in circles around her house.