We all knew this day would come. The day when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's big fat hand got her in trouble. Not serious trouble. No need to convene a grand jury. No need to secure the lock and dispose of the key. Hang onto your books, we're not throwing them at her just yet. Like Jerry scratching the side of his nose in traffic, our poor Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is simply misunderstood.
I was third in line at the light in downtown Hillmomba. Let the record show that as recently as last summer, the powers that be at MoDOT allowed what I imagine to be a product of our I'm Okay/You're Okay, No Red Ink, Trophy-For-All, Everyone's A Winner society to design a new layout for a four-way stoplight. The lanes veer in, the lanes veer out, the lanes do everything but play pinocle on your snout. Left-turn lanes look like center turn lanes for both directions, right-turn lanes have diagonal lines drawn across them as they are not to be used, and traffic under an overpass must adhere to the outlines of an hourglass. It's CRAZY.
I was third in line. I need to make a right to hit the hourglass. The traffic arrow for my lane, when the green lights up, shows a straight-across arrow, and a right-turn arrow. Again, the right-turn lane is painted so that nobody can use it. So we wait. Wait for traffic that's going straight to get out of our way so we can turn right.
I was third in line. The light turned green. The first car sat there like a log-bump. The car in front of me had on a right-turn signal. But she couldn't move, because the log-bump was blocking her. Then I did it. I TOOTED. Not in a flatulent manner as a troublesome husband might do at a band concert. But in a horn-honking manner. So that first guy would poop or get off the pot. The car in front of me threw caution to the wind. She veered into the forbidden right turn lane and then turned right. That's when I saw the first car still log-bumping. With its LEFT-turn signal on. Good luck there, buddy, if you're waiting for a left arrow from that lane. And the real left turn people are gonna block you in from the real left turn lane.
I, too, veered into the tumbleweed-strewn right-turn lane to make my right. I followed that second car through the hourglass, under the overpass, through another light, and onto the parking lot of my 44 oz. Diet Coke shop. She pulled into one of the two available parking spaces. I pulled in right next to her. I know she thought I was stalking her, angry over the stoplight. But I wasn't. I didn't want her to think I was a loony-toon. I gathered my eighty cents and my refill cup. I got out and went around the side of her car to talk to her.
That girl looked all panicky! Maybe she has anxiety disorder and needed a Klonopin. I hope she knows that's nothing to mess around with! Just ask Stevie Nicks! I stood a few feet back. Respectfully. She had a toddler girl in a carseat behind her. That tot looked at me like I was Pennywise the clown from IT. The girl grabbed her cell phone and started talking. I'm not sure she was on an actual call. I think maybe it was a tactic to get rid of me. I guess I'm lucky she didn't vomit and pee herself.
I didn't want to interrupt her if it was a real conversation. A call to 911, perhaps. But I couldn't stand there all day. Besides, she put that car in reverse and started backing out! Without even going in for a 44 oz. Diet Coke. Something was truly wrong with that girl. I blurted out, "I'm sorry. I just wanted you to know that I was NOT honking at you! I was trying to wake up that guy in the first car so he wouldn't waste the light."
"Oh. He was in the wrong lane!"
"Yeah. I couldn't see his blinker until you went around him. Sorry. The honk was for him. Not you."
"That's all right. No problem." She backed out and drove away.
I'm shocked that we did not bond over the incident. Become BFFs. I was open to it. But she seemed aloof. Wary, even. Huh. Just goes to show, you never know what's in some people's heads.