Some days, you're the windshield. Some days, you're the bug. Some days, you're Mrs. Hillbilly Mom being lectured by a drug-addled close-walker at a convenience store counter.
The short version of this story (there, there, don't weep, the loquacious Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will return soon enough) is that I took my mom for a ride when I went to gas up T-Hoe. I normally go to a different gassing up station, but I wanted Mom to have a longer ride. I pumped the gas, and left Mom clutching her purse on T-Hoe's leather seat while I went inside to pay. There was only one customer ahead of me, and he finished up as I got in line.
I told the Pat (still don't know if that was a guy or a gal) in a work smock how much gas I pumped, and selected two scratch-off lottery tickets from the case. Pat ripped them off their perforations and laid them on the counter, then rang up my total. As I was forking over my cash, two early-twenty-something dudes got in line behind me.
Maybe it was my own fault. Pat was working out of the register on the left side of the counter. But I was standing by the register on the right, because that's where the stand-up clear-cased scratch-off display sat on the counter. The 1st Dude was all up in my hip fat. He didn't make contact. He was just inside my comfort bubble. "That's a bad habit ya got there, lady!"
Normally, I would have waxed all indignant, and told him to eff off. Like that time in the casino when a drunk frat rat pulled my crank, LITERALLY, and it was only the realization that Missouri is a death penalty state that kept me from tearing him limb from limb or a new elimination orifice. But 1st Dude was quite congenial.
He was also high as a kite.
Not that I hold it against him. He was feeling no pain thanks to whatever opioids were coursing through his bloodstream. He was like a friendly puppy. On painkillers.
"I know! I can't help myself."
"Have any luck?"
"Yesterday I had a $100 winner."
"On a five-dollar ticket?"
"Yes. It WAS a five-dollar ticket. Every number was a winner. I knew it would only be five dollars under each one, but since I didn't scratch off the amounts 'til the end, I hoped it was a big one. But still, that's nothing to complain about."
"Yeah. The five dollar tickets are the ones I always win like that. Good luck."
I don't know what the dudes were buying. I think they had beer. Seems fitting. I told Mom, "Watch these two guys come out. That one was as friendly as could be. He's also as high as a kite."
"You have the most interesting things happen to you."
Aint' that the truth?