Oh, dear. Did you ever have one of those days where it seems like everybody's gettin' on your case, from your teacher all the way down to your best girlfriend? Well, I'm having one today. No, I won't be meeting the boys on Floor #2 for a little smokin' in the boys' room. But I DO know that today was not meant for buying scratch-off tickets. The odds were stacked against Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
It all started with my trip to town. I was planning to mail one of my two phone bills, pick up some stamps, take out our weekly cash allowance, get a Personal Pan pizza for lunch, grab my 44 oz Diet Coke, and relax in my dark basement lair.
First cat out of the bag, before I even went half a mile, I encountered one of the semi trucks that are hauling rocks again off the land beside ours. Sweet Gummi Mary! What are the odds? There are 1440 minutes in a day, and I chose that precise one to start to town. Here's the hill, though I took this picture coming back up on the return trip. And a view of the earth-gouging operation. Let the record show that the edges of this road drop off about 2-3 feet there on the left side, where I was going down, due to erosion. Mother Nature is a harsh taskmistress.
The ROCKERS are not helping matters, having flattened out the drainage ditches in two placed to get their trucks in and out. Oh, and they can't turn around there, so there's been a parade of them past the Mansion all day, wearing and tearing the rest of our gravel road that they shouldn't even be on.
You'd think this would have been omen enough for HM to let go of her dream of buying lottery tickets today. But no. She was ever-hopeful that this was just an anomaly in her peaceful retirement day out. It wasn't.
Here are other signs that just about hit me over the head with bad vibes.
At EmBee, I peered inside to see what bills the dead-mouse-smelling post office had sent my way. NONE! You'd think that was good news, but seeing as how they'd sent me NOTHING, it was not. Every other mailbox on that row had mail in it. I know, because I peeped. Ain't no law against lookin'.
At the next low-water bridge, a guy was parked partly in the road, digging dirt with a shovel to toss into the back of his little pickup.
I made it to the post office mailbox and took the lake road to the bank. No stamps, because this was during the hours they've chosen this week to be closed for lunch. A silly twit in front of me waiting to pull out at the stop sign by the Casey's where I get gas was absorbed in her phone. Maybe she was GOing for Pokemon. She edged forward as if to pull out, then slammed on her brakes and sat there phone-gazing, even though no traffic was coming. I nearly rear-ended her, and the truck behind me came within a gnat's whisker of kissing T-Hoe's bumper.
Driving to the bank, I called in my Personal Pan. Because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is allowed to use her cell phone while driving. Nobody else. Just her. Because she can still keep her car on the road, and not impede traffic. Of course there was a new girl taking the order, so she had to tell her trainer everything I said, then I had to hear her trainer tell her what to say, then she had to say it to me. It took as long to give the order as it took them to make my pizza.
On to the bank. I had just put my card into the drive-up ATM when a red van (much like our $1000 Caravan) pulled up thisclose to me. Normally, people follow proper ATM-waiting etiquette and sit back a car length. Not his guy. He was close enough to count my bills as they squeezed out of the slot.
I took the alley to the church parking lot next door to the bank, but I didn't get on it, because not only do they have NO TRESPASSING signs, but also a surveillance camera. I pulled onto the abandoned former used car lot, where we once bought a used pontoon boat, right next to it. I do it all the time. Nobody bothers me. There is grass growing up through the cracks in the blacktop, for cryin' out loud! And the car repair shop across the side road from it sometimes parks cars on there. Like today. There were two cars parked over on the edge of the lot. I'll be ding dang donged if a dude didn't walk over, staring at me all the while, and get into one of those cars, and drive in front of me, still staring. That's really not polite. Him momma didn't teach him right.
Back to Pizza Hut to pick up my lunch. I met a large panel truck in the middle of the narrow bridge that is on the schedule for replacement over by the radio station that's haunted. And a roadwalker wearing headphones. But the pizza itself was ready and smelled delicious.
Just a hop skip and jump to the Mansion was left. I couldn't get my 44 oz Diet Coke at the gas station chicken store because their Diet Coke has been out of commission. So I went to the other not-so-convenient store that used to be Voice of the Village. Wouldn't you know it? A guy was putting more 44 oz cups in the holder, standing in the way, and that guy was none other than a former student from Newmentia! I had seen him working there one day when the line was way backed up, so I just left. But now I was on a mission for a 44 oz Diet Coke, which I went four days without during the Oklahoma trip.
"Oh. Didn't you retire?"
"Yes I did. And aren't we both glad we're not someplace else right now?"
I took my soda to the counter and paid, and almost didn't get my change, which came down a little slide into a dry metal pool, fooling me with my hand held out to get it from the cashier. Since when do these modern-day cash registers do that anymore?
Yes, I did not even look at that giant display of scratch-off tickets leaning up against the counter. You don't have to slap Mrs. HM with a black cat as a ladder is falling on her head, in order to suggest that this is not her lucky day.