I knew it would catch up to me. I DID! Even Steven never just drops $155 worth of winning scratch-off tickets in your lap the week before you're taking your 21-year-old son to the casino. There's a price to be paid for unearned income. A price levied in a day fraught with obstacles.
Today I whipped up a treat for the #1 son to take back to his college house on Saturday. Nothing elaborate, but it DID involve the oven for 22-25 minutes, and a sink of dishes. I picked up a bit of the Farmer H hoard in the kitchen. Surely you don't think Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would be a part of the clutter, do you? Just because the kitchen is HER domain doesn't make her responsible for every item that lingers there.
Like that Christmas gift bag that loitered under the right (as in direction, not as in a choice) window of the three big curved windows of the section that sticks out where the kitchen table resides. I know it's September. Twenty-ninth. But it wasn't MY gift. Under the red, green, and white tissue paper, I found treats meant for The Pony. I think he got this at school, from his secret pal right before Christmas. Inside was an 8-pack of tiny cans of Sprite. Little thin ones, not the squatty kind you might get on a hospital tray. One was missing. There were two bags of Haribo gummi bears, still squishy, which I set aside for a future care package. A bag of Cheetos (crunchy) that expired in February, which I threw away (don't need the chickens laying orange eggs), along with a can of regular Pringles (didn't bother to check the date).
Not that I got all the mess undone. That's just to show you why I was considerably late for my 44 oz Diet Coke today. In fact, it was after 1:00 when I left for town. I hoped to be back by 2:00 to enjoy my magical elixir alongside my lunch, which was only a TV dinner, but fast at 6:00 minutes. You know what? If Mrs. HM had hoped in one hand, and...well...you don't need to know what with the other hand...I guaran-darn-tee you that her HOPE hand would NOT have filled up first today.
I stopped for the mail, which was only an insurance statement from Farmer H's most recent shot (THIS WAS NOT A BILL). No weirdo hanging around, but another strange sight that I didn't get a picture of today, so cloudy, but will try tomorrow. As I started T-Hoe to pull out on the blacktop county road at EmBee, a Lowe's delivery panel truck tried to squeeze in before I was out. Not a good omen. How often does Lowe's come out here, anyway? Rarely, unless somebody is getting a new Frig that they will dent the door of and somebody's husband will take a small discount rather than make them bring a new door.
You remember how Mrs. HM plays her hunches? Her Hunch-O-Meter was working overtime today. The whole way to town, I was debating on where to get my 44 oz Diet Coke. The fountain at the gas station chicken store has been dispensing delicious elixir this week. But surely it's ready to weaken. And parking is sometimes hard to find there. But it is at Orb K too! Except this was not lunch time, but 1:15. Something kept pulling me to Orb K. "It's only 83 cents there," the something said. "And you probably don't have your correct change for the gas station chicken store."
Huh. It was like in Animal House, when Pinto had the devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other, both telling him how to handle his passed-out date. "But Orb K was out of Diet Coke that one time! It ran CLEAR! You don't want that." The other shoulder's occupant argued, "But Orb K is closer. You can cut five minutes at least off your trip if you don't go through the stoplights."
I had pretty much decided that Orb K it would be. It's not like anything was riding on this choice other than time and convenience. No lottery today. Not until after the casino trip. As I rolled past the prison, I decided that if parking was good at Orb K, that was a sign I should go there. Coasting down the hill right before my left turn onto their lot, I saw that Orb K did INDEED have plenty of parking spaces. Even my favorite, right by their sidewalk slanty part for the handicapped, so my knees wouldn't have to step up or down. BUT I KEPT GOING!
"I really have been enjoying the crisp taste of the gas station chicken store's Diet Coke. It was good yesterday. I'll just go there, and be sure." I went through the light. Under the overpass. Through the next light. Waited for my left turn signal at the third. "Oh. There's a red car in my favorite spot. But the driver's door is open! They must be leaving." My light turned and so did I, onto the lot. The red car was still sitting. AND there were two cars next to it, even though I don't park on that hill. AND there was a red pickup hitched to one of those plain white closed-in trailers like you can haul race cars in. Or work equipment. It was at one of the pumps, sticking back into the area where I usually park by the moat that separates the GSCS (gas station chicken store) from Farmer H's pharmacy. AND, as I got over there, I saw that another such rig, identical down to the color of the truck and trailer, was parked along the side by the diesel pump near the air hose and dumpster.
As you can imagine, I was kicking myself (figuratively, because my knees won't bend like that) for ignoring my hunch for Orb K. I had actually pulled into my parking spot. But then I thought how crowded it would be inside with all those people. So I backed up and went out the back exit and back to the light and back under the overpass to Orb K. As two cars turned in there ahead of me, and another oncoming car signaled and sat waiting on me. I knew I would never beat all three of them to the soda fountain. But here I was. Time was a-wastin'. And my favorite parking spot was still open!
Inside, the other patrons had gone to grab other conveniences. I bellied up to the soda fountain and pulled my 44 oz cup. A bit of crushed ice. I pushed it against the lever for Diet Coke, and
IT RAN CLEAR!!!
Sweet Gummi Mary! I didn't have time for this. No way was I going to show that layabout clerk that the Diet Coke was out. Not after last time, when it took so long, and then he offered to go switch it out, and then said, "Don't you want another kind?" No siree, Bob! I poured that clear liquid into the soda fountain trough and trashed the cup. Out the door I went. Let them come after me if they thought I just came in to sip-and-run!
Back through the lights and under the overpass. Back to the GSCS. The red car was still there. But a girl was standing in the open driver's door! Maybe she was just leaving. I drove past the lot and onto the side street to come in the back way. I'll be ding-dang-donged if those two trailered pickups were STILL there! I parked at my moat spot again. Shook my change container and came up with exact. Looked back over my shoulder at the red car, and saw that the hood was up, and a man was looking under it with the girl. So much for that plan. I wound my way around the end of that trailer at the pump, and went inside.
Nobody else was there! I pulled a cup, clanked in some ice, pushed the lever, and out came sweet, sweet Diet Coke! I sipped a bit so it wouldn't overflow the lid when I squeezed it to carry it, and it was tasty. Paid my money. Off to the Mansion and lunch.
The pump trailered pickup had turned around and was blocking T-Hoe with its trailer. Rassen frassen trucker! I muttered uncomplimentary assumptions about his lineage as I went around and climbed in T-Hoe. It was all kinds of tricky, but I maneuvered my way between moat and trailer and got out of there. Lunch was served at 2:30.
From the depths of my (lighted) basement lair, I think I heard Even Steven chuckle.