I fear that I am a bit remiss in keeping you informed of news from The Devil's Playground. Now that I'm retired, it seems that I'm in there two or three times a week. No wonder my mom never had time to do anything. At least I'm not beloved by all who ever encountered me, and I don't have the gift of gab (in person) like Mom.
The latest news is actually a couple weeks old. And it's not from within the confines of the Playground proper, nor even on the wrong-way harridan parking aisles out front. Oh, it STARTED on the parking lot all right.
There I was, stopped lawfully at a stop sign at the people-crossing area by the grocery-end doors. While I waited on slow-walkers, a car pulled out from the aisle and headed across the main Devil's Playground thoroughfare ahead of me. It, too, dutifully stopped at the next crosswalk stop sign.
This car was a white KIA Soul. The license plate read EDNA-1. Like Edna had a fleet! Edna drove on past the McDonald's entrance, to the stoplight across from the Burger King. She got in the left turn lane like T-Hoe, to head toward Hillmomba. As we puttered lawfully along, I noticed that T-Hoe's speedometer barely reached 20 mph. The speed limit in that area is 30. NOBODY drives even 30 there. At least 35, but mostly 40, is the unofficial rate of speed there in front of the closed-down, for-sale Sonic, and the day-old bread store that is now a pawn shop.
As we crossed that bridge when we came to it, the one over the river where my former colleague, Mrs. Not-A-Cook's, son was shown on the St. Louis evening news for skipping school and taking a canoe and needing rescue during flooding...Edna kicked that KIA into high gear and hit 30 mph. In a 45 mph zone.
T-Hoe chased the Soul at low speed, past the cemetery (HI MOM), past the car dealer where Genius traded his Ford Ranger for a Mercury Mariner, onto the newest section of road behind Hillmomba High School. Here, Edna put her pedal to the metal, and soared to speeds of 38 mph in a 30 mph zone. Despite Genius's former Robot Team adviser telling the kids that the police have the attitude, "Nine, you're fine. Ten, you're mine!" when they clock cars over the speed limit...on this section they do not. They are lurking often, in their black-and-whites, behind the brush, on little concrete side slabs to nowhere. Edna needed to slow her speedy rumpus down!
And just as I feared, but was lawfully prepared for in T-Hoe...here came a black-and-white around the roundabout! Good thing Edna had braked for the extended turn. Then she went back to her under-the-limit speeds the rest of the way to town, past the hospital, past the fire station, past the (other) cemetery, past the can-opener factory, past the used car lot with the pink elephant wearing sunglasses and the giant rooster mounted on the roof of a Cadillac, past the gas station chicken store, and out of my life.
Sweet Gummi Mary! What possessed Edna to drive like that? Was she unfamiliar with the road? Was it a case of not knowing it like the back of her hand? Because it seemed to me that Edna knew the road like the sole of a stranger's foot.
Was Edna blinged-out too heavy, taking a fashion cue from those commercials for KIAs before the movie at the local four-plex? Did she have too many fat hamster buddies cruising with her?
Let the record show that I did not want Edna driving faster than made her comfortable. But I had five cars lined up behind me. Since T-Hoe has a wider profile than a KIA, those other drivers no doubt thought I was the one slowing them down, unable to see around me (let's make that see around T-Hoe!) to assess what the hold-up was.
I'll never know now. I guess Edna might still be driving. She was probably getting pretty good gas mileage.