YOU NEVER KNOW

It had been raining off and on for the last five days since my return from sunny Colorado, and the humidity was off the scale. I had driven home from work the previous evening during a lull in the rain. The roads were dry but the air was dripping, and I made the mistake of using my windshield washer to clean off a bug smear. Subsequently driving 65 mph on I-95 for fifteen minutes did nothing to dry it off, and my windshield was still just as wet when I arrived home.

So it was with modest excitement that I greeted a partially cloudy day with cooler temperatures and brief periods of sunshine. I had the day off from work and looked forward to accomplishing a number of errands. After all I had been away for over three months and had a lot to do -- starting with getting the oil changed in my truck.

I was humming to myself as I set out on the 30-minute drive to the Dodge dealership. It was sunny, 72 degrees, and a rather effulgent AM, – an expression I recalled from an old W.C. Fields movie. Fields was told this by a neighbor lady, but ever the curmudgeon, he responded, “Yes. It was a day like this that the McGillicutty brothers murdered their mother with an ax.”

About two miles into the trip I realized my pockets were empty. No money, no credit card, etc. I cursed and turned around. After retrieving the items I had forgotten, I was once again on the road. This time I only went a few blocks when I realized I didn't have my cell phone. $&@#*!  Back to my house again. I looked all over the house for my cell phone and couldn't find it, so I went to plan B and called it from my home phone. I go to plan B quite frequently now days. It worked. I heard my cell phone ringing quite loudly. It was on my belt clip. Jeesh. Am I getting that old?

For most of my life, cell phones were unheard of, and going somewhere without a phone on your person was all anyone knew. Now I feel incomplete if I don't have it with me. Something has gone awry in our lives. But I suppose with my memory failing, having a cell phone might be useful when I forget where I live.

I sat down and took careful inventory of what I was planning to do while away from my house, and what all I would need with me to do it. Then with a modicum of restored confidence I got back in my truck and headed down the road for the third time while wondering what might go wrong next. It didn't take long to find out. Half way along my usual route the road was closed due to construction. I had to take a detour. This happened again about 15 minutes later on another road. It appears that nice weather has little to do with having a nice day.

While on my second detour I passed a gravel pit where a large, filthy and dented up dump truck full of gravel came lumbering past me. Painted across the front of it were the words, “I Belong To Jesus.”  My first thoughts were, Jesus isn't taking very good care of his truck. And why would Jesus want a dump truck in the first place? My next thought was, “They are everywhere,” but I won't explain that one. However I had just heard on the radio that a Chicago woman claimed an image of the Virgin Mary appeared to her on the bottom of her pet turtle's shell.

Arriving at the dealership there was nowhere to park. Their lot was full and even the all the spots that said “no parking” were taken. I parked down the street and walked back to the dealership, where I was told the oil change would take about an hour. I seem to recall the good old days when doing oil changes myself took about 15 minutes. But these were professionals.

The oil change took an hour. I spent much of it examining the new vehicles in the showroom and on the lot. I have a Dodge Ram 2500 diesel, long bed, four-door work truck, so I'm interested in trucks. In the showroom they had a shiny new red pickup truck. It was a Dodge SRT10 two-door sport truck with a short bed, air scoop on the front, no back seat, and a V10 Viper engine. The short bed had a sleek cover on it with a tail fin. It got 9 mpg in the city and 15 on the highway and cost $52,000 +.  What kind of person would buy that? I'll tell you. Some idiot bachelor who can't afford it but has self-image issues, is probably impotent, has no girlfriend, and will never haul anything in it that you couldn't haul in Honda Civic. No wonder much of the world hates us.

On the way to my next errand I passed a large sign that read “Clean Dirt Wanted.” Now there is the best oxymoron ever conceived. I'm sure they meant dirt that was unpolluted by humans, but that's not what it said. I smiled my first smile of the day. There is wonderment and entertainment just about everywhere if you look carefully. You never know.