The day promised great leisure, with no roofing on “hump day,” which I traditionally take off. I was preparing for a small roofing job the next day, but in perusing my month-old calculations I’d courageously multiplied the old-fashioned, …
It’s not a myth; there really is such a thing as “one of those days.”
The following account was my Wednesday, and as Robert Blake used to say, “If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’.”
The day promised great leisure, with no roofing on “hump day,” which I traditionally take off. I was preparing for a small roofing job the next day, but in perusing my month-old calculations I’d courageously multiplied the old-fashioned, arithmetic way, I noticed the $657 price I’d quoted Jim Romine just didn’t look right.
I considered the problem: $195 multiplied by 4.6 had to be more than $657. Yep, my calculator I’d foolishly rejected previously forgave me but insisted on the number $897. Obviously, I couldn’t do a job and charge $240 more than quoted, so I decided to take my dogs for a nice drive, show Jim my errant ciphering and offer him the chance to reconsider.
Once in the car, I repeatedly rushed back inside for various forgotten items, including my water bottle lid. You might think a simple bottle cap — which I never did find — insignificant, but I have a maddening history with wet pants.
“Should I get gas first?” was my agonized query as I debated turning left or right at the end of my parking lot. Since my Camaro gauge showed space between the needle and E, I thought it plenty for a four mile drive to the Greybull highway, so I turned right. Nearing the end of the shortcut, Beacon Hill Road, the needle suddenly rested inexplicably on E, so now I’m sitting at another stop sign debating “Right or left?”
I begrudgingly chose “right,” forcing an extra three mile drive, and pulling into the Maverik, I was pleasantly surprised the nearest pump was vacant. Giddy turned to fury as one of those god-awful RVs came from nowhere, cutting me off and taking my pump.
At my next pump choice, I pressed the buttons I’ve poked 1,000 times before: “Pay with cash;” “pay inside”… but before the usual “Remove nozzle…” came “Please Insert card.” WHAT? I don’t have no stinking card, so I repeated the process and each time, “Please Insert Card.”
Muttering words my mother never taught me, I stomped inside and explained to the cashier. “She’ll help you,” he said, and another employee walked me out, repeating, “I’ll help you.” Seeing a window for welcome levity, I quipped, “Your name must be Rhonda.” “No, it’s Lisa,” she answered dryly. OK, I wasn’t about to remind her of a Beach Boys song 30 years before her time, so I just kept walking.
She confirmed my claim and directed me to yet another pump. After a long line to pay inside, I finally drove off with a scalding dialogue inside my head. After the teeth-jarring dirt-road drive to the house, no one answered the door. OK, maybe this is better, I thought. I’ll just leave a note explaining my errant math to leave on the doorstep.
Incapable of short phone messages or notes, I wrote furiously while sipping from my water bottle in the hot car. I was about to conclude this novel-length letter and hopefully be gone before anyone came home, when I noticed my little dog Trina slide from the seat onto the floor, coinciding with an offensive odor. It didn’t take a genius to figure out why, nor 20/20 vision to see what had been left behind.
Since Trina was run over last Sept. 11, she’s been #2 incontinent, but normally they’re cute, little malted-milk-ball size deposits and rarely in the vehicle. This day though, Trina must have had the same tummy distress I had, because this was a different texture doo altogether. Most of it caught the seat pad I provide for her, so the upholstery wasn’t badly compromised.
Looking all directions again, the nearest I could see to dispose of it all was across the road and into some high weeds, where I sheepishly dumped Trina’s dump. When I returned, she had relocated again to my driver’s seat, bumping my topless water bottle off the console, which had settled top-down against the back rest. I shrieked another colorful phrase and settled into the swampy seat to finish my note, when I noticed Jim staring at me from his porch.
He hadn’t heard the doorbell and I never bothered to explain what he might have seen me throw into his field. I showed him my poor math, he gracefully accepted the adjusted price, and later in Albertsons, I explained to the cashier how I had “wet my pants.” But nobody can explain to me how a day with such promise can turn so grotesquely corrupted.
Coincidentally, Thursday didn’t go much better.