One morning a couple of weeks ago, God poured himself a cup of coffee and strolled out on his balcony. He stared out at the distance and suddenly muttered to himself "I think I'll fuck with Rob today. Nothing bad ... I'll just see if I can rattle him".
And so it was spoken.
One evening I rolled into the garage after work. Jan was busying herself with something in the kitchen and greeted me with "Hey, you want to go to Applebee's?" She's had a twenty-five dollar gift card from Applebee's forever and once in a while, she'll remember and ask me if I want to use it. When one says "Applebees's" to me, it conjures up thoughts of chirpy hostesses, balloons, whining kids and mediocre food. I have to be in a special mood to be able to endure all of these things at one time, and that night wasn't it. So, I told her thanks, but I'd just rather stay home and fix something. She seemed to take this well, and followed me upstairs, where I changed clothes.
"So, you want to hear the bad news?"
I eyed her and asked what bad news. As I had feared, her car was "acting funny". This can mean tens of things, most of which aren't good, but the first thing I asked her was why the hell she wanted to go to Applebee's if the car was acting up. She just shrugged and asked me if I'd take it out and see if I could figure out what was wrong with it. It took a while, but the car was obviously hesitating and the acceleration stunk, so I wheeled it back into the garage and told her we'd better take it over to the repair shop that evening so they could work on it first thing the next day.
Which we did.
The next morning, I toodled off to work in the truck. All was well until I reached about the midway point. While going up a slight incline, I pressed the gas, but nothing happened. The radio started sputtering and every light on the dashboard lit up.
I'd driven out of the commercial district, so I spotted a residential street and coaxed the dying hunk of metal into the entrance, where I parked at the curb and felt the truck shudder and take it's last breath. My first thought was to call Jan and tell her to come and get me.
Uh-oh. I sat for a minute in stunned silence. How many people does this happen to? One vehicle in the shop and the only other one dead on a side street, 15 miles from home. At the same fucking time! Not too many I'd venture. So, I sat in stunned silence for a minute and then told myself I'd better do something. So, I called work, to tell them I wouldn't be there. I called Jan, to spread the misery. And I called the auto club, to tell them to send me a wrecker.
I've had a variety of experiences with my auto club ... BP ... Most of them less than satisfactory. So, after calling and being told it would be an hour, I settled in to wait.
Shit, I sure wish I hadn't had that half-a-pot of coffee before I left. Maybe if I just ignore it, I'll forget how much I have to pee right now. I'll never make it an hour. Are there any bushes around here? Shit, just yards. Well, I'll worry about that in a minute.
A minutes passed. My bladder spoke up ... "Hey, shithead! Think you can ignore me? No fucking way! I'm filling up on you, and Mr Prostate isn't too happy either." I started looking around the cab, knowing I was going to have to do the unthinkable. Why, oh why didn't I buy that portable urine bottle that I saw in that catalog a couple of weeks ago? Let's see, what do I have? Well, there's the diet Coke can, but it's only half empty. Better drink the rest of it ...
Before I could stop myself, I had killed it.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! You may have an empty can now, but you just put more liquid into you. Now you've done it! Ten more minutes passed. My bladder spoke up again, this time however, the smart ass attitude had disappeared ... "Hey! Buddy-boy. C'mon, I'm really feeling uncomfortable. I might burst!" Yeah, yeah, tell me something I don't know. Shut up for a fucking minute and let me think. Let's see. What if I just go up to one of these houses and just knock on the door and ask them if I can use their bathroom?
Yeah, right. Maybe if I were a cute girl. No ... I'm going to have to pee in the can. Let's see if I can set up the logistics. I'll have to sit here. Then unzip. Then pull it out. Then stick it in the can. That's it ... simple. Now, how do I do that without looking like a perv?
But I did ... manage to do it, that is. In fact, because it took 3 more phone calls and a total of 4 hours to get a tow truck to me, I had to do it THREE more times!
I did make it home, where my first act was to call BP and cancel my auto club membership, which I had held since 1975. I'll give someone else a chance to fuck up. Thanks for nothing BP.
By bed time that night. I had both vehicles back. And I was a thousand dollars poorer. It's a shame. But I did persevere ... and I learned a few things. Aluminum cans transfer the heat from urine very quickly, and urine ... by the way ... kills grass very quickly.
That evening, God sat back in his armchair and put his feet up. He swirled the drink in his martini glass and popped the two olives in his mouth. "Enough for you today my boy ... enough for today."
And it was good.