Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swatting Flies

Last year, Big Daddy and I drove to western Kansas so he could meet up with a group of bikers from our church that were doing a cross-country bike ride to raise money and awareness for poverty.  We drove out on a Wednesday, BD would ride with them for three days and I'd drive home the following day.

We ate dinner with our friends, came back to the motel and swatted flies before trying to go to sleep.  Farm country + heat = flies.  The bikers left at 7:00 a.m. the next day and I left shortly after that.  About 45 minutes into my ride home, the car decelerated and I had to pull over.  I was in the middle of fricking nowhere with no cell phone.  I contemplated my options (none) and started the car up.  I drove about five more miles when the same thing happened but I was close to a truck stop and coasted into the parking lot.   I used their phone to call Roadside Assistance and after an hour wait, got into a tow truck to ride to Marysville.  I asked my new friend working at the truck stop to tell my biking husband what happened to me and that I was headed to town, should he stop by.  While on the way to town, the left rear brake on the tow truck started smoking.

We got to Marysville and once they found out I had a hybrid, they wouldn't even look at the car.  I called Roadside Assistance again and was told to have the car towed to Manhattan which was 60 miles away.  The tow truck driver had to take my car off that truck since it was having problems and put it on another.  While he was doing that, I look up and see BD riding around looking for me so I wave him down.  He gives me his cell phone, meets the tow truck driver who also loves to bike, and they exchange info on tires, gloves, jerseys and mph.  Keep chatting it up you guys and don't you worry a bit about my looming nervous breakdown.  My new BF and I get to the next dealership at noon.  I'm scheduled to be at work by 3:00 so I call Mallie Bee to tell her what's been going on and for her to call the store and tell them that I'd be there as soon as I could.

I sat down in the service department waiting room that was full of customers and a woman in a housecoat is sitting there swatting flies.  I swear to God I'm not making any of this up.  One by one, customers start leaving when their cars are repaired and I'm left alone until some old guy comes in with a Hardee's bag.  I give him the look.  I don't care if you eat fast food, just make it at a fast food restaurant instead of subjecting the rest of us to the smell.  He took the look to mean I wanted to chat.

Turns out he was of the tea party persuasion and mistook my boredom for interest in his opinion about everything.  Forty-five minutes into his yapping, I picked up Car and Driver magazine and put it in front of my face and he still keeps going on about socialism.  Betcha can't even spell it, Mr. Lipton.  Finally, I got up, picked up the fly swatter and started beating the shit out of flies.  I'm smashing 'em like I'm playing Whack-A-Mole at the carnival and I am aware that I am losing it and I don't care.

The service writer interrupts my swatting to inform me that I need a new water pump and they don't have it in stock.  What a surprise.  Since the car was under warranty, they would take me to Hertz to pick up a rental car.  I gathered my stuff and Mr. Tea Partier says, "It was a pleasure talking to you.  I believe I was merely a listener in this two-way.  Now you have a nice day."  A nice day?  I was way past a nice day and harbored no fears of the fires of hell cuz I'd been in them since I got out of the fly bed.

Ten hours after I left that motel and two hours past my start time, I got to work and the owner didn't speak or look at me for two hours.   My friend came by and said what in the hell happened, I've been worried about you all day.  I love my friends.  Then You Know Who pretended to be straightening a rack of clothes close by so she could hear the whole story, because until then, she only cared that I was late.

By that point it was 8:00 p.m. and all I wanted to do was go home, take a hot bath and go to bed.  Well, that's not completely accurate.  This day of all days could have been much worse had a truck stop employee and tow truck driver not went out of their way to help me out.  They were strangers, my employer was not.  As tired as I was I still had a little of the bat-shit crazy left in me, and if there was a fly swatter in that upscale little boutique of hers, I'd have whacked her moley, little head.

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