The Mystery of the flat tire in Sizzler’s parking lot

mystery of the flat tire

Haven’t talked to my BFF,  Zelda, for a few weeks. We’re both cray-cray because we’re trying to get stuff done. Me the book series, she her information product package.

Anyway, she was hungry, I was hungry – it seemed a trip to Sizzler was in order. The big draw being the all you can eat salad bar. Because, you know…All. You. Can. Eat. Big appeal to those of us on a budget, right?

I told her about my project. She told me about her project. We ate. Then we ate some more. And just for good measure, we ate some more.

Sizzler apparently closes at nine o’clock now. I guess people don’t get hungry after nine in our town. The server was nice. Eyes averted he asked us if we wanted more plate (for the all you can eat salad bar) but his voice said please don’t ask for more plates because my feet hurt and I want to go home and soak them. Also, behind him, other workers were breaking down the salad bar, turning off lights and whipping out industrial sized mops. Hint-hint.

On the way out I blamed Zelda for letting me eat too much. She told me to shut up.

So out we walk to the mostly empty parking lot. It was a gloriously cool evening and after the weeks of ball-breaking heat we’d been experiencing, I was feeling uber happy. At last, Fall had arrived.

“Oh my God,” Zelda said.

My head jerked left and right. “What?”

“I don’t f’ing believe it.”

Head bobbing up and down. “What? What? What?

Zelda bent over the left front fender. “The tire is flat.”

“Damn.” Still, I had to grin because whenever Zelda and I get together, it’s always something. We just have that kind of karma.

But not to worry, Zelda had a mini compressor in her trunk (Zelda has many magical things in her trunk – more about that later). Yes, they make those. Who knew? It’s cool, you hook it up to the car battery, it blows air in your tire and you’re off to the races.

Except, not so much. The compressor didn’t work. Zelda frowned. “Hmmmmm, it worked last month.”

Okay, Plan A definitely not working.

I called my room-mate. Voice mail. Hmmmmmm.

We flipped the switch on and off, played with the electrical lead. Begged. Pleaded. That compressor could not be sweet-talked.

Zelda decided to call Triple A. Okay Plan B. Auto Club. Sounds good.

She also had to use the rest room in the grocery store a few steps away.

Time passed.

I tried my room-mate again.

More time passed.

The homeless folks wielding shopping carts rattled by. And a guy in a weird truck drove circles in the lot.

More time passed.

I called my room-mate.

Apparently I was alone on the planet.

Then Zelda emerged from the grocery carrying buckets (don’t ask) – the phone stuck to her ear and rolling her eyes.

That was the second call to the auto club and apparently the driver was coming in 20 minutes, which technically is what they told her 20 minutes before.

We decided to get the spare out of the trunk, so the Triple A guy could change the tire faster. Not sure there was real logic there as much as it gave us something to do.

Now to get to the tire we needed to move some stuff. A lot of stuff. Water bottles, microwave mac’n cheese, ski poles, duffel bags, a tarp – like I said, Zelda has many magical things in her trunk. We emptied the contents into the backseat, which made her Lexus look more like Jed Clampett’s ride than an awesome luxury vehicle.

Just when all hope seemed lost, the drive rolled up. My pulse quickened, my eyes gleamed – I might get home by ten o’clock and catch a rerun on TV.

Driver was a nice guy – shaved head, I imagined with a wife and five kids. He looked that tired. He whips out his fancy jack, wheels it over, puts it in the right spot of the car and pumps. All good.

He fights a bit with the lug nuts but he wasn’t about to lose that battle and the lug nuts finally relented. Okay, we’re moving into the final leg of the journey.

He wiggles the wheel to get it loose. And then the car rolls back because he didn’t chock the back wheel.

Steam coming out of Zelda’s ear. Me grasping her arm so she won’t slug him.

Sigh.

The bad tire did manage to absorb some of the fall and the driver’s fancy jack helped some too. Except that now the jack was smooshed up. Need a new jack.

Driver shuffles to his truck to call the dispatcher.

Zelda mutters and takes pictures of her wheel base for proving damage. I smell a nasty letter in somebody’s future.

More time passes. Is it even still Friday?

Another driver shows up. He’s young, friendly, lots of energy. This could be better. Time is spent deliberating how to get the car up without bending the frame or something like that. Talk, huddling, mutters.

Somehow they (after they’d chocked the back tire) manage to raise up the car and get the spare tire on. Lugs nuts on.

Okay pulse quickening once again. Just a few more minutes and we’re on our way. Oh-oh, the spare is flat too.

The happy driver has an air compressor on board. Yay.

Tire inflates. Phew!

We wave, blow kisses, thank the drivers profusely. Just get me the hell home, I think.

The happy driver makes a sad face. “Wow,” he says, “good thing we got the air in that tire, my compressor just broke.”

I looked at Zelda, “Drive, damn it, just drive. Before something else happens.”

So I got home just before eleven. Zelda didn’t call so I assume she got home too.

Weird thing was, we couldn’t see any damage to the original tire. Just flat as a pancake. No obvious or apparent damage. Oh well, that’s a mystery for another day. True story.

So, how was your Friday night?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

10 Things That Will Never Go Out of Style

grace

A smile. Whether you’ve got perfect white teeth or a mouthful of metal, when you smile at someone they will smile back. And you’ve given them just a little something they didn’t have before.

A helping hand. Helping someone just because they need it and there is nothing in it for you

Blue jeans. No explanation needed

Good manners. We were all taught to say please and thank you as kids and just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’ve outgrown the lesson. Good manners are the lubricant of a civilized society.

Kindness. It doesn’t hurt, costs nothing and can make a difference to the person who receives it.

Stories. As long as humans roam the Earth there will always be stories to tell and tell again. It’s the way we share history, beliefs, traditions and our feelings.

Love. There is not a creature on Earth that doesn’t respond to love and acceptance.

America. No matter how many groups, people or politicians criticize this country – we are still unique and value personal liberties and freedom more than any other nation on Earth. And really if all the naysaying were true – would millions of people risk life and limb just to try to get here?

Beauty. Not just physical human beauty. The perfect the sunset, a painting that inspires emotion, a perfectly executed dance, a meal cooked to perfection, babies laughing, flowers sprouting in the snow. We are surrounded by beauty – we only have to open our eyes.

Grace. Webster’s defines grace as: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Although there are other definitions it is this kind of grace that I reference. To be kind, to show courtesy and understanding when you don’t have to. To forgive when others have wronged you. To carry on despite impossible circumstances. That is the kind of grace I hope to embody someday.

What are your top ten things that will never go out of style?

Writer Chick

The Empty Chair (a word about suicide)

the empty chairA few days ago a friend of mine took his own life. I’ve been on this planet for quite a while and though I’ve lost friends to death (the bastard) it’s never been to suicide.

My initial reaction was to reject the whole idea. I’d just seen him and talked to him. In fact, the day before he died. How could he possibly be dead? By his own hand?

The thoughts that quickly followed were of our last conversation. Had I said something wrong? Had he left me a clue I didn’t pick up on? Should I have given more signifigance to that last look? He had seemed a little quiet. A little distant. Should I have known what he was planning to do?

As the weekend progressed, we tried to learn more about what happened. But the police wouldn’t release information because none of us were the next of kin. We still know very little.

He wasn’t my best friend but he was a family friend. He sat at my table for every holiday meal for the last nine years.

He gave me advice about my car or latest do it yourself project.

He was thoughtful.

He was kind.

He always offered to help.

He had a good heart.

But though he liked to talk, he rarely spoke about himself in any personal way. He never shared secrets or confided. He was manly in that way – old school I guess you’d call it. Like a lot of men, he didn’t share his feelings.

I would have been happy to listen. But he never asked. I tried to encourage him. But he never said a word. I hope that he had someone who he could talk to. But my guess is that he didn’t.

And now he’s not talking to anyone.

And there’ll be an empty chair at my holiday table this year (and every year after). And I’ll miss him.

And I wish that he’d have talked to me or to someone. I wish that he’d have known that nobody would be happy about his choice. I wish he’d have known that those of us he left behind would have an empty place in their hearts that shouldn’t be empty.

I wish that he’d have known that life is worth living. That it’s a gift. It’s also a bitch. Life. It ain’t for sissies and that’s a fact.

I hope that if there is a next life that he’s happier there. That he finds a friend he can talk to. And that he doesn’t feel so awfully alone anymore.

And if anyone who is reading this is considering suicide, I ask you with all my heart to please reconsider. You matter to someone. They will care that you’re gone. They will be heartbroken that you’re gone. They will have a hole in their heart, where you should be. They will forever ask themselves why?  And they’ll spend the rest of their lives never finding the answer.

Writer Chick

Why does fiction have to be logical when real life makes no damn sense at all?

While working on the current novel, I managed to line up a few beta readers. Total excitement. I’d never had beta readers before. What would they tell me? Would they make me cry? Would they stroke my ego. Would they love the book or hate it? Would I (in the end) acknowledge that I’m not creative after all and set up an affiliate website selling info products? Would they give me insight or would I be incited to violence. I just didn’t know.

After weeks of patiently waiting. Not really patient. Pretty much impatient. Actually very impatient. I finally heard back from one of my guys. The feed back was pretty nice but there were a few things I needed clarified, so I sent a follow up email with questions. Easy-peesey, right?

The answers were where the real nitty-gritty came out. It’s not that I disagreed with the answers, or even got upset. But they did present a problem. A major premise of the story, according to the beta, was not believable. Yikes!

So, I thought about it. I asked other people about it. I thought about it some more. I tried to come up with a way around it, because if I gave in, then well you know, rewrites.

I even had an eight part email fly back and forth between me and another reader about how it could be fixed. Oddly, I was the one playing devil’s advocate when the poor girl was fighting for my premise.

In the end, I decided the beta was right. It had to change. I had to change because you know, readers, they don’t like illogical things in their books. It’s a rule. I don’t know who wrote the rule, but I’m very sure it’s an official, carved in stone rule.

Real Life vs. Fictional Real Life

But even though I did agree with the beta it got me thinking. This rule about how fiction has to be logical. Has to be ‘believable’ when real life is anything but that. Let’s face it, real life is crazy, even on a good day. Nothing makes sense from the small (why is he driving that way?) to the huge (we’re going to war because of what?).

And examples of the illogic of life are everywhere:

  • Beautiful women married to fat ugly men
  • Pajama wearing, self-made millionaires who got rich selling ‘information’
  • James Carville and Mary Matalin
  • Animals rights activists who are against killing animals but for abortion
  • Politicians get elected for criticizing their predecessors for the exact things they do once in office
  • Reality TV
  • How Facebook apparently kills brain cells
  • Half the things you see (and can’t un-see) in emergency rooms
  • Atheists using the phrase “Oh My God”
  • Good people dying
  • Bad people getting rich
  • Chocolate cake with Diet Coke
  • Running or bicycling along high traffic roads (with plenty of exhaust)
  • Hard workers get fired
  • In America dead people vote in every election

Plot point? What plot point?

In fiction every scene, every action, and every bit of dialogue has to move the plot forward. If it doesn’t, it’s cut. But does life follow plot points? Is there some logical path that life takes that leads us to the Promised Land or our dreams or goals? Hell no. Musicians slave away at bar and top-40 gigs all to get their big breaks, while some pimply faced 13 year old becomes a sensation because of a video posted on YouTube. Life is completely unconcerned with moving the story forward. Rather it pushes in every direction possible away from forward.

But even despite all this. Despite the fact that life is truly stranger than fiction I think I understand why fiction has to make sense, has to be logical and follow through to the end. It’s because we humans have to see something resolved. We have to see somebody reach their goal. We have to see somebody get their happily ever after. I mean, let’s face it, we don’t read so we can get reality, right? We read to escape. We read so we can become someone else for a while. Live their life, which is typically much more interesting than our own. We read to immerse ourselves into a risk free adventure. We read for relief from all that ails us.

When we’re done with our mini vacation from life we can return, perhaps a little calmer, maybe even a little wiser, and ready once again to deal with all the glorious illogic of real life.

Feel free to argue, agree, or contradict me in the comments.

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

Waiting for All to be Right with the World

waiting for all to be right with the worldI started this blog so that (among other things) I would commit to writing every day. I knew I needed discipline and this blog was the ways and means to obtain that discipline.

And I did it.

For the first four years, come rain or shine, happy or sad – I wrote.

Then somewhere along the way I stopped. I looked around and noticed most bloggers weren’t posting everyday. So why should I? I posted less.

Then things happened.

I moved.

I got engaged.

We broke up.

I moved again. And again. And again.

Then the economy.

I still wrote. I still blogged. But less often. And then even less.
Then I got it in my head that I needed advice. There’s lots of advice on how to blog. What to blog. The best way to blog. The worst way to blog. Niche blogging. Power blogging. Business blogging.

I signed up for every webinar, newsletter and mailing list that could teach me how to blog. Forget the fact that I’d been blogging for years. Apparently I needed to learn to how to do it right.

Didn’t help. Not only was I not inspired to write more. I wrote less. I never had any ideas. The few idea I had – I didn’t like. Writing became a chore.

I threw up my hands and started a new novel. Actually, I’d started a few others but they went exactly nowhere. But this one was different. It engaged me. The story mattered to me. I wasn’t blogging but I was writing.

But…

I still didn’t write every day.

Why not? For lots of reasons. Did any of them matter? Nope.

Life is messy – always. Even when you get a reprieve, it’s not for long. Cars break down. Clients disappear. Too much work. Not enough work. Work dries up. Sure things never are. Friends move. Loved ones get sick. There’s always something. Always. Something.

But then it hit me. My problem. I’ve been waiting for all to be right with the world. Like I needed some special nirvanic place in which to create. So if I had to wait for all to be right with the world before I could write that meant that I couldn’t write until: Things settled down. I landed more clients. Tax season was over. I’d lost twenty pounds. I wasn’t so tired. After the laundry. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Personally, I believe we all do this. We put aside things that matter to us while we’re waiting for all to be right with the world. The economy. Our jobs. Our kids. Our parents. Politics. The house is messy. The lawn needs mowing. It’s too noisy. It’s too quiet.

Meanwhile, we’re not doing the thing that makes life worth living. We’re not doing what makes us feel alive and like ourselves. We’re just waiting for a license to survive. To create. To be who we are. Waiting for someone to show up and assure us that we’re now allowed to write that novel, make that film, start that business, join that group, take those dance lessons. Whatever it is – we deny ourselves because we think there’s a special moment in time that will signal that all is right with our worlds and we can proceed.

But the truth is – there is never a right time

The only time you actually get is right now. Tomorrow is less of a promise and more of a hope. No matter how much you plan, life will mess up your plans. No matter how much stuff you put on your calendar something will knock it off. As long as you’re waiting for permission, you’ll never get it.

And besides all that, all will never be right with the world. No matter how much we want it. No matter how much people are convinced that they can make it happen (if only everyone would cooperate with them!). Not going to happen. Utopia is not coming to a theater near you any time soon. And probably not at all.

But what you can do is start that thing that you want so desperately. Sign up for that class. Write that book. Start that business. Learn that skill. Go back to school. Dare to be you. Right now. This minute.

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

Do you have “Oh look, there’s a squirrel” Syndrome?

I read somewhere that creative people get distracted easily.  Also that they have a lot of unfinished projects because of said distraction.  Is it true?  Speaking for myself, yes I have the syndrome.  I do get distracted easily.  Sometimes.  I mean, I’m a writer for cripes sakes, so yeah I have lots of ideas swirling around in my head.  And sometimes even just looking at something or overhearing a conversation, or reading an interesting article sprouts new ideas.

So…what to do?

Naturally, the conventional wisdom is to find ways to focus.  Personally I have a love/hate thing going with really focused people.  I envy their sheer determination in keeping that focus going and often think that would be a great thing to have.  On the other hand if I was walking around single-mindedly focusing on one thing, there is a boatload of things I wouldn’t notice or see.  And what if one of those things could be the greatest inspiration of my life?  See the dilemma?

So yeah, focus.  But not too much, lest you miss something.  But how do you focus and allow yourself to be distracted too?

You need a plan

All the experts and gurus talk about a plan.  Sounds good, right?  You put down on paper all the many steps you must take to achieve your goal(s).  Sure, I can do that.  But then that seems so extreme and rigid.  I’m not sure us creatives really think in those terms.  Do we?

Some of us like to outline and that sure could be considered a plan.  Others of us write, compose, sculpt, sing, and dance by the seat of our pants.  Both approaches have worked for successful people.  So yeah, planning… Maybe yes, maybe not so much.

Is distraction part of the creative process?

I’m definitely no expert but the A leads to B type planning just doesn’t work for me.  My mind goes in different directions at once.  And honestly, I like it that way.  My thinking process would probably drive a financial adviser nuts but probably not a creative.  Because see, we’re creating.  Making it up as we go along.  We start out with an idea and the whole idea of an idea is to make it grow.  Right?  So we doodle.  Or mind map.  Or make notes on cocktail napkins.  Or make big collages of the story or characters.  Or, or, or.  My point being that maybe going from A to Z and letting it magically lead us back to B might actually be the proper G-tortional way for creatives to approach things.

Is it genetics, technology, or just preference?

I know that science is fond of finding genes that dictate our behavior.  Personally, I think that’s a bunch of poppycock (great word, right?).  Maybe because I don’t think that I’m my brain or my body or any other way, just a hunk of meat directed by firing synapses.  I might agree that it could family traits or habits picked up from parents but then there are so many examples of children going in completely different directions than their parents that that’s probably not it.

We could blame technology.  I mean, in the modern world, who the heck isn’t plugged-in in every conceivable way to some sort of technology? Cripes, I lost my Internet connection for a few hours the other day and thought I might die if I didn’t get it back…  I’m just saying.  Still, I’m not sure you can really blame your own thought process on a bunch of circuit boards and bandwidth.

Then maybe it’s preference?  It could be.  At least that infers you have some choice in the matter.  That there isn’t some force bigger than yourself directing your behavior or thoughts.  Right? Yeah, that sounds better.  I prefer to be a scramble-head, rather than being a focused individual.  Hmmmm…

Can you fix it?

I think you can – to some degree.  You can employ little tricks that keep you on track.  Like you can write your list and tape it to your computer keyboard so you can’t possibly miss it the next morning.  You could hire a life coach who nags you to stay on track.  You could take up Yoga because I hear that makes you all peaceful and centered.  You wear blinders and block out your peripheral vision or stop eavesdropping on people while you’re on line at Starbucks.  Or you could just go with the flow.  Acknowledge that distraction is just a part of your process and that in the end, you get to where you want to go.  Because after all, squirrels are really pretty cute, furry little creatures who could inspire you to write a story about a crime busting squirrel, right?

What do you think?  Should we force the focus or work with what we’ve got?

Copyright 2014

Things I Need to Remember

things I need to rememberLike anyone, experience has taught me, often the hard way, that there are certain things to keep in mind as I go merrily tripping through life.  Unfortunately, I am easily distracted and so I feel duty-bound to commit this list to permanent record in case I need to reference it later.

Hopefully, this list will also serve as a cautionary tale to others who also merrily trip through life:

Don’t blow battery acid in your face.  Actually it was that weird fuzzy stuff that builds up on the battery cables.  I only popped the hood to refill the washer fluid when I noticed the fuzz.  So I decided to get my nifty wire brush and take care of the fuzz while the hood was open.  The brush worked well enough but there was some fuzz that I just couldn’t get to.  So yeah, I bent down and blew on it.  Needless to say there was a lot of eye washing and squinting that followed.  But that weird squiggly thing I see if I shift my eyes too fast is kind of interesting.

Don’t wear clean clothes when you go dog shopping with a friend.  So Zelda needed a new dog and went off to the local shelter which entailed a two-day dog fest, including jumping, shedding, drooling, dog kisses, and other smelly things.  My own dog regarded me suspiciously for the next couple of days.

Don’t expect your friends to believe that your work schedule is more important than helping them pick up their new dog.  Despite the fact that I was buried in work and had a million things going on that day, Zelda was not deterred in getting me to help her retrieve the new dog.  When I finally agreed, she said she would be there in ten minutes – which only took her 45 minutes to achieve.  Naturally, I was required to ride in the back with the dog on the way home.  Which resulted in more drooling, dog kisses and smelly results.  My own dog refused to speak to me for two days.

Always verify the time of your multi-time zone conference call.  The conference call invite did say 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. but in my defense all the other participants were in the Eastern Time zone, including the host.  Was it really a stretch to assume that they meant Eastern Time?  Apparently so.  Little did I know that the program did a little time conversion for my benefit which went right over my head.  So getting up at 5:30 that morning to make a 7 a.m. conference call that was really scheduled for 10 a.m. was a bit self-defeating.

Never believe your bank when they tell you the problem is handled – always verify.  A notice from the bank arrived in the mail informing me that they had charged back a bad check I wrote.  Since I don’t write bad checks I was alarmed.  Apparently, a woman who has the same name as I, wrote a check and somehow my bank thought it would be a good idea to get the money from my account because she clearly didn’t have any.  I immediately called the bank and was assured it would be handled.  When it wasn’t handled I called back and got the same assurances.  By the fifth call I was fit to be tied but fortunately, that lady actually cared about my problem and fixed it.  Except the penalty charge remained.  And it took, three calls to handle that.  No, I’m not kidding and not even exaggerating.

If you are expecting a check, the mailman will be late.  Or your regular mailman will be off that day and someone who moves slower than molasses will be covering for him.  Ongoing, always happens – apparently no way around it.

When in doubt, garden.  I’m a writer and I also have a small business.  Consequently, I live in my head (and in front of a computer) most of the time.  And it’s easy to believe that everything revolves around emails, projects, conference calls, and work.  It doesn’t.  When I can force myself outside and do something like gardening, I start liking life again.  Oh look, a squirrel…or is that a ground hog?

Food is not love.  No but it sure tastes good.  And I’m Irish and we like food, it’s our way of offering comfort and showing love.  Plus I love to cook.  Oh well, maybe chubby will someday be in.  And yet I never quite lose the guilt of the thing I ate that I shouldn’t have.  Brownies, anyone?

What about you?  What things do you have to write down to remember?

Writer Chick

Copyright 2013

Tomatoes with Everything

I have to admit I am not the best gardener nor am I the most knowledgeable (far from it!) but I do love to garden.  Being able to grow your own food is satisfying on many levels and also lots of fun.

While most of my skill in gardening is on an intuitive level, experience has also taught me a few things. I’ve learned what varieties of tomatoes I like, how easy or difficult they are to grow and I try to grow something new every year. Sometimes it is a great success, sometimes a disaster and occasionally a mystery surprise that never occurs again. But every spring and summer I look forward to lots of fresh veggies and a greatly reduced grocery bill.

For twenty years I have grown vegetables and flowers based on my feelings and own intuition but in the last couple of years my garden hasn’t done well. I really didn’t know why, I had lots of theories, but no real explanation. So, this spring I decided to get some help. My friend Lee O’Hara, has quite a rep as an organic gardener and even has a couple of DVDs on organic gardening. Coincidentally, I ran into Lee while we were both doing work for the same company and we got to talking about gardening. Long story short, I bought his DVDs and watched them.

Now Lee has developed quite a regimen for gardening and while I didn’t do everything he advised in his DVDs I tried to do as much as I could (couldn’t quite figure out the drip system, for example) and I have to say the results were amazing. As you can see in the pics below:

 

 

Also because my yield in the previous couple of years was low I went a bit crazy. I planted 18 tomato plants – seven of which were seedlings of my own and eleven nursery plants. Since in my experience I have lost 2-4 plants for various reasons, I assumed that 18 plants would leave me with 12 really hardy plants. Still a lot, but I love tomatoes and so does my room mate.  In my wildest dreams I never would have thought that 17 or the 18 would make it. Thanks to Lee I now have tomatoes with everything.

I have brandywines, Aunt Ginny’s purple tomatoes, Boxcar Willy’s, Marglobe, black cherry tomatoes, St Pierre’s, Homestead 24’s and Fresnos. With the exception of the Fresno’s, all of the tomatoes are heirlooms and I plan to harvest plenty of seeds for future plantings.

I also have the biggest cuke plants and squash plant I’ve ever grown, thanks to Lee’s methods and my cosmos are five feet tall!

 

So if you ever want to grow monster veggies that are delicious and hardy, check out Lee’s DVDs and his gardening methods. Incredible! Meanwhile, if you’d like to drop by my place for a tomato sandwich, please feel free. There is plenty to go around. Also if you have any killer recipes for tomatoes, please leave them in the comments section, I’ll need lots of ideas and soon!

(By the way, Lee has no idea I am writing about him and this post was not solicited by him in any way – I just like to pass on good info when I come across it.)

So here’s to tomatoes with everything and for a long time to come.

Writer Chick

Copyright 2012

The Ant Brigade

Recently I’ve had to accept gainful employment. Tough sell for someone who has been self-employed for quite a while. But it sure beats the heck out of being broke, hungry and homeless.

The job itself is fine, it’s website/Internet related and pretty much right up my alley. And of course you can always learn new things and to be honest I’ve learned quite a lot which will be helpful in future pursuits.

The interesting thing to me is that I realized it isn’t the working a job thing that really bothers me – it’s the ant brigade – aka the daily commute. After just a few short months I feel I have a whole new insight on road rage and bizarre behaviors reported on the nightly news.

I try to be easy going and just go with the flow. But when you are half asleep, driving on a road with hundred of others who are also half asleep, coffee deprived, distracted and actually dreading arriving at the office being easy going can be quite the challenge.

In my commuter adventures my favorite pet peeves are:

The bicyclist who thinks that pedaling down the middle of the lane with 20 cars behind him makes perfect sense.

The senior citizen who is so unsure of the integrity of their brakes that they never take their foot off the brake pedal.

The school kids and skateboarders who want to play chicken at the four way stop when it’s your turn to move.

The guy who waits to turn left in front of you until you are 10 feet away from him.

The fruit vendor who stops traffic because the lady in the hybrid can’t decide which bag of oranges she wants.

The texting idiot who keeps drifting into your lane then flips you off when you tap your horn.

The guy who suddenly realizes he has to stop at McDonald’s and crosses three lanes to get there.

The list can go on and on but you get the picture.

The really sad thing is that most of what I do at the ‘office’ I could do from home in my jim-jams. Unfortunately, companies insist you present a body at their house and jim-jams are not allowed.

*Sigh* I live for the day when once again my biggest commute is from my bed to my desk.

How about you, what is your ant brigade like?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2012