Originally published in the Miami News-Record on November 28, 2014
Last Wednesday I had an eventful day. I try to cram as many things into a trip to town as possible because we live so dadgum far from everywhere. On that particular day I had a doctor’s appointment and I also had to pay a bill, renew my car tag, drop a Netflix disc in the mail, stop at Braum’s for my mother-in-law, and go to Walmart. Keep in mind this was the day before Thanksgiving. Yeah. Talk about an unfortunately-timed errand day.
The trip to pay the bill was completely uneventful (the only thing that day). My doctor’s appointment had one small adventure that my mother made me promise to not share with you in print, Constant Reader. Maybe it’s the fact that it involved a urine specimen cup. Seriously, though, if you run into me at Walmart hit me up for the story. It’s too good to not share – and frankly, it’s a great story told better in person anyway.
After the doctor’s appointment I went straight to the tag office to renew my tag on the ‘Rango. I had my renewal card, insurance card, and check ready to go when I stepped up to the counter. The woman who helped me displayed Ninja-like skillz as she took my documents and handed me my sticker all in about 30 seconds. Score. I was smiling as I ran into an adorable Spiderman, his little brother, and his mom as they, too, were on their way into the building to experience tag office nirvana. As I got into the car I remembered I had forgotten my grocery list on the fridge. I called my oldest and asked her to read it to me. As Abby was reading off “paper towels” she heard me ask hatefully “EX-CAH-USE ME??” I said that because at that precise moment a man opened my passenger door and started to get into my car. Bless his heart, he was as startled as I was and apologized profusely. Note to self: don’t forget your grocery list so you won’t have to sit in a parking lot to have it read to you and get not-really-carjacked by what appeared to be a really nice man.
After my hands stopped shaking, I (locked my doors) finished getting my list. Then I dropped the Netflix off at the mail box in the tag office parking lot and drove off toward Walmart. It wasn’t the usual mid-day crowd – there were more people, more teenagers, more frowns, more grumbling, more chaos. All-in-all, though, it wasn’t too bad. I did some pre-Christmas gift scoping-out and scored some four-packs of Play-Doh for $1.
After leaving Walmart I stopped at Braum’s to pick up a gallon of milk for my mother-in-law where the clerk told me they had sold 1,000 gallons of milk already that day – and I believed her. She giggled at my astonished expression, then apologized and said, “Well, maybe only a hundred…” Maybe the Walmart crowd addled me more than I had thought. I shook it off and decided I needed a Sonic Route 44 strawberry water to clear my head. Sonic was without power, so I had to wait a bit. Finally, everything was back online and with drink secured and sitting happily in my cupholder, I then headed out of town via the truck route.
A Miami police car pulled out behind me. As soon as I stopped at that first stoplight I saw him pick up his radio and I knew he was going to pull me over. After the second stoplight I thought that maybe I was wrong. Then he got me. For a burned out brake light.
So in the spirit of the holiday I was about to celebrate the very next day, I had but one thing to say about last Wednesday: I was thankful when it was over. Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving holiday was lovely – and far less adventurous.