June was running late for work, things kept going wrong—one after another until ...
Tossing her bag onto the passenger seat, she got behind the wheel and turned the key. Nothing happened! Trying again, the engine barely turned over. Great! Now what? Bob wants me to present my budget plan to the board in twenty minutes! If I don't get there, Stan will gladly step in, because he wants my job!
June drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as she looked around, and spotted her teenage daughter’s bike in the garage. Hmmm ... Can I ride that bike in high heels; plus, wearing a tight skirt? Sighing, knowing there were no other options within her grasp, June walked gingerly over to the bike and groaned out loud, “Great, there's no basket!”
She made do by hanging her bag over the handlebar and straddled the bike as best as she could. Putting one foot on the pedal, she pushed off and wobbled out of the garage. Pedaling down the driveway, she gained confidence. “I can do this!”
June stopped for a car to go by, and groaned. Great! It's boring Richard Lake, thinking he was better than everyone else in his fancy-schmancy car. When he slowed to a crawl, she straightened her shoulders for his onslaught of teasing.
“Hey June, what are you doing, trying out for the circus?” His obnoxious laughter could be heard halfway down the block.
Feeling her face grow hot, she proceeded onto her street. Large elm trees grew thick on both sides of the street, and she hoped they'd block her from some of her other nosy neighbors. June picked up speed as she sailed along as fast as she could, but to no avail.
Sally Newark yelled out some snide remark like, “Get a horse, June!” Her horrible cackling laugh brought more neighbors out to see what was so funny.
A few of her older neighbors looked at June, and shook their heads while others smiled and waved. Waving back, June felt as if she were on display.
“Hey June,” Ann, her close friend, called. “What happened?”
"Can't talk now, I'm late," June waved her off. “Tell you tonight.”
When she reached Queens Avenue, two dogs gave chase. June could feel her hair follicles standing on end while shivers ran up and down her spine. They’re going to eat me alive! She felt exposed and looked down at their bared white teeth, and she feel her hair stand on ends as all color drained from her face. Their 'hungry as a bear' look would scare anyone! The Golden Retriever started tugging on her shoe while the other, a German Shepherd, bit down on her high heel. June had to concentrate on keeping her balance when she almost fell off the bike. She felt her shoe slip off her foot, so she let them have it to fight over. June sighed in relief when they stopped giving chase. She looked back once more to see her beautiful, expensive shoe being ripped in half. Oh, well, better it than me!
Shivering, saying a prayer of thanks, June pedaled to the next stop sign. As she waited for some cars to go by, two teenage boys in a souped-up car stopped next to her. They gave her the once over, letting out a wolf whistle, “Hello Sweet Mama, wanna ride with us?” Shaking her head vigorously back and forth, still trying to recover from the dog incident, June signaled in no uncertain terms with a definite ‘no’ to their offer.
She continued pedaling with her one shoe still on, thinking, One more block, then I'll be on Main Street. Turning right, she pedaled past the post office, a restaurant, and some office buildings until reaching Oak, then coasted to a stop at a red light, June waited patiently for it to turn green. Loud whistles from the cars next to her made her jump, and she almost dropped her bike. Ignoring the two men as best she could, and when the light turned green, she sailed along one more block before turning left onto Harmony Avenue.
This isn’t so bad. Feeling very proud of herself, June started humming, and didn't notice the light turning yellow. A police car was parked at the corner, and the cop motioned her to pull over.
“You went through on a yellow light!" The officer reprimanded, walking over to stand next to her.
“I didn't mean to, but the light changed so quickly.” Great, now I sound like a dumb blond!
“I would suggest stopping on yellow when on a bike,” he warned. “Cars speed through here, you could've been hurt, or worse yet, killed!”
“I know, this won’t happen again.” June promised with a smile.
“Wait here,” he said.
He went back to his squad car and got in. Tapping her foot impatiently, she thought I'm so late... What else can he want with me?
The officer came back with a warning ticket. “You didn't break any laws, just be more careful next time."
June gave him a grateful smile, "Yes officer, thank you." She pushed off once more, grumbled about waiting for a warning ticket, and pedaled one more block without any more incidents. She spun to a quick stop by her office building, and left the bike leaning against the building. She limped into the Federated Mutual Insurance building, and looked at the clock. I'm twenty minutes late!
She walked directly into elevator, pushed the button for the seventh floor, and paced until the door opened. Getting off, she hurried down the hall into the board room, knocked twice on the door, and when she limped inside, everybody turned to look at her. Ignoring the surprised gasps, snickers and downright laughter from some of her fellow colleagues, she pasted on her brightest smile and asked. "Am I too late to give my presentation, Bob?"
Her boss, Bob Gunderson, smiled at her, "We've already started b ..." His eyes traveled down June's disheveled appearance. "What happened?"
“I apologize about my appearance ... Let’s just say it’s been a bizarre morning. My car didn’t start, so I grabbed my daughter’s bike to save time instead of calling a cab. On the way here, my shoe got mauled by some dogs, I had to endure some obnoxious remarks, some catcalls, and I was even offered a ride by some teenage boys. On top of all this, a cop stopped me about going through a yellow light at that busy intersection; so, as you can see, I didn’t fare too well, but I’m here, and that's all that counts, right?”
Bob nodded, "The meeting is adjourned, same time tomorrow." He walked over to June. "Be sure you are here on time tomorrow!"
"I will! Thank you, Bob."
Her colleagues walked past, all asking if she was alright.
"I'm okay, but I need to clean off this dog slobber." June made a face as she walked over to the restroom.
Everybody laughed while Stan commented snidely, “See you later ice princess.”
“The same to you ice prince,” June shot back.
"Oh, oh, they're at it again!” Beth shooed everyone back to their offices.
The next day, June gave her presentation, and Bob commented, “I can see a lot of thought went into this, and I thank you for that. Stan, sorry, this is the budget we’re going with.”
June looked over at Stan who shrugged his shoulders. Happy that all her work didn’t go in vain, she sighed with relief. Today is going to be a good day... Thank goodness!
Featured in the "Comedy Newsletter (March 29, 2017)