Bob has "One of Those Days"
|One of those days
Have you ever had one of those days? The kind of day where nothing works out quite the way it should. Well this was mine.
I had been unemployed for far too long when I was offered an extremely well paying assignment as a pit checker. I wasn't exactly sure what that was but I had to be in Portland, Oregon by the next day. The money was so good and the drive was only 600 miles, how could I refuse?
I packed with my usual haste and threw most of the things that I would need in the back of the pickup and off I went. Well, not quite. The right front tire on the pickup was flat. Not only was it flat, but also the sides of the tire were all cracked. Jack up the truck, put the spare on, lower it back to the pavement. The problem was it just kept getting lower and lower and lower. The spare was flat. It was just one of those days.
Jump into wife’s car, zoom down to tire store, then nearly have a heart attack at the price of new tires. Money was a pretty sparse commodity to me, so I ended up purchasing a retread for about twenty dollars. Rush back to house, jack up truck again, put recap on, and I’m off. I’m only a couple of hours behind schedule so that’s no big deal.
Wait, there’s no gas in the truck. Whenever I’m in a hurry, I always need gas. This was no exception since it was one of those days. I was about five miles past the gas station when I realized I had left my credit card behind. U-turn, race back to the station, rush inside, argue with attendant for fifteen minutes before feeling my credit card in my shirt pocket. “I wonder how that got there?” I thought to myself, but I knew the answer. It was one of those days.
Back on the road again, I’m already three hours behind and I’m only 15 miles from home. I had made arrangements to stay with friends and the only condition they had was that I would get there before 10:00 P.M. They had a new baby and everything in their life was scheduled. My original plan was to get there around dinnertime so I was still in good shape.
Everything went smoothly as I drove North on I-5. I gassed up again in Redding, Caifornia and started up the mountain. My truck had a little problem with overheating and I would have to stop at the rest areas along the way to let it cool down and once again fill the radiator. Stopping at one rest area that overlooked the Klamath River, I grabbed my lunch out of the truck along with my cooler full of diet coke and sat down for a peaceful lunch enjoying the view of the river. I had difficulty comprehending how all those sprinkler parts had found their way into my lunch bag. Then it dawned on me that my lunch was still at home and I had grabbed the bag of parts that I had dragged home from the hardware store the day before but, after all, it was one of those days.
Finally I got Ashland Oregon, just over the border. Only 300 miles more or less to Portland and I would only be a little late. I was starving so I stopped at a fast food place for a food and a huge Diet Coke. In those days I was working under the assumption that if you had a Diet Coke with a meal it actually took away the calories. I realized I was laboring under a false assumption only later in life after I had gained about 50 pounds.
Burger, fries and a huge drink, what more could one ask? Well, that became pretty clear about half an hour after I finished the drink. I was already behind schedule so I didn’t want to make another stop. I thought that I could hold it for a little while longer but pretty soon I realized that something was going to give. That’s when I had the idea that would haunt me for the rest of my life I could just pee in the empty soda cup! I should have known better but it was one of those days.
I was desperate as I tried to undo my pants. It is surprisingly difficult to actually get yourself in a position to accomplish a seemingly simple act of nature while driving a truck. I had to take my seatbelt off, undo my belt, unzip and finally after quite a bit of struggling, I was ready. I had just started to go when what to my horrified eyes should appear but an Oregon State Police car and the officer was motioning for me to pull over. To make matters worse, I had started to pee, and for the life of me I couldn’t stop. After all, it was one of those days.
My first thoughts were “Do they use aircraft to spot this sort of thing?” Then I imagined having to call my wife to post bail for public urination. My face turned beet red. I did the worlds’ slowest stop. It seemed like ages before I could pinch off the flow. Then I realized that I was sitting there with all my assets hanging out. I was imagining having to call my wife to post bail for flashing a police officer. Fastening up with a police car on your tail is no joy. He probably thought that I was sitting in a nest of fire ants. It was just one of those days.
Slowly I crept to a stop. The officer got out of his patrol car and stood by my window pointing at something. Carefully, I got out of my car, still holding the mammoth cup of urine, and looked where he was pointing. There on my new recap tire was a swelling the size of a volleyball. The recap was definitely overpriced at $20. Both the officer and I kind of leaned over, at the same time, to get a better look at it when it exploded. Both of us jumped. I almost spilled my cup of wastewater on the cop and that wouldn't have been good, so I tried to discreetly pour it under my truck.
The officer noticed right away that it wasn’t coke in my soda cup and said “Oh drinking beer while driving?”
I couldn’t admit what had actually been in the cup so I said, “My wife makes me these organic health drinks when I’m going to be taking long drives.”
Not being easily fooled, he grabbed the cup from my hand and took a big sniff. He kind of looked like he felt sorry for me as he said, “I won’t tell you what it smells like to me.”
With that he left. There I was with a flat tire, no spare, halfway between home and my destination with no help in sight. I should have known because it was one of those days.