A Date With a Dodge Van


My day was like an unexpected bout of diarrhea during a competitive and crowded rock climb. I’ve been under the weather, or over it, depending on whether you prefer your clichés to make sense or not. Due to a chronic mismanagement problem, my options were to work through it or win the lottery.

Once finally done at work, I left and went to the post office. Trips to the post office are becoming less frequent for me and I often use the self-service kiosk instead of enduring the barbaric circumstance of “other people” being around later in the day. I stood in line like a zombie. Normally, I stay entertained doing mundane tasks. Today, though, I stood slack-jawed and thinking zero thoughts. My mind was so empty and disengaged that I felt like a hybrid of a congressman and someone in middle management.

“Sir!” the clerk increasingly shouted until I realized she was beckoning me to approach the window. “It’s too heavy to send First Class,” the clerk sternly told me as she placed my package on the scale. Even though I thought I was incapable of a joke due to my deteriorated mental condition, I immediately quipped, “Second Class, then.” She wasn’t amused, especially when I then jokingly replied to her question regarding insurance on the package that I wanted $2,197 dollars of insurance. (2,197 is 13 cubed, by the way…) I watched as she carefully examined the pictures with which I had personalized the box, as I often do. She just shook her head. In my opinion, she had concluded that I was suffering from a very low I.Q. I wouldn’t have disagreed.

Exiting the post office, I made my way to the car while dodging multiple impatient, high-speed drivers. The post office was very busy. I stupidly tried the door handle of my car at least three times until it occurred to me that a key might help me open the door. Given that someone had pulled in the parking space next to me and left only minimal space, I turned toward the car next to mine and fished for the single key in the right pocket. (I only carry one key in honor of being a minimalist.)

I don’t know what my problem was but finding my key in my relatively empty pocket was evidently too complicated a task for me. I kept pulling a flash drive out of my pocket. In the background, a woman was shouting. Because I was tired and afflicted with Severe Disinterest Disorder exacerbated by symptoms of Monday, I didn’t bother looking toward the irritated person. “Get away from my car,” she shouted. She repeated herself.

I found the key in my pocket and squirmed back around to get into my car. As I turned, something flew in front of my face. I was certain it was a bird, as the flitting shadow passed slightly above my head.

“Hey!” shouted a female voice very close to me. “What were you doing to my car?” The voice was from a lady of indeterminate age, somewhere between twenty-five and fifty, depending on her choice of botox.

I stupidly looked toward the dark blue Dodge Caravan next to me without replying. The woman didn’t move away, so I felt obligated to say something. “It was consensual.”

I then smiled like a madman.

The woman immediately turned and walked away. It’s a shame she didn’t have a concealed carry permit; this story would have otherwise been much more dramatic.

As I was backing out, I noted that a large McDonald’s cup was on the concrete, with spilled brownish liquid around it. While I can’t be sure, I think the lady in question threw it at me as she approached me and that the bird was actually a drink cup. It wasn’t there when I pulled in to park. Given that my hearing isn’t the best, I think it’s safe to say that my old age is going to be filled with hurled objects flung by people trying to get my attention. It’s important that I find a way to avoid bricklayers.

The point of this story is that I am very proud of the quip “It was consensual,” given that my mental state was that of a fatigued kindergarten teacher on her first day of school. Even if the lady did through her cup at me, it’s all good.

It’s been a couple of years since the lady at Harp’s caught me trying to insert my Ford key into her Hyundai door lock. She had a sense of humor about it. Surely, I can’t be the only person to routinely do stupid things like this. In my defense, I wasn’t actually doing anything in this particular instance; it just looked that way, much like the way most office workers look busy but very often are simply opening and closing their browsers to avoid prying eyes.

I’m entertained by the idea that somewhere there’s a lady who is confused and convinced she caught a weirdo “doing something” to her car.

And she’s thirsty, too, by now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s