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Friday, 18 November 2011

Short Story Long

Yesterday, I took a short trip to Brockville.  It isn't very far, and I was taking the highway route, instead of the friendlier, slower, saner backroads route we usually take.

The weather report called for cold, flurries and possible snow squalls, but as I left town, it was quite sunny.  In fact, I had to stop and take off my coat as the sun warmed the inside of the car.

Some combination of weather factors meant that there were white fluffy clouds, dark grey ones, sweeping grey portions of falling rain and some absolutely knockout dark-bluish clouds with fierce gold linings.  I sat back, listened to Tori Amos and prepared to enjoy my ride.

It was very nice, even though the same "Alert" light that has been on the dash for weeks now, with the knowledge of our car guy, was every bit as bright as those gold-lined clouds.  I made a few stops, tried on boots I couldn't afford, resisted the impulse to buy Dave very manly pyjamas he'd seldom wear, gave in to a few other impulses and arrived in Brockville well in advance of the time I expected to be there.  I don't use cruise control, but maybe I should look into it.

Having used some of the driving time to convince myself that I could find adequate food in places that aren't swish restaurants, I sought out a Boston Pizza.  Actually, I ran across a Boston Pizza---no seeking necessary.  After being ignored by three waitstaff and the manager, I decided to look elsewhere.  It was kind of funny: as I strode determinedly to the door, someone called out, "Don't go!"  It wasn't any of the four aforementioned people, not even someone from the kitchen. Some unknown, unseen but definitely loud couple were in mid-argument, and one of them was following me out the door.

My reason to be in Brockville was to hear Jeremy Diaz of Jer's Vision speak to a group of kids and parents about bullying in schools.  He does it very well, just enough humour, just enough pathos.  And he speaks from experience.  So that part of my evening went well, although I was a bit hungry.

Heading home, I had to get a big burly person to help me open the flap to the gas cap---I knew where it was, where the grip to pull the cable was, and I'd tried prying and banging, but I couldn't get that flap open.  Thanked bbp after just one try on his behalf, and filled my gas tank only to find that the car wouldn't start.  Took several deep breaths, tried again, splutter, flutter, go! and we were off to get me some dinner at Tim Hortons.  Found a parking place, parked and started into Tim's and noticed I was in a Permit Access space, and got back in the car to move it.  Not a splutter or a flutter, just silence.

What to do?  I of course ordered a double-double and a coconut cream doughnut and called Dave.  No, I didn't call Dave because my phone was in the car.  When I came back with the phone, my table had been cleared.  No biggie, I just ordered a bagel and a coffee and started looking for my CAA card.  Panic did not reign, but a general feeling of uneasiness was creeping into my life.

I went back to the car after wiping off the extra butter from my face and tentatively turned the key.  Lovely.  We were in business and I just knew I'd be fine if I didn't have to make any stops.  That was when I realized I'd left my coat in Timmy's---pulled up the emergency, left the car running and discovered my coat at the table right next to my e-reader.

I should have just got a room in Brockville.  Every oncoming headlight was like the beam of a giant spotlight, every truck on the road had a manic driver who hated grey-haired women drivers and passed on the right leaning on his horn, there were about 40 signs showing images of deer colliding with cars and I couldn't find a singer on my playlist who wasn't suffering from acute but musical depression.

I would have broken out my emergency Hershey dark chocolate with mint kisses except I couldn't open the bag with one hand.  Actually once I got home safely, I found I couldn't open that damn bag until I used scissors.

Today is so much better.


  1. Great post. I really cracked up when I came to, "discovered my coat at the table right next to my e-reader." You are brave though. Cuppa wouldn't do that trip. As a matter of fact, I think she'd have to have her arm twisted to drive into your place.

  2. Sounds like a nightmare I had recently.

  3. Jeepers're scaring me...I think this runs true in the family and I am rife with the same difficulties, I too bite my nails to the quick!!

  4. That post made me worry about you on your trip. It also made me laugh. It was also excellent writing.

  5. Oy! Sounds like a trip from hedoublehockeystix. Some days I really hate vehicles. Know I shouldn't, but do anyway. Glad yours decided to smarten up and get you home.

  6. sounds like an ordeal, glas u made it home safe.

  7. Been there. Done that. Feel your pain.

  8. Sounds like it was a somewhat harrowing trip, Lorna. I'm so beginning to dislike driving at night, especially on the freeways. But--you made it home safe and sound.