Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Some Of The Dharma, With A Side Of Fries

As I mentioned below, the Screwloosemobile has not been well, which means that if I am to make my shift at Endless Bore & Tedium, I have to use the bus.

I don’t mind it, really. It makes you appreciate the car more. Plus you get a chance to get caught up on your bus advertising.

Unfortunately, it can be frustrating on a day like today when I know there’s a bunch of new stuff waiting for me at the Best Buy. So, with the good judgment that has always been one of my hallmarks, I decided to walk there during lunch.

Halfway there in the stultifying heat, I decide it was a good call. I seem to be holding up and if I breeze in and out, I should be fine.

When I get there, it all falls apart. The effort of the walk has my head spinning. Hunger starts to kick in. I feel faint. My cell phone rings. It’s the mechanic calling about the Screwloosemobile. So now I’ve got to pay attention to him when I should be scouring the shelves and the clock is ticking.

I check out and, as soon as the hot air hits me, I know I’ve made a tremendous mistake. I plow on, looking for corners where I can shave off some mileage. Meanwhile, I’m calling the wife, the brother-in-law (for a second opinion on the mechanic, of course), and the mechanic, once I’ve decided his estimate is reasonable.

Now I’ve come to the last turn before the stretch of straight road that leads back to work. But it’s a long stretch. And it’s been many years since I’ve hitchhiked. But I decide I have to take a shot and since I’m not willing to put my thumb out, I walk up to a decidedly weather-beaten truck that’s got its turn signal blinking in the right direction and just straight out ask for a ride.

The guy is more than accommodating, moving his Igloo cooler off the passenger’s seat and telling me how you used to always be able to count on a ride from a truck, but now everybody’s got one, even "these prissy ladies." I thank him profusely and hop out two lights down, just in time to get back to work.

It was the first time I’d begged for a ride in ages, though I’d spent years doing it and over some long distances, too. So it’s come to this. Instead of speeding across the country from coast-to-coast like Kerouac, attempting to hold all these States together in a fevered, poetic embrace, I’m walking to the Best Buy for the latest bad Hellraiser sequel. What would Jack have said? "I’m mad for the ones that walk up to trucks and ask politely for rides, because their sorry, overfed carcasses can’t walk for another two lights"?

Let’s hope they cure what’s ailing my transportation soon.


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