Friday, February 3, 2012

To the Trail

     Years ago, I lived in a subdivision promising “city conveniences with country views”.  Basically, that meant hastily slung-together houses on eighth-acre plots conveniently located a few miles from the world’s shortest strip mall.  If you wanted to escape Lake Wannaslitmuhwrists to reach actual civilization, or a store with more to offer than bologna and lottery tickets, there is but one road.   

      I hate that road.

      Twelve miles, a million trees, two lanes, and a ditch on each side all conspire to make a prescription for highway hypnosis.  Travelling this road of doom requires a firm determination to remain awake and alert despite overwhelming desires to drift to la-la land and ponder the great mysteries of jello and male sleep habits.  It was by sheer force of will that I was able to avoid slipping into the comatose comfort of highway hypnosis. 

      It was during one such trip of wills that I first encountered my nemesis.  They looked harmless enough.  Their shiny red, black, or orange outfits hugged every gross curve on their sweaty bodies.  Their “vehicles” looked like the mutant love child of a bicycle and an operating table.  As they reclined on this mobile surgical implement, oblivious to the fact they were travelling 45 miles an hour UNDER the posted speed, their legs were outstretched leisurely pedaling at a maddening, meandering crawl.  The first time I rounded a corner and stood on the brake pedal to avoid creating a medium-rare idiot burger, I blew the horn with my heart pounding in my throat and my knees turning to oatmeal.  This particular idiot decided to show me his IQ ... with one finger.

      Yep, thought so. 

      On and on, over and over, I ran across Idiot and his crony clones.  Sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in packs, but always in the middle of the road and always coasting at 20 feet per hour.  (Miles per hour is not applicable in this situation.)  The more I blew my horn to say, “This is dangerous!  Don’t you have a family member or at least a goldfish to consider?” the more Idiot and his posse proudly displayed their fingers as if to say, “I has one eye-cue point but I is berry proud for it.” 

      As spring dawned one breezy day, I was ecstatic to be released from the prison of my home after two weeks of battling Buttercup’s bronchitis.  Of course, the only way out of that subdivision was down “the road”, but I didn’t care at that point.  A view beyond that of my living room walls at lovely Lake Wannaslitmuhwrists was worth any treachery.  Singing along with Patsy Cline on the stereo system, I dreamed of a fabulous lunch out and marveled at the budding trees.  Life would be OK again.  I smiled and rounded the bend. 

      There he was.   

      This time, his orange and black suit didn’t quite meet so I could see a bit of back/love handle fat.  (It’s funny the quirky things you notice with both feet on the brake pedal and your life flashing before your eyes.) I was livid.  This inconsiderate dirtball had added a new embellishment to the back of his stupid-looking mobile operating table: a flaming yellow bumper sticker with black letters that said, “Share the Road” next to a picture of a real bicycle.  It was on.  I made sure no cars were coming, swerved to the opposite lane, and rolled down the window.  “You pompous nincompoop!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.  “I’ll share the freakin’ road with a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed if it’ll go 50 mph!  How would you like it if I showed up on your bike trail in a Panzer, huh?!!  Have some consideration for something bigger than your hideous, stupid-looking beverage cart on tires!!”  I sped away leaving him in a cloud of dust and road kill. 

      We moved away from Lake Wannaslitmuhwrists three months later and I never saw him again.  I often think about Idiot and his Band of Merry Morons.  I hope he’s still picking dead squirrel fur out of his teeth and looking over his shoulder for a 6-foot crazy woman in a Panzer.  Besides the one where I’m dancing with Cary Grant, it’s my favorite dream. 

 © Bertha Grizzly 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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