What a wacky day! Bill Shakespeare himself couldn’t have made this one up.
So my friends VickyC and KJG made plans to meet at KJG’s new digs in Payson, on the 9th. This entails a junket up the side of the Mogollon Rim, about a 90-minute drive.
But first, I had to find some place to farm out the dog: My son’s house.
M’hijito was pressed into duty.
From his house I would have to make my way through gawdawful rush-hour traffic, made even more nightmarish by the TWO (not one) no-left-turn-during-rush-hour roads between my house and VickyC’s house. Getting there would require some driverly gymnastics on the master level. Meanwhile my back still hurts like hell.
So I arrive at his house at the duly appointed time, a little after 8 a.m. Jangle the doorbell.
He, given a fair amount of seniority on the job, is allowed to work at home to some degree. At a little after 8 a.m., he’s on the phone to a customer and is mightily annoyed at being interrupted.
Says he: It’s tomorrow, not today! The 9th is tomorrow.
WTF? Well, I’m sure the Big Day is Friday, because Vicky C, also gifted with a fair amount of seniority, often gets Fridays off. But now am confused.
Leave the dog with him, dart back to the car, and set out to circumnavigate the gawdawful no-left-turn lanes. This entails, in classic Phoenix driving fashion, traveling west in order to go east. I have to get over to 15th Avenue, cruise down to Indian School, fight my way across Central Avenue and the fucking train tracks, then veer south on 3rd Street, bat down to Palm Lane, cross 7th Street on that neighborhood lane (which has a light on 7th), and if I’ve lived that long make my way over a couple more neighborhood streets to VickyC’s.
This would be enough fun without the usual array of moron drivers.
But yea, verily: today I encounter the Emperor of Morons.
Southbound on 15th — a two-lane road, one southbound, one northbound, with a woozly little left-turn lane running up the middle — I pull up behind a jerk who’s meandering along at 15 mph. It’s a 35 mph zone, which means in Phoenix most people would drive 40 mph. Fifteenth Avenue is a main drag, you understand.
The turkey putters along and putters along. He’s not looking for someplace to turn. No. He’s just holding up the traffic.
Enough. I look around for a cop. Seeing none, I swerve into the left-turn lane and floor it!
This would be why we insist on a SIX-banger.
Sail past the moron and shoot back into the southbound lane, leaving the clown in the dust. Make the light and swing onto Indian School, where I wait through four or five lights to cross Central Avenue, pointlessly and stupidly congested by the lightrail boondoggle.
Finally get through that mess. Dart down 3rd, putter across Palm, and cruise up to VickyC’s house.
Naturally, she’s not there. Evidently my son is right: the Payson day was tomorrow. Which makes sense: the 9th is tomorrow, this being the 8th.
Back to the kid’s house. Pick up the dog, disappointing poor Charley the Golden Retriever, who was thrilled to have company today.
On the way home, stop by the park. By now, summat after 9:00 a.m., the morning is gorgeous! The air is still so crisp some frost lingers on the grass, but the sun is brightly shining. At this late hour, there’s almost no one in the park. We get in a mile’s walk, swinging south through a peninsula of Lower Richistan. Where…of course…
…we encounter another moron.
This is the Ohhhh don’t worry he only wants to play! species of moron.
Yes. Said chucklehead has a hundred-pound Rottweiller straining at a flimsy retractable(!) leash. This critter sees little Ruby and decides she’s at best a nuisance; at worse possibly a threat. The moron does not understand dog language, nary a whisper of it, and so he fails to grasp the meaning of a stiff-legged stance and a tense expression. Yea, verily, the stiff-legged stance with which his little FooFoo is approaching me and my dog, while he — the chucklehead — is being dragged along and cooing, he just wants to play!
I growl, perhaps altogether too unkindly, Right! I’ve heard the wind blow before. Poor little moron chuckles, probably nonplussed, and manages to hold his animal at bay until Ruby and I can get past, giving him and his poochie a wide berth.
Why? Why? WHY ARE SOOOOO MANY PEOPLE SOOO STUMP-STUPID?????
And speaking of stump-stupid, when I get back to the house I email VickyC to say I had the day wrong and I guess we’re going up to Payson on the 9th, Saturday, not on our usual get-together day, Friday.
She emails back: I thought it was March 9.
We check in with KJG and learn forthwith that she’s on her way down here for a grandchild’s birthday, and indeed was figuring on March 9.
So. This is senility for ya. On steroids.
Actually, it’s a bit of a blessing. Quite a bit of a blessing.
First, of course, because I did not look forward to having to roll out of the sack early again tomorrow, bang around to feed me and the dog and pack the dog and her dinner in the car and repeat today’s adventures in city driving. So, hallelujah brothers and sisters, I’m excused from a repeat of that task.
But FAR more to the point: Our redoubtable new choir director, by way of orchestrating a special concert for this weekend’s Evensong, has arranged for a high-powered guest conductor to come in and lead us through this event. Out of the blue, he announced that said conductor would be here for a rehearsal tomorrow and, though notice was short, he would love to have as many of us attend as possible.
Well. Of course you may be sure I really wanted to be there, because our guy has brought in some very interesting people and this one promises to be another of them. Thinking I couldn’t possibly get out of the Payson junket, I was pretty disappointed.
But nay verily! Now I can go to this event after all!
So it goes: All’s well that ends well.