Sunday, June 9, 2013

One of Those Days with the Hippies

     Two weeks ago on Monday, it occurred to me that I needed to take the Taurus wagon to the car wash to have the pollen and bird biodegradables removed.  In the meantime, I had been fighting for a week with one of the informational text articles I am writing to include in my upcoming teaching pack for Schooled by Gordon Korman.  Creating a middle-school-student appropriate article about hippies is not an easy task.  It was driving me nuts!

     So, on Thursday the hippies and I are at it again, duking it out on a computer screen, making a mockery of peace and love. I decide to take a break and go get the car washed.  I’m driving the shortcut through the neighborhood backstreets, and I’m about a third of the way there when the hippies push their way to the front of my brain again.  This time, I see clearly how to rewrite a problem paragraph and un-stick the project.  I go over it several times so I can remember as many details as possible when I get back home.

     When I finally get the hippies to leave, I look up and I’m shocked.  What am I doing on this street?  This is not the way I always leave the neighborhood.  And, furthermore, where am I going?

     Dementia!   Alzheimer’s!   I have both!  No!  Think about grabbing your pocket book and stepping out the back door.  Oh, that’s right.   You’re going to get the car washed!

     Dern hippies!

     In the car wash office there are no magazines for girls—only guy stuff—so I do some more exploring into hippie history on my iPhone and get myself locked into some places I don’t know how to navigate my way out of.  After I have turned the phone off and on a dozen times, the lady calls me to pay my bill and go get my car.

     When I step in, the driver’s seat, of course, is pushed back into the cargo bay and I sit there with my legs sticking over the edge like Edith Ann on the rocking chair.  I manage to get the key into the ignition and give it a click.  The radio blares out, playing music from the wrong station.  I tap the AM/FM button and my station is back on.  I find the switch that moves my seat forward to the spot where I can reach the gas pedal.  Now the steering wheel is sitting in my lap and my legs are jammed into one position.  Find that lever and lift the steering wheel.  The radio plays on.

     Good!  Now put the car in drive and leave.  Hit the gas.  Nothing.  The car isn’t moving.  OK.  Pull the hand brake.  The car still doesn’t move.  Try the hand brake again.  Nope!  Back in park and then into drive one more time.  Hit the gas, Nothing.

     I push the button to lower the window and motion to the twenty-something attendant who is staring at me with a puzzled look on his face.  He comes over.  The radio is still blaring, so I turn down the volume.

     “Can I help you ma’am?”

   “Yes!  I can’t get the car to move forward.  Is there some sort of brake on this car that I don’t know about?”

    “Ma’am, your car’s not crunk!”

   There I sit.  Stupid on a Stick!  Degrees and certifications coming out my petoot, a successful career in education, and a car wash attendant with absolutely no skills in using principal parts of verbs is having to give me instructions on how to start a car.

     He looks like a left-over hippie.

     Go home, Margaret!

     Compost occurs.  We all have those days.


  1. I love this....And I'm so happy to know it happens to others too...:)


  2. I have had very similar things happen to me as well. I am glad that I am not the only one who is around to provide funny stories for my family and friends!

  3. Oh my goodness.... Can't tell you how many times things have happened in the car because I have phased out for a bit.

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane

  4. Oh, that is hilarious! I had one of those moments at church today while I was working in the sound booth. It is funny, embarrassing, and humbling all wrapped into one. Thanks for making me smile :)

  5. Dern, I can't claim dementia or Alzheimer's when I have those "stupid on a stick!" days! And believe me, I have them more often than I should! Thanks so much for sharing, Margaret! I always love your stories!

  6. I am so glad that I am not the only one that has "stupid on a stick" days! I love the term also. This was a great read and made me smile.

    Thinking Out Loud