Monday, December 8, 2014

Just Rewards

Fuck it.  I'm the writer, and I'll write "fuck" if I want.  It's therapy.  Try to live with it.

I broke my collar bone, I have a cold, and my wastebasket is overflowing with kleenixes soaked in snot.  (Kleenix:  Fuck you, too.  No for you today.  Sue me: I have a poetic license and know how to use it.)  When I sneeze, everything hurts.  Especially my normally sunny disposition.

So here goes.  Jethro Tull is cranked on the stereo.  (Under 40?  Look it up.)  I'm venting and I can't stop.

I got a speeding ticket.  Yeah, I know, my fault.  I did the whole "Yes, Officer" thing to no avail,  "Yessir, my car is a very bright shade of red."  No avail there either.  Ticket No. A1O1AFA.  $281.  That's not even what makes me cranky.  I have a line item in my budget for speeding tickets.

In Florida, you see, you can avoid points on your license (and potentially retirement-ending increases in insurance premiums) for anything short of manslaughter by going to an optimistically-titled Driver Improvement School.  I did that.  Aced the online course and got my certificate excusing me from further just reward for Ticket No. A101AFA, which I duly presented at the courthouse.  The smiling clerk had the decency (or maybe it was some private amusement) to roll her eyes at her own explanation: "That there's for Ticket No. A101AFA.  What you got here is Ticket No. A1O1AFA."

I still am not truly fluent in Southern, but I get that "that there" and "what you got here," when used together, are Southern for "incompatible."  A1O1AFA.  You see that character in the Ticket No. between the two "1"s?  That's the letter "O."  It is not the numeral "0."  "Don't feel bad," the smiling lady said, "It happens all the time."

Feel bad?  FEEL BAD!!??

I didn't let my inner crankiness leak out until I got back to the courthouse parking lot.  I'm cranky, not stupid.  (Although, as we shall see, that too is open to question.)  But, let's set that aside for now.  Fast-forward to two weeks ago.

This is Florida, where little makes sense on the best of days.  They closed the Pinellas Bike Trail for badly needed repairs -- OK, that makes sense -- but without notice.  With fat little legs pumping furiously and hellbent for the Starbucks in Clearwater on a sunny Saturday morning, I fetched up short against the new signage.  (This was before the broken collar bone, you see.  I'm getting to that.  Hold yer water.)  Anyway, I discussed the overall situation with a clipboard-toting supervisor who was turning back a stream of cyclists, all suffering from varying degrees of cranky. 

"Where," I queried, "is the detour?"

"I'm sorry, sir, I can't give you that information."  (Huh?)

"Why not?"

"Well - don't quote me on this - but the lawyers recommended against it."

That's a quote.

Lawyers or not, I picked a not-too-safe route around the closed section and made my rendezvous with my Vente Coffee Light Frapuccino, One Extra Shot.  On the way home, the clipboard wielder had gone for the day.  So I pissed on his sign.  Don't quote me on that.  I noticed there were a couple of other fresh puddles around the sign.

(Wait - I need another box of kleenix ---)

Feeling flush from my spontaneous expression of discontent over the trail closure, I approached Taylor Park (the very Taylor Park of my dreams), which sits three miles north of home-sweet-trailer-park.  Nice pond, nice  walking trails, nice park benches at strategically beautiful and peaceful locations.  I angled cautiously -- oh, so cautiously -- off the bike path toward the first bench I saw.

And woke up looking up at the trees.

The little old lady who woke me up said I must have hit a tree root under those leaves over there.  More likely I was still pissed enough at the smiling ticket lady or the clipboard guy that I suffered the momentariest lapse in attention.

Fast forward once more to the ambulance because nothing good happened in between.  The EMT manning my IV line casually flipped the question up in the air, "So - have you ever had a stroke before?"  Lucky for the EMT, I had just pissed on a sign, or he would have had an issue with his damn ambulance.

No, I didn't have a stroke, just a broken clavicle.  "Use this sling and take these pills.  You'll feel better in about six weeks."  That doctor didn't know I was going to catch this damn cold.

Now you know why I'm cranky.

(Reminder to self:  When the pain pills wear off, you should probably delete this.)


(Subsequent Note to self about Reminder to self:  Nah!)

1 comment:

  1. "And you balance your world on the tip of your nose,
    like a sealion with a ball, at the carnival." J.T.

    Even in misery you entertain with flair (just like Tull's SeaLion)... but do get well soon!