Thursday's Child ... has far to go ... (0nm10wn2feet) wrote,
Thursday's Child ... has far to go ...

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I spent a month in my truck today...

I know, the headline makes no sense, unless you had my day.  Just another 'day' in my life, but clearly reminiscent of so many others... so much so that I find it almost eerie.  'Just who the hell did I piss off that badly in a past life,' I wondered, foolishly?  Am I truly the reincarnation of someone that offensive?  Hitler?  Mussolini??  Judas Iscariot???  Or, is it simply my apparent fascination with masochism?  My vote is on the last choice.

My day actually started before I went to bed last 'night.'  I didn't get there until about 1:30 am, owing to my perverse predilection for reading the very last chapter in an exciting or heartwarming story.  Once in bed, I laid there, trying desperately to occupy my mind with something other than the sound of MSK snoring in my ear.  Somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 am, evidently, I was finally successful.

Unlike most mornings, however, where I would have the luxury of hitting the snooze when the alarm went off at 7:00 am, then zoning out again until MSK's call at 7:30 am, I had to hit the floor at 6:15 am and fire up the truck around 6:30 am.  Why, one might ask?  One shouldn't but, just in case you did, I'll tell you.  My sister-in-law, Mary, was flying into Detroit Metro from Virginia this morning.  At 7:50 am.  To be fair, Mary did offer me the opportunity to back out, saying that she could always look into an airport shuttle or something, but that she'd rather give me the gas money then pay them.

A 'normal,' daytime trip down to Metro from our house is usually around an hour, even doing the speed limit (which, as far as I'm concerned, exists only as a guideline).  This morning, though, I ran (almost literally, in several cases) headlong into that phenomenon known as "rush hour."  The first part of the trip is only accomplished on two-lane roads... and I don't believe I got over 35 mph the entire time.  The speed limits on these roads range between 55 mph and 35 mph (between 88 kph & 56 kph for my Canadian friends)... yes, the 'high' range was on the 55 mph road.

The rest of the way down to the airport is, from all appearances, freeway.  With the drizzly, dark, misty morning, however, the "freeway" resembled a parking lot more than a roadway.  Mind you, I've been in Toronto during rush hour... this morning, I-275 rivaled the main highway into Toronto from Detroit during rush hour, only fewer lanes.  Given the fact that Metropolitan Detroit has a goodly number of freeways to choose from, the congestion on this one particular stretch was NOT a good thing.  Said congestion began to resemble snails being forced to their untimely deaths the closer we got to the exit to I-94 (the main East/West freeway through Michigan).  Indeed, I spent TEN MINUTES in the right lane of I-275, just waiting to get to the exit to I-94.

Another FIVE minutes later, just to travel 1/2 mile on I-94, and I was on the airport property.  THEN, I had the unbridled joy of trying to figure out the passenger pick-up protocol at the largest and newest of Metro's terminals - the infamous McNamara terminal.  Mind you, I had a system worked out for the older Metro terminals.  It worked really well, too, provided one flew into Detroit on any carrier other than NorthWORST Airlines.  Of course, Mary HAD to get a flight on a NorthWORST Airlink.  Yippie Skippy.  Yeah, you can practically feel the elation, can't you?

Fortunately, it appeared that there really weren't too many flights coming into the McNamara terminal at that hour.  Which was, ultimately, a very good thing, since poor Mary didn't seem to remember that I drive a full-sized Dodge Ram pick-up.  She blithely chugged right past the truck, talking to me on her cell phone as she went.  If there had been major amounts of traffic or people, we'd have been sunk.  As it was, she turned around and made her way back to - get this - the ONLY pick-up truck in the ENTIRE passenger pick-up area... mine.  I have no clue what sort of vehicle she thought I was driving these days (I've only had the darn truck for almost 5 years now).

With Mary now firmly ensconced in the passenger seat, the first question she asks me is "How was your drive down?"  By now, I've been in the damn truck for two hours, on 4 hours of sleep.  My first impulse for a response would definitely NOT have been 'appropriate.'  I just smiled, weakly, and said, "Two words, Mary.  Rush.  Hour."  After that, she was off and running, and we didn't stop 'chatting' until we reached her mom's place.  Once there, I ran for the bathroom while Mary greeted her parents (dear, sweet Polish souls in their 80's).  When I got out, I got dragged into mom's computer room... to look at mom's printer, which, I understand, has been malfunctioning for quite some time.  My daughter looked at it for Grandma earlier this year, determined that it was, indeed, hooked up correctly, and told me what it was doing.  This printer's problems are NOT things that I can rectify, I knew that already.  Mary was convinced, though, that I really should take a look at it for mom.

Yes, it was hooked up correctly.  No, I still couldn't 'fix' it.  WTF, the damn thing is a LEXMARK.  A $30 LEXMARK.  I'm sorry, I've only owned HP printers since the 24-pin Fujitsu Dot Matrix I started with back in 1989 (which is still downstairs, and in functional order, if anyone wants to start a computer museum).  Then all the other questions started and it took me another 1/2 hour to get out of there.  I was supposed to be back home to take the alien boy on his rounds to get his car fixed at 10:30 am.  Good thing he overslept until noon, since I didn't make it back to my place until after 11:00 am.  First stop, of course, the damn bathroom.  Next, return phone calls.  THEN, take alien boy into Waterford to retrieve a part for his car that he could exchange at an auto parts store in Lake Orion.  Mapquest Waterford, MI and Lake Orion, MI, and you might figure out how much driving that would have entailed.

Since the alien boy is on a tight budget, however, he was not having the repair facility where the problem was diagnosed do the actual repairs, preferring instead to do it himself.  Of course, they weren't interested in him just leaving his car sitting around there until he made his own repairs (understandably), so I told him to get the darn thing back home while it was still running.  Back to good ole Davisburg!!

By this time, it was nearly 1:30 pm and, yes, it was time to run to the bathroom yet again.  Then, we were on our way to Lake Orion.  Whee!!  First we had to stop at the boy's father's auto parts store so the kid could say 'hi' to dad.  After what felt like 1/2 hour, we were on our way to the auto parts store down the street which, supposedly, had the part that he needed to exchange.  While I sat in the truck some more, he evidently went through the 'tortures of the damned' trying to get the part he needed, ultimately failing miserably.  After what felt like ANOTHER 1/2 hour, we got underway again - this time to the local Little Caesar's Pizza place.  Have I ever mentioned that I can't eat pizza?  Did I tell you that I had been running on Diet Coke and cigarettes all day?  And that it was about 3:00 pm by this time??

This was one of those dash in/dash out places... they didn't even have a public bathroom.  So, next stop down the street was the gas station/mini mart/car wash.  Back on the road - again; only to run into the traffic that is rife at that time of day... first shift at all the factories letting out, y'know?  Finally, we get home by 3:30 pm.  By this time, I've spend the better part of SEVEN hours in my truck.  I haven't done that since my ill-fated road trip to New Jersey in 2005.  Alien boy comes in the house, says "Well, that sounds like Steve," then tells me he's going to take a nap.  *I* don't get to take a freakin' nap.  *I* get to talk to Steven about why I didn't hop out of the truck and get the mail and paper, and what we DON'T have to eat in the house, and how tired he is.  *I* get to stay awake so that I can be alert enough to drive the alien boy into his friend's place so he can catch a ride to work.

Steven leaves for class around 4:00 pm and Jessa arrives home around 4:15 pm.  The alien is snorzling away in his bed downstairs, and I'm talking to Jessica about her day.  It gets to be about 5:30 pm and Jessica gets antsy about dinner... she hasn't eaten all day either.  I tell her I'm hoping MSK will be kind and get pizza for them and she reminds me that we have everything we need for ME to make a casserole.  Lemme think about that one... um... NO!!  I told her she was welcome to make the casserole and she told me that she would be glad to "help" me do it.  I declined.

When we're finally done sniping back and forth, it's 6:15 pm.  The alien is up and moving, and MSK comes home.  As always, without even letting the poor man get two feet inside the door, the OCD one jumps on his case about getting pizza.  His immediate response was "As long as you or your mother go get it, fine."  Then we degenerate into the "I don't like the pizza we get near the house, I want Pizza Hut" debate.  From there, it further degenerates into the "I want Pan Pizza and Steven only likes the regular crust."  After those issues are resolved, it is decided, by a vote of 2 to 1, that MOM should get the pizza, since she has to drive the alien back into Waterford to catch his ride to work.  We leave at 6:45 pm and, after three stops, I finally get out of the truck - for the LAST TIME today - at 8:00 pm.  Only 13 1/2 hours after I started.

Now do you see why the headline really does make sense after all?  I think I'm going to bed now... I'm tired, crabby, crampy, hormonal, achy, and have a major headache.  It's past my bedtime - sleep well folks!

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