Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CHOOCHOO chuggachuggachuggachugga CHOOCHOOOOO

Yikes. Has it been a month? Why, yes. Yes it has.

Onwards, men!

I did try writing after an energizing conversation with a friend and fellow blogger. I whined about not having my X amount of factors in line that I deemed necessary to write: a theme of substance, a quiet place to write, gallons of coffee...She told me to suck it up and to just simply write something. Motivated, I returned home that night determined  to kick out the world's best post...EVER. As it turned out, the Blogger site was down for that evening. Now I could have quite easily written in Word or Notepad, but I gallantly tossed my head to the said and said, "F that!" Still, I couldn't help but laugh at the coincidence.

It wasn't the only incredibly blatant, comically unavoidable event that happened to me in the past week. There have been quite a few, actually. It was enough that I regretted not carrying around a little notepad to jot down life's happy little moments.

This past Monday, my cousin's car broke down as he was returning from a four-day concert binge across the Midwest. The poor guy hadn't slept in a few days and was caked in mud, overpriced beer, and other people's sweat. To make matters worse, his car then crapped out on him after he pulled over at a rest stop for a few hours of shut-eye. I guess, to look at the brighter side of things, he wasn't assaulted by rogue truck drivers armed with bottles of lotion for him to put on his skin.

                   Don't make me do the No-Wang Dance!! 'Cause I totally will...

Yeah. I'm not proud of that caption. Suggestions are welcome.

Anyway, his phone is near death, so the only information I get from him is that he is at a rest stop on the west side of 680 near Shelby, Iowa. That puts him about 30 miles outside of Omaha near Avoca, Iowa. Oh, it's also 7:30am. I call a few nearby gas stations that pop up on good 'ole Google Maps, but no good comes from that. Unsure of what to do next, I resign myself to driving the 30 minutes to search for him. I was actually glad for the quest. I love my family and I enjoy helping others out. That being said, I did drop a few random curses at things on my way out to BFE, Iowa.

His directions were fairly accurate. Sadly, I have absolutely zero sense of direction, so I ended up taking the world's longest route to the lovely hamlet of Shelby, Iowa. I find him on my first pass and we quickly attempt to jump his car, but his ride simply whirs and buzzes twice before finally dying completely. Defeated and dejected, we drive to a nearby gas station, call a tow truck, and dine on a fine breakfast of Nutrigrain bars and coffee. Mr. Tow Guy comes, jumps the car, and proceeds to take my cousin's arm and leg, all in the span of 15 minutes. My cousin and I high-five one another (a high-ten being impossible) and decide to call it a day. With my cousin happily back on the road towards home, I also turn west and I quickly begin to dream about all the sweet napping I can get in before work that evening.

Being slightly sleep-deprived, I decide to cut through Council Bluffs on the way home so that I can take care of a quick client for drug testing. Great idea, you say? No. Not at all. The client doesn't answer, so I get a nice laugh out of the articulate message I could have left for him had I no attachment to keeping my job. The bridge I'm close to that takes me over the Missouri River and back to civilization is out, so I wiggle around backwoods Council Bluffs aimlessly as I begin to create new and ingenious ways to swear at inanimate objects.

My breaking point hits when I encounter a train crossing. There sits this train. This stupid, stupid, butthole of a train. It sits at a dead stop covering up the intersection with no end in sight. Underneath the train, I can see happy traffic on the other side waltzing about on their daily business without a care in the world. And there I sit stuck on the wrong side of this enormous metal bastard practicing karate on my sweet, innocent steering wheel. The train begins to inch forward and I perk up as I assume my arduous climb out of hell will be resuming momentarily. Ah, but the train then brakes, backs up, and returns to its original spot. The 100ton turd-on-wheels proceeds to do this three more times as I nearly choke on my tongue out of pure rage. The train could have been carrying a payload of magical kittens to an orphanage of cute, British-speaking children nearby, but as I sat and watched in horror as the engineer cackled and flipped me off, all I could do was picture myself driving into the train, backing up, and driving into the train again and again.

I then notice that there is a car behind me further back with a father and his young son standing in a ditch. As they watch the train troll me mercilessly and without end, the kid claps and smiles as he points a finger at the choo-choo.

I come down from my Mountaintop of Hate and remember a random quote about patience that I had come across recently. I'll butcher the phrasing here, but it essentially described a man talking about praying for more patience. The man is not surprised in the least when he his faced with things to test his patience, rather than just having copious amounts of patience loaded into his being. Humbled, I pulled my head out of my butt, turned off the radio, and spent a few moments in contemplation.

Leave it to a little kid to remind me of my place in the world.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's kind of what kids are good at doing.

I returned home in silence and resolved myself to be slightly more cheerful going into the evening.
And the day was good.

Well, most of it, anyhow. The punchline to my story had yet to hit me square in the face.

After being home for a few minutes, I receive a call from my supervisor about a work referral in Avoca, NE and she asks if I'd like to take it.  I broke down into tears and raised two fists towards the sky as I shouted, "Khaaaaaaaan!" It was quite theatrical; you should have been there.

I wish you peace through the rest of the week as you all go about your work. And should you find nothing but Asshole McChoo-choos blocking your path, think of the man who asked for patience and use the roadblocks as chances for training.

See what I did there?


The Idiot - STILL

New Bayside
New Young the Giant
New Thrice (circa summer, 2011)