I know where my keys are at all times, I remember appointments and consider myself to be an upstanding citizen (a small tax error in 2004 notwithstanding). All this to say, I can get around in the world with minimal trouble. That is until I do something that makes me question, if ever, the hamster and the wheel had one go around.
Walmart functions as the epi-center in my small town USA, a gathering place, a sacred chapel of goods and services, always with a hint of snuff spittle in the air. One night, I decided to take Night Rider, my black '97 Nissan Altima, out to get some eggs and groceries. Dusk was closing in so I pulled her up as close to the front as possible. Hugging the steering column close to ensure proper parking alignment, I glanced up and just outside my field of vision to my left, I saw my office's "pet" pharm rep getting into his car. We'll call him "Jeremy" and he is a dish, people. A. Dish.
Before you git to judgin', you must know that I work with only God-fearing, lovely and honest ladies; all married, middle-aged and perverts in their own right. If you only knew the schemes they conjure up to zap our sample stock-piles dry, prompting frequent visits from Jeremy...
"You say you have the sniffles? Here, take 30 tablets of this here Magic Pill. You say your dog's lost? You ate chicken last night for dinner? Take as many to induce severe heart-burn and call me in the morning."
These women are bone-chilling in their indiscretions.
Now sitting in my sputtering car feeling a bit nervous and self conscious, like I was somehow back in the 8th grade and homely, I started to doubt if I had even looked at myself since 7:00 am that morning. Had I decomposed as badly throughout the day as I imagined? One check in the mirror and it was confirmed, yes and absolutely.
****Abort mission. Avert eye contact. Run full blast towards the Walmart facility, post haste****
So that's just what I did. Once inside, I was satisfied with my vain impulse to run like the wind. A casual walk past a dressing room mirror had me resembling a Jerry Springer guest, only I was clothed and not a midget. I can't recall what else I bought besides eggs, but I can remember thinking I had just dodged an ugly bullet.
After milling around awhile, I checked out at the register and began to walk back toward my ride. Scouring my bag for the keys, I stopped a few feet from my car. My brow furrowed as I looked at my tail pipe spewing grey fumes against the blacktop. There were only a handful of cars left in the parking lot so immediately it was clear that the wheezing was that of my engine running, in park with the cabin light on, FM radio singing, keys dancing in the ignition. Door unlocked, naturally.
My sister graciously reminded me that although I did everything in my power to get my car stolen that night, with the exception of taping $100 bills on the bumper, no one came calling. "That's the real tragedy" she said. I guess it would have been like holding up a bank for a quarter. Why risk it?