I pulled up to the intersection and realized there was a snafu in progress. As long as I am not the star of said production I usually enjoy a good snafu and hate to see a day pass snafuless. It appeared that somebody had loaded the back of their stationwagon with lumber and was attempting to drive it home when said wood decided to leave the comforts of the vehicle and distribute itself fairly evenly throughout the major intersection in front of me. I could piece this little mystery together based on a car parked on the side of the road a few hundred feet past the intersection still carrying some of the less adventurous wood and a single figure darting in and out of traffic attempting to collect the more adventurous of the aforementioned.
First the figure. He looked like Santa after a week-long eggnog bender, light on the egg and heavy on the nog. There isn’t a mall that would hire him during the Christmas season unless they were catering exclusively to the naughty crowd.
Second the lumber. The reason it probably fell out in the first place was that it was about twice the length of the stationwagon he intended to cart it home in. Every piece he picked up became a lethal weapon as he attempted to bring it back to his car and get crammed in. His slightest turn would send cars sliding into ditches trying to avoid the 2x4x “way too long” from hell.
This truly was a tragic scene and thereby made great viewing. I could have sat there all day.
The thing was, I couldn’t help but laugh at this wretched dumbass but at the same time I was overcome with empathy at his plight. That mix of emotions was both confusing and delightful. I couldn’t take my eyes off him so I turned and looked at the car idling next to me. Inside the driver was obviously going through the same internal convulsions I was. Literally. He was laughing so hard he began to choke. Not a slight gag but the kind of choke where it catches you by surprise and chokes the shit out of you. He lurched forward and hit his head on the steering wheel slightly.
That kind of choke.
I couldn’t help but laugh at this wretched dumbass but at the same time I was overcome with empathy at his plight.
I think most of us have that spider-sense when we get the feeling someone is watching us and his must have been tingling something fierce because of out nowhere he turns and looks right at me. Nobody likes to get caught staring so I quickly pretended to be looking off into the distance slightly to his right and pretended to change the radio station.
Third the radio-changing hand. It contained a cup of hot coffee. Such was my embarrassment about engaging in sudden and unwanted eye contact that I forgot about the third and attempted to change the station as if my hand was unencumbered.
I causally thrust the contents of my travel mug on the dashboard.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw he couldn’t help but laugh at this wretched dumbassery but at the same time I liked to think he was overcome with empathy at my plight.
Someone behind me beeped. Santa, startled and holding two long pieces of lumber, spun around as he turned to look and put the business end of those pieces of lumber through the windshield of a passing automobile.
Fourth the guy behind me who beeped. Poor bastard couldn’t see what was going on so beeping was just his way of inquiring about the possibility of moving through the intersection while it was still light out. I couldn’t help but laugh at this wretched dumbass but at the same time I was overcome with empathy at his plight.
Fifth the guy who’s windshield was smashed in. He pulled over and began an angry dance that made me feel bad for anyone, the guy behind me who beeped included, who missed it. It was something special. I couldn’t help but laugh at this wretched dumbass but at the same time I was overcome with empathy at his plight.
Santa, his sleigh finally loaded up again, stood looking bedraggled and waited for the authorities to arrive.
True story. Even the part about feeling empathy.