You're Always Scratchin' at the Eight Ball

Hulk and Jackson

As many of you may already know, I blew up The Buick, a mere fourteen months after destroying The Croc.

I headed north to my brother's place on Friday night, so I could babysit The Boy.

We had quite a day. He spent his day eating, sleeping, running in place and punching the air. I spent the day filling bottles, singing songs and changing diapers.

My parents brought Mamo and dinner later in the day so we could have a Mothers' Day celebration.

After dinner, hanging out and dessert, Dad headed back home with Mamo, while Mom and I headed to Wal-Mart in The Buick.

It was pretty late so Wal-Mart wasn't totally horrible. I did have to get attitude with some of the workers.

My mom was looking to buy a simple and cheap silver band. They had just what she was looking for in the jewelry department, but it was locked in the glass case. We stood there for quite awhile, obviously looking like we needed someone to help us.

Meanwhile, two chicks in red vests, which I'm assuming indicates management of some sort, were cleaning out the registers and talking about texting people. I know they could see us just standing there. In fact, as they walked to the department, they walked by us and glanced at us standing by the case.

Finally, I got really grumpy and walked over to one.

"Excuse me. Is this department not open?"

Both the girls looked at me like I was rude for interrupting. "Well, we're just closing these registers, but you're welcome to look."

DUH! You mean we can walk through and look at stuff that's just sitting out? Awesome!

"Right. But can we buy stuff?"

"Yeah. Sure!" The girl answered in a friendly tone but I was incredibly irritated. I hate conversations where you can't get a full answer.

"Okay," I sighed and really tried to hide the fact that I wanted to punch her. "My mother would like to see something in the case. Are you able to unlock it?"

"Yeah. Sure!"

And then she still just stood there.

She eventually sent someone our way and my mom finally got her ring, and I got to add to my list of reasons why I don't like to shop there.

Mom and I were both thirsty, so we hit Sonic before heading out of town. My mom is a bit of an addict when it comes to Sonic. No matter how tired she is, she's always up for a vanilla Coke.

At ten minutes to midnight, we both heard some strange noises and The Buick started acting strangely.

"Is that your car?" My mom asked.

"Yeah. I think so."

I turned everything off; air, radio, etc. The engine died and with it went the power steering and brakes. I struggled to keep the car out of the ditch as I pulled over to the rocky and uneven shoulder.

Four miles east of Riley, there is a big sign. It's all light up and has a big arrow pointing the way to Riley. We see this sign most every time we go to and come from Manhattan. We ended up just south of the sign.

So when I called my dad to tell him where we were, I was really irritated that he didn't understand where we were.

I should probably mention that I didn't have very good service in that spot, even in roam. The Flint Hills are awesome at blocking reception. And I was a little high-strung and rambling things like "The sign! Tuttle Creek Boulevard and the big sign! To Riley! AAAAAARRRRGH!"

I went back to the car and looked under the hood. Because I really know what I'm doing under there.

There was water where water should be. The engine didn't feel overly hot. So I pulled the oil dipstick. And didn't see any oil.

I always check my oil before I travel. My dad had changed my oil last time I was home and I checked it a couple of weeks ago. But I didn't check it before I left Friday night.

I felt sick.

I called my dad back and told him I was pretty sure there was no oil. He didn't sound excited but was on his way.

I got back into the car with my mom and waited.

"I feel like I have to pee, poop and puke all at the same time."

"Well . . . we're in the middle of nowhere. Go out in the field and have at it!" My mom laughed.

Soon after that, a big truck pulled in front over in front of us and a man came walking back.

"You need any help?"

"No thanks. I already called my dad. He should be here soon."

A few minutes later, another truck stopped, reversed and pulled over. A youngish guy got out of the truck and hesitated. I'm pretty sure his wife/girlfriend forced him to see if we needed help.

"Thanks. I'm pretty sure I blew up my car, but we have some help coming. Thank you very much, though!"

I thought the days of Good Samaratans were over!

When my dad got there, he took a look at the engine. There was, in fact, oil in the car. Apparently, the hood light was too dim for me to see the oil. I was a bit relieved until Dad had me start the car.

"Okay. Turn it off," he ordered after only listening for two seconds.

I was a bit flipped out, which made me rude and snippy. As my dad pulled us over to a little parking area, my mom was trying to make me feel better by telling me a story. I realized I wasn't listening to her and then when I tried to listen, I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin.

"I'm really sorry. I'm not trying to be mean but I just can't do this right now."

I'd like to publicly apologize to my parents. I really appreciate their help. I was just really really keyed up.

What's the moral of this story? Probably that you should not let me drive your car. I do not seem to be having the best luck.

I'm pretty sure it's Mother Earth telling me to hurry up and get that bicycle.

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