Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondays and Mule Geezers

Because I have a severe case of OCD when it comes to numbers I know it’s seven miles from my house to US84 in Quitman. I know it’s thirty-four miles from where I park my work truck to Moultrie, if I take Tallokas Road. I know someone traveling sixty miles an hour is going a mile a minute, and there really isn’t any way to average sixty going through Quitman, going down Tallokas, or going through Moultrie. Forty minutes is cutting it close, and forty-five is more than likely what is going to happen. But are dealing with a part of the world where there is both peanut and cotton farmers, as well as school children, and Mule People.
Mule people once rode into town on mule back. Mules walk ten miles an hour so when these people get to going twenty miles an hour they’re actually traveling at Mule Factor Two, which is twice the speed of a mule walking. Anything past that and they’re entering speeds that cannot be safe at any Mule, so they start riding their brakes. The only thing worse in traffic than you find yourself behind one of these people is to find yourself surrounded by them.
US 84 through Quitman was four laned over a decade ago and it ran right through the very heart of a very small town. Downtown Quitman, such as it was, and such that it is, was bifurcated, north and South, and crossing the street became more of a challenge to some than they thought possible. Worse, the parking went parallel so the outside travel lane is also where people have to back up to parallel park.
In case you do not know how it is supposed to be done; if you want to parallel park you turn on your right blinker, as if you’re making a right turn, thus signaling to the motorist behind you your intentions. That’s the whole concept in less than thirty words. How hard can it be? Oh! Wait! This requires advanced knowledge of turn signals! Nevermind! We’re simply screwed because we all know how difficult the operation of a turn signal can be!
So when the ancient truck in front of me today hit their brakes I just assumed it was a Mule Person. I couldn’t change lanes because of traffic coming up behind me. Well, the traffic behind me pulls in behind me, suddenly. The ancient truck in front of me stops. I have to stop. The car behind me stops. We sit there. The ancient truck in front of me sits there. The car behind me sits there. I sit there. I finally tap my horn, in case the Mule Person in front of me has zoned out in favor of fond memories of Rita Hayward. To my everlasting horror, the man gets out of the Ancient Truck. This will end poorly.
At this point in time, Mule Person #2, who is stationed behind me lays down on the horn. Not just a tap to remind someone the light turned green yesterday, or not just a short blast to let someone know their cell phone conversation is burning daylight, no, not at all, this is a lay it down Armageddon type assault the nerve endings of the ear, if not civility.
Mule Geezer#1. Can’t you see me?
Me: *disallowing the possibility of invisibility in favor of brevity* You would be the person directly in front of my truck.
Mule Geezer #2: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonk!
Mule Geezer#1 What the hell do you think I’m doing?
Me: Far too much Geritol?
Mule Geezer #2: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonk!
Mule Geezer#1 *speaking to Geezer#2* *insert maledicta*
Mule Geezer #2: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonk!
Me: *facewheel*
Mule Geezer #2: Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonk!
Mule Geezer#1 *speaking to Geezer#2* *insert maledicta*
Me: *facewheel*
Incredibly, the police had to get involved.

Geezer #1 was trying to parallel park at the local greasy spoon. He looks into his rear view mirror to find me camping out there. Irritated, he decides to wait me out. But then Geezer#2 arrives and he sees an incredible opportunity to block me in behind Geezer #1. These two have been going at it since they made a bet on the 1655 World Series. They have to threaten to arrest Geezer #2 to get him to move, and then we all get to stand there and watch Geezer #1 attempt a parallel park. Even with a cop ground guiding him, this man is the mortal enemy of the curb.

Me: *facewheel*

So off to work I go. I’ve listened to two men with the better part of a century and a half curse each other in language rarely heard outside a senior citizen’s center on meth. Worse yet, ten minutes of my life has been devoured, and the better part of twenty or thirty people, the other Geezers within the Greasy Spoon, and half the waking population of Quitman, have witnessed me having some sort of conflict with two men four times my age, collectively.
So how was your Monday?

Take Care,
Mike

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