Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Life Lesson #59

Do Not Drive Your Kids To School Without Your Shoes

While passing through the 4-way-stop that is the defining intersection of our "downtown" area after buying a truckload of school supplies, I was reminded of a morning last September that I had completely forgotten about.

I will not get into the reason why I didn't let my kids ride the bus to school yet (they do now, and that's all that matters), but instead I drove them to and from school each day. Yes, wasting much gas, public school transportation and time away from my morning, I drove the 2 miles to school and entered the circular hell referred to as "the loop" by our principal.

On this paticularly busy morning, in which I did not rise in a chipper, put-together, I will make you a hot breakfast mood, we were running late. So late in fact, that I nonchalantly guffawed the mere task of putting on my own shoes to drive the boys to school. After all, I don't even get out of the car, merely glide up to the designated "drop off" area and say my "I love yous" and "have a great days" and away I go. Why in the world would one need shoes to do this?

Here it comes, the reason.

Approaching the 4-way-stop a half mile down the hill from the school, and the only official obstacle between me and my front door, I notice an older model Cadillac sitting a good ten feet from the stop sign. I stop behind the caddy and wait. A few noticeable seconds go by and I begin to wonder if this car is ever going to move. The cars start piling up behind me and I can feel the eager mothers on their way to the gym seething with impatientness.

Out comes an elderly gentleman (I say gentleman because at this point, he has done nothing for me to think otherwise). I wonder if he has car trouble, hope that it isn't a flat because, duh, I am not wearing shoes. He approaches my car. Silly me, I roll the window down without even thinking twice that he could be a crazed lunatic and smile at him underneath the baseball hat and ponytail adorning my look-I-just-woke-up head.

"Did you just shoot me in the neck with a laser?" he asks as if this is the normalest of questions.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, did you just shoot me in the neck with a laser? I have been shot at all the way from (insert nearby town) to here and I've got marks all over my neck!"

"Do you mean a radar gun, sir?" I offer.

"No, a laser. They (I have no idea who "they" are) take them out of microwaves and then use them to shoot you."

"I have no idea what you are talking about, I did not shoot you with anything."

"Are you sure?" he persists.

"There is a police station right over there (I am pointing to the visible station a few hundred yards away). You should go there, now. They will help you."

"Hmpf" he mumbles and walks to his gold caddy, idling in front of the stop sign. He gets in, and. . . turns left. Not the direction of the police station, mind you.

What now? I think. Phone. Where is my phone? Call husband at work, he'll know what to do.

I make my way through the 4-way-stop with all the cars around me wondering what in the world just happened and wind my way back home. Katie is in her carseat, completely oblivious to the craziness that she just witnessed, only wanting to make it home in time to catch an episode of Sesame Street.

I find my phone and dial before I reach the driveway. After retelling the story to my husband's secretary (because, of course, he's busy WORKING) I decide that I must at least call the police station and report this weirdness. I had the license plate and make of the car. I knew approximately what year it was (thanks Dad, for giving me your car identifying gene). After informing the desk gal at the police station, I felt a little better. At least this man may get some much-needed help if they could track him down. Hopefully, he wasn't a danger to himself or others. But you have to wonder, should a person who thinks people are shooting microwave lasers at him be driving down the road (in front of a school, no less)?

This crazy, true occurence taught me a lesson. Always wear shoes when you drive your kids to school, you never know what is going to happen.

In case you were wondering, the boys began riding the bus shortly after this. Not because of this, but because I finally gave in to the whole letting them walk 2 blocks to wait for the bus and let a stranger drive them to school. And, to further shoot myself in the foot, you'll be pleased to know that their bus driver was indeed not a stranger, but the very same bus driver I had as a child (and when she's not driving the bus, Grandpa sometimes takes their route which pleases them to no end).


Lisa said...

So wierd and so funny!

Mamacita Tina said...

Poor man, very confused.

Same bus driver...WOW!

Christina_the_wench said...

You should have whipped out a pen and said, "Hell yeah I shot you! You were driving 5 mph for god sake! And if you don't get back in your car (raising your pen, of course) I'll shoot you again!"

Grim Reality Girl said...

Strange guy! I know what you mean though about shoes being too much a bother on some days... And don't you know those are the days when crazy stuff happens. Like when you answer the door without your bra on and it is your husband's best friend. Ugh.....

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Wow, shoes and underwear. I will try hard to wear shoes and nice underwear. Good lesson learned.

I can understand about the bus. Really. Trusting another driver, and the thing has no seatbelts. blah blah. Ugh. I dread having to face all that myself. How AWESOME, that the driver is the one you had. That is beautiful.


Angry Dad said...

That was a way freaky story! I one day hope to be able to drive a Caddy and freak people out in a similar manner.