How was your storm? Mine was crazy
Monday, July 23: ’twas a dark and stormy night in Barrhead.
Thursday, July 26: ’twas a dark and stormy night in me. Confused? Don’t worry, things will become clear in a few paragraphs.
First a preface to my tale. Most of my shambolic existence is spent being annoying, asking questions like “Can you ID the people in this photo?” and “How do you spell your name?”
Commonplace irritations, I suppose, but irritations nonetheless when you are watching ball on TV. There is one irritation I can claim exclusively for my own. Nobody in the history of the solar system has asked the following question so often: “Excuse me, I’m lost. Can you tell me how I get to ….?”
The Big Q, I call it.
Now back to my ridiculous tale. My mission was to speak to farmers in the southwest of Barrhead about Paddle River flooding. A two-hour job, tops.
I took the precaution of studying a mass of squiggly worms on a sheet of paper – a map to some folks – and with the help of a colleague and Google found my bearings. Wow, Leonard Schmidt only lives ten minutes away, a few blocks behind Bethel Pentecostal. In a sunny mood, I started out at 10:30 a.m. for my one-hour job.
After some directional ineptitude I ended up outside Town Councillor Ty Assaf’s house. Go figure.
A breeze of uncertainty began gusting in my head when he responded to the Big Q with a trademark Ty frown of bemusement at my map reading skills.
“I don’t think he lives around here,” he said.
Never mind, I thought, the man in that driveway over there has an aura of helpfulness. I wasn’t disappointed. He stabbed a knowledgeable finger at a map and directed me to Thunder Lake. Okay, back to a two-hour job, still time to return for a Barrhead Bakery chicken pie. As I reached Thunder Lake, however, a familiar fog descended. Did the knowledgeable man say north or south? I veered left and prayed for a 200 foot neon-lit sign saying “Leonard Schmidt lives here.”
No such luck. I roamed the county turning into every farmyard, gale-force winds of frustration inside me. Fields, fields everywhere, but not a human in sight.
In desperation I turned up a dirt track. Would it lead to an angel waiting to whisk me to Leonard’s ranch? The heavenly image crumbled as I saw rusting, derelict cars.
I had entered a horror movie. Leave Violet (my car) and a psycho would bang me on the head, hook me on a basement wall and remove some important body parts.
I checked my useless cellphone. It laughed and blacked out.
A classic horror movie touch.
With heroic courage, I emerged from Violet and wandered aimlessly until I met two non-psychopaths fixing a roof. I asked the Big Q and received various options for finding Leonard. Too many, unfortunately, for by the time I hit the highway the fog was back and a tempest raging. I began muttering insanely, blaming everyone from Stephen Harper and Obama to David Beckham for my directional ineptitude.
Funny, isn’t it? I mumbled. Have a good laugh, world. Ha, ha, ha.
Had I been a criminal with an electronic tag, those monitoring my movements would have vouched for insanity, and got me off all charges. A hurricane was now inside my head.
I finally found Leonard’s house thanks to Wendy (she drew me a map her shih tzu would understand) and Liz, both human angels. And guess what? Leonard wasn’t home. He was in Barrhead.
Oh man, I was ready to commit terrible acts. Instead I loitered with discontent and ambushed Leonard when he returned. After drinking his beer and chatting I returned to the Leader, guided by the hand of Providence, in 25 minutes. The time? 6:30 p.m.
It took a Hong Kong chow mein and noodles to calm the storm.
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