Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Same Old Same Old

Last night, on the way home from work, I got a flat tire. It was actually a blowout. I was driving along, listening to some primo Deep Purple on the radio, when I heard this *BANG* and then the car started going *wubba-wubba-wubba-wubba-wubba*

I'd never had a blowout before, so this was something new. I wasn't really sure what had happened, so I pulled over quickly - which was the right thing to do in any case, of course. I put the car into park, got out, and it was immediately obvious. I had left a trail of tire pieces from where the blowout had occurred to where I was now stopped, which was on Arsenal Street about a half-mile from my house.

It was raining, wet, fairly cold, and windy; not the best night for something like this. I suppose it wouldn't have mattered if it was sunny and dry, with birds singing beautiful songs. It still would have sucked.

Well, there was nothing to do but put on the spare. Except that I had no real spare. The only thing I had was one of those little donut tires. You know the thing I'm talking about, right? It's about half the size of a real tire, made of solid rubber, and embarrassing to be seen with. I pulled it out of the trunk, along with the jack, and got to work.

As I was setting up the jack, I noticed something stuck to the blown out tire. I looked more closely. It was a dollar bill! Well, this hardly made up for the total inconvenience, but it was a nice find. I peeled the dollar off of the tire and stuffed it into my pocket. I then jacked up the car, removed the blown-out tire, put the donut on, and continued towards home.

On the way from where I had changed the tire, to my home, there's a convenience store. I had planned to stop there and buy some half-and-half, so I decided I might as well still do so. I stopped at the store, went inside, got a pint of half-and-half from the dairy case, and went up to the counter to pay for it. When I reached into my pocket, there was that dollar bill I had peeled off of my former tire.

This store also sells lottery tickets - both those for numbers games and mega-millions drawings, and instant scratch-off tickets. I decided to see if there might be something good in all of this. I bought a $1 scratchy.

I won five dollars.

This was nice, but it hardly paid for my troubles. A new tire would run about $60, and there was the added inconvenience of having to change the thing, and then I'd have to drive down to the tire shop in the morning, and, heck, my time is worth something, isn't it? I decided to cash in my winning ticket and try for a bigger payout. I bought a five-dollar scratch ticket.

I won $100!

Now, this was more like it. I figured that if I put aside $60, that would pay for the tire. Why not use the rest of the money to see if this good luck would continue? I bought two $20 scratchies, the highest denomination tickets available. I had never bought such extravagant tickets before (to be honest, I figured anybody who bought those tickets was seriously messed up) but this was, in the truest sense, found money. Why not take a shot?

I scratched off the first ticket. Nothing. I felt like a damn fool for having blown a perfectly good $20 on such a waste. I scratched the second ticket.


Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather at that point. I felt faint and wasn't quite sure what to do. The clerk saw my face and asked if I was alright. When I told him what had happened, he got this big smile and said, "Wow! That's excellent! I know exactly what needs to be done. I'll show you."

He reached behind the counter, took out a baseball bat, and clonked me over the head with it.

When I came to, I was in the gutter outside of the store, soaking wet. My head was pounding and there was some blood in my mouth. The lottery ticket was gone, of course. Not only that, so was my car. The store was locked, lights out.

I stood up. I knew I had to go to the police, but the station was over a mile away and now I had no way to get there except by walking in the rain. I felt sick to my stomach. I realized I should probably get to a hospital, to see if I had a cracked skull or something. Instead, I sat down on the sidewalk and started crying.

Just then, a big old mutt of a dog ambled up to me. He was sort of dirty brown, with soaking wet shaggy fur, big floppy ears, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth. He sat down beside me and started licking my face. I looked at him and I swear he smiled at me. I put my arm around him and hugged him. He smelled horrible, but I didn't care. He was the nicest person I had met since the flat tire.

I looked at his neck and saw that he was wearing a collar. The collar had a tag. It was a dog license, of course, and it gave his name, where he lived, etc. It said his name was George and he lived in Worcester. I said, "Wow, George, you're a long way from home. How in hell did you get here?" I then noticed another tag. This one said that there was a reward for his safe return. It gave a phone number to call.

I stood up as steadily as I could. I said, "Come on, George. We're walking back to my place."

George seemed OK with that, so off we went. After fifteen minutes of sloshing through the rain, with my head pounding, my feet wet, a smelly (but friendly) dog by my side, and wondering how in hell all of this came to pass, I arrived home.

I didn't have my keys, of course. The bastard clerk from the convenience store had taken them along with the car and the lottery ticket. I knew that MY WIFE was working late, so she wouldn't be home. I had to figure out some way to get into the house.

You know what? I didn't give a damn anymore. I picked up a big rock and threw it through a window. I reached through and opened it, then climbed in. I went around to the door to let George in. He was waiting right there, on the doormat.

I took another look at the tag on George's neck. With the phone number now firmly in my head, I went into the bedroom, picked up the phone, and dialed. After three rings, there was an answer. It was a woman's voice.


"Hi. I have a dog here who seems to belong to you. His name is George."

There was a slight gasp, then a brief moment of silence. She said, "You have George? Where are you?"

I told her where I was. She asked if I could get George to Worcester. I explained, as briefly as possible, what had transpired that night, and how I was in no way able to get to her place. She said that she'd come to Watertown to claim George, and that she'd be there in about an hour. I said that I'd wait. What else was I going to do?

I went to the kitchen and pulled a big leftover pork chop from the refrigerator. I gave it to George to gnaw on. I went back into the bedroom and called the police, to report my car stolen. After doing that, I went into the bathroom to clean myself up a bit.

I looked in the mirror. I was a mess. I had a big lump on top of my head and a small dribble of blood from the corner of my mouth. I turned on the hot water and started washing up. As I did so, I thought I heard a choking sound. I cocked my head and listened. It was definitely the sound of choking, but where was it coming from? Then I realized. It was coming from the kitchen. It was George!

I ran into the kitchen and saw George flopping about on the linoleum, laboring to breath, paws kicking at his own throat, obviously trying to disgorge the pork chop bone from his esophagus. I didn't know what else to do, so I picked him up and tried to perform the Heimlich on him. I squeezed his rib cage as hard as I could. The bone stayed where it was. I could feel George growing weak. He was done unless I did something quickly. I then realized that I was very dizzy. The exertion of trying to save George, combined with the previous beating I had taken, was too much. I passed out on top of George's now completely limp body.


I vaguely heard something like a bell.


I realized it was the doorbell. I tried to raise myself, but my hand slipped on something. With a start, I realized it was George's big lolling tongue, which was now blue. I rolled over, off of George, and staggered to my feet. I half-walked, half-crawled to the front door, and opened it. There was a woman there, smiling. Well, she was smiling when I first got to the door, but not so much after she got a look at me - bloodied, lump on my head, and covered in dog fur.

She said, very tentatively, "I've... come to pick up George?"

Then it hit me. George was in the kitchen, dead from suffocation caused by a pork chop bone.

I said, "Ummm, there's been a slight accident."

Her eyes went wide as I said it. She was looking beyond me, over my shoulder, and into the kitchen. She saw George laying on the floor, his big now-blue tongue hanging out of his mouth. She screamed, "George! You killed George! You killed my dog! You bastard! You... You..."

She fainted. And she started turning as blue as George's tongue. I knelt down and tried to revive her, but she wasn't responding. She wasn't breathing at all. Unlike with poor George, this time I acted quickly. I tilted her head back and started giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

And that's when MY WIFE got home from work.

She said, "What the... who is this? And that dog, and our window and...? What the hell is going on here?"

I tried to explain.

"I got a flat tire, so I changed it, but it was a donut, and I found a dollar, so I went to get half-and-half, and I scratched a winner, but he hit me with a bat, and when I woke up, the dog was lost, so I walked home because he took the car, and then I called, so she came, but he choked on a pork chop bone, and I didn't care so I put a rock through the window, and she fainted, so I was giving her mouth-to-mouth, and that's the whole story, I swear it!"

MY WIFE said, "This is all an April Fools story, isn't it?"

I said, "Yes, but I don't know how to get out of it. Any suggestions?"

"Sure. Have me ask you if this is all an April Fools story, and then you can say that it is."

"Well, that seems kind of flimsy. After all this build up, do you think they'll buy it?"

"What choice do they have? Here they are. It's too late now."

She had a point. Still, I felt like I might be cheating you, so I decided to give you some closure.

The convenience store clerk ran my car into a tree. He was killed gruesomely and satisfactorily. The police came to the scene and they then called me to report they had found my car. The lottery ticket was on the front seat. I cashed the ticket and it was exactly the right amount to pay for the repairs on the car. The lady from Connecticut recovered just in time to see George spit out the pork chop bone. It turned out that when I fainted on top of him, that dislodged the bone. He wasn't able to get up and move around until I got off of him, of course, and even then he was too weak to actually stand until a few minutes after his owner showed up. Speaking of her, she gave me a $200 reward, which I used to fix the window. MY WIFE was OK after a glass of wine and some Xanax. I was able to cash the lottery ticket and have all of the various repairs completed on the same night and everything today is exactly as it was yesterday at this time. Even the bump on my head went away overnight.

Oh, and on the way into work this morning, I found another dollar!

I ripped it up and threw it away.


lime said...

LOL, april fools!!!! too funny. good story though!

Balcony Gal said...

I had to link to this over on my end. You really made me laugh out loud and not in an abbreviated LOL sort of way!

Anonymous said...

Yea... but what about the poor pork chop?

John-Michael said...

You are beyond beautiful, My adorable and so out-of-your-mind Friend!!

This is a superb tip-toe through tulips of visionary delight. I feel like I just watched a Charlie Chaplin short. Fantastic mind that you sport there, My Friend!

Stu said...

I say this with brotherly affection: You are a dick! You totally had me going, well past the $10K lottery win. You suck! ;-)

Thanks for the laugh, I was gonna blog about you today, so your post will just have me posting that much faster.

Anonymous said...

Ha! OMG, Jim, this was wonderful. Had me ROFL. No joke. I just wiped a tear from my eye. Thanks. I needed that.


Shrinky said...

Suldog, you are an evil man, you really had me going there for a minute! I hate you. (Fully fledged strop as I flounce out the door, slamming it loudly off it's hinges).


Jody said...

You didn't have any baseball-bat-be-gone? Duh, everyone should carry some!

Buck said...

Bravo, Jim! Having an immediate grasp of the obvious, and an uncanny ability to read calendars, I pretty much knew what was up by the fourth or fifth paragraph (well, so much for my immediate grasp).

But I read every word... and got the usual, customary, and reasonable belly laugh. Or three.

Janet said...

I figured you were having me on when we got to the $10,000, but I had to keep reading because I am a glutton for punishment. Now I wish I'd waited to post today, because I would have linked to you AND Keith.

Anonymous said...

Good one! Thanks for the laugh - I needed it today!

Thim :)

Jeni said...

I have to say by the time I got to the "I won $10,000" I figured you were doing an April Fool's but still, it was a great story -lots of fun!

Melissa said...

Until you got hit in the head by the store clerk, I thought the story was legitimate!

Tara said...

Have to admit, you got me too!
You are GOOD Babe :)

Cath said...

Do you know Jim, you lead such an ordinary and boring life!

How do you cope?

More to the point, how does your wife cope? God bless her. She doesn't does she? She's the gibbering wreck in the corner with the pork chop and a ripped up dollar bill....