Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tales of Bravery

As if it isn't frightening enough to be the mother of teenagers, I decided to take my life into my hands last night.

Yep. I went to West Knoxville on an errand.

Not only did I have to travel on a weekend-choked interstate, but I had to stop at an ATM.

The first half of the trip was uneventful, but the ATM proved troublesome. I asked it to give me $50. Instead, it gave me $60. This is a big deal because Wesley counts every single penny we spend, and I had been instructed to retrieve ten dollars less than the amount the machine gave me.

Alarmed and concerned, I counted the cash and waited for the machine to give me a receipt, which I hoped would tell me why I was holding $60 instead of $50, and so I could show it to Wesley and say, "See??? It wasn't me! I didn't do it!!! It was the MACHINE!"

The screen said, "Please wait for your receipt."

I waited.

The machine did absolutely nothing.




Do you remember how slow two minutes really are when there's nothing going on and you're waiting for something as tiny as a receipt from an ATM?

I am recently reacquainted with that sensation. Since it just happened last night. Finally, after the agonizing two minutes had passed and no receipt popped out of the machine, the screen flipped over to, "Welcome! Please insert your card for service!"

WHAT???? Where's my receipt? What's the excuse for giving me the wrong amount of moolah????? How am I going to explain this to Wesley, the Counter of All Things Financial???? He's never going to believe I didn't deliberately sneak an extra $10 out of the checking account!!!!! What if he grounds me?????

OK. That's just ridiculous. Wesley hardly ever grounds the kids, much less *me*.

Ahem. Anyway. Now that there was nothing else I could do, I finished running my errands and headed home.

On the interstate. Again.

There was even more traffic on the way home. Friday nights are pretty scary, aren't they? I'm not accustomed to being out in them.

About ten miles from home, I was in a clump of vehicles traveling south. A truck in front of me darted right -- right! -- to pass the slightly slower SUV in front of him. The SUV freaked out and started driving off the road to the left into the median, swerving rather dramatically. I slammed on my brakes, the vehicles behind me slammed on their brakes, and the SUV recovered and toodled back into the left lane in front of me. Since I was slowing down, anyway, I moved to the right lane and got behind a little old lady who was going about 64 mph. I figured she was safer than the maniac in the SUV.

All the cars that had been behind me in the left lane zipped past me and cozied up to the crazy SUV. They could have him. I didn't want to be anywhere near that guy. Goodness only knows when he was going to decide to just throw the transmission into reverse and plow into everyone.

What have I learned? I learned that I should never run errands on Friday night. It's safer to stay home and pop some popcorn and watch a movie. More importantly, I have learned that life is sweet and that I really do want to stick around and appreciate it a little longer. I have faced my mortality and certain financial doom, and I find I prefer to be alive and well, rather than bankrupt and crunched in a car wreck behind an SUV....

Well, OK, that's a little exaggeration......

Oh, and Wesley accepted the leftover $10 from the ATM misadventure. He'll put it back into the checking account, I guess.


At 3/2/07 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » » »


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