It’s just not fair in any sense of world order. Call it screwed up karma. Call it injustice. Call it prejudice. Call it not right. Doesn’t matter what the word is that you use, it’s still unfair.
Bubba’s drive around every day with their dashboards covered in stuff and never lose a thing. I, who in all my life have not been a dashboard filer, on occasion put my Sun Pass gizmo on the dash so it can be read as I drive through the toll booth, and lose it before I even get on the interstate. I want to know how that satisfies car karma or whatever is in charge of these things?
All over the South you can find Bubba’s and their pick-up trucks. Their dashboards are buried under every manner of thing. If it’s in their hand when they get in to their truck, it’s a safe bet you will find it on the dashboard within a few minutes. They have flashlights, tobacco products, cups, today’s lunch and perhaps yesterday’s also, the current year’s tax papers and receipts, knives, 2 or 3 rolls of duct tape, tape measures, hats, business cards (only those of others, Bubba’s don’t have their own business cards), note pads, pencils (not for writing, but the big ones used by carpenters), tin cans of fuses, spare light bulbs, more keys than they have locks, loose change, hand rags, a roll of paper towels, pens without ink, and more than likely a moon pie from 1982. It seems no matter what they do, or how slowly they drive, everything on the dashboard is safe.
If Bubba rolls the windows down, the papers may change position, but are never lost. Should Bubba every have to corner sharply or in great haste, things may slide to one side but as soon as the truck is going straight again, the contents shift back to their original position. At the end of the year Bubba can drive up to the local H and R Block, clean the papers from his dashboard, have his taxes prepared and walk out with refund in hand. I, on the other hand, cannot set one thing on the dash and keep it there during the ride from work to home.
I have a transponder that allows me to whizz through the toll booth on the road I travel from work to home. It is supposed to be fastened to the windshield of my vehicle. I’ve had the windshield replaced twice since I purchased the transponder so it no longer sticks to anything. It normally sits in the space between the seats in my van. When I get close to the toll booth I put the transponder on the dashboard above the speedometer. Once through the toll booth I take the transponder and place it back between the seats.
When I went home on Monday I was not feeling well at all. I found the transponder before I left the parking lot of my office building and placed it in the nook on the dashboard of my van. It is also my habit to place my cell phone, in its case in the arm rest under the window. When I left the office, I took the route I normally do. The weather was cool so I rolled down my window. As I turned the 90º required to access the interstate, I thought I saw something fly by my face and was sure I heard “said something” hit the pavement outside my window.
Dammit. Curses. And a whole lot of other bad words.
I knew for sure it was my cell phone that had escaped my van, my reach, and my use, as that is the only thing near the window. I threw the van in reverse and began to back up the on ramp. Don’t worry, I looked first and even moved to the right side of the ramp while I was going backwards. All the while I was looking for whatever may have flown out my window.
I saw something in the road just about the time the truck hit it and pinged it farther to the right of the access ramp. I backed up more. I looked more closely. I think I saw a napkin or towel or some form of paper but I’m not certain about that. Cars were whizzing by. Debris and other lost items were being blown into the air, blown into the median and blown to bits.
I backed up more.
Two or three cars whizzed by before I could get close enough to the item that was being pinged all over the on ramp. I stopped. I looked one way, backwards. I dashed over to retrieve my phone. It wasn’t, the phone I mean. It was my transponder covered with tire marks.
I dashed back to my van, got in and drove away. Cursing my bad luck. Cursing the dashboards of Bubba’s even more. Praying that the transponder would get me through the toll booth and not get me a ticket for proceeding through without paying the required highway robbery fee.
The transponder worked. I made it home unscathed. Bubba’s still roam the South with junk all over their dashboards. It still isn’t fair.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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