Tuesday night the last thing I felt like doing was going to a meeting with lots of people. I had worked a long day and had to hurry home to get my son to his Cub Scouts meeting 15 minutes late. (click image to enlarge)
After finally making it through a congested spot, I heard a honk to my left, and noticed rapid movement from that direction.
I looked over to see a man waving out the open passenger’s side window. I had stopped quickly to pump in a few survival gallons of gas earlier, so maybe he was letting me know my gas cap was open.
I slid my window down.
He pointed at my door, just below my window. “Hey, man, I just opened a body shop in Denton, and I can fix that for you,” he said, with a moderate Mexican accent. “You know how much?”
He was talking about a blue scuff left behind when I had bumped our plastic trash can. Someone else had offered to buff it out for $75.
“No, how much?” I asked.
“Only $50, if you promise to tell all your friends about me.”
We were up to about 35 mph at that point, still in heavy and shifting traffic. “No, thanks,” I shouted above the din. I wasn’t going to drive 30 miles to save $25, and I didn’t even know who this guy was.
Smiling, he shouted back, “Just pull over and I can give you my number.”
“Can’t, I’m trying to get my son somewhere on time.”
“It will just take a second, man.”
“Can’t,” I said, slid my window up, and pressed the accelerator to leave him behind. I had not been filling in the space ahead, and didn’t want to miss my chance at the green light.
I thought what a terrible way that was to market a new business. The more I mull it over, I suppose it might be very good business for a body shop owner to distract drivers on busy streets. Oh, man, your bumper really shouldn’t be touching your luggage rack. Um, here’s my card. Good luck with your leg. Or is that your lip?
I picked up Benjamin and we arrived at Cub Scouts just in time to barely miss the rules for a marbles game. The den leader appointed several others and me as supervisors, and we fanned out to our respective circles of masking tape arranged several feet apart on the school’s carpeted cafeteria floor. Each appointed parent was instructed to take their boy and one opponent with them. The game was civil and relaxing.
Until we rotated opponents.
A few turns into the game, my charges got into a somewhat heated debate over the rules, and I was coming down squarely on Benjamin’s side. Then an older Boy Scout, there as some sort of intern, stepped in and clarified — proving my spawn and me wrong. I apologized profusely, attributed my ignorance to our late arrival, and the boys had fun while my worries again melted.
The den leader then announced that the parents were going to square off, and if I interpreted Benjamin’s hyper flailing correctly, I would say my son was proud to watch his dad play marbles. I’m not much of a braggart, but I completely owned that lady. Better than that, I p0wned her (those over 40, look it up).
It turned out that being around other people was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t have designed a better way to slough off my stress.