So "wife" and I had just wrapped up a wonderful 4th of July weekend get-away with some close friends at the lake and are headed home. We have to make an emergency stop for gas - and a Mapco convenience store is our first option. I normally don't purchase my fuel from Mapco, but the gauge is in the red, so I have no other option.
I go inside to prepay cash for Pump #4 - have the $60 in my hand. But standing before me at the counter is the subject of my rant today…I'll refer to her as "Fanny Mae" - seemed to fit.
Fanny Mae stood about 5' 3" - weighed approximately 190 lbs - had on caprice pants (which in my opinion, look good on no-one…much less on short, stubby legs) - and a Pabst Blue Ribbon t-shirt with the sleeves tucked up under her bra straps so that her pits could breathe I guess. It was quite the visual - along with her companion (whom I'll call Billy Bob), who was similarly attired. However, it wasn't the visual assault on my senses that I found so offensive…it was her scratching!!! LOTTO TICKETS!
Here I am waiting patiently in line - ready to say & pay in 2 seconds; "$60 on pump #4 please" while Fanny Mae's purchasing and scratching Lotto tickets at the counter. Besides the Lotto tickets, she has 2 Mountain Dews, 3 lollipops and a carton of Marlboro's. The clerk runs the debit card….Fanny Mae scratches the Lotto tickets…then turns to Billy Bob with a disappointed look on her nose-pierced face. She didn't win….."awhhhh shucks Fanny, now get out of my way!"
But instead of Fanny tucking her extra wide namesake and walking away, she proceeds to buy 3 more Lotto tickets. The clerk runs another transaction of her debit card….gives Fanny the receipt and tickets, …and she stands there at the counter and proceeds to scratch the tickets off again with more intensity and desperation for a convenience store windfall. Meanwhile, Billy Bob is turning periodically to catch a glimpse of my curmudgeony face beginning to twitch…along with 3 other people who have now gotten in line behind me.
Still no winner for Fanny Mae! But just like at a Shoney's breakfast buffet…she hunkers down for the bacon! She buys 3 more Lotto Tickets - the clerk runs a 3rd transaction…another snide glance from Billy Bob…and I'm about to go postal inside of a small-town Mapco on a quiet, Mayberry-esque Sunday afternoon. This after one of the most enjoyable and relaxing weekends I've had in a long time.
There are now a total of 7 people in line, holding various looks of disgust and sodium-packed snacks.
At my emotional breaking point, I hear a timely, inner voice instructing me to suppress lashing out like a crazy man at Fanny Mae by reflecting on an otherwise perfect weekend.
Somehow, I'm able to pause and visualize my beautiful wife of 30 years soaking up the sun and fellowship over the past 2 days, the engaging conversation with life-long friends, the moonlight dancing off the surface of the water on a late-night boat ride. Children laughing and singing, families enjoying each other's company. Peaceful, romantic…renewing!
Even Fanny Mae scratching away can't ruin my mood. Matter of fact…I hope she wins the Lotto one day. I know that I already have!!!
"Things are not as bad as they seem….they are worse"….Bill Press