Its been a long week. Its actually Saturday, so I have some other fun and excitingness from my day off with The Old Folks if I get to it, but this was Thursday's fun. (Note, this was written Saturday but I was in a cranky mood and didn't get it done and now its Tuesday. That's the rodeo, kids.)
First of all, it was hot. Now, its summer. That's to be expected. But here in the land of Winter Which Never Ends, we tend to have a sense of entitlement, as though bearing such a long season of frigid unpleasantness entitles us to a summer to dabble our toes in creeks while flowers bloom in the low humidity.
Instead, we had a weeklong heatwave in the upper 90s that has abated somewhat, leaving us clammy, chafed, and in danger of wildfires. We are not amused.
Yesterday I had some appointments in my extreme western coverage area. On those days it isn't unusual for me to drive more than 200 miles from place to place. I don't mind this anymore; it was an adjustment but now I just chew whole packs of Orbit and enjoy being alone with my soothing, pleasant, not at all obsessive thoughts.
Did I mention the A/C in the company car is broken?
After successfully maneuvering around the three detours along my route I was on final approach to my first appointment, a nearly three hour drive from home. Five minutes from my destination I drive through a rare pocket of actual cell service long enough for my phone to come alive. Of course, the customer, who badgered us for the first available appointment from the second she first called, has called to reschedule. Sick child. I call her and after refusing my polite begging to see me anyway because I'm so close (and I can hear the little bugger just talking his head off in the background so how sick is he really and what do I care, its not like he's going to do my taxes or something) she asks if I can come Saturday or Sunday. Um, no. We reschedule and I turn around to go BACK two counties to my other two appointments.
My second appointment is on a road so convoluted my map program failed me and I had to fall back on the county 911 readressing maps. I chose to come in from my direction of travel rather than off the main hardtop two lane. (An aside for those of you who live in civilization; I make the distinction 'hardtop' because not all the roads around here are paved, nor will they ever be. I got used to that right around the time I found and discarded the last empty Starbucks cup from under the seat in my car. )
Two miles into the hinters I see the 'No Winter Maintenance' sign. Slowly the road narrows until I am convinced that around the next bend it will simply end and my van will be surrounded by ninjas. I bottom out once. I swear a lot. I leave the cover of the forest and continue on dry dirt roads that afford the sensation of clapping erasers directly on your face for eight miles. Welcome to BFE. Population: You. But the addresses are finally creeping up toward the number I'm looking for. Occasionally, I pass someone who stares with the blank incomprehension of someone who has seen water buffalo crashing through the underbrush. I finally see the address I want and swing gratefully into the driveway. Inexplicably, I now have cell service.
I wish I had a funny story about the customer, but she was just your average cheerful German immigrant with a three story Bavarian chalet reproduction in the middle of nowhere that I chatted with on a terrace covered with flowers and hummingbirds. You know, the kind of thing one does every day. Though there were a couple awkward moments where we silently regarded framed photos of some of her family members. In military uniforms. *crickets*.
Just to set this clip up for you, Basil's had a nasty knock to the head. Its affecting his judgement. For those of you who have never seen it. What follows has been a favorite joke of my friends and I for a long time.