It was no ordinary Friday. When the fog cleared from my head and the echo from the alarm clock began to faded, my wife rolled over and gently kissed me. “Happy Birthday” my love she said in a sleepy voice. I kissed her back and rolled out of bed to begin my morning ritual.
With a quick shower, teeth brushing and bowel movement out of the way, I step out the door into the screened in porch where I was greeted by Bella, my hungry little calico. We do what I like to call “the morning dance of death” This is when I’m trying to get her food and she is doing circle 8’s between my legs. Someday, one of us is gonna be seriously injured doing this little waltz, and it’s probably gonna be me.
The commute to work was uneventful. I was surprised to see a birthday card signed by many of my co-workers when I arrived at my desk. With a cup of un-sweet hot green tea in hand I settle in to my normal routine. I plug in the ear-buds, find The Dave Ramsey channel on my iHeart radio app, and start shuffling paper from one pile to the next. After a few hours of mindless work I check into the “Free for All” message board hoping for a good ‘ole Friday thread to kill some time.
I decided on the ride in that the low cholesterol diet could take the day off, after all it was my birthday! So around 1:00 I drive to Hardee’s and indulge myself with a 1/3 pound Bacon Cheese Thickburger large onion rings and a diet Sprite.
Returning to my desk after lunch the food coma sets in and the paper shuffle continues. I tune in to 102.5 The Bone for the “Cowhead Show” and begin to check-out for the week. As the paper piles move slower, my time in the FFA picks up but I’m very disappointed. I find more of the same religion and political topics and less of the funny. Perhaps I should try my hand at a Friday Thread but I’m more of a hit and run smartass poster then topic starter so with the last sip of my diet Sprite a take a lorazepam and begin the clock watch countdown to five.
I’m usually not the first person out the door at five, mostly because I’m routinely between 5 and 10 minutes late in the morning. But today would be different; I had worked up a powerful thirst and was determined to quench it as fast as possible. I hit the ground running and I grabbed an 18 pack of ice cold Miller High Life at the closest Circle K. I have a half beer ride from the store to my door, but on this day I wasn’t even out of the parking lot before I drained the first bottle, and by the time I pulled in the drive way three dead soldiers were rolling around on the passenger side floor.
My wife had to get up early [4:30am] for work the next morning so we stayed in for the evening. I drank a few more Miller’s while I grilled us up a couple rib-eyes and chatted with birthday well-wishers by phone, text and Facebook. We shared a bottle of Barefoot Moscato with our steaks while Seinfeld repeats played on the television. I think it was the Bubble Boy episode, but I could be wrong.
Once dinner was finished and the dishes cleaned and put away, my wife settled in behind her computer to play some Yahoo Canastas, and I fired up the Xbox hell-bent on causing as much destruction as humanly possible on the mean streets of Los Santos. I’m not sure how many beers I drank, but around 12:30am when I decided I wanted to go fishing, there was less the six left when I loaded up the cooler.
I tossed my gear in the back of my Ranger and drove to the back of the trailer park where I keep my 16ft foot Sea Squirt docked on Lake Gibson. It was a beautiful night and the waters are calm as I head out to my favorite catfish hole. I manage to bait up with some chicken liver and wet my line. I sit behind the center console and open a beer. I think about rigging a second pole and tossing a jerk bait around but rightfully decide I’ve had a few too many to be walking about the boat casting out for bass and crappy. So I sit there content on bottom fishing and drinking.
The fishing was poor that night; in fact other than a single 12inch catfish I caught nothing. I had a few false alarms as a pesky little bait stealing turtle began feasting on my chicken liver, much the same way the alcohol running through my system was no doubt having a field day on my own. I’m not sure what time I dozed off, nor what time awoke confused and unsure of my surroundings. Once I gathered my wits I pulled up the anchor opened the last beer and set a course back to the dock. Roughly 75 yards away from shore the 70hp Johnson that powers my little skiff began to cough and sputter and before I knew it shut down completely
I had a moment of panic when the thought of being stranded on the lake in the middle of the night hit me like a hammer. The boat was still drifting forward toward the dock so I quickly grabbed the single paddle and began rowing to take advantage of the forward momentum I still had. The boat was gonna make it back, but I was heading for the wrong side of the “T” shaped dock. I coasted in and grabbed hold of a piling and began trying to turn and pull the boat along the fishing pier portion, around the corner past several docked boats, and into my slip. This would have been much easier if I had not dropped my one and only paddle in the water on initial contact. Eventually I get the boat tied up, gather my goods and stumble back up the dock without falling in the drink, and back to my truck.
Being considerate of my wife I park in front of trailer so I don’t block her in the drive way. I turn off the motor and………………..
Sometime later I’m disturbed by a tapping noise that comes from somewhere deep in the darkness. Louder and louder the tapping becomes until I’m ripped out of a solid slumber. I shake the cobwebs and look at my wife who is banging on the driver side window of my pickup truck. I open the door to an earful of #####ing and almost choke myself with the seat belt that is still fastened tightly over my shoulder trying to get out. I step out on the wet grass. I know the grass is wet because I’m missing one shoe and now my sock is soaking wet. I also notice my headlights are still.
I stagger into the mobile home and collapse onto the couch, it’s 4:30am my wife looks at me with shame on her face, but love in her eyes. She kisses me on my aching head and whispers “Happy Birthday, my stupid husband"