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The run

Posted: February 16, 2013 - 2:20pm

This last Thursday was a day like any other except that I had to make a special run to the ville to pick up some unique flowers.

Unfortunately last Thursday was also programmed by the weather gremlins to be a foul mixture of wind gusts weaving through the area herding around alternating cantankerous snow squalls and spiteful rain blasts.

Being a careful guy I took a look at the regional radar to see when I’d get a break. All I saw was a wall of deep green moving up the inlet and a forecast note “Things will continue to be the major pits until they aren’t.”

I should have stayed home and had the vegetation delivered.

During the trip I was eyewitness, twice, to the incredible fact that people who would normally register a flat line during a brain scan are fully capable of starting a vehicle and zombie-steering it in public.

My first encounter with one of these cretins came as I was cruising over some compact snow and ice just outside of the burg. The speed limit was 25 but I was slower because of the conditions. Suddenly a little red eco-car resembling a stubby energy drink container on wheels shot by me like the driver was on a prune juice overload and was in dire need of an emergency pit stop.

I figured if the maniac kept driving like a road-rage infused chimp committing its first car-jack I’d find him hanging on a guardrail in one of the curves ahead. It was not to be. When I arrived in town I spotted the tiny Hot Wheels replica sitting in front of a beauty saloon.

Sorry gentlemen, I cannot apologize for assuming it was a dude driving just because of where it was parked. Nowadays some men are into more special grooming than a champion Old English Sheep Dog.  

Anyway, I chilled and focused on my gift mission which took about 30 minutes — of which 15 were spent hyperventilating at how they raised all the floral prices by 50 percent overnight. You would have thought I was buying gasoline on the Kenai.

By the time I got back to the truck it had started to really blow and as I looked east I could see a wall of white. Behind that pallid barrier lurked our cabin and a whole bunch of road.

Things weren’t too bad at first. Rain turned to airborne slush then huge flakes suddenly morphed into a wicked mini blizzard.

Un-cool butt-scrunching white-out conditions, whether they last for hours or a few minutes, can cause a man who just applied a fresh coat of dark brown “Just for Men” to lay out significant coin for an emergency do-over when he goes through one of those.

I was hugging my side of the road and lucky to spot the edge 15 feet ahead when I noticed headlights where it’s against driving etiquette to have them especially in near zero visibility. Fortunately the other driver determined that he was about to be really late if he had to spend time picking pieces of my grill out of his gums. Somehow he swerved enough to flash by my driver’s window with his fingers embedded in his steering, a frozen scream and probably in need of an immediate change of his lower driving attire and upholstery. I was cool of course except I found that I couldn’t speak when I tried to thunder a few scurrilous comments referencing his lineage and basic intellect in rather severe scatological terms.

I arrived home without further chaos and proceeded to arrange the surprise display for my bride. The layout even amazed my humble self until I looked for the card to finish things off. There wasn’t one.

The erratic storm and driving conditions had resulted in a temporary hyper case of brain flatulence on my part. I had forgotten the coup de foudre. A Hallmark card that contained just the right design and wordsmith touches for only $7.95. I couldn’t believe that I could get a small forest of flora deftly organized but had blown the matching card presentation.

Just I was gearing up to head back in I remembered something my mother taught me about relationships.

She said, “Son, love is a simple gift and needs only the coalescence of honesty and respect to render it worth more than gold.”         

 My lady was ebullient with the sweet smelling bouquet but went quiet as she read a note attached to them. It simply stated. “Honey, I forgot the card. I felt guilty until I realized none of them could have come close to expressing the depth of love I have for you.”

It was a great evening. Thanks Mom.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy explaining that “coup de foudre” is not a hors d’oeuvre.  

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