Plan B? Wal-Mart. (Do not even get me started on the evils of Wal-Mart). There was no choice, off we go. Kthunkkthunkkthunk… You didn’t think I was going to change the tire myself did you?
On the way to the depths of retail hell, I apologized to Hilda. I took back every mean thing I had ever said about her. I promised that if she would, please, just make it to the parking lot, I would never ignore her electronic pleas for attention again. Thankfully she complied. I pulled up to the auto shop entrance, parked in the lane with the word "Tires" emblazoned over the bay door, and waited... and waited.
After over thirty seconds (which in my opinion is way more than enough time), no one was running in my direction to inquire as to what I and the miracle of German engineering that is Hilda could possibly need at Wal-mart. Hmmm...
I stepped out of my overpriced car, adjusted my overpriced sunglasses, smoothed my already smooth overpriced hair (which I recently over processed with over the counter hair color, I just had to hope no one would notice) and stood arms crossed, toe tapping, waiting for the over due attention I deserved.
I could hear shouts of "HEY LADY" from behind me. Of course, I did not turn around. “HEY LADY! HEY LADY? LADY! HEY LAAAADYYYY! "
How do you deal with a Wal-Mart employee shouting at you from the parking lot when ignoring the former carnival barker has no effect? Take a deep breath. Pivot on one foot. Lower sunglasses past bridge of nose. Affix icy stare. Say nothing. The person who talks first loses. I do not lose.
Before me stood Stan the Man. I knew it was Stan the Man because his Wal-Mart name tag said so. I swear to God. Stan the Man. Stan spoke first (Loser).
STM:"Lady, move that car you're parked in a fire lane.”
T: (Sniff) accompanied by a look to suggest you smell like ass.
STM: “Lady you have to move that car. That's a fire lane.”
T: (Audible sigh, accompanied by an uncomfortable pause) Stan, Mr. Stan. The. Man. I did not come here today to tutor you for the Texas Drivers Exam, that you obviously failed on your last, of what I am sure have been many attempts. However, I think you can clearly see that the fire lane is marked with two parallel solid red lines. The fire lane, is in fact ,the area between the two lines. The sign posted at the entrance of the auto center, which I read (because I can) before I parked here, says “No Parking In Fire Lane.” So I didn’t.
STM: You have to move Lady.
T: (after surreptitiously pressing the button to engage the car alarm, I extended the keys as if holding a dead rodent by the tail). “You Mr. Man, may move the car anywhere you see fit, as long as the end result, is that my tire is repaired in the next fifteen minutes. Repaired by someone other than you, since I shall not have any further dealings with you.”
Stan started to protest. Then he apparently thought better of it. He reluctantly took the keys, then did exactly what I knew he would do. He lifted the door handle. Hilda came to life, horn honking, lights flashing, an absolute hilarious display of deafening protest. Hilarious to a bitch like me anyway.
Stan sat in the driver’s seat and inserted the key in an effort to make Hilda's wailing stop. The funny thing is, if Hilda feels she is being accosted, she immediately disengages her ignition switch. That car was going nowhere. She sat down like a stubborn two year old in Stan the Man's imaginary fire lane, and she was not moving. This was greatness!
Being the petty, hateful Snooty McBitchy pants that I am, I gave Stan my best "dumb girl" look. I shrugged my shoulders to indicate I could not do anything. "Sorry." "You, Stan, are The Man. You figure it out."
The novelty of Hilda's temper tantrum wore off quickly. I reset the alarm and sent Stan off to find someone else to fix the tire.
I took my purse and laptop bag, and flounced to the suspect looking faux park bench in front of the auto center doors, sat down, and did my best to look bored. Looking bored is boring.
I found my cell phone, called Mr. Fussy Pants (my boss) and tried to look important, as I explained why today, for the second day in a row, (the second day in a year actually, but this is Fussy were talking about here, no need to point that out.) I was going to be late. Over the din of Fussy’s protests I could hear my phone making a faint beeping noise. Then- Nothing-Hello?- Nothing. -Dead.- Out of batteries- Crap.
I opened my purse to put the cell phone back, so I could stop looking important, and start looking bored again. It was then I noticed, or didn't notice my wallet. No wallet! OH MY GOD! NO WALLET! It was not there. SHITDAMNHELLCRAP! NO WALLET!! No, of course not, because the wallet with all the cash, the checkbook, the debit card and all of the credit cards, was on the table in the living room, at the New Digs, where I left it when I paid for the pizza last night. SHITDAMNHELLCRAP!
To be continued...