by Fred Prout
This is not the story I was going to write today. In fact, Rita wanted it locked away forever. Sorry, my love, but daylight savings time is here. The bars are rattling, and the laughter (I hope ) is directed at the situation. Everyone has been in a similar situation. Just not as … funny.
The Benson Arizona SKP park is forty seven point six miles from the nearest hospital in Tucson. On a very good day, the rush hour drive from Tucson can be done in just under three hours. On a very good day.
Rita had an out patient knee surgery scheduled for ten AM . This means be there by nine for paperwork and waiting. And more waiting. Of course, no food or drinks after midnight. For her. I very kindly waited until she was wheeled into surgery sometime short of eleven.
Now, the devils who plan such things, made sure she was out of recovery just before the start of rush hour. As I was wheeling her out to our van ( thankfully with a full bench rear seat ) I heard the dreaded words: “ I’m thirsty. Stop at Sonic and get me a lemonade slushee. A big one. A very big one.”
“ I . AM. THIRSTY. “
“Ok” No fool I .
Armed with a forty four ounce lemonade slushee, we arrived at the entrance ramp for I-10. In rush hour. With a forty four ounce lemonade slushee.
Now, a recent scientific journal found that lemonade slushees have a magical property. They are able to travel unimpeded from the mouth to the bladder with only one change. They increase in volume. From forty four ounces to roughly sixty ounces. Very, very quickly.
The nature of I 10 at that point, was that once you enter, in the right lane, you are quickly shuffled to the middle lane. Rush hour traffic assures that you are trapped. Cars and trucks ( lots of trucks) on either side for the next forty five miles. Armed with a forty four ounce lemonade slushee. Soon to become a sixty ounce lemonade slushee.
Now ladies, if you need to take a quick break, I’ll wait.
Okay, I see all but one of you made it ok.
At the time, we traveled with an eighty pound dog named Gunnar. Some of you met him. Gunnar always drank lots of water, so we carried an outsized water bowl with a special lid that prevented his water from sloshing out.
See where this is going?
“I gotta pee.”
Out of courtesy, I will eliminate the discussion involving getting the water bowl, (I am driving and no help) arranging clothes, arranging body, placing bowls etc.
You know, sometimes you try to be nice, and it’s not appreciated.
I asked if she wanted me to turn on the inside lights to help her. On I-10. With big trucks on either side.
She came very close to tossing that water bowl, filled with recycled, forty four, now sixty ounce, lemonade slushee.
We made it back to Benson in silence.
Rita, I hope you forgive me for letting this story out of the cage after all these years. I think you would agree that if it gives someone a much needed laugh, it was worth it.
I love you.