[Nameplate] Fair ~ 59°F  
Frost Advisory
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way to the detour story

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When my kids were young, one of our favorite books enjoyed together was "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."

You probably remember the clever short story. Little boy must come to grips with the reality that "some days are like that."

Poor Alexander. He falls asleep with gum in his mouth and wakes up with gum in his hair. Getting out of bed, he trips over a skateboard and drops his sweater in a sink full of water, moaning: "I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

Alexander, old buddy, I know the feeling. For I have witnessed Eric's own "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." It was Friday.

The strange thing is that as it all started, I was daydreaming about writing a about the trials and tribulations of navigating the citywide construction zone that is Greencastle these days.

I was postulating how you can't get from here to there (or anywhere in between for that matter) when a funny thing happened on the way to the detour. I realized all the misdirection, street closings and turning semis really haven't affected my own driving habits all that much.

Sure, I've heard stories from others. Heard how turning semis have ended up in yards and knocked down mailboxes. Listened to confused drivers gripe about not being able to get around downtown.

Mostly, I've cursed myself for forgetting which streets were closed when (even though I get weekly updates from the mayor) until it's too late and I'm being shuttled over to Durham Street, an avenue I've seen more of in the past two weeks than I have in 30 years.

Really though, I was feeling pretty good about my GPS-less navigational skills Friday, even outmaneuvering a driver's ed car to slip around another potential tie-up and head east.

Yep, I was even cocky enough to brave the McDonald's maze to grab my morning coffee (two creams, three Splendas in case you're buying).

Swinging the Spyder around the front of the building and into the danger zone, I spy owner Bob Jedele on the curb, consorting with two of his construction crew. I can't resist being a smart aleck, and holler, "Hey, let's get this project moving along!"

Jedele laughs, but the construction guy doesn't get the joke and wants to give me a hammer and hard hat, adding something about a size 10 boot. Believe me, I'm the last guy you want on your roof with a claw hammer.

Moving to the drive-through, I try another dose of levity upon seeing a familiar face at the window. I tell her she's needed on the roof pronto with hammer and hard hat.

"Really?" comes the response, as if she welcomes the notion. She hands me four cents change and a receipt for my coffee, all the while chatting excitedly about the daily drive-through design and how a couple of days earlier guys in hard hats ran payments and change between vehicles and the window, keeping cars out of the construction zone.

Yep, I was there that day, too. Even snapped a photo of that action, I remind her before saying my goodbyes and driving off.

Yes, driving off. Not to the next window but off the lot, leaving my coffee behind.

Decrying my own stupidity, I quickly exit onto Indianapolis Road, wheel into Auto Zone, turn back onto Indianapolis Road and go left on Percy Julian to re-enter the McMaze. I'm hoping the drive-through crew might recognize me and run my wayward cup of coffee out to the car and all will be right with the world.

No chance. Not in the midst of all that mayhem. I chalk it up as a $1 loss and head back to the office.

Jump ahead now to 2 p.m. Time for a quick trip to Kroger before heading home on a late lunch.

With just a couple items on my list, I opt for one of those compact carts that look like they have cup holders on either side of the handle with a wire tray between them. Seems the perfect spot to stick my iPhone while rolling through the store.

Grabbing some bananas, a box of snack crackers and a half-gallon of 2% milk, it's off to the U-scan and quickly out of the store to head home.

About an hour later, I'm getting ready to return to the BG office, and I can't find my phone. Try calling it but I don't answer, so I figure I've left it in the car.

Of course not. I've actually left it in the cart inside Kroger. Probably for 90 minutes or more at this point.

Fearful that by now somebody's probably swiped my phone clean, deleted all my contacts and sold it for 25 bucks, I drive like a maniac, dodging detours and cruising into Kroger in record time.

Can't find the phone in any of the racked carts at the front door, but at the customer service counter, I thankfully can see it on the back shelf, seemingly unharmed by being left unattended.

Reunited with my phone, all I can think about now is poor Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Alexander kept saying he wanted move to Australia to escape it all. I just wanted to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

For some days are like that, yea they are ...