The statute of limitations has expired on this one, so I think I can safely share this story with you. Why I am sharing a moment of weakness is beyond me. I must be tired this morning.
At the time this story occurred, time, repetition and lack of forward motion worked against me. Keep those three points in mind. Also, please note that I am normally a calm, well behaved citizen.
Also, it had probably been a more stressful morning than usual. What could have caused additional stress at our house at that point in time could have been one of hundreds of things. It was probably several dozen of a hundred that put me in a dither that morning.
Why do I feel like I’m presenting testimony in a court hearing? Enough! On with the story.
My daughter who shall remain nameless, was needing a ride to school. Fine. We’d done that countless times. This particular day she or I, let’s just say we to simplify things, were running a bit late. But, if we didn’t have to stop for too many long red lights she’d still make it to class on time.
Arriving on the school property I slowed to the requisite 8 mph. A sigh of exasperation crossed my lips as I saw them. The dreaded orange cones.
I hated the stupid orange cones. We called them the orange cones of death. Why? The cones were school security’s way of directing traffic the way THEY thought it should flow. I’m sure if you have hundreds, nay, thousands, of parents driving whichever direction they wanted whilst dropping off their beloved offspring for a day of molding and shaping their ever eager minds, it could become a traffic jam of epic proportions. I understand that. I really do. So I would dutifully follow the path of least resistance that occurred by following the orange cones.
The flow of traffic, however, made little sense to the sleep deprived parental mind when there remained only 2 minutes until the tardy bell rang. Looping all the way around the parking lot, over countless speed bumps designed to destroy what little alignment remained in the car was a waste of precious time and sanity. What made the traffic flow even more ridiculous was that the drop off point was a mere twenty feet away from where the orange cones of death began their path. A simple, quick left turn would allow a nearly immediate drop off with minutes to spare. That would free up time for the child to amble off to class, helping little old ladies across the hallway, shaking hands respectfully with the principal and offering to carry a heavy box for a teacher, if she so desired.
A quick left hand turn would ease the stress of certain parents, would improve the morning race to get everyone out the door, and would, in fact, lend itself to beginnings of world peace. A quick left hand turn would be logical and there was little logic in this traffic pattern which required a circuitous route.
I might add here that there were very few cars driving this gauntlet of ridiculousness with only a couple of minutes until classes started. The parking lot was nearly void of moving cars, there were virtually no students in the area, and the security golf cart guys were off having their morning laugh together.
Normally I would simply resign myself to the fate of another bumpy slog over the river and through the woods of the parking lot to drop of said child at the doors to the halls of learning.
That would be a normal reaction.
This particular day was not normal. (Reference the above one hundred or more reasons for stress.)
This one morning of many something in me snapped.
“Stupid! Orange! Cones!” I yelled. “Not today!”
I raced my engine up to 12 mph and turned the wheels sharply to the left and simply drove over the stupid orange cones.
Yes, this was in full sight of the front office.
I didn’t care.
I felt triumphant.
I felt victorious.
I had stuck it to the man.
I felt a little embarrassed.
“There ya’ go, my love,” I said as we pulled neatly up to the curb.
My daughter was laughing hysterically.
I stifled my own laugh.
“Have a nice day!” I chirped.
“I love you mom!” she said through her laughter. “Get a nap today, I think you need it!”
I watched her amble in through the doors of the school and drove off into the sunrise.
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