Friday, January 22, 2010

Rain stories, part one

I love rain.

I don’t love driving or walking in it, of course, but sitting inside in a cozy, warm house while God cleans and replenishes our world is high on my list of the best things in life. If there’s a fireplace in the room it goes up another notch or two.

Yesterday though, I had to drive to work in a pounding rain — highly unusual in Southern California and all the more dangerous for that reason. That nobody knows how to drive in the rain here is not only an accepted fact, it is the subject of much chuckling and chortling among Southern Californians. Not that it’s funny in the least. Busy freeways with people smacking into each other as if we were all driving carnival bumper cars is very stressful.

I was running a little late and didn’t take time to eat before I left the house. I figured a drive-thru burger would do just fine.

Now, the funny thing about the Carls Jr. in our neighborhood is that it was constructed backward. By that I mean the drive-thru window is on the wrong side of the building. Consequently, when you reach the window it is also on the wrong side of your car, the passenger’s side. I had to get out of the car to pick up my order.

The rain was hard and relentless. Not wanting the inside of the car to get wet, I left the keys in the ignition, engine running and closed the door behind me, making sure first that it wasn’t locked. Really, I did that.

The moment I stepped away from the vehicle THE DAMNED SECURITY SYSTEM IN THAT MODERN MARVEL LOCKED ME OUT!!

So, here I am — locked out of my car, waving the drive-thru customers behind me around my steaming, wiper-active, warm, dry, inaccessible 2005 Toyota Sienna.

I suspect some of those people are still telling the story of the idiot they saw yesterday standing in a downpour, without a jacket or umbrella, calmly eating a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

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