Now this may get a little embarrassing and I hope you will not think less of me for some of my "wit and humor" that might be considered by some as "tasteless," but I am going to take a real chance here and share with you the way I spent Valentine's Day 1998 with my folks! Since we all have, at one time or another, had some type of experience with a "cop" that left us with a story to tell (or perhaps one that we hoped would never be told!), I thought you might enjoy a "cop story" (no relation to the famed "fish story"--every word of this one is TRUE, but please don't take offense!) and this will give you a 'small' background on me (of course, I hope it will also "entertain" you)! Well, couldn't be too bad if my folks were with me, you say??? Hmmmm…let's just say I can look back now and we can all laugh together, but....boy, oh boy! What a trip!

Before I begin, be forewarned that:

(1) I've tried to spell correctly, but some things I don't even know how to spell, so that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

(2) This "story" will be very lengthy so make sure you have some time on your hands and a good helping of patience and tolerance close by before you start because you may have to draw off of it in order to make it through to the end [of the journey]!

(3) You might want to read this message in private without any "extra ears" close by and have a couple of bandaids on hand because I hope you are going to bust your sides laughing out loud (LOL!!) as you read it!

Now get your reading glasses, pull up a comfortable chair, sit back and get ready to "ride"...

RATED: For mature audiences!

My mom was born and raised in "down the road a piece," which is maybe slightly over an hour's drive from where I live. She and a girlfriend moved to "the big city" as soon as she graduated and could get a job, so she has lived in town most of her life. However, her parents (my grandparents) are both buried in the "down the road a piece" small church cemetery. While my parents were still young enough to 'scoot around at their leisure,' the two of them used to go "down the road a piece" to the little cemetery before special occasions and holidays and put flowers on the headstone. It had been a good while since anyone had been there. My mom has one [younger] sister, but she lives in a waterfront town "up the road a piece" from where I live, which puts her about 2 or 2 ½ hours away from the cemetery.

Anyway, it had been quite some time since I had been there so I didn't remember exactly how to get to the cemetery. I asked the folks before we left if they knew how to get there. [FIRST MISTAKE!]

"Yep! Sure do!" was my dad's response; "I think so!" was my mom's response. Why should I not believe them? After all, they had been there many, many times and my mom grew up there. Not that much has changed, believe it or not, since she lived there. I mean we're talking real backwoods country! So off we went on Valentine's Day....

As we backed out of the driveway, I asked them if I needed to go down Route 460 or down Route 5. [SECOND MISTAKE!!]

"Either way you want to can get there both ways," they both agreed, so why should I doubt them! [THIRD MISTAKE!!!]

"Well, I don't know how to get there either way," I said, "so which way do you want me to go?" "Doesn't make a lot of difference...either way will be fine!" they both assured me. So, unsuspectingly, off I headed down Route 460...

Miles and miles down the road and an hour later on the clock I thought surely we had to be getting close! So I gave them a little reminder... "You know, guys, I don't know where to turn so you're gonna' to have to tell me when we get there." [FOURTH MISTAKE!!!!]

My dad said, "Well, I think you've come too far." My mom said, "No, I don't think you've gone far enough...I think it's a little bit further down [the road]." Finally, I saw a sign that boasted the name of this little town, so I turned there because, obviously, they weren't going to say anything. They both agreed this was okay.

Got to a fork in the behind me...gotta' go right or left... "Which way folks?" [FIFTH MISTAKE!!!!!]

One says left, one says right! So I took a left and now we were all lost! I said "Where is it we are trying to get to?"

"Ahhhh....the Courthouse," came the response from the back seat. "Okay," I said, thinking 'the Courthouse' MUST be in the town (of course), so the next sign to the town I see, I take that road! [Notice this was not a mistake!] Not a creature was stirring, not even the dogs (yes, we even took the dogs along)! Down a two lane road, across a one lane bridge, through ahm...let's just say "the boon docks," around 753 curves, past a horse and buggy (no, just kidding about the horse and buggy)...and there we were...right back where we started from!! By this time, we had wasted another 45 minutes of daylight and we were still lost!!

Eventually, as I was "following my nose" to get back to Route 460 and start all over again, we found a sign that said Courthouse. "There's the sign," said my dad, "it's straight ahead down this road. I thought it was down this way." (Yeah, right! Sure you did! Then why didn't you say so 45 minutes ago!) Besides, there ain't a 'straight ahead' road in the whole County! Oh sure, he knew it all along, huh...just wanted me to take the long way around so that he could see all the "beautiful scenery" and enjoy the ride, I suppose!

Now I have to admit that we did manage to find the little store he was talking about that sells the packages of cured ham, but after we found it his brilliant comment was "...since it's so late, we'll stop there next time." "Not on your life or mine, kiddo! We're stopping this time...there may not be a next time if you get me this lost again!" I told him.

"How could you get lost?" said the little old lady behind the counter who lives right down the road (and has probably lived there all of her 93 years and never been further than the county line!), "…all you had to do was take the left at the fork...or you could have stayed straight on the road you came in on and come straight on down." Yeah, I should have known that all along, right? I mean it was sooooo obvious! I'll try to remember that when I come down next time another 5 years from now!

Okay…purchases made...amenities exchanged...conversations finished...back in the car...on the road again! Another 35 minutes gone by! Getting darker, but even if it's a "city mile" I think we can still make it before dark!

Whew! Finally found it! Even recognized where I was when I saw the turn to the church and the cemetery on the hill. (Who wouldn't recognize a church with a cemetery when that's what you're looking for, right? Especially when it's likely the only one in the town!)

So...put the flowers on the headstone...dug up the old faded, windblown, dried out silk flowers and the wet flower pots...put the trash in the trunk of the car (no place else to put it-no trash can in the cemetery, of course)...took a couple of dad took a…ah…liquid bathroom break…and off we went to find the little diner they knew about where you could buy a good ole' home cooked meal for a bite to eat before we forgot how to get back to the main highway and got lost in this County forever!

Wow! Everything's going good now! Everything's fine! Valentine's Day! Things are settling down! Found the restaurant with no problem (dare I hope the rest of the evening is gonna' turn out good since there isn't that much left of it?) ...even had a buffet with ("surprise!") one of my favorites--all the crab legs you can eat! Hey! This may turn out to be a great Valentine's Day after all!

Well, you can forget that! I should have known when "cured ham country" said "all the crab legs you can eat" that there was going to be a hitch! Still, the meal was acceptable even if the service was lousy! Took us a long time because my mom had never had crab legs before and even if she knew how to eat them, she didn't have the strength in her crippled hands to crack them. So I had to help her. Meanwhile, the evening crowd had flocked in and were standing in line at the door glaring at us-all three of us taking up a table for eight. Well, that's where the hostess seated us...sorry about that!

Meal finished...bill paid...bathroom breaks taken...back in the car...puppies given their treat...on the road again!! [SIXTH MISTAKE!!!!!!]

Just outside of the "big city" limits (about 10-15 miles from home), dearest dad discovers he doesn't have his glasses.  Had them on at the restaurant, but can't find them now...must have left them on the table. I pulled in at a service station and he searched all his pockets, the seat, the floorboard, his bag of goodies from the 93 year old lady in the little store that sells the cured ham--everyplace [he said!] and no glasses! Rather than go all the way back down the road to the restaurant which could well be closed when we got there anyway, I went in the service station to get the phone number for the restaurant so I could give them a call. I thought this was pretty logical on my part (that's what I get for thinking!)!

"Sorry," said the clerk, "no numbers listed for that town in the "big city" phone books." (Now why didn't I think of that!) Convinced I'm not going to let this get the best of me, I got back in the car and called information (411) from my cell phone to get the telephone number for the restaurant...and since I didn't have any paper to write it down on, I was hoping I could remember it after I got it. Hark! The recording answers! That irritating monotone voice is spouting off the number followed by, "Please hold while we dial that number for you."

Hey! This is great! Now I won't have to try to remember it (which would be next to impossible anyway with my slightly impaired memory!). Now we're getting somewhere I thought (again!). So, of course, I held on while my robot operator dialed the number for me. [SEVENTH MISTAKE!!!!!!!]

Phone started ringing and then the dreaded scourge of all cell phone users-the "dead zone".... Regardless, no more ringie more dialie dialie…the "robot" had disconnected me (deliberately, I'm sure!) without even a "thank you, ma'm" …and trust me-no more patience! Not only did I not get the restaurant, I didn't remember the doggoned telephone number either.

Okay, here I sit with two "children" in the car who want to know when we're gonna' be home and when they can go to the bathroom, a dog who smells like he already has, and I know through all of this that times a'passin and that by the time I go through all of this again, I could have driven to the restaurant and maybe gotten there before it closed!

So "Miss Logical" here started back down the road...45 mph…55 mph...60 mph.. BIG MISTAKE... 65 mph.... BIGGER MISTAKE ...70 mph... BIGGEST MISTAKE! BIG blue lights goin' round and round! Busted! Maybe it's a mistake! Must be a mistake! Couldn't be a mistake--no one else on the road but me and the BIG blue lights! Put on my blinkers...pulled off the side of the road...grabbed my purse which doubles as a suitcase and could easily accommodate a submachine gun, an oozie, a .357 magnum, and probably a body if it was folded right-- all without visible detection from the outside!

Couldn't see the cop for the flashlight in my eyes, but I knew he was there!! I could tell by the BIG blue lights!

"Ma'm, I clocked you on my radar at 68 mph--this is a 55 mph zone," he purred. Here I sit--trying to get my drivers license out of the "gun bag"... nervously babbling something or other about going back to get glasses before the restaurant closed...when I thought I heard the cop say, "Slow down and have a nice evening, ma'm." Surely, I must have heard wrong! Did he really say that? Cops never say that--I watch TV just like everybody else! Good things never, but NEVER, happen to me so this simply could not be possible! I am a living example of bad luck looking for a place to happen... typical Murphy's Law-if something can go wrong, it will! But if I'm dreamin', please, Lord, let me not wake up until the BIG blue lights are GONE!

As I cautiously inched back out on the highway, almost fearful that I would see the BIG blue lights and hear a siren this time followed by my cop with that big bright flashlight and a bigger pair of silver handcuffs growling, "Where do you think you are going?" my dad sitting in the backseat said sheepishly, "He must have thought you were good lookin' to let you go without giving you a ticket." (Yeah, thanks dad...I really needed that! Don't need you to remind me I should have gotten a ticket! With my luck, he'll hear you and turn around and show me his BIG blue lights again!).

"No, daddy, I don't think that's what it was...more like he shined that big bright light in here and saw my white, straggly hair; a dog who has to go to the bathroom; and the two of you and that cop probably figured 'I don't have the heart to give this lady a ticket...she's got enough problems already!'"

We eventually did get back to the was still open...his glasses weren't there…never did see the BIG blue lights again either.

Oh yes, one more thing! Before we left the restaurant without his glasses, my dad wanted me to get down on my hands and knees in the parking lot in my pink spandex pants and look for his glasses under all the cars close to where he thought we were parked, but I refused! I could just see it! Headlines in all the Sunday morning papers in that country hick town-"Person in Pink Pants Plastered in Pig Parking Lot."

Well, as we were leaving the parking lot, we did find his glasses. They were still in the case lying in plain view right on the rear deck shelf in the back window of the car where they had been all along! (Good thing Mr. BIG Blue Lights didn't see them back there or he would have locked me up for sure!)

That's about the end of my Saturday Valentine's Day adventure! I guess the moral to this story is "Person who wears glasses should wear glasses to see," or maybe it's "Person who let blind person lead deserve to go on wild goose chase" or something like that!

Like I said, what a trip! Someday I'm gonna' write a book...maybe I'll send you an autographed copy!

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