The start of it all

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Late for his meeting, Rich Cummings walked in cursing that “worn out piece of junk” behind which he had gotten stuck on Highway 35 headed to work.

Traveling south on 35, Teresa mumbled under her breath as cars tried to pass. Gas pedal to the floor, 48 mph was all the old Chevy could muster on the two-lane road. She dared not glance to her left and engage the menacing stares of those who did manage to pass. ‘Blame mechanic,’ she thought, remembering his last words, “It should be good as new.”

Employed at ‘Gerald’s Garage’ these past three years, Tony had yet to see a raise. Required to purchase his own tools, his arsenal had diminished such that he sometimes lacked what was needed for an adequate job. “If he’d get off some of that money, I might could get something done,” he muttered, glancing at his boss.

Studying the credit card bill, Gerald felt his anger rising. ‘She thinks money grows on trees.’ That hollow, depressed feeling one experiences when sinking into debt fueled his perception of helplessness. It was such that he and Pam could no longer broach the subject.

Setting another pair of heels on the counter, Pam perpetuated her favorite activity of solace. There was something about slipping one’s feet into new leather that made troubles evaporate. And 12-year-old Justin had been a handful of late, especially since his accident. “That’ll be $89.95,” spoke the clerk. Pam pulled out her card.

“Stupid dog.” Thus were Justin’s thoughts having tripped over “Butch” and tumbling onto the brick hearth. The doctor said his fractured wrist, now in cast, should heal in four to six weeks. Flipping channels, he was bored out of his wits.

Seeing the snag in the carpet, Butch dashed across the floor to grasp the rebellious nylon loop with his bicuspids. In route, he felt his owner’s ankles slam into his side and the subsequent vibration on the floor from the fall. Giving a howl, he raced around the corner to safety.

So now we know, finally, who was at fault. That blasted snag in the carpet made Rich Cummings late.