In Oct. 10 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
It's all about priorities for me.
Like when we're preparing for a family trip (a trip to Walmart is considered a major outing).
People and things must be accounted for.
Let's see...got to have diapers, wipes and changes of clothes in case there's any accidents (this applies to children and adults), doesn't hurt to pack some snacks (this, too, applies to children and adults), oh shoot, do we have enough gas, and when was the last time the oil was changed in the van?
Is it every 3,000 miles? 13,000 miles? 30,000 miles? I think it's got a “three” in there somewhere.
Kids...let's see, one strapped in a car seat, another in a car seat, and...uh-oh, missing one!Wait, he's not even in the van! Where is he?
Oh! Out on the lawn mower. Well, he can't get to Walmart on the lawn mower, so...
Alright, all kids (and adults) present and accounted for.
The journey begins!
For some reason, I'm in the passenger seat, but that's OK, because I can easily give driving tips, directions, bark orders, warn of impending crashes, etc., from this vantage point.
OK-straight to Walmart and back, no stopping, no messing around.
The key goes in the ignition, the motor starts, and as the van begins backing up, Izzy, our youngest, does a “Houdini” and is standing straight up in her car seat.
Especially when the other kids notice and start screaming in unison.
Even worse that the now-standing toddler is blocking her brother and sister's view of the DVD player.
Baby is re-secured, and we attempt to move forward now.
We get to the end of the driveway-so far so good.
As we pull out of the driveway, something catches my eye.
“STOP!” I scream.
“What?” my wife, Renee' asks. “Is it one of the kids?”
“No, no!” I reply, “just stop.”
We get a few hundred yards up the road before I literally grab hold of the steering wheel and help maneuver the van into a parking lot.
“What did you see back there?” Renee' asks.
“Something laying back there in the ditch,” I said.
“Oh no, it wasn't one of our kittens, was it?” she fearfully asks.
I motion for her to sit still, and I exit the van.
I could hear the kids asking where I was going, and what I was doing.
The area of interest was a lot farther away than I thought, so I began sprinting...for about ten feet, then got tired, and slowed to a clumsy walk.
I didn't want to appear as if I: a) Had car trouble and was walking for help, b) Was starting a new fitness program, or c) Trying to retrieve something from the ditch line.
(It's “c”, in case you're wondering.)
To get a better look, I somehow managed to stretch myself out to a position in which I was “straddling” the ditch.
My right foot was on the road, and my left foot on the edge of the sidewalk-which was a sight to make passing motorists slow down, point, and gesture.
I walked this way for a few hundred feet until it felt as if I would lose my manhood.
Well, actually, it felt kinda good, but...
I was just about to convince myself I had been seeing things, when I saw a flash of black and red.
Looking around, I reached down, grabbed it, quickly stuffed it in the pocket of my hoody, and with stealth-like precision, scuttled back to the van.
“What was it?” Renee' asked as I jumped in and motioned for her to speed away.
I tried to distract the kids, as I reached into my pocket.
“NO!” she said.
“What IS that?” she asked.
“It's a CD,” I said.
“You went to all this trouble for that?!” she bellowed.
“Well, yeah,” I said. “I couldn't just leave it laying back there.”
“OK,” she said. “You mean to tell me that you don't see deer, or dogs, or cats when they run out in the road in front of us, but you can see a CD laying in a ditch?”
“Well, you know I really like music,” I said.
“What is it, anyway?” Renee' asked.
“I dunno, it's red and black, that's all I know,” I said.
She grabbed it out of my hand, and shot me a look that was, well, I don't know how to describe it.
It wasn't a “mad” look, a “sad” look,” but it certainly wasn't a “happy” look.
“It's Marilyn Manson 'Antichrist Superstar' ,” she said. “I bet the kids will really like this one.”
I turned my head and looked out the window.
“Would you like to listen to it?” my wife asked. “Would you like to kids to hear this? It's supposed to be better than his other CD. Oh, now shoot, what was that one called...oh, yeah, 'Smells Like Children.'
“By the way” Renee' added. “This CD is BROKEN.”
She held it up so I could (now) see the huge crack running along the entire width of the CD.
“Just throw it out,” I said.
“No, that would be littering,” Renee' said.
So, later than night, I took the CD, and walked in the rain to put it back exactly where I had found it.
Sometimes, it's best just to leave stuff alone.