Monday, August 24, 2009

The Quest

It was an unfavorable day to be on a walkabout for our automobile. Not wanting to be a dowdy mom, I dolled up and wore heels to take Gigi to a doctor's appointment, with the hopes of possibly doing a little shopping after the checkup. However, it was 95 degrees in DC and the air was close. My little doozie was tired and didn’t want to walk. I thought, “I’ll get the stroller,” but as we approached our parking spot, I realized we were in trouble. The stroller was in our MISSING vehicle. I noticed a tow truck a block away and with my dogs-a-barkin', I scooped up Gigi and ran after it. The driver told me the address of where my car had been towed which was about a mile away. Ugggh! If only I had noticed the instructions on the sign, “No parking 4p-6:30p.” It was 4:15p. Off we went on a quest for our Quest with me in my heels and a 30-pound child on my hip, wishing I had worn flip-flops.

We turned the incident into an adventure. A cop pulled up, reported that she had given me a ticket and would follow us. I proclaimed that we were on a special mission with a police escort on a race to our car. There was a lot of traffic - the lady po po inched along beside us as we scurried along the sidewalk. Pedro the tow truck driver was waiting for us with a big smile, watching us jump up and down as we won the race. He said he had never seen people having fun after having their vehicle hauled away. I praised him for such a fine relocation job and he surprised me with the best news I'd had all afternoon. He threw out the fine and I hugged Pedro's tow-truck sized neck.

In the future, I'm going to heed the signs better than I’ve done in the past. Dan and I were in Morocco a few years back, driving across the Atlas Mountains. There was a road sign that looked like falling rocks, which was not very comforting on a jig-jag road with a shoulder that drops off hundreds of feet below. We were in a bit of a predicament as nature was calling. There are not any rest stops so we pulled over for an old-school style pit stop. Both doors should be open and you squat in between them. As soon as my pants were down, oodles of kids had surrounded us and were asking for candy. That's when we realized what the sign really meant - “Little Children Run Out of Caves.”

IF only more signs were provocative, people like me would pay attention. "Park here after 4 and I'll tow your ass." Or, "Slow your roll sister" on the flashing speed sign. The entrance sign to the beach community in Lewes made me stand up and take notice. It welcomed us to “Ape Hores” instead of “Cape Shores.” That's some kind of vacation community!
My favorite inciting sign is near our house, just north of DC on Hwy 495 at the Kensington/Chevy Chase exit - “Open Joints on Bridge.” What a call to action - get a motorcycle and light up. Now there's a quest that would be amusing but I bet I'd get another ticket.