After I arrived at the office, I did a quick run-through of my email to make sure that no major fires were in progress, and then picked up the phone to call the vet. Our family’s main Christmas present this year had been a beagle, with which we were all smitten, and she had developed a worrisome sore on her belly. The vet’s assistant said that they could fit her in if I could drop her off in the next hour.
So, I gulped down the remainder of my coffee and hurried back out to my car. Fortunately I had no meetings scheduled before 11, and I figured I’d be back in the office by then. The lengthy to-do list that I’d planned on hitting that morning would have to wait a while longer. I pulled out of the garage and noticed that the new rattling noise from under the hood was getting louder. Sigh. Taking my car to the shop was not in the budget for the month. Then again, neither was taking the dog to the vet.
I made it home, grabbed the beagle and her kennel, and deposited both in the back seat. I headed back out onto the interstate with my head a whirlwind of one concern after another. What if the dog is really ill? The kids would be crushed, especially after losing Wilson this summer. I wonder how much the vet bill is going to be? There’s that worrisome sound under the hood again. It would be just my luck to have the car die on me here on the highway. Am I going to be able to make it back to the office in time for my 11 o’clock? I really can’t afford to be blowing off two hours of work this morning.
I veered off onto the offramp toward town.
I bet that new author is going to leave me a really annoyed voicemail, wondering where his revised contract is. I know I should take my car into the shop, but I can’t swing both a mechanic’s bill and a vet’s bill. So much for our new austerity budget. I wonder how much the vet bill’s going to be? Man I hope she’s going to be OK.
I had just rear-ended the car in front of me. Unbelievable. The woman driver got out, strode around to the rear of her car, surveyed her crumpled bumper, and then swung around to face me. She appeared to be somewhere in between bursting into tears and flying into a homicidal rage. “My new car!” was all she could muster. I raised my hands up in a defensive gesture and half-shrugged. “I’m sorry” was all I could muster.
We traded insurance information, the state trooper came, and he gave me a summons for following too closely. Twist the knife a little harder, why don’t you….
To be continued….