The Edge of Hell

The Edge of Hell

A Story by Jim Parson
"

A day in this raging inferno that is my life.

"
Will someone please just shoot me in the face?

It started out as such a lovely day.  I had coffee with Ericka this morning for the first time in probably two years.  It was just like old times...maybe not quite as comfortable as the old days, but we had some tough topics to cover in the catching up process.  She has a way of making you feel at home around her though.  She really was such a great friend once and I'm so happy to have her back in my life.  Like I said, it started out as such a lovely day.

It went downhill rapidly from there.

Today was my wife's birthday.  Thanks to the inspiration of a friend last week, I decided I would surprise her at work, arriving with flowers and her gift and taking her out to lunch.  Being the most devout disciple of procrastination, I had yet to buy her gift as of this morning, but no worries.  I knew Ericka had to open her studio at 10:00 and I didn't need to be to my wife's work until 11:30, so I would have plenty of time to stop and pick up a certificate for the full treatment at the day spa after coffee.  Driving back from Thousand Oaks, I stopped at the florist's and picked up a really cool bouquet, swung by the drug store and got her card and then headed for the day spa to get the certificate.  It's closed on Mondays.  Grrrrrr.  Okay, no problem.  I'll surprise her at work with flowers and her card.  We've been married for 10 years...she knows procrastination is my religion.  I'll just tell her she'll get her present tomorrow.

So I set off on the 35 mile drive to her work.  Were you aware that there is nowhere in a car where you can set a tall vase of flowers where it is stable?  Particularly the front passenger seat?  Some f**ktard decides to change lanes on the freeway, right into the side of my car.  Since I have the reflexes of a cat, I successfully swerve into the lane to my right, tipping the vase of flowers over into my lap.  There are flowers everywhere and my crotch is now totally soaked.  Although I pride myself on my ability to multi-task, driving 70 miles an hour, steering with my knee, scooping flowers from my crotch while simultaneously flipping this guy off proved to be one task too many.  My lightning fast lane change turned into a lightning fast two-lane change.  The blaring horn of the semi millimeters away from crushing me alerted me to the need to apply my brakes, which I did vociferously.  All of the flowers that were previously on my lap are now on the floorboard underneath my feet.  The water, however, remained mostly in my lap.  When I get to my wife's office, I attempt to put the arrangement back together, but, alas, flower arranging cannot be counted among my many and varied talents.

I get on the elevator and press the button for the 7th floor.  The doors open and she is standing there with her entire staff.  I'm standing there with an apparent bladder issue and holding this unsightly mass of what were once flowers.  Last night, I told my brother-in-law (he works at the same place my wife does) to make sure and tell her staff I was coming to surprise her, figuring they might have plans to take her out.  He didn't tell them.  After some uncomfortable silence and angry glares from her staff (most of whom still hadn't gotten over me calling them morons last month when she neglected to tell me I was on the speakerphone), my wife took the flowers to her office while I paid a visit to the bathroom to try and dry off my pants.  I was pleased to see this bathroom had blowers instead of one of those cloth towel rollers.  I discovered if I put one leg up on the sink, I could boost myself high enough for the offending area of my pants to be directly aligned with the blower.  This was great until my foot slipped and slammed into the cold water handle, turning on the faucet and filling my shoe with water.  My foot got wedged between the sink and the faucet and it was several minutes before I could free it, soaking my right pant leg to the knee.  Determined to persevere, I returned to the dryer.  Fortunately, no one walked in on me as I was hugging the hand dryer with my crotch shoved up into the blower.

My wife and I walk up the street to Porto's, the greatest Cuban bakery on the planet.  My wife was kind enough not to ask about the squishing noises my right shoe made as I walked.  We arrive at the bakery and no sooner do we sit down than my phone rings.  It's my daughter, Alex.  Last week, I swapped cars with her so I could take hers in to get some repairs done to it, because that's the kind of wonderful father I am.  Well, she is totally panicked because my car won't start and she has to get to work.  She doesn't think it's the battery because the headlights are working.  So I'm thinking the starter has probably gone out.  I'm 35 miles away from home and my daughter is 35 miles the opposite direction from my home.  Yes, that means she is 70 miles away.

As my lunch cools in front of me, I call AAA to see if there is anything that can be done, since neither the car nor the AAA membership belong to my daughter.  They offer to add her to my account right then and there and will dispatch assistance for her.  I couldn't believe how efficiently they got this accomplished.  I love AAA.  I add my daughter to my account, they call her on her cell, they email her membership card to her and the tow truck is there, all within a half hour.  Throughout this process, my daughter is frantic (she gets that from her mother) so I stay on the phone with her through most of my wife's birthday lunch.

We just finish eating when the phone rings again.  It is the battery after all.  The tow truck driver can charge the battery, but it is completely shot and if my daughter shuts the car off, it won't start again.  He can replace it right then and there for $125.  I tell her to go ahead and have it done.  She says she doesn't have $125.  I tell her to use the debit card I gave her for emergencies, which is attached to a joint checking account I have with her.  5 minutes later, the phone rings again.  The card was rejected.  That's when I remembered that I also use that account to run through all the money from my book sales.  I transferred the money from weekend sales from there to my checking account last night, leaving only $100 in it.

The tow truck dude can't take my credit card over the phone.  She doesn't have the extra $25 to add to the $100 that's on the debit card.  He won't put the new battery in.  Okay, fine.  I'll be right there.  70 miles away.  I cut my wife's birthday lunch short, rush her back to work and head for Camarillo.  I arrive about an hour later.  Alex calls the tow truck guy when I'm getting close and he comes back so he's there when I get there.  He puts the battery in, I pay him and my daughter rushes off, almost two hours late for work.  I let it slide that she didn't say thank you.

I head back for home.  I discover something new to add to the many things that will need to be fixed on her car when I take it into the shop tomorrow...her gas gauge.  It shows there is still an eighth of a tank left, yet three miles from home, I run out of gas.  I begin walking.  I am not a happy man.  But at least my pants have dried.  My shoe hasn't.

At lunch, I had a strawberry-kiwi Snapple and a rather large glass of water.  While Mr. Butt-Crack was replacing the battery in my car, Alex ran in to her dorm room and got me another bottle of water, which I finished.  After walking about a mile, all of these fluids reach my bladder at the same time.  There is no way I am going to make it another two miles.  Ahhh, there are some very tall bushes.  I step behind them and no sooner do I begin to relieve the pressure than a cop pulls up.  I immediately try and cut the flow, which is a very difficult thing to do after a Snapple and the equivalent of a half gallon of water, but I manage with only minor consequences to the crotch of my pants, now wet for the second time today.  The officer informs me the act I just performed in the bushes falls under the category of "lewd and lascivious."  He assured me the answer was "no" when I retorted "you gotta be kidding me."

Honoring his responsibility to serve and protect, this jelly donut-eating flatfoot asks me for identification, which I willingly provide.  He disappears into his cruiser, leaving me to dance from leg to leg on the side of the road.  A few minutes later, he reappears to inform me my driver's license has been suspended for failure to pay a speeding ticket a year and a half ago and a warrant was issued.  He did not care for my response.  Nor did the officer find any humor in it as he was slapping the handcuffs on me when I asked if I could please return to the bushes to finish what I'd started.  Well, at least the police station is another mile closer to home.

Paying the ticket is no problem...just put it on the credit card.  But the "lewd and lascivious" thing is something different altogether.  I get thrown into the holding tank with several serial killers to wait for my wife to come bail me out.  It may be fun sometimes on a Saturday night, but at that moment, I was in no mood to be bent over anything.  Ever see Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in "Stir Crazy" when they get locked up?  Or Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places"?  That was me.  It's now about 3:00 in the afternoon.  I'm allowed my one phone call.  My wife informs me she gets off work at 5:30, should be there by 6:30 to bail me out and has no intention of coming one minute sooner.  She wasn't happy.  Not one of her better birthdays.  And yes, I am typing this right now from the couch, where I will be sleeping for the next couple of weeks.

There will be a hearing in two weeks to determine whether or not I will now be a registered sex offender.  I'm printing out this story as my only defense.

At 11:00 tonight, I got a text from my daughter.  It read, "Thank you so much for today, Daddy.  I love you."  This was just the best day.

© 2011 Jim Parson


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Featured Review

wow, what a day! lol.
writing-wise, this was so very entertaining. i cant recall a piece that had me smiling and reacting on the spot at so many occasions throughout. also, this is put together and told/written so well. you are a true story-teller. very talented indeed. nothing to critique here, only a fun story to enjoy :)
if this is based on real events, i hope you have a reasonable judge! couldnt imagine they would go through prosecution for something like that. also, if this is based on real events, kudos to you for sharing :)
if its fiction, kudos to you for telling it with such splendid detail and with such a genuine voice that i could only guess it did actually happen.

either way. nice story :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

thanks for the story, etc, see your email for my 2 cents

Posted 9 Years Ago


That’s quite the day he had! Great piece of work! It carries the reader straight through to the end, without a hitch.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Talk about the worst possible day a man could get, i did not know whether to laugh or just feel sorry for our hero, you really put him through hell haha.
A brilliant piece that moves along at great pace, i am really glad this was suggested to me!
Great work, hope to read more!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I've been there man! Except I was ORed, and didn't have to bail out. I hate to laugh, but when you look back on things it is kind of funny. I don't know if this really happened, but you wrote it convincingly enough. I never gotten a ticket for lewdness, but I have a friend who did, same way, he had to go, and pulled over on the side of the road, hid himself between his car door and the freeway barrier, and did his business; a cop pulled over to make sure he was alright and gifted him with a ticket. I guess they expect you to pee your pants, and yes, they can put you on the sex offenders list for that, which is ridiculous!

Great Read Jim!
RLG,
Tommy


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Haha, this was very entertaining! I love it. You are very talented! Thanks for the giggle,
Kiri

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thankyou so much I needed a chuckle and reading this I definately got one ... sorry you had such a bad day and hopefully you are no longer sleeping on the sofa .... you are a good story teller :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a very entertaining story...so well written....it left me with a smile...thank you for sharing this write :)

Peace
Robin

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh, I have laughed myself silly at your misfortunes here! This is a brilliant, funny, and intelligent write, and I loved every minute of it. Can't wait for the movie! ;-)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked this story sometimes. There are some very funny quips in it that made me laugh, but the constant misadventures were irritating me, for me...there were too many. You write well. Thankyou

Posted 9 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow, what a day! lol.
writing-wise, this was so very entertaining. i cant recall a piece that had me smiling and reacting on the spot at so many occasions throughout. also, this is put together and told/written so well. you are a true story-teller. very talented indeed. nothing to critique here, only a fun story to enjoy :)
if this is based on real events, i hope you have a reasonable judge! couldnt imagine they would go through prosecution for something like that. also, if this is based on real events, kudos to you for sharing :)
if its fiction, kudos to you for telling it with such splendid detail and with such a genuine voice that i could only guess it did actually happen.

either way. nice story :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 1, 2011
Last Updated on February 12, 2011
Tags: humor

Author

Jim Parson
Jim Parson

Los Angeles, CA



About
I have been a banker for the past 28 years, but my dream has always been to write. I thought maybe it was time to give it a try. I don't think I'm the greatest writer, but I think I can tell a prett.. more..

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