One Bad Day: the tie that binds bagels, screws, iced tea, and tires

It’s somehow got to be all Panera’s fault.  Yes, I mean Panera bread, and it’s definitely all their fault.

The Day I had, that is.  You know which kind of “Day” I mean, right?  The kind where you wake up and the world immediately begins persecuting you as if it previously spent all night staring as you slept, rubbing wrinkled, grey, creepy-ass hands together and cackling manically while contemplating ways to screw with you.

The kind of day where you get to lunch thankful that at least your pants didn’t somehow split up the crotch when you got out of your car this morning – putting your Hello Kitty boxers on display for the entire office – because just about every other damned thing that could go wrong did go wrong.

The kind of day that makes you think Life is passing out Chance cards just like in Monopoly, and guess what, buddy, today you pulled Go Directly to Jail, Do NOT Pass Go!, forget all about that $200 bucks.

You know, the kind of day where every 10 minutes it seems like something else is kicking you square in the family marble bag.

Yep, I’m having that type of A Day, and it demands a scapegoat of one kind or another.   So I’m going with Panera.

Why Panera, you ask?  Why not, I say.  I stopped there for a half-dozen whole wheat bagels (Yay! Fiber!) and a huge-ass, I-must-drink-all-the-liquids giga-oz cup of iced tea on the way to work this morning.  And because I was holding those damned bagels in one hand and the Drink of Infinite Size in the other when I got to the office, I fumbled the daily Opening of The Trunk maneuver.

Fumbled it enough to lose the grip on the cup holding my metric crap-ton of beverage.

And then it happened: women screamed, children cried, and my heart shattered into more pieces than in that wall-sized jigsaw puzzle of the clown-painted dogs Aunt Dory gave you a decade ago.  In slow motion,  the drink fell, bounced off the rear bumper* of my car, exploded against my legs, doused my jeans in tsunami of cold tea, smacked the pavement, and pooled in a shallow puddle at my feet. 

The puddle, at least, gave my tears someplace to go.

Stupid bagels.

Getting my lower half drenched in a morning beverage was, of course, just the beginning.  Not an hour later the Puddinette called to inform me that a tire on our van was completely flat and the kids were going to miss swimming lessons.

Thankfully (with help from my dad) swimming lessons were achieved, nevertheless.  Which is good, because Hell hath no fury like a flock of children deprived of promised time in the pool.

Oh, and you’ll never guess why the tire went flat.  As it turns out, somewhere along the way our round tire picked up a convenient carrying handle.  That is, the Fates opted to deposit a machine screw the size of a telephone pole right smack in the middle of it.

I can’t image why this went flat

To paraphrase Han Solo, “And I thought it looked big on the outside**!”  (Smarties included for reference)

And as if getting literally screwed wasn’t quite enough before lunch, the Fates weren’t done interfering with attempts to quench my never-ending thirst.  Because no sooner than I poured myself another drink, I noticed an unwanted guest:


Don’t see it yet?  Maybe take a closer look.


Excuse me, waiter, there’s a fly in my tea!  Joke’s on him, though; I drink it unsweetened.

So, after all that, the good news is that I did finally manage to pour and consume an entire beverage by myself, having to endure any undesired entomological free-loaders.   Somewhat surprisingly, the beverage in question was actually alcohol-free. 

The bad news, however, is that it turns out I get to buy four new tires (for reasons only partially related to the screw).

Um…yay…I guess.

All that said, my family is safe and happy, and I’m living a pretty good life.  One that I very much appreciate.  If the occasional car-related screwdgie, a few thousand ounces of wasted tea, and the not-at-all-proverbial fly in the drink is the worst of what I have to deal with, I’ll take my lumps with a Chesire cat grin.

I’m still blaming it all on the bagels though.

Stupid bagels.


*Do we even still call them bumpers anymore? I mean, back in the day it was a separate piece of metal that would actually flex when hit, thus avoiding damage to your bodywork. But now, it kind of is part of the bodywork. So? Bumper? No? I don’t know. Screw it.

**That’s what she said!