After much struggle and lots of emails and plenty of frustration, we finally succeeded in enrolling R in two classes at the community college.
So, bright and early, at the crack of noon today, I left 4 kids home and took her to buy books. For $240. Two classes. I can’t talk about it.
Anyway, we got to the campus and because there are benefits to being a cripple, I made sure to pull into handicapped parking. And because my knee is nothing if not a throbbing mass, I limped right up onto the sidewalk and began limping towards the bookstore.
In these situations, I usually feel pretty badly for R, who does her best to meander along beside me but I know full well she would like to speed walk along, get the tasks over with and meander around somewhere fun, like the mall. She did a lovely job of keeping me company as I walked out the stiffness in my hip and stumbled along with the old football injury.
And there we were, just the two of us, a great expanse of double sidewalk all to ourselves. It was a sunny day, but the sidewalk was nicely shaded, and we were discussing the very meaning of life. Or maybe boys. Or hairstyles. OK, truth be told, R was talking and I was thinking about something non-related. Which is why it scared me when I heard a tinny little “beep beep” right behind me. Who is mean enough to pull right up to a cripple and beep the horn behind her back when there are yards and yards of sidewalk and grass around her in every direction? A cop, of course. A big barrel of a man, double or triple the size of me, riding a tricked out Segway complete with little lights that flash and a killer wee little tiny horn, barely audible to the human ear. And a firm plastic covering, perfect for removing unsuspecting slow pedestrians from your otherwise clear path.
Do you see that third wheel? Dude is totally riding a tricycle.
So, hearing the wee little tiny “beep beep”, I turn to look. Because of course, I am totally wondering what punk college kid is riding his scooter up behind me on the sidewalk, and if it’s possible to put enough weight on my knee to kick the twerp over for pulling up behind me when there’s an entire sidewalk for him to choose from. And now, I have no choice but to give the cop a confused stare. Not so much because of how rude he’s being, but mostly because there is a 6 foot 300 pound guy on a trike behind me and I am consumed with a memory of Joe, my next door neighbor when I was 5, and how he always used to ride his trike around pretending he was a cop when we were little. I haven’t thought of Joe in 29.5 years.
But, I apparently didn’t reminisce fast enough, because the officer says, with some teenage attitude only available for those stuck policing them 40 or more hours a week, “Excuse me!”. Being a law-abiding citizen, I am happy to step out of his way. Being as the knee is borked, I can’t just step sideways and be done with it. I have to stop, turn my body, lurch forward two steps, turn my body again, and continue walking. And I’m thinking to myself, is this guy serious? Did I miss something there? Did I accidentally bring my invisible friend to school with me and the cop is afraid to use the vast swatches of empty sidewalk for fear of running him over with his really expensive 3 wheeled scooter? Maybe he thinks the invisible friend will dent the plastic and ruin his killer fat cop image?
R has no such chain of thought. She says- in typical Me fashion- “What was wrong with the empty side of the side walk? Too much air over there?” At the same time, I’m saying something that vaguely resembles, “Stupid jerk. Fat freaking pig. Nice awareness of the crippled chick.” But possibly it was a tad more colorful.
And, me still fuming, we continue walking. I am talking myself around to him being on the way somewhere important and R is back to prattling on about life-changing things like hairstyles and shoes.
And then I see him.
IN THE ICE CREAM CART. HEADFIRST.
There was no mistaking that couch cushion of a butt sticking up while, with his head nearly inside the cooler, he pawed around with his meaty fists for the ice cream he wanted. And came out with a different kind in each sausage grasp.
I was just seconds from smashing the ice cream in his face and knocking him off his trike. Obviously, it’s playground rules now, sucka. But R begged me not to get arrested. And I had heard tale that there were still a couple of used books left in the bookstore. Because the only thing that could keep me from going all crazy on his behiney is the whiff of a good sale.
But next time, it’s ON. Put that in your juice box and suck it, Officer Ice Cream.