Framing the Dialogue

Friday The 13th Plus 7

Photo window sighSo the actual Friday the thirteenth was not that eventful except for the 11 hour drive from Providence, Rhode Island, but the next one was thoroughly weird for me. One of the things I like to do is walk before I start my day. To kill that bird and avoid traffic I generally walk at work as there are nice areas to stroll…power stroll that is. My work parking lot is next to a rowing club and many of the adult (meaning working stiffs) and college student row in the morning and they often take a lot of our parking spaces which sucks. Worse though is the influx of high school rowers that come in around 3:00. These are very sketchy (i.e. lousy) drivers.

My strategy is to try to grab one of the few spaces that are either a little larger or one that is next to something thus limiting how many cars can park next to you. So this day there were not any of these available so my secondary strategy (I know you are thinking that I put too much thought into this stuff, but it is still a fairly new car) is to park while I walk and then get one of the prime spots that usually open up. I apparently parked in a spot that one of my colleagues generally takes and to make matters worse I didn’t park well enough taking “two places” which he pointed out with this nice note. My car could not have been there more than 10 minutes. I did actually move my car to one of my preferred spots after I crumbled up the note.

I had to leave the office to inspect a dam that morning. I needed money so I drove through a section of the city where my bank had an ATM. Parking was okay, but I still had to park a block away and in front of a famous restaurant in town. I noticed when I got out of my truck that the restaurant had a bread delivery and the bag of rolls was sitting on the sidewalk in a plastic bag. Yep sitting on the dirty sidewalk with only a thin layer of plastic protecting someone’s future dinner from dirt, grime, and bugs. I got my cash and as I walked back to my truck there was an older gentleman walking toward me. I sometimes cannot resist talking to folks and I took this opportunity. I pointed to the rolls on the sidewalk and said to him “really makes you want to eat there” as I opened my truck door. The awkward moment came when he proceeded to pull out his keys, unlock the door to the restaurant, and proceed inside. Ouch. I felt bad, but then again he was getting his bread left on the sidewalk. I know that I’ll never eat there again.

Now cash in hand I wanted to grab some breakfast to go. There is a McDonald’s nearby and their new steak breakfast sandwich is quite good. I start to pull into the drive through and notice about eight cars in line so I pull away knowing that I’ll pass another in a few miles. Traffic was bad getting out of the city so I took a different route which worked as I would pass another Micky D’s. I pull in the lot and this one had even more cars in line so I again pull away as I knew of one way outside of the city that was surely to have a short line. It didn’t and there were no more options for food before I got to my site. Again this wasn’t a crisis, but very unusual to have three that crowded.

I ate my breakfast as I drove the rest of the way. Contractors were on site making some repairs and I spoke to them briefly before doing my inspection. I was supposed to meet my son for lunch between inspections and about two thirds of the way through this site I knew that I’d never make our meeting time so I texted him to postpone our arrangements. Luckily there was decent reception photo walletin the area, however as I finished a light mist began to fall. I started back to my truck a long way around the site to check on the back side and was accompanied by one of the contractors and his dog. We were about halfway back and the rain came. As my pace quickened so did the rain. We walked faster and the rain came faster. Needless to say I got soaked. It took over two days for my leather wallet to dry and the bills have a reddish tint to them from the dye. I also got pretty wet.

I saw something important at the inspection and wanted to let some folks know about my finding before I got to write my official report. I headed back to the office and sent an email with a link to a video that I took. Any trip to my office entails getting stuck in some way, but I was able to get out by 1:30. About fifteen minutes into my trip I remembered that in my haste I forgot the street address sitting on my desk at work. I was saved by the Bill as he was kind enough to look on my desk and read me the address. I was past lunch and I didn’t really have time for a sit down lunch. photo wendysThere was a Wendy’s on the way and for fast food I think they generally have a better quality food. That’s what I tell myself anyway and I was in the mood for some chili. So this photograph is what greeted me at my Wendy’s. There’d be no chili for me and I proceeded to the next fast food place…you guessed it! So as I again wait in line at my fourth McDonalds I start to cringe about the next place I was heading. What else could go wrong?

I hate to anticlimactic, but nothing went wrong. Actually nothing went all that wrong that Friday…just a bunch of unusual stuff. I looked ahead on the calendar and the next Friday the 20th is not until the Friday before Christmas which should be my last work day before a holiday staycation. What could go wrong on my last day before a two week vacation?


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