I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. "Only $4.68" he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied. I am 59, not even 60 yet a mere child! Senior citizen?
I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Emo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?
I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.
Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?
"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?" I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. "Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"
I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror.
Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.
Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle. Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.
I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Emo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?" All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?" At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.
Emo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake." I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.
She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."
All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast.
As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky.