A friend, Mary, told me about her brush with the uncertainty of life.
She works as a bookkeeper at a beer company's head office. Every day she and a co-worker close the place, and Mary drives her friend to the BART (the metro) in Oakland. After that, she is usually pointed exactly in the right direction to go and pick up her son, David, from Berkeley, where he takes a class.
A day or so ago, she and a friend just prepared to leave the office at 5:03 pm. The phone rang. They looked at each other: "Do we really have to answer it?" They did, in any case. It turned out, one of the delivery trucks got broken into. The driver's wallet was stolen with the company's credit card in it. Now they couldn't leave until Mary could cancel the credit card. It's her responsibility, you see. When she was finished, it was 5:30. The friend already missed two trains. Mary decided to bring her home to San Francisco. As they drove onto the bridge, among the Friday evening throng of cars, Mary's phone rang.
- "Momma, are you coming to get me?" - her son, David, asked.
- "Hi-hi", - Mary's friend giggled,
- "You forgot your first-born son!"
For a brief moment Mary considered dumping the friend right there, on the bridge, but, first of all, she is not that mean, and second - she still was stuck on the bridge, waiting to pay toll, with no way to turn around or even move faster than the rest of the traffic around her.
She told David to go to the BART (the metro) and promised him that his brother will pick him up. She then called Joseph, the only one of her brood who drives. That's when she found out that he broke a cup inside the sink, and now there was broken glass in the garbage disposal. I, for one, am terrified of breaking the garbage disposal. If it was I, we would just wait for the plumber, pay an exorbitant fee and hope to never do it again. Mary, on the other hand, is a cool cookie. By that I mean, she keeps her head on in the most puzzling circumstances. She told her son to use the tongs and a flashlight to get most of the pieces of glass out and then put something gooey in the disposal. That way, the rest of the glass will not get stuck, when the motor is on, but will get pulverized. At least, that's what Mary said would happen. She then got to the issue of Joseph picking up David.
- "But, Mom, I don't want to go to BART!" - he whined.
- "Joseph, there is no other way, you must go! OK, I'll bribe you! What do you want?"
She, finally, was able to convince him to pick up his brother. It only cost her a promise to buy him all kinds of goodies. She dropped off her, still giggling, friend, and went home. On the way she had to stop at the store, and, while she was there anyway, shopped 'till she dropped.
When she arrived home very late in the evening, both boys were there already. The goodies were offered, Mary sat down and sighed tiredly. David came over to her and said: "It just takes twenty minutes to get here from the BART. I don't know, why you had to bribe Joseph. I could've walked home!"