It is April 15th and much too close to five o'clock and within minutes the Post Office doors will slam. I race against time, alongside other last
The parking lot runneth over but I spot a space about to open up. Drat! A Volkswagen zips by and grabs it before I can shove my car in gear. The
driver leaves his motor running and hurtles toward the finish line: the building with the American flag on top. He looks backwards at me, shrugs,
and he’s gone.
I peek at my watch and my heart does a shag step. Three minutes to go. I need postage. If I don’t get inside that flag-waving building I am a dead
Thoughts of cremation cause perspiration to dot my brow. Babe will totally kill me if I miss the deadline. He has been homicidal since I tried to
explain why I don’t stub checks or save work receipts. Tax time does not say happy ever after in our marriage.
I scream my rage from the open window. “Can’t you people see that a life is at stake here?”
An Explorer backs out in front of me. I scoot closer, grip the steering wheel and straddle the lane to prevent a gigantic Expedition full of rug
rats from jumping ahead of me.
Flashing a grimace, I race the motor like a Nascar driver at his first Daytona 500. Feeling the power, I morph into a character actor from a
B-movie. Gunning the motor again, I watch as the Expedition slinks by me, tailpipe dragging between its back tires.
Heh, heh, heh!
I put the car in gear and prepare to drop into the soon-to-be-vacated space but then stomp down on the brake pedal as two blue lines on the black
pavement stare back at me.
My mouth is dry and my heart is drumming like a kettledrum. Two minutes before the door slams. I look from side to side and, finding no vehicle
bearing a handicap sticker, I ease my car into the space inside those electric blue lines.
Racing to the door, I just make the cut. A tired, grumpy-looking postal clerk bangs the door shut and catches the hem of my skirt. I panic.
Broomhilde is less than sympathetic. She starts to walk away leaving me to flounder in my own skirt tails. I give her the pathetic look I save for
such a situation. She shakes her head and turbo sighs as though confronted by the anti-Christ and then calls for backup.
His mission: Keep the P.O’ed people pounding on the outside door from getting in while she unleashes me from my skirt. It is obvious that she
would rather let me tear myself free and wander through the Post Office half-naked in front of God and everybody.
No matter. With my life no longer in jeopardy I laugh like a total idiot and traipse over to the long line of impatient people waiting for postage. With my skirt-tail crimped like a French Fry, I make the deadline but shift from one foot to the other for the next forty minutes before being released
from bondage by the U.S. Government.
Sailing out to the parking lot with a mile-wide grin messing up my make-up, what is the first thing I see? A van with a handicap sticker is easing into
the regular slot next to my car.
“I'm so sorry! I'll be out of there in a minute.” Opening the door, I make eye contact with the van driver. It is not pleasant.
In less than a nano-second, his scathing look turns me into a slug. My apology, like Scarlett O’Hara’s Tara, is gone with the wind. My face is three shades of crimson when I tear out of the space trying not to glance in the direction of the van.
Sleep, if and when it comes, will be fitful. I have committed an unpardonable sin and I feel deep-down guilt in every piece of tissue drooping from my aging body. I knew better than to steal that space but I was in panic mode. God will punish me even though nothing he has in mind can equal THE LOOK given me by the man struggling to park his oversized, perfectly legal, handicapped vehicle in that small space.
Should our income tax return be sitting in my mailbox in the morning with POSTAGE DUE stamped all over it, it would be ironic justice. And it would
serve me right.
Editor's Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com.