Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NEVER SAY ........

This is just the first of a couple of posts that will start with those two words. The rest of that sentence for today's post is ...."this day just can't get any worse."

My last year in West Palm I finally got a route to read that I had been begging for. It was a bear of a route, covering many miles, lots of new unlogged meters and most streets with no sign posts to let you know where you were. I must have been crazy to have lobbied so hard for such a route but it was also the route that Burt Reynolds lived in. Ah ha.

I had trained on the route the previous month and was excited to be on my own this month. Knowing I had a good 7 1/2 hour non-stop day, I started early. That was fortunate. I was maybe an hour into the route when my little pick up started acting up. It was lurching, wheezing and stalling. A mechanic was desperately needed. We were able to lurch into Jupiter to a mechanic where I called my boss. He told me to get a rental and to continue.

The rental was a huge Buick passenger car and maneuvering the narrow, rutted dirt roads was a challenge. I drove down one drive only to have an aggressive, large black dog challenge me at the gate. I honked and honked but no one came out. Tentatively backing up the behemoth of a car, I went too far and backed my rear wheels into the deep drainage ditches that lined the roads on both sides. The car was resting on its frame.

I was getting pretty frustrated by now. This was really wasting time. We had no cell phones or radios. I had to get to a phone and the nearest one was that same house guarded by the black dog. I saw a curtain move in the window and only out of frustration and not bravery I decided to try the house. I yelled horrible things at the dog. It was something about my tearing his legs off and making him eat them, while I pushed open the gate. He must have sensed my fragile mood for he circled and snarled but did not get close.

A woman with serious bed hair barely cracked the door and I asked to use her phone. Grudgingly, she let me in. My boss was not particularly pleased to hear from me twice in a little over an hour. He arranged for a tow truck to pull me out but said that the driver was unfamiliar with the area and I had to meet him on the main road to show him where I was stuck. The main road was almost two miles from where I was.

Time was a factor so I started to jog down the dusty road. As I was jogging along I was feeling pretty sorry for my self. Then it started to rain and I muttered those fateful words, "This day just can't get any worse."

Au contraire my dears, it could and did. Running down a long drive came an angry, slobbering Doberman intent on making me a meal.

I looked at him as he charged towards me and I screamed into the rain, "DAMN IT, enough is enough."

Well, my luck got a bit better for it appears the dogs name was Dammit or something similar sounding and he stopped, ears came unglued from his head and his stub of a tail wagged. I knelt in the damp earth and grabbed his head as he came wagging up to me. Was I ever glad to see a friendly face.

Dammit jogged with me to the main road and I was able to talk the tow truck driver in to giving Dammit a ride back to where I had found him. The driver was able to pull my rental out of the ditch and I was back in business, hours behind schedule.

The prize of that route was reading Burt Reynold's ranch. This was at the height of his popularity and yes, I was star struck. He was why I had volunteered for this bear of a route in the first place.

Burt was in the process of building a live-in tree house on his property behind the ranch house and as I was walking to the construction meter, I got the usual wolf whistles. Construction crews whistle at anything vaguely female, even angry, grubby meter readers. I stomped to the meter head down with teeth grinding. My mood was not just dark, by then it was black.

I finished that route just before sunset and decided surely nothing else could screw up my world. However when I returned to the office to drop off my book, one of the new business engineers who had also been working late, came through the meter room on his way to the parking lot.

"Patti, did you read Burt Reynolds tree house today?" he asked.

When I verified that I had, he broke my heart by saying that Burt had commented to him that our company had cute meter readers but they sure were "stuck up". He had been among the whistlers and I had ignored him. Seems this was the second time Burt had been ignored by a female meter reader and he thought it funny. At that moment I was too crushed to see the humor. That day had finally gone all the way to "worse."

Now days, I stay away from saying "This day just can't get any worse" for that just seems to tempt the fates to see just what else they can come up with to torment you. I have found that rolling with the punches spoils all the fun of the "bad day grinches." Now I just say "Gimme your best shot" and grin. Try it... it works.


  1. Oh no, Patti! That would have ruined my day too. I used to be a huge fan of Burt Reynolds. Did you ever get to see him after that?
    Sunny :)

  2. I want to know the answer to Sunny's question...did you ever get to meet him? Cute story and so true.....It can ALWAYS get worse!

  3. A terrible day--buts thanks for giving it such an amusing spin.

  4. Well you would not be fighting over Bert's meter today...He is not so good looking now....It is a shame how all of the stars I was struck over are so old or so dead!

  5. What a day! How awful to have missed Burt R. I always liked him. I also liked Rock Hudson, and was disappointed that he wasn't interested in women. Did you see B.R. after that?

  6. What a funny story, patti. Well, you didn't get to meet Burt Reynolds, but you did get to walk down the road with a fine dog named Dammit. That's not a bad trade-off. LOL!

  7. Again, another good story and so true. I grew up undeer a rock so Burt Reynolds was never a part of my life.

  8. Patti, this cracked me up! I know those days! That's sort of like the time Husband and I turned down a Wilmington riverfront restaurant table near the bar in order to sit outside. Our waiter later commented that he was surprised that we hadn't wanted the table next to Paul Newman. (sigh)

  9. This post certainly goes down as one of my favourites in your blog!!!:-)

    I simply couldn't imagine what was coming just got better and better. Dammit! You are brilliant.

    Too bad about Burt Reynolds. On hindsight, at least you both did each other attractive.

  10. Wow! I can say I know someone that was whistled at by Burt Reynolds. Your stories are remarkable Patti.

  11. Sunny,
    Sure wish I had a cool add on but I fear that was my only shot at him and I missed it completely. Criminy.

    It's true things can get worse but I think more so if we expect it to and egg on the grinches by daring them.

    Much more enjoyable in retrospect. Laughing takes the edge off.

    4th Sister,
    Ah you can spot the young ones. At my age, I still think he is good looking. He definately aged better than I did.

    Reader Wil,
    Rock Hudson rocked my world also. He was so darn good looking. Glad I didn't know during the time he was popular. I still think of "Giant" as one of my favorite movies.

    You know,you are right. I did get to meet a special fellow that day--Dammit was a gentleman.

    Wow, that was some rock. Thanks so much for the kind words. It was a fun time.

    Yikes, that would have killed me. Paul"blue eyes"Newman was a giant of a star and I hear quite approachable. Hope the weather was nice on the patio. How funny.

    Thanks so much for the really neat compliment. A crappy route and Burt deserve the credit.
    Most likely he was just trying to impress his workmen that he was one of the guys.

    Can't say for certain he actually whistled but he was part of the group that did. I can always think he did. Good rocking chair memory.

  12. Oh, Lord. You really did mess up, didn't you?

    I'm trying to remember that advice today, since through no fault of my own, I had a claim on MY auto insurance for a broken windshield on the rental van. Damn snow and ice.

  13. Awe Patti... Can't believe you were THAT close to Burt Reynolds and didn't know it... .My My My.... Sorry about that...

    You really did have some crazy experiences while working that job, didn't you???? I love your stories. Keep 'em coming!!!

  14. Oh...just think how different your life might have been if that pickup had not broken down. You could of ended up riding across country really fast in a black firebird. Hoh Hum...
    Well take care Arkansas Bandit, over and out.

  15. I've had a day or two like that. Days like that you just want to crawl back in bed and pull up the covers! blessings, marlene

  16. Hi ..

    I know You will be surprised but I've read almost all of ur posts.. Through Lost world ( as u know her by the blog name ) .I'm a friend of hers..
    and i couldn;t stop resisting myself from commenting on this post.
    I so much envy u for all ur so called experiments. This post was really fun reading and i was seriously thinking everytime that what can be worse than this. Kudos to ..
    And you write really well :)

  17. Too Bad about Burt...If you had only looked up at those guys...Ohhh Well. As you couldn't get worse--BUT, it did!
    Great story well told, my dear....
    I LOVE "Dammit"!

  18. kenju,
    Oh no Judy, can't you say it was an "act of God"?? Keep smiling, this will all go away soon.

    It was a hard but very interesing job. Thanks, I have a few more left.

    Do ya think I could have shoved the Flying Nun out of the passenger seat. Probably not.

    Fortunately those days don't come too often and are fun to laugh about later.

    I'd say welcome but it seems you have all ready been a visitor. Wow,almost all of my stories??? That is amazing. You take pain well. Any friend of Lostworld is a friend of mine. Tried to access your site but was blocked. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you keep coming back.

    I usually ignored construction guys for their whistles were always accompanied by crude gestures. All you really had to be to get their attention was a breathing female.
    That was my loss that day.
    "Dammit" was really special and the delightful surprise that day.

  19. Hi .. I don't have a blog.. I don't write.. But i just love to read..:).. That is how i came to ur blog .
    So i was kind of ur secret admirer ..:)

  20. Great post Patti! Reminds me of the time Hank Williams Jr. came into our bait shop and me ... the one who always has the camera ready and can never shut up and always has something to say... became absolutely tongue tied and couldn't say boo and didn't even get an autograph let alone a snapshot!

  21. Now that would have ruined any females day to have missed Burt whistling at you.

    Our son use to live in Jupiter, his ex wife and daughter still live there. On one of our visits to their place, we took a ride out to Burt Reynolds Ranch, But weren't able to go past the little store they ahd open. I believe we bought a cowboy hat for our youngest who was around 10 at the time, she's now 36. So that's been a while ago, Last time (several years back, probably about 7 now, we visited Jupiter, it has really grown and was built up a lot more than the first time we ever visited there.

    You certainly have led an interesting life. You should write a book.

  22. sonal,
    I too started out just a reader, maybe in time you will also turn into a writer also and start a blog.
    Since the secret is out, welcome and come back anytime.

    Don't you just hate it when a celebrity turns you to mush :)) Perry Como did that to me. Could not ever speak and he was being so nice.

    We could have been in that store at the same time. Timing was about right. That was one of the spots I took my out of town guests.
    My sister still lives in Jupiter Farms. You are so right, that once little fishing village of Jupiter grown.

  23. I somehow missed this post Wednesday and Thursday. I read through my bloglist -I think.

    Dobies were never my favorite breed, but my best friend's husband rescued an abandoned dog which was a Dob.It was a woos but WOW was it big!

    Oh well, I guess your title is a very good summary of the saga I am now writing.

    In fact in Part 4 it got worse. He gets to Texas and gets lost. geez...

    But all's well that ends well in Part 5.

  24. It is so true...when your day begins with everything going wrong, it is better to roll with it and make plans for tomorrow when things are likely to be better. Or not. They rarely last more than a day or so. :)

  25. Amber Star,
    They do only last a short time. They kind of get it all out in one day. Funny to think about later so I guess they are worth it.

  26. Oh, shoot, that encounter would have turned the whole day around! ;-)

  27. Merisi,
    Sometimes you come sooo close.