The vodka is fighting the tomato juice, but it does the trick, and I mitigate the vagaries of selling popcorn at the Kane County Fair with ten screaming Cub Scouts, Bloody Mary firmly in hand, shades firmly affixed. The margaritas from the night before are a headache I’d rather be doing without, but osmosis and a little old-fashioned self medicating has gotten me to the point where I can drive Cub Scouts and be the charming father of two, husband of one. But I have to make a decision. We are constantly presented with rules that we can either choose to follow or break. Does one go through the unmanned toll? Does one pay for the case of water in the bottom of the shopping cart that no one sees? They are small, middle class rules, but rules all the same. My choice is simple. Do I take the time to hang a big looping U-turn and return to the highway for the Dairy Queen I missed … or do I cut into the McDonald’s parking lot and plow across an excavated field of old pipes and earth movers, past the surveyor posts flapping like markers of the road not taken?
These are the choices of our lives now. The big choices are mostly behind us by middle age, and we are reduced to schoolboys trying to whisper when the teacher’s back is turned.
What the hell.