What does ‘On Time’ Really Mean Anyway?

This was my submission to the Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Competition a couple of months ago. 

The other day I was driving to work. It was 8:30 in the morning. I had to be there at 9.

Fortunately, it was not precipitating or the situation would have gotten exponentially worse as the drivers in Rockland County SHUT DOWN mentally, emotionally AND spiritually when it rain or snows. They don’t just drive cautiously. They drive as if the world is ending with each raindrop or snowflake and they had better be prepared to live in their cars for six months.

Well, that’s the people (and vehicles) in front of me. The people behind me believed just the opposite of the people in front of me and wanted to go much faster to get to their destinations.

Of the vehicles in front of me, two were school buses. Then there were (in order) a semi truck, a tank, a steamroller and a horse-drawn carriage and a dozen or so cars.   I wonder if the buses were CBing the trucks saying, “Hey, we got ourselves a convoy.

The problem was not with the stopping really. It was the re-starting of the vehicles into motion. So what should have been a steady progress toward my work was, in fact, a crawl. Snails laughed and waved as they passed me.

I had not eaten breakfast that particular morning. So, I thought I would stop and get something to eat in the final minutes of my journey before getting to work. I stop into the local 7-11 to discover they did not have a delivery the night before of apple fritters. If the convoy wasn’t the end of the world, this was.

I hurry back to my car and drive to a bagel store and order a bagel with egg and bacon. Somehow the news of the impending apocalypse preceded me to the location and just when the server was going to put it into the oven, the oven caught fire somehow and started smoking. I tried to rationalize with it and say it’s hard to quit smoking once you start, but the oven wouldn’t listen. I grabbed the cold bagel with egg and bacon out of the server’s hands and ran to the car.

Fortunately, the store was only 30 yards from the parking lot of my employer. Unfortunately, the busses and trucks seemed to have turned around and were heading in the opposite direction. Getting out of the parking lot took almost five minutes which is like eternity when you’re on your way to work.

But, it did give me time to eat my cold bagel with egg and bacon.

I arrived at work at 8:59am and then I had to wait for my boss to show up.