I cracked open one drowsy eye to see how much longer I could sleep before the alarm would go off. I had a hard time focusing, so I blinked and tried again.
DAMN! The alarm was supposed to go off 25 minutes ago!
Adrenaline pumping, I went through my morning shave and dress routine in a blur. Just in time I remembered that I had to attend a lunch meeting of other local HR managers today, so I put on some dark gray slacks and a more-dressy-than-usual shirt.
I had time to make some coffee and scan the headlines in the paper, but not enough time to make breakfast. No problem, I thought; I’d just stop by the local fast-food drive-through and grab a sausage egg biscuit and eat on the fly.
Most mornings I drink some coffee with breakfast at home, then put the rest in an insulated mug with a snap-on lid to drink on the 30-mile drive to work. Well, today I tried to put the whole 4-cup pot in the mug and of course it wouldn’t fit, so I put the overflow in a second smaller lidded mug (for safety!), jumped in the car and roared off. The large mug was securely between my legs while I sipped from the small one.
I usually turn right at the first light, but today I had to turn left to get to the breakfast place. From quite a ways back I saw the light turn green. With a stale green light I crossed the intersection faster than normal in a left turn and promptly slopped a lot of very hot coffee out the little hole in the large mug’s snap-on lid all over, well, let’s just say a very personal region.
Fortunately there was no traffic at that intersection at 6:10 this morning. A casual observer might have wondered if the driver of my car was involved in a fight with a passenger, or just couldn’t decide whether to go straight across or turn.
We won’t discuss the language that emanated from the front seat. We won’t even discuss the extent of the, uh... damages. I WILL say that through Herculean self-control and some very skillful steering I managed to pull into a business driveway very close to the intersection and attempted to limit the “coverage” of the slopped coffee.
Then I had to decide whether to go home and change my pants, or if they were dark enough that when they dried the coffee stains wouldn’t show.
I had the fleeting thought that if I’d just bought that coffee at McDonalds I might have a very lucrative lawsuit to file. Hmm... Wonder if I could sue the maker of the mug? Too big a hole in the lid, maybe? Gross negligence, at least. I could claim mental and physical anguish, pain and suffering, erectile dysfunction, loss of consortium, and...
Nah. I wouldn’t want to testify to all that.
With all the mugs properly secured (and emptied of some of their previously brimming contents) I proceeded to buy my breakfast sandwich. I opted to take the chance that the stains wouldn’t show, and headed off for work.
All is now well. The stains did NOT show once the coffee dried. (Which reminds me of the old joke in which the bitter employee says, “Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling, but nobody notices.”)
The rest of the day was fairly routine. There are no burns to heal, thus no disruption of my normal activities (which I will leave to your vivid imagination).
Tonight you can bet I’ll set the alarm clock, though!