I tell it better

Here’s what happened. We were on our way to dinner when we drove the car through the flooded roadway. I knew we shouldn’t but once started was committed to seeing it through. The water reached the lower part of the car doors as we plowed through. A bulge grew off the front bumper and a wake spread out behind us.

“You’re telling it wrong.” she said. “You forgot the most important part. We had friends in the car with us.”

“I was getting to that. Just be patient.” I replied.

So, like I said, we were on our way to dinner with friends and had picked them up in our car. We drove down the street and saw the flooded roadway ahead.

“You forgot to mention it was our special day.” she injected.

“It wasn’t our anniversary.” I answered.

“Not that day. No. We were going to dinner and tell them about having the baby.” she stated.

“What does that have to do with us driving through a flooded road?” I asked.

“It’s important. Details matter. If you’re not going to tell this story right, I don’t have to sit here and listen to it again.” she fumed.

“Fine. Go. Let me finish.” I snorted.

So, we’re driving through the deep water when our friends in the back seat shout, “There’s water coming in!”

I shout back, “Don’t open the doors!”

“We didn’t,” they scream, “It’s coming up through the floor!”

Off to the side, my wife rolls her eyes and lets our a huffing breath in disgust. I stop telling the story and ask, “What now?”

“Nothing. Just tell your story.” she flatly stated.

“What?” I insist.

“I can’t believe you didn’t remember the purpose of going out was to celebrate my pregnancy with our friends.” she growled.

“I said it.” replying in a guarded tone.

“Only after I reminded you. Typical.” she mumbled the last word.

…And we made it through the water safely. The car didn’t stall. We didn’t get stranded. The water only got the carpet wet. We eventually sold the car in the winter when it didn’t smell so moldy. The end.

What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.

Not the Shortest Distance

“Hey man, know where I can score some weed?” he asked from his car.

It was 2 a.m. and the bars in town were closing. Business at the all night gas station always picked up at this time. It was the only 24-hour station in town. From 1 – 3 a.m. a sporadic stream of drunks (partial or fully) wove their cars in and out of the pumps and sometimes made odd requests.

“Got any rolling papers? Do you know where I can get some? Are there any prostitutes in this town?”

As the lone attendant, it was unsettling at times. You just never knew who would stop and request another strange item. This guy wanted drugs. I never used them. Never saw the attraction or need. I didn’t even drink.

I looked at the driver. His bleary eyes watered and the aroma from his car was heavy with the smell of beer.

“Sure,” I told him. “Go straight for three lights and turn right. Go two blocks and stop. The building you want is a large stone one with wide steps leading up to the front door.”

“Three lights?” he asked.

“Yes. This is your first light, right here at this intersection. Go straight two more, turn right and go two blocks.” I repeated.

“Thanks buddy. You’re cool.” he smiled at me.

As he drove off, I made a phone call.

“Springfield Police Department, Officer Janson speaking.” the desk sergeant answered.

“Hi. This is the attendant at the 24-hour station. I just gave directions to a customer looking for drugs. He’s pretty drunk too and probably shouldn’t be driving. He should be coming up to the station steps in a few minutes.”

A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.


Can’t Get There From Here

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor? 

“Take a left.” he said.

“That won’t get us there.” she replied.

“Sure it will.” he stated. “Our destination is directly over there. Taking a left here and a right at the first intersection should get us right where we want to be.”

“No it won’t.” she answered coolly. “There is no cross street that will connect us from here to there if you take a left here.”

“Just do it. I know this will work. I’ve got a great sense of direction.” he insisted.

“It’s not going to work. We’re going to be late.” she remarked.

“I knew I should be driving.” he snipped. “Why did I let you have the keys?”

She turned left and drove up the street. They went all the way to the end, stopping at the water’s edge.

“See?” she asked, “It’s a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides. They didn’t build any connecting bridges or roads out of this neighborhood.”

He looked across the water at their destination only a short span away. It should have worked. It was right THERE!

They would have to backtrack now and take the next street over to drive up the next peninsula.

“How did you know?” he asked her in a subdued voice.

She paused and blushed slightly before answering, “I tried that last week when I came over here the first time.”

“This is a stupid place to live.” he said.