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Late for Work

Hearken unto my voice, all of you, and learn from my misfortune. For I have dallied too long over “Good Morning America” and now I pay the price. Yea, verily, it is rush hour.

And though I falleth upon my steering wheel and weep most piteously, I goeth not forward upon the highway. And lo! There is wailing and gnashing of teeth, for clients do await me at the office, and my boss does curse my name most horribly.

And woe unto us all who do travel in the valley of the shadow of road construction. For verily, I am stopped near the Machine That Makes Pounding Noises For No Reason, and soon the pain in my head is as a spike through my temple.

I look around myself, and I seeth also the doom of others. For there are many children who frolic in back seats, and who do cry out with much noise as an angry multitude: “I am hungry,” “He’s sitting on my side!” “She is touching me!” and “Are we there yet? For pee we must, and mightily!”

Soon it comes to pass that I do howl and the hair of my flesh stands up. For my coffee has fallen into my lap, and there are many foul curses, and lo! I am most grievous sore. For unto my loins there is a great desolation.

And after having suffered these trials and tribulations, I arrive at my company’s parking lot; but there are those who parketh crookedly, and do taketh up two spaces with one car, for fear others will smite their doors. And there are those vehicles of an unnaturally large aspect that are puffed up and bear a multitude of bumper stickers. These cars are an abomination and a pestilence in my eyes, for they causeth me to park far from all mankind, out in the blasted wilderness. I must walk many leagues, with my briefcase heavy upon me, and the lessons of this day burned into my soul and other parts with letters of fire.

When at last I reach my office, I fall upon my brother’s neck and weep with joy. For I know that at the end of the day, I shall not wander about as a sheep who has not a shepherd. My car will not be lost in the wilderness and hidden unto me, because by the time I am freed from my great travails, evening rush hour will be long over, and mine will be the only car left in the parking lot.

Bruce Carlson, Funny Times (November ‘95), Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Quoted in Reader’s Digest