Everything is a test…

“I was waitin’ on the pad, all systems were go
The man up in the tower was enjoyin’ the show
Then I got this feelin’ that I never had before
Hey, let me out of here, what am I here for?
Why me, why me?”

Why me, indeed. A very good question.

I just finished reading Terry Pratchett’s latest book, Wintersmith, and one of the the recurring themes in the book is that “Everything is a test”. Everything that happens to a person is a test; a test of that person’s character, dedication, sense of justice and ethics, etc. etc. I don’t know if everything is a test, but I can honestly tell you that today tested me in couple  of ways. Let me tell you aboutt them:

1. Surviving the morning without coffee test: I love coffee. I mean, I seriously love coffee. I love all kinds of coffee. I need coffee; particularly on the mornings when I have to work the morning shift at work. I truly can’t function on such mornings until my second cup of coffee. Straight, black, hot coffee is what I need. Sure, the creamers, or sweeteners or other coffee additives are nice when they are available, but they are not necessary. Now, because of a series of events that I must acccept full responsibility for I was not able to get my first cup of coffee before leaving the house this morning. In other words, I slept late, and was in a hurry to be at work on time. This was not much of a concern because we have a coffee pot in the office and we all donate to the fund to make sure that there will be coffee, sugar, etc. etc. available at the office. In fact, the last round of such donations occured on Friday, and the lady that normally stocks the coffee supplies was going to go to the store this weekend. She did, in fact, go to the store. She just didn’t come to work today. She stayed home just because of a massive sinus infection. So, there was no coffee in the office today, there was nothing to make coffee with, and just to make it a perfect trifecta, the coin operated coffee machine in the downstairs break room was also malfunctioning.
Since it would have been unprofessional in the extreme to do this at work please allow me to scream a little: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN THERE’S NO COFFEE!!!! HOW IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT’S HOLY DO YOU EXPECT ME TO FUNCTION WITHOUT COFFEE??? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR PEA-BRAINED MIND?
Thank you, I feel better now. Now, to be clear, I don’t fault Cindee at all for staying home when she was ill. I’ve had my share of sinus infections and they are no fun for anybody. However, would it have killed her to have sent the coffee to the office with somebody? Doesn’t she know that people ne their morning fix? Oh, sure, I was able to get the needed caffeine from Diet Coke, but it was a poor, poor substitute, and most definitely, not a good way to start the day. I survived, but it was a close thing for a couple of hours.

2. The Driving In Memphis Test:  Many years ago I lived in Little Rock for a time. I quickly became convinced that Little Rock had the worst drivers in the universe. I then moved to Alabama and realized I was wrong. `Bama drivers are much worse (it seems the Little Rock drivers are actually pretty good drivers, they just have to deal with the most screwed up system of intersections and frontage roads in the South East). In addition, drivers in Alabama have to deal with some truly horrendously maintained roads. Oh, and if you are unlucky enough to be driving on I20 between Birmingham and Atlanta on a weekend when there is a race at the Taladega track you will get the feeling that everyone else on the road thinks they are Dale Earnhardt reincarnated. Not fun, I promise you.  From Alabama I moved to Nashville, and as much as it surprises me, the Nashville drivers were actually pretty good. That feeling may be caused by the fact that I had an extremely short drive to work and didn’t really have to get on the interestate or other extremely busy, high traffic roads very often. After three years in Nashville, I moved to Memphis.
Now, I freely admit I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other expert, but I truly believe that the majority of Memphis drivers are certifiably insane. People drive angry in this city for some reason. The use of turn signals is considered to be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Thank the Gods I don’t have to actually have to drive downtown on a regular basis; driving daily on I40 and the I240 loop is bad enough. When you add in windy and rainey weather like we had today, it just gets worse. Much worse. Folks, it rains in Memphis, particularly in the Fall. You’ve seen this before. There is NO need to freak out.

There are other tests I could write about, but since I’m not sure I actually “passed” those tests I think I’ll just stop here.

Cormac