I was very fuzzy and while I hadn’t quite figured out what was going on I knew I was in a heap of trouble.
I sat slouched in a chair with the officer to my right and sort of behind me. We were in a cube-aisle with windows like any business that places no value on their employees as humans yet wants their plants to look good to show that the place is a thriving business.
Glass was everywhere and my motorcycle lay partially buried in a mangled mass of cheap chairs and cube dividers. There was a long stripe of shredded tire leading up to the building where my attempts to stop failed so miserably. The sun was rising and broken safety glass glittered like the sea.
So much glass…
The officer that was in charge of me was talking but I was still confused enough that I wasn’t catching much.
God he sounds effeminate.
My head cleared a bit more but I wasn’t tracking him well yet.
… you really shouldn’t mix… motor vehicle… just as bad… test impairment…
I am in trouble. Yeah, that’s a guy all right, but he’s got a deep voice that is so very effeminate. Every statement sounds like a question with that inflection. That’s really pretty disturbing. What in HELL did I do?
I noticed a crushed magnetic paperclip dispenser. Twisted paperclips were ground into the carpet.
I am going to have to administer a test now, do you understand? You’ve mixed painkillers with other drugs and alcohol. You are in a lot of trouble.
I could only just see him peripherally. He was in terrible shape and his dark blue uniform only reinforced a pear-shaped physique.
What he looks like doesn’t matter. I really screwed up.
Now embarrassment over what looked like a very bad choice on my part started to wash over me and I tried to keep from being swamped by it.
What is my wife going to say? How am I going to face Lemurita and Hacker-boy?
Ok, I’ll put an A here… maybe an X over here… a C here… silly billy… an R there? No, that’s not right… a J there… yes. Oh yes, this will be hard…
I turned full on to the officer now and saw that he was building an improvised Word Jumble out of letters he was pulling out of thin air and knew that he was going to test me with it.
Oh God, I’m being tested by Brad Loekle from The Smoking Gun.
And that is when I woke up in a pile of twisted sweaty sheets, panting and feeling nauseous.
As God is my witness, that nightmare woke me up on July 4th.
The other night Cruel Wife and I were making a mid-movie snack while watching Harry Potter (Half-Blood Prince). She nuked some refried beans for my chips and salsa because I had burned the diddly-fork out of my thumb.
“Could you stir them and then put them on for two more minutes? I’ll cheese them and finish them up when they’re done.”
I said “Okay, but I want to use a number like 1:37, not 2:00. Three primes, non-sequential.”
“Just put 2:00 on there.”
“No, I can’t do that.”
“Yes you can. Just put two minutes on there and hit start. You can overcome your obsession long enough to put time on a microwave.”
“It’s not an obsession.”
“No, it’s not. It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle preference. I just prefer prime numbers. Certain numbers are more appealing.”
“That’s an obsession. For seventeen, no eighteen years that I’ve known you, you refuse to set your alarm clock to even numbers or multiples of five.”
“Don’t forget ‘preferably prime numbers not sequential in ascending or descending order or repeat digits.’”
“That’s an obsession!”
“Are you just screwing with me? You said seventeen earlier which was a good number. Then did you purposely change it to eighteen to make it an even number and mess with me? Seventeen is a nice prime number. Eighteen is factorable multiple ways.”
“THAT IS AN OBSESSION!”
“Ok, a mania!”
“Not. Mania implies excitable. I’m not excitable. I’m methodical and calm about it.”
“Mania doesn’t mean excitable. I’m going to check it out.”
“Oh, out comes the iPad. You talk to me about obsession? Look at you with the iPad. ‘Oh I don’t know which cupholder to use, I’ll check the I-PAD!”
“Mmmm-hmm. THERE. MAY-NEEE-AAH – ‘an excessive and intense interest in or enthusiasm for something’. You can have mania without excitability.”
“I don’t have a problem… YOU have a problem. Okay – split the difference. I put 1:37 on the timer, you add 23 seconds more when it is done.”
(walking away) “maniaaaaa… obsession…”
“It’s NOT an obsession and that’s not the right definition for mania! Let’s just watch the damn movie.”
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