Impending Doom Clues

by Melissa Hollern

Road trips should bring to mind visions of cars zooming down the road, avoiding speed traps while blasting the Doobie Brothers at full volume.  (For reference: Rockin’ Down the Highway is the best choice for this.)  My road trips usually involve some sort of blond-induced directional snafu that takes me miles upon miles out of my way. 

My trips are full of ‘Interesting Moments’ and ‘Impending Doom Clues’.  It started with Interesting moment #1: a dead cell phone battery. No problem, right?  The road I’m taking home is well traveled by tourists, and if something happens, I’m covered. 

I spent a wonderful half-week at the beach, but had to leave early for work. On a budget, I left my credit cards at home and took only $60.00 for spending money. My debit card was to be used for gas money only: Impending Doom Clue #1- stopping for gas. My card was declined. Twice. Not a problem, I had some cash left— about $7.00.  I filled up what I could, got in my car, cursed myself for the “let’s leave the credit card at home so I don’t spend extra money” line, and took off.

Music blaring, windows down, and the cruise control on, I had a great start to the ride back.  Most of the time the road is riddled with traffic, but it was Wednesday. Traffic was normal.  This, by the way, would have been Impending Doom Clue #2.

Interesting Moment #2. Road signs. How is this interesting? Oh, only because they were road signs I had never seen on any trip to the beach before. Now, Delaware is not that big of a state. You can travel the length of it in probably about four hours and I only had to drive the bottom third. So, when I saw the signs for Dover Air Force Base—approximately thirty miles OUT of my way—I decided I should have stayed in bed and called out sick to my job.

Then I saw another sign for the Bay Bridge. Yes, I need to cross that!

*insert clever girl pats on the back and smug cheering*

I put the music back in full blast mode, my cheerful mood once more intact, and I turned.  (Impending Doom Clue #3—things are NEVER that easy)  I saw cornfields.  LOTS of cornfields.  There were maybe two houses along the way, but mostly I just saw corn—Impending Doom Clue #4.  Corn is always a sign of Impending Doom (I've seen Children of the Corn), unless it’s in a large pot on your stove. Then it’s just dinner. And my gas gauge slowly inched towards the left and that smirking ‘E’. Yes, my car smirks - especially when I’m lost with no phone and no money.

Interesting Moment #3  FAMILIAR TERRITORY!  I’m not sure what it says about me that I finally recognized where I was when I saw an Outlet Mall, but there it is. There’s one right at a junction along the familiar path going to and from the beach. Back on track, I finally start feeling more confident than ever, especially during the past hour or so of this trip by this point, and relaxed.

And the gas gauge?  A fifteen gallon tank and 14.8 gallons of gas to fill it up the next day.

Melissa is a lover of life, the beach, and her boyfriend.  Currently residing in Delaware, ten miles away from where she's wanted to live since she was six, she now teaches two year olds the basics of how to get to be three years old.  It's a rough life... actually, she can assure you it isn't!

Image credit: myveryworstdate.com

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