The heat index was a balmy 120 degrees, air so thick it hung from the clouds in chunks. The middle-aged married couple wanted to do something fun on this low-key Saturday. They decided to shop for stone statuary for their new rock garden.
Naturally, she wanted a three-foot concrete Sinclair dinosaur, among other things, perhaps a concrete turtle, or a pineapple, or a sundial? Maybe a bird bath? Who doesn’t want use heavy tacky concrete things in their yard?
They have long given up any illusions that they can grow anything, although she is trying desperately to keep her five new lilac bushes alive. Around the house, they removed all the plants and put in festive rocks. Yes, she said festive. Get over it.
When you don’t have to pull weeds, rock are quite festive.
Up the highway the fifty-somethings went to the statuary place in a county north. They found choices, eclectic choices from Sasquatch to the proverbial 800-lb gorilla to angels and mermaids. But those were just not right.
She found the perfect turtle, with a little stone head popping up. Absolutely a must for the lilac bed!
Then they found a pineapple that weighed about fifteen pounds. Across the Ohio River in the South, the pineapple is seen as a symbol of hospitality.
No sundial, but the couple found a lovely ninety-pound birdbath with a top that opened like a large tulip. Both agreed it was the prettiest one.
But no dinosaur. She was disappointed, but a friend had spotted on in New Albany and might bring it over.
On this hot Saturday forty miles away from home, the trunk weighed down with stone statuary, the couple decided to try a Thai place the husband knew about. The town with the concrete store covered less than a square mile and couldn’t have had a population of more than a thousand people, but it reportedly had a fantastic Thai place. Here’s how it went.
Her: turn right and then turn left when you leave here.Him: do you mean turn left?
Her: no you can’t turn left, it is a dual lane highway, turn right and then turn left right there.
Him: you mean turn around?
Her: yes, turn right when you leave the driveway and get in the left lane, and then turn back on the other side.Him: where is the restaurant?
Her: I looked on the Google map before we left and I know right where it is. The map said it was on Coal Mine Road down from Sandy’s Pizza. Okay, go up to this light and turn right.
Him: Do you mean here? There are lots of roads around here named Coal Mine Road.Her: Yes I mean here, turn right NOW
Him: now what? I don't see anything that vaguely resembles a business.
Her: Well, I can’t remember the cross street but I think it is Gibson. Yeah, it’s at the corner of Coal Mine and Gibson past the school.Him: Well, we’ve driven past the school and there’s no sign and no Gibson Street.
Her: okay turn right and we’ll try to find Sandy’s Pizza.
Him: (turning right) How does finding Sandy’s pizza help us find the Thai place?
Her: Well, I kind of know where it is on the map so if I see Sandy’s Pizza I’ll know where we areHim: That makes no sense whatsoever.
Her: Hey, look there’s Sandy’s Pizza.
Him: Great, now what do we know?Her: Well, nothing I guess I was wrong. Let’s go downtown and see if we can find somebody to ask.
Him: This town is too small to have a downtown and I’m turning around.Her: Oh, please just go this way. I know there’s a downtown. I called on one of the clinics here about ten years ago.
Her: Hey, let’s ask this lady over there.
(He pulls over where elderly lady is completely bent over in her garden, wearing a big white floppy hat and blue pedal pushers, and looking for all the world like one of those wooden cutouts of a women’s behind in a garden.)
Him: You ask her -- I’m not going to ask her.
Her: Ma’am, where is the Thai restaurant?
Wooden Cutout lady: Well, this lady runs it out of her house and it’s on Coal Mine road on the north side of the road. If you want I’ll go inside and get my phone book.Her: No, that’s okay, we’ll find it.
Him: Okay, now how does that help us?
Her: Damn, I wish I still had my smart phone and we could Google itHim: I wish we had brought the GPS. Okay, now, I’m going back to Coal Mine Road and drive back up to the school.
Her: Okay, I think I saw it. Hey, you passed it. Slow down, I think you missed him. (He turns car around in the school parking lot.)Him: Where in the heck IS this place?
Her: Turn right here, TURN RIGHT here. Why did you pass it?Him: It doesn’t look like there is anything back there. I’m going around the back and see if I can get there from the back.
Her: But I saw a sign, you missed the sign.Him (drive around the block and into the driveway she wanted him to drive into)
Him: Where’s the sign?Her: Well, I thought I saw a sign. Hey, let’s ask this guy (man standing by truck next to building where there was allegedly a sign five minutes earlier.)
Him: No I am not stopping. Three strikes and you are out!Her: Well, what are we gonna go?
Him: I’m driving over the railroad tracks on Coal Mine Road. It has to be over the tracks.Her: No way, I’m sure it isn’t over the tracks. How could it be over the tracks?
Him: driving over the tracks and pointing to the sign that says “Thai Chou”Her: Look, there’s the Thai place
Upon arrival, he had stir fry shrimp and she had crow.
The moral of this story is: He is usually right, she is usually wrong, but she is very convincing about being wrong. This couple has been getting lost together since the first day they met in August 1977, and hopefully, will get lost together on many more Saturdays. For their upcoming vacation, they are taking a guided tour (for those concerned.)