When I’m a backseat passenger in a car driven by my dad, I typically place my front paws over my ears. Between his blaring music (if one can classify what he listens to as music), and his endless tirade at anything that slows or impedes his progress, the cacophony is mind-numbing.
A few days ago, we were approaching the westbound entrance to the Oakland Bay Bridge. As traffic came to a standstill, Dad’s incessant grousing became louder and more liberally peppered with the most colorful language. My paws simply were not equipped to muffle the onslaught. Here is a sample of what my ears endured:
Look at this ****!! And, you know what, Flap? All the millions they’ve spent on this piece of ****, and they still **** it up. Caltrans contracted with a Chinese firm which has never built a bridge. Then, Caltrans officials visited China on many occasions during the process and stayed at lavish hotels. Where did they get the money to pay their expenses? From the **** bridge tolls they’re charging all these vehicles. So, yeah, let’s just wait in this **** line for another hour to two so we can have the honor of paying four dollars to help subsidize another boondoggle. Then, with all the defective bolts and cracks in the concrete, we’ll be lucky if we don’t plunge to our deaths.
And, as we came closer to the toll booth, it just got worse:
Look at that **** toll guy up there! Could he be any **** slower? What does it take to receive a five dollar bill and give one dollar in change…is he giving an oral history of the bridge to every driver? This is **** outrageous!! Where do they train these guys, at a Tai Chi academy?
What happened next, you might place squarely in the category of “karma.” It was finally Dad’s turn to pull up to the booth. As he screamed, “It’s about **** time”, he thrusted his left hand containing four-one dollar bills at the toll-taker. Only one problem: Dad forgot to roll down his window. Dad’s hand hit the glass with a loud thud, Dad screamed in pain, and the bills went flying throughout the car. One of them landed by my nose. It smelled a bit like a rack of lamb, so I ate it. It only took Dad three minutes to locate the other three bills, and as he furiously searched for the fourth, the long line of cars behind us began a chorus of honking. I heard one driver yell, “Some **** people are just born stupid.”
Well, suffice it to say that Dad finally found another dollar and we continued on our less than merry way. Dad said, “Flap, would it have killed you to help me find the money back there? I thought Aussies were supposed to be empathetic and helpful…look at you, just lying there.” I guess he’s right. I should have immediately formed a search party. Oh well, with the rack of lamb still lingering on my taste buds, I guess it was my own karma that I get lambasted.
Later that day, on our return trip, we approached the Benicia Bridge. I stretched my paw up front and inconspicuously rolled down Dad’s window. I’m sure he would have remembered. Oh yeah.