It is 6:50 p.m. I have delivered my patient to the recovery room just a few minutes early and I hear those “music to my ears” words, “You can go home.”
As I stride down the hall towards the parking ramp, I notice a young man dressed in a white doctor’s coat waiting by the stairway. He smiles at me and directs a question my way. “Do you want to make $10?”
My brain does a flip. That is a strange question. Is he propositioning me? I respond, “Doing what?”
“Will you give me a ride to Methodist Hospital?”
Briefly, I wonder if he might be an ax murderer but he looks like any young intern. In his hands, he holds a box that usually contains “loops,” a kind of glasses worn by surgeons to be able to focus better on their delicate work. I make a split-second decision.
“I will give you a ride if you are willing to walk up six flights of stairs to my car. And you don’t need to pay me $10.”
Out on the street, it is pouring from the sky so I understand now his desire for a ride. We chat amicably on the ride and I deposit him on the sidewalk just a block from his car. I have only gone a few blocks out of my way and done a good deed for someone in need.
I take my normal route home through the little town where my hubby has his business with the intent to pick up the mail as is my usual practice. The problem these days is that road construction has again become the bane of our area. Last summer, the state and the county did not communicate at all resulting in only one way into town. This summer is supposed to be more of the same. Just now, the road immediately north of town that comes in from the west is torn up and closed. The county has also started to tear up the road that lies perpendicular to this road and goes directly north out of town to our house. This leaves the necessity of going 5 miles out of the way to get home. Tonight, I have a discussion with myself. I don’t want to go down the gravel road detour and get my car all dirty besides spending the extra time that it takes. Maybe, I can just sneak my way through on that short distance that is torn up and then I will be back on the blacktop. After all, it is raining and no one is working any longer. As I mosey along, I come to where the second “road closed” sign which just this morning was the end of the torn up section is situated. Now it is evident that today they tore up another mile all the way to the next intersection. Great. Just great. There is nothing to do at this point but keep going. I am beginning to regret my decision as the road is muddy and unstable. Just what I need to do is get my new car stuck. This really was not a good decision. As I am dodging puddles and swerving along, I notice a white car in the distance following me. As I watch it intermittently, the distance between us continues to shorten. Strange. Is that an antenna I see on top in the gathering twilight? My musings are soon ended by those flashing red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. I sigh and pull over.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” asks the pleasant voice of the sheriff deputy.
“Because I am driving on this road?” I sheepishly reply.
“Yes, we have been getting quite a few complaints from the construction workers about people continuing to drive on the closed roads,” he explains.
“Well, I would not have come this way if I had known that they tore the whole road up today.” I try to exonerate myself.
“You have a spotless driving record so let’s try to keep it that way.” He says as he gives me a friendly send off.
Maybe this is enough of a lesson to sufficiently prevent me from trying to avoid those irritating detours of summer road construction for the rest of the summer. Sigh! But it is such a long way around for weeks at a time. My rule keeping husband’s response is “you should know better.” So much for getting home at a decent time.