My Workday July 5, 2020...


Oct 3, 2009
NW Indiana
While the last few months have reminded me of aspects of a few episodes of the Twilight Zone; yesterday (July 5, 2020) was like living through several television shows from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Let me elucidate….

Yesterday morning started well enough, I went to church for the first time in several weeks due to my schedule at work. After service, I went to start my car, it wouldn’t turn over. I popped the hood and pulled the plastic cover off the positive battery terminal whereupon I entered an episode of “The Undersea World of Jaques Cousteau” The terminal was completely covered by corrosion and looked like a sea urchin. I knock enough corrosion off the terminal to get a jump and drive the car home.

When I get home, I leave the car running and mix warm water and baking soda and pour it over the terminal, washing away the majority of the corrosion. I let the car run for about thirty minutes, hoping it will be enough to get it charged up for at least a run to work. I shut off the engine and try to restart. No good. I decide to grab a nap before work and get my friend to jump the battery.

I wake up from my nap and enter an skit from “The Carol Burnett Show” with Tim Conway playing his old man character.

I try to start the car. No go. I call my friend to give me a jump. No answer. I walk over to my next door neighbor’s house and nock on the door. He’s in his mid to late 60’s.


“My car’s dead. Can you give me a jump so I can get to work?”


I go back to the car, pull my jumper cables out of the trunk and attach them to the battery terminals.

Neighbor comes out of his house carrying a battery charger….(I think Ohhhkaaaay, maybe he knows something about charging boxes that I don’t…)

MEANWHILE….down the street, a woman gets into her Chrysler minivan and pulls it across the road to turn around to run errands “THAM!!THAM!!THAM!!!” It literally sounds like the motor has come loose from the mounts and is beating the crap out of the engine compartment. I look and see the driver’s side tire at a 30º angle….CV axel broke.

Neighbor shuffles over to my car and proceeds to hook up the charger to my battery. He stands there for a minute, looks down at the plug, picks it up, and stares at it. He slowly walks away and goes to his shed. He comes back with an extension cord. He plugs the plug into the cord and says,”Try it now!”

I turn it over “click!click!click!click!click!click!click!click!”

“That almost did it!” (For the record, it wasn’t even close.)

He fiddles with the charging switch and has me try to start it a few more times. Same results.

“Well, I got something else that might do it.”

I’m thinking,”Can’t you just pull up your car?” But, I’m trying to be polite.

He comes back with a can of battery cleaner. He douses the top of the battery with about 6” of foam.
He then walks over to his house, uncoils the garden hose, and sprays down the battery.

“Try it again!” No good.

He sprays more battery cleaner on it. “Try it now!” same results.

He stands there for a minute. I say,”Look, can we try to jump my car with yours? Just to see if it might work?”

“Huh? Oh yeah. Back it up.”

“I can’t the battery’s dead, that’s why I need you to move your car over here.”

“Oh, sure.”

“THAM!!THAM!!THAM!!!” The neighbor’s husband has come out to try to move the car. He moves it about three feet and the engine dies.

I text my boss and tell him that my battery’s dead and I’m getting a jump. He texts back,”Don’t worry the girls(packers - the ones who put the orders together and glaze/fill the donuts) are behind.” That can’t be good.

The neighbor proceeds to slowly coil his hose. Then he starts doing the same with the extension cord. I say,”I can do this for you, can you move your car over by mine so we can jump it?”

“Wha? Oh, sure.”

He takes the battery charger with him and proceeds to pop the hood of his car, he pulls off the plastic cover on the battery and hooks up the charger.

“Is there something wrong with your battery?”

“No, it’s brand new, but small.”

He plugs it into the extension, gets in the car, and it starts right up. Then the intermittent wipers come on. He stares at it for a few seconds and then starts messing with all the switches.

“What’s wrong?”

“There’s a dash light on.”

I look,”No, the dash is black.”

He turns off the car then starts it again. He stares at the window for a few seconds,”That did it.” Then the wipers start up again. This happens two more times. The third time I reach in through the passenger side window to try to help. No good. Something wrong with the switch.

He gets out, puts everything away and stands staring at the car.

“THAM!!THAM!!THAM!!!” Neighbor finally moves the van out of the road.

“Look, I hate to be pushy, but I really need to get to work. Could you please give me a jump with your car?”

“What? Oh, sure. Bring it on over.”

“I can’t. The battery’s dead, that’s why I need you to move your car by mine.”

“Oh, OK.”

He gets in the car and I go to mine. He pulls up within 6” of my driver’s side door. I give my head a little shake, hook up the jumper cables, climb in through the passenger side and start the car.

“Thanks for your help,” I smile.

“No problem.”

Total time: 45 minutes.

I head off to work…where I then enter an episode of “I Love Lucy;” Specifically, the cake factory episode.

If you’re not familiar with it, Lucy and her friend Ethel get jobs working at a cake factory decorating cakes on an assembly line. It doesn’t go well.

I arrive at work. The girls aren’t “behind” they’re waaaaaaay behind. and to top it off, I have the woman who is the most frustrating for me to work with.

Why, you ask? Well, I like her as a person, she is a very nice person. The problem is that she isn’t …how shall I put this? A shining example of the Gary Public School educational system. Especially when it comes to math. She has problems counting to 12, it seems; and when you’re dealing with large numbers of donuts….an example from yesterday: she was 22 donuts short on a 66 donut order.

I had punched in at ten to 4 PM; an hour later than usual. I had 39 stores to deliver to in two states. I didn’t leave until 7:20 PM. Almost 3 1/2 hours after I arrived. Yep. yep. yep. yep…

So the drive itself was relatively uneventful, except that a lot of my stops were closed on the latter half of the route…..until I got to Ottawa, Illinois….

You may recall I mentioned Ottawa about two years ago when a man in drag kissed me on the cheek….

I get there at 3AM, whereupon I enter an episode of “The Gong Show” I park the van to deliver to a bakery. I go around to the back and open the hatch. I hear guitar music. I turn around and see this twenty something hippie - no lie. He had the long frizzy hair, full beard and mustache, headband, fluffy shirt, ratted jeans with frayed cuffs, was playing a acoustic guitar while riding a skateboard (and doing a good job). I think he was barefoot.

I finish my route and get back to the shop at 5:30. Car starts and I go home.

“We now conclude our broadcast day.”

Cue Star Spangled Banner….