The heat index was a balmy 120 degrees, with air so thick it hung from the clouds in chunks. The middle-aged married couple shopped for stone statuary for their new rock garden. 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 to display heavy, tasteless concrete animals in their yard?
The couple drove to the statuary store in another county. She found the best turtle, one with a small stone head popping up, perfect for the garden. The store had no dinosaurs. Purchasing Dino would come on another day.
But, on this hot Saturday, with the trunk of the couple’s sedan weighed down with stone statuary, the couple wanted lunch. The town with the concrete store covered less than a square mile and had a population of about 1,000 people, but reportedly had a fantastic Thai place. Here’s how it went.
Her: Turn right, then turn left.
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: Do you mean turn around?
Her: Yes, turn right when you leave the driveway—get in the left lane, and then turn back on the other side.
Him: Where’s 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 when? 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: 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 are.
Him: That makes no sense whatsoever.
Her: Look, there’s Sandy’s Pizza.
Him: Great, now what do we know?
Her: 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 was here ten years ago.
Her: Hey, let’s ask this lady over there. (He pulls over where an elderly lady bends over in her garden, wearing an oversized white floppy hat and blue pedal pushers, and strangely resembling painted wooden cutouts of a woman’s oversized behind so popular in rural America.)
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: Dang, I wish I still had my smart phone and we could Google it.
Him: 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 it. (He turns car around in the school parking lot.)
Him: Where in the heck IS this place?
Her: Turn right now, 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.
He drives around the block and into the driveway.
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, where are we gonna do?
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?
He drives over the tracks and points 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.
Amy Abbott is the author of multiple books which can be found at Amazon. And yes, we’re having a tropical heat wave in the middle of the country. If this made you laugh, be kind and share on your social media. Costs you nothing and makes me really happy and cools me off.