A steady rain was falling and the turkey dealer was late.
I had arrived at the designated spot a good fifteen minutes ahead of time so I could be first in line to stake out my locally raised bird, but now the high school parking lot was filling up with other customers and the turkey dealer was nowhere in sight.
I had his digits with me, so I waited until fifteen past the hour before calling him up.
“Chuck, this is Rima Rama. I am at the location, but there are no turkeys in sight.”
“Oh, hey Mrs. Rama! Are you on the eastside or westside pickup route?”
“I’m at the northwest corner of the Beachland High School parking lot. I am wearing a black trench coat.”
“Yeah, I’m really sorry about that, Mrs. Rama,” Chuck told me. “My guys got held up because of the weather, but they’ll be there any minute, so just hold tight.”
“Should I stay inside my vehicle?”
“Should I stay inside my vehicle, or stand in the designated pick-up spot?”
“You can stay inside your car, Mrs. Rama. We’ll be there in a sec.”
Armed with this knowledge, I secured my purse strap over my shoulder, put my umbrella in launch mode, and sat tight. When the Turkey Truck arrived thirty minutes later, there was a whole parking lot full of impatient customers ready to descend upon it, but I was first out of the gate.
I ran across the lot with the Chariots of Fire theme song playing in my head, splashing puddled water in my wake. People who had arrived much later than I had and who had not sprinted across the parking lot in three-inch heels were all jockeying for position underneath the tiny makeshift tent the turkey dealer set up around me, but I was able to create an impenetrable force field around my place in line (first) with the spiky points of my open umbrella.
“Alright, people, whose first?” the turkey dealer hollered.
I was up in his grill in two seconds flat.
And I was handily rewarded for my tenacity by being given a twenty-pound tom for the price of the scrawny sixteen pounder I had actually ordered, which just proves that the first will actually be first. Of course, I got a hernia hoisting that turkey into the trunk of my car*, but at least I can rest safe in the knowledge that tomorrow there will be enough turkey meat to go around.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone, and may your juices run clear!
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