She pulled her card from the chip reader just as the incessant beeping started, knowing what she was to expect when she got home with her purchase. Encounters that occur after a book club meeting aren’t chance, after all, even if they begin that way. Only a certain type frequents, or even happens through, such gatherings. There’s a seedy underbelly that’s rarely mentioned during discussions about discussions about “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle,” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
She settled into the driver’s seat, lowering the top and pulling the notebook of inspirational quotes she kept in the passenger’s seat into her hands. She opened it haphazardly to a page, the paper rustling against her chambray top. It was a red number she’d inexplicably paired with purple shorts, but on that day, the colors were speaking to her.
She landed on a quote from Bjork. “I am a grateful… grapefruit” was all it said. She wasn’t exactly sure how that was inspirational and couldn’t recall why she’d saved it as such, but as it had piqued her curiosity, she decided to take a trip through her neighbor’s backyard to borrow a few grapefruit. She was sure that Hunter S. Thompson would approve.
Sandoz pulled away, new tires gripping the pavement, ideas about grapefruit juice and Salty Dogs stored in her mental file folder. She knew what to expect when she was expecting, particularly a trifecta, and it wasn’t cocktails. It was loud noises, but she couldn’t stop. She was in bat country.
Her: what's it like having boys
Me: *replicates the sounds of warfare for 2 consecutive hours*
— Juliet Actually (@julietactually) July 5, 2017
And when you’re in bat country, you don’t go into the office.
I'll be sending my emissary (i.e., 3 badgers stuffed into a pair of khakis) to work in my place tomorrow.
— Dominic Caruso (@DominicCaruso1) July 3, 2017
You do, however, pretend that something is afoot.
[rubbing hands together]
I can't wait to come up with a plan.
— Unwarranted (@_Aynne_) July 2, 2017
This helps with pretending something is afoot.
I'm being mysterious right now
— Her Humble Boots (@fuzzlime) July 2, 2017
Meanwhile, a voice came from the backseat, which was odd since it was speaking rather than yelling.
your bedsheets are nothing but potential ghosts
— Grant Tanaka (@GrantTanaka) July 1, 2017
Sandoz decided to stop and ruminate upon this truth. That’s when a ruckus drew her eyes to the woods alongside the road.
Every fall Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott meet in the forest and crash mustache to mustache like rutting elk in a struggle for dominance.
— Goats? (@Gooooats) June 26, 2017
But then she sped away. She was afraid of grizzlies, even if she wasn’t in grizzly territory.
If you ever get attacked by a bear, throw your shark at it. Also, get a shark.
— Damon Hunzeker (@DamonHunzeker) January 6, 2014
A car passed her, going the opposite direction. It was me. I had some, umm, items to dispose of.
A lot of people I know have been making trips to the city dump lately and I'm not one to ask questions so I'll just let that one sit.
— EricaTriesToTweet (@SteussieErica) July 4, 2017
I was muttering about something involving overly complicated conspiracy theories involving tunnels and the U.S. Forest Service.
Go ahead and make sense, if you have to.
— BadFabergé (@ipalatsky) June 18, 2017
It was then that Sandoz noticed something besides the mustached fighters and stopped worrying about bears.
Blaze your own trail they said…
They forgot to mention the ensuing arson charges though.
— KoKeniSaskquatch (@KoKeniSasquatch) June 1, 2017
Again, a voice arose from the backseat, but it bore no Austrian accent, so she wasn’t too nervous.
psst…I'm from the future
— Wilx Kivz (@LagunaBeachPOV) June 15, 2017
But the question that followed that pronouncement…
What if when we die every face we've ever made in the moment we turn back to our friends after bowling flashes before our eyes
— Sweatpants Cher (@House_Feminist) July 2, 2017
Sandoz considered abandoning her vehicle, grabbing the kids, and beating the pavement. She decided that maybe wasn’t the best idea. The voice agreed.
Oh good. You're still here.
— Jeff Newton (@yonewt) June 15, 2017
Then came this. She wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or an insult. The ambiguity was annoying.
Someone just called me delightful. What a horrible thing to say.
— Jawbreaker (@sixfootcandy) June 1, 2017
Though there was a point to it.
Yes, that is insensitive and also completely called for.
— Insignificant Funds (@4SLars) June 29, 2017
Also, the guy didn’t get out much.
"Solitude is the refuge of artists," I say. My puppets stare back at me lifelessly.
— Viktor Winetrout (@Cpin42) June 27, 2017
But he did follow this mantra. Poise counts.
I don't know if it's a grudge or a vendetta…
…if you sneeze and I say 'bless you' and you don't thank me, I'll plot your demise.
— Sadie Smith 2.0 (@SadieSkyNinja) June 13, 2017
Sandoz spoke up, smiling wryly.
If you haven't told me I'm amazing yet, there's still time.
— Stacentric (@girl_a_whirl) October 30, 2014
That gave her an idea and, fortunately, she found herself in just the right place to execute it. She was going to crash a kindergarten graduation, and she found herself in front of a school that was hosting just such an event.
*pokes my head into the kindergarten graduation ceremony* DON'T BE AFRAID TO GRAB LIFE BY THE BALLS
— Anna Grace (@graceful_asfuck) June 9, 2017
She pulled her notebook of inspirational quotes out and closed with:
Just skipping over the ocean like a stone.
— Lørd Frøy (@LordFroy) July 1, 2017
The kids cheered, for they were so nonplussed by the whole situation that they didn’t know how to respond. Sandoz threw out another quote.
Everything I know about love I learned from the first three Police Academy films.
— Mr. Bea Arthur (@FuckabillyRex) June 30, 2017
One kid, though, missed it all. Her aunt couldn’t wait for the ceremony to be over to give her her gift.
(handing graduating niece a saw)
Me: You can either cut things or play music with this.
Friend: Sober up.
Me: (whispering) Cut things.
— Ivsy (@Ivsy01) May 19, 2017
And off she went, kids in tow, to the furniture store next door. Why not.
Anytime I see an older couple smiling at each other in a furniture store, I assume I'm an extra in a Cialis commerical.
— Phillylaw7 (@phillylaw7) June 22, 2017
Though she didn’t start making sense.
*grabs the waiter's arm
That Katy Perry song probably isn't even about the movie "Alien".
— AsKateWouldHaveIt (@KateWouldHaveIt) July 1, 2017
As she rounded up the crew and headed back to the car, a cab whizzed by. Taffy was off on an unrelated adventure, at least for now.
[snorting pixy stix in the back of a cab] Do you think the faeries that protect Mothra are her babies?
— taffy bennïngton (@singwithTaffy) June 16, 2017
Meanwhile, the kids were asking for some snacks, but this battle was one they were going to lose.
My parenting motto is, "not right now."
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) July 5, 2017
And off they ambled, except, you know, in a car.
That awkward moment before the next even more awkward moment.
— Jennifer S. White (@yenniwhite) July 5, 2017
They passed a panhandler, a hippie obviously just being lazy, wandering around with a goat on a leash. She ripped a page from her notebook and threw it his way.
There's broke and then there's "How much is a kidney worth?" broke.
— Goddess Of Mischief™ (@AsgardianRose) July 2, 2017
On their left was a doctor’s office, though not maybe of the most licensed variety.
*walks into doctors office*
Lobotomy for one, please.
— Cam (@GinAndJif) July 4, 2017
The voice again arose from the backseat.
I bet Paul Simon has had people killed.
— Ironballs McGinty (@IronballsMcGinT) June 24, 2017
But Sandoz didn’t have time for that.
Please continue talking in riddles. I have several hours to kill
— kanye's bhole 🇺🇸 (@bossy_bootz) June 24, 2017
She cranked up the radio and took off, still not sure where she was headed. Someone should probably figure that out.
I only listen to music that sounds like a drunk guy with good hair singing sadly into a metal bucket, recorded in a Scandinavian lighthouse.
— Tragic Ally (@TragicAllyHere) June 22, 2017
It definitely wasn’t to this wedding, that’s for sure.
Ok, so I know your 3-piece stone wash country tuxedo is at the cleaners, but it's still not ok to wear adventure pants to a wedding.
— liVsy (@liv_thatsme) June 11, 2017
From the backseat, the voice again tried to get Sandoz’s attention. She just turned the volume up.
When you die someone will go through your house, your things, uncover all your crazy and sigh. Just so much crazy.
— Jack Boot (@IamJackBoot) July 1, 2017
Then she saw a sign and pulled over. She knew what she needed to do.
ME: Want anything from Target?
HIM: no babe *applying duct tape to his tighty whities* I'm good on everything
— Q, reassembled (@mamannequin) June 14, 2017
As she closed the door, she heard the voice make one last proclamation.
the 90s were wild. a Furby killed three of my friends.
— Audrey Porne (@AudreyPorne) July 3, 2017
Then, her theme started to play.
My walk up song is cicadas chirping.
— Rachel Noise (@Rachelnoise) July 5, 2017
People pretended not to notice, but they’d learn.
Ignore my sarcastic comment if you wish but there will be more.
— heather lou* (@heatherlou_) June 17, 2017
Sandoz decided upon a destination, for bat country was a little too raucous and necessitated far too many handcuffs.
"My heart isn't in it any more," I whisper, slicing frantically into my open chest cavity, the PCP subsiding, as the cop tazes me again.
— Frank Whitehouse (@WheelTod) June 28, 2017
Sometimes only seemingly so, but still.
I walk around smiling all the time so people think I'm up to something.
— Jackie Bouvier (@jackiembouvier) June 10, 2017
Where she was headed, anything was possible. Mostly.
I think it's been downhill since I found out I couldn't become a velociraptor back in 86.
— DruPacalypse (@D2BMcG) May 31, 2017
She stopped by a museum and pondered her next steps. One item, in particular, spoke to her.
Oh, stuffed four-toed jerboa tucked in a dusty corner of the Hall of Mammals, you think no one sees you. But I see you. I see you, precious.
— Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) October 29, 2015
Sandoz bombed down the road, destination planned, a cache of cinnamon buns atop her inspirational quotes. They would be sustained both physically and, ummm, inspirationally. The long, strange trip had really just begun, especially as she’d forgotten to stop and steal some grapefruit. She’d have to pencil that in.
Elsewhere, a figure emerged from the shadows, a dog by his side. It was a St. Bernard named Alan. The man next to Alan felt destiny calling and knew that somehow it was tied to that fateful night when he crashed a book club. He hopped into his Fiero and declared his intentions.
Outta my way jerks I'm on my way to Partyville USA
— Böb El Rey Jänke (@Bob_Janke) April 12, 2016