Survival is the name of the game when Mother Nature has the upper hand.
The day couldn’t get any worse for Ralph when his windshield wipers stopped mid-pivot. The smear of bird poop added a distasteful decoration to his car. He slowed the speed long enough to filter through his back seat for a shirt, a paper towel, or something large enough to wipe off the disgusting excrement.
He found a crumbled bag of Hungry Burger he tossed in the back seat, praying there were a few napkins crushed in. He remembered how juicy the patty was and how it dripped mayo and tomato juice down his elbow, so he had to use a napkin. Napkins. He always asked for extra napkins when he ordered food, but he was in a hurry that day.
It was a Friday evening during five o’clock traffic and Ralph decided he would get out of his car once he reached a standstill on the highway.
Dammit! No napkins. He thought, to hell with it. The paper bag would do. He changed lanes, aggressively cutting off the driver to his right. He noticed a highway walker with a hurried stroll in the distance. Ralph could care less at this point. He just wanted some vision out of his windshield.
Putting the car in park, the rumbling of thunder was audible. Lightning flashed in the distance, causing a thump in Ralph’s chest. Too close for comfort, he thought. Ralph pondered about the number of people who get struck by lightning in a year when he saw how close he parked to the guardrail.
His wiping had to be a quick job, then back into his car before he was struck. He closed his eyes and breathed. He talked himself into jumping out of the car, wiping his windshield vigorously. He kept his car door open so he was able to slide into the driver’s seat with ease, put his car in drive, then maneuver his way into traffic again.
He continued wiping the poop, not satisfied with how the smear made the windshield cloudy and hard to see through. Golf ball-sized hail started pelting down, hitting the top of Ralph’s car and windshield. He swore to the gods, wondering who he pissed off to deserve such a fate.
He ignored the body jumping in his car but the moment he realized the car rolling beneath him, he thought diving on his hood would give the thief a conscious. The thief put on the brakes, sending Ralph soaring two feet in front of him. He saw his car speed off in reverse, tires rolling over speedbumps, causing a noticeable sound to the drivers in the right lane.
With what little energy Ralph was able to muster, he ran after his car. By this time the rain came down in sheets, soaking his clothes. The thunder continued rumbling in the background, frightening him a bit.
The slick cement caused Ralph to slip, as he was able to grab the guardrail while catching his balance. All he could do was wave goodbye to his car as the thief drove through the grass field next to the highway, nearing the service road below.