Mrstheskinnyonbenny is Married to a Donkey

September 03, 2009

Perhaps you received my tweet of August 14 and were wondering what's the story behind the story. It read, "My wife is trying to get me the first appointment in front of an Obama death panel right now."

Or perhaps you just received an informative text message from Mrs. theskinnyonbenny. "I am married to a donkey." I don't know how many people received that one (I did not), but the number is unquestionably high, and the number of people who claim to have received it seems to be growing.

I haven't posted this sooner because I've been wondering how Mrs. theskinnyonbenny would tell the story to my parents. She could tell my old man just like she could with anyone else, but I don't think my mom will comprehend any ill-sentiments directed my way. A story in which her son is a donkey won't compute at all.

Since it's been a number of weeks, I'll go ahead and spill it.

On the afternoon of August 14, I connected my in-laws' boat to the back of my Jeep, went to the house, loaded all of our gear (including two dogs and a kid), and headed out for Natchitoches, LA. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny was expected at a high school reunion event at 6:00 PM, and the town is three hours away, even without pulling a boat. On top of that, her folks' place is 20 minutes on the other side of town, and we had to stop there first to get rid of the boat, kid, and dogs.

We left Baton Rouge aroud 2:30, and within a half hour, I felt myself wanting to nod off. Truth be told, I hadn't slept at all the previous night. I stayed up late working and watching old movies, and I didn't go to bed until 3:30 or 4:00. At 4:30, I heard Vanya crying with some sort of nighttime crisis. By the time I got him calmed down and comfortable again, the morning sounds of dogs barking and garbage truck pickup clued me in to the fact that I had missed my chance to sleep.

Back on the road, we stopped at a truck stop, and Mrs. theskinnyonbenny went inside to buy us some lunch. I knew it wouldn't be super-quick, so I used the opportunity to catch a quick nap while she was in there. I felt much refreshed once she returned.

We got back on the road, ate our sandwiches, and progressed farther and farther away from civilization and toward an area best known as, "the middle of nowhere." When we just about as far from any real town as it was possible to be, I noticed that we needed gas.

I knew Mrs. theskinnyonbenny would be mad. I should have filled up when we stopped. But I didn't.

I was watching, watching, watching for that next exit. Towing that huge boat was causing that fuel needle to drop much more quickly than I was used to.

And then, the gas pedal quit working.

I pulled over to the curb, out of gas 45 minutes after having stopped at a gas station.

It's a difficult position. I was right next to Mrs. theskinnyonbenny who was madder than a mean cat in a bucket of water. And I had no defense, no excuse, nothing that would explain why we were sweating in Louisiana August heat while cars zoomed past.

I called the state police, but the nearest trooper turned out to be more than an hour away. He took care of getting one of us to a gas station and got us back running. But the hour we waited was not fun.

I guess it was probably around 7:00 by the time we got to the class reunion. Everyone had eaten already, so the drinks during the night hit harder than they should have, and by the grace of the power of the bottle, we ended up having a pretty good time. We were out until 2:00, so I didn't really get caught up on sleep that night, but that just set up the next day to be one of the most eventful that I can remember.