I was fillin’ my jeep with gas the other day when I noticed a car parked out toward the street. It not only was filled with junk, but some of it was spillin’ out the windows.
Beside it stood a man who I guessed to be about my age and he was lookin’ all around. About that time he looked over at me, smiled and headed my way.
Have you ever seen the old TV show “Taxi?” You remember Reverend Jim? Well, this guy looked just like him. I thought to myself, “Great. This guy’s gonna hit me up for some money.” He walked up and spoke.
“Hey, man. Can you help me, man?” he said.
Remember I said he looked like Reverend Jim? Well, he sounded just like Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong.
“Listen, man,” he said. “Do you know where Dallas is, man?”
I looked at him, smiled, and answered. “Yes I do.”
“Oh great, man. Yeah, I’m headed to Dallas, man and I got turned around. Can you point me in the right direction, man?”
“You bet. When you leave, take a left on the highway there,” I said as I pointed. “Stay on that road for a few miles and you’ll come to Interstate 20. Take a left on 20 and head west and in about an hour, take the highway 80 exit and stay on 80, and in a half hour or so, you’ll run into Dallas.”
He looked at me with an inquisitive face. “West?”
“Huh? What if I head east, man. I like to take the road less traveled. Could I also get there that way, man?”
“Eventually,” I said, “but it’s a lot farther.”
“Really? How much farther, man?”
I looked up in thought. “About 25,000 miles farther,” I said.
“Twenty-five thousand miles? That’s pretty far, man. I’m supposed to be in at a meeting in Dallas tomorrow, man. I might not make it on time. Plus that would probably take a lot more gas, man.”
“Not to mention you’ll have to cross a couple of oceans and possibly a few mountain ranges,” I said.
“Mountain ranges? I wouldn’t mind seeing some mountains, man, but I don’t want to be crossing no oceans. I get seasick, man.”
About this time I started lookin’ around to see if I might be on one of those TV shows where they pull pranks on people. I looked for hidden cameras, people watchin’ us, and stuff like that. I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“Hey, man. I got a map, man. Could you show me where Dallas is on the map, man?”
“You bet,” I said. While he went back to his car, I finished fillin’ up the jeep. I was puttin’ the nozzle up just as he got back.
“Here you go, man,” and he handed me the map. “Just point it out, man.”
I looked at the map. “This is a map of New Mexico,” I said.
“Yeah, man. It’s the only map I have.”
“Dallas isn’t in New Mexico,” I explained. “It’s in Texas.”
“Oh! Well, that’s good to know, man.”
“Where were you when you started your trip to Dallas?” I asked.
“Colorado, man,” he answered.
“I see,” I said and then thinkin’ to myself, “Well, that explains a lot.”
“Yeah, man. I spent the night last night in Fort Worth, man.”
“You spent the night in Fort Worth?”
“Yeah, man. A guy told me to head east and I’d come to Dallas. That’s why I thought I needed to keep heading east, man.”
“Were you on Interstate 30?”
“Yeah, man! How did you know?”
“Lucky guess,” I said. “You drove through Dallas on your way here.”
“I did? Wow, man. I must have missed it, man.”
“Looks like it,” I replied.
“Well, I better get going, man. Tell me again how to get there.”
“Sure. When you leave here, take a left on that highway there. Stay on that road for a few miles and you’ll come to Interstate 20. Take a left on 20 and head west and in about an hour, take the highway 80 exit and stay on 80, and in a half hour or so, you’ll run into Dallas.”
“Great. Thanks, man. I really appreciate it, man,” he said and walked back to his car. When he opened his door a couple of papers flew out and he chased them down and then returned to his car. He climbed in, looked over at me, smiled, waved, and slowly made his way to the highway. After he stopped, he looked both ways, turned right and took off in the opposite direction which I said.
I’d be willin’ to bet, he might have been a little late for his meetin’.