Harold has spent most of the weekend getting the old 4104 ready for the next road trip. Always best to leave on a Monday one of the benefits of being retired and owning your old bus. Maude and Harold have been talking about swinging out west to Santa Rosa and down to Vaughn, New Mexico. Jumping on the old weather beaten tired two lane and heading south towards Las Cruces and maybe a short side-trip visit to the new Indian Casino in Ruidoso.
Maude walks into the shop and says they need to make a trip to the Super Center for some groceries and a box of doggie treats. So they load up and head on down to the store for a little mid-morning shoppin’ with a stop at the Waffle House. Knowing full well “If mama aint happy ... nobody is happy”
Harold reluctantly agrees to go, even tho this is not his favorite spot on the planet to be.
She artfully suggests that they make a stop at the Waffle House. Maude has learned over the years, that filling Harold’s stomach first, leads to less items casually tossed into the shopping cart. He has a profound tendency to load it full of Poggie-bait
as he calls it, junk food would be the modern day terminology. He most always slips in a bag of beef jerky, the occasional small bag of Gummy Bears, when Maude is not looking.
For the next forty-five minutes or so, they skillfully negotiate the isles of shoppers and pick out the items they deem necessary for their trip. Finding everything they need, they head up to the cashier to cash out and leave the store.
At the entrance of the store, Harold stops Maude and says to her, “Wait here. I will go get the car.”
She nods her head in silent agreement, walks over to the bench, pulls the shopping cart up close and sits down to patiently wait.
The next place we find Harold is the driveway of his home, he parks the car and then walks into the house. “Maude, Maude? Honey I am home.”
No answer. He walks around the house checking each and every room diligently. In the kitchen he checks the kitchen counter, no note, nothing.
“Hmmmmm, this is strange.
” He thinks to himself.
Picking up the telephone he calls his daughter Patti. This is the child he always introduces to folks as “my youngest daughter from my first marriage”
knowing full well he has only been married to one woman in his entire life.
Which is Maude, who is nowhere to be found at the present time.
Dialing his daughters number, the telephone rings twice and then Patti answers up, he asks her, “Is your Mama there?”
Patti assures him that she is not, and inquires as to what the problem might be? Harold says, “Well, I dunno. She aint here and she didn’t leave a note, it just isn’t like her to do this. I will call your brother.”
As Harold stood there leafing thru the address book on the counter next to the toaster, the telephone rang. Picking it up and placing it next to his ear .... “Hello?”
and bigger than Dallas, Harold heard the familiar voice of Maude on the other end.
She said “Harold you old coot, are you going to come get me or do I have to call a cab?”
Suddenly remembering where it was, exactly, that he had left his bride, Harold sheepishly replied, “Stay where you are Hon, I will be right there.”
If you are tooling down New Mexico SH-54 Monday or possibly Tuesday, just south of Vaughn and happen upon a old 4104 with his right turn signal blinking, mile after mile. Honk and wave as you blow by, it is most likely Harold and Maude on a journey to who knows where.
Watch those right-handers.