My freshman year at University of Arkansas was the first time of my life I ever studied for a class. Fall midterms were approaching fast, so my roommate and I decided to study early. One night, we locked ourselves in our dorm room saturating our minds with as much information as we could. After I was confident I had absorbed all the western civilization my brain would allow, I decided we needed a break. A much needed break. And from the sound of my stomach, we also needed a snack.
After studying for so long uninterrupted, we deserved a reward. What better than Krispy Kreme? And not the Krispy Kreme you can get at a gas station or walmart. No, it had to be a “HOT NOW” Krispy Kreme. So what if there nearest Krispy Kreme was in Rogers and we were in Fayetteville?! Making sure it wouldn’t be a wasted trip, I called to make sure they were open late. We were in luck. It was 9:45 p.m., and they closed at 11 p.m.
We had been in the car for about 25 minutes, and since I knew we were getting close I was getting excited. It wouldn’t be long before the warm, sweet, melting goodness would be in my mouth and contributing to the dreaded “Freshman 15”. I saw the first sign boasting the restaurants lining Exit 85. Almost there. As I was about to tap the brake to turn the cruise off, I saw a car pulled over with its flashers on. Then I noticed the driver standing next to the car waving his arms around like he was swatting at an invisible swarm of bees. We were two teenage girls. No way we were stopping to help a crazy person and their car troubles. Even if we had known anything about cars, we were to close to the donuts to stop now.
Before I could process the words to tell my friend, “There is an idiot on the side of the road flailing his arms around,” I saw a big strange object in the road. I did not know what it was, but I knew it was not supposed to be in the middle of the interstate. Quickly as I could, I swerved the car to miss whatever this foreign object was. I wasn’t fast enough. Although I swerved, I still felt it hit the car. I spun around and finally came to a stop in the median.
After I felt around and realized I was still alive, I looked to make sure my best friend was still breathing as well. She looked as confused as I did so I knew she was okay. The look on her face told me her brain was still working. As I figured out she was fine, my worry shifted for my car. I knew that every tire I had was blown, not to mention the pile of scrap metal I was certain my car had become in less than ten seconds. I got out of the car to find every tire looked perfect. Not only were the tires fine, the only thing wrong with my car was a small dent on the front right bumper. Still confused, I looked to the idiot with flailing arms who was now running towards me. I knew he saw what had just happened so maybe he could tell me what I hit.
There was no way I could ever prepare myself mentally for what I was about to hear. I yelled at the stranger asking him what I had just hit.
“A chair,” he informed me.
“Really?! What kind of chair makes that kind of dent?”
“An ab lounge.”
An ab lounge. Seriously? AN AB LOUNGE!?! Suddenly my head was filled with all sorts of questions. Why is there an ab lounge in the road? How did it get there? What did my car do to deserve a beating from a late night infomercial? Why wait until I was so close to my destination?
After exchanging insurance information, I got back in the car to drive away.
“What do I do now?” I asked my roommate.
“Get Krispy Kremes,” she replies with a dumbfound ‘duh’ expression all over her face.
As I pulled in the parking lot at Krispy Kreme, I finally let go of every tear I had been holding in since my car started spinning. My friend let me cry for a few minutes, sure it was just a reaction from the stress of the situation. After what she thought was long enough to let me cry without interruption, she finally said, “Its okay, honey.”
“No it isn’t,” I replied.
“It isn’t that bad. He said he would pay to have the damage fixed,” she reminded me.
“Its not that.”
Assuming I would have finished the thought already, she asked, “Well what is it?”
And then came the startling realization leading to my never ending waterfall of tears. “God thinks I’m fat. We were going to get donuts, and what does he do? He throws exercise equipment at my car. This is like the ultimate fat joke…”
NOTE TO SELF: Next time you feel the need to drive 30 minutes out of your way to get “HOT NOW” donuts, don’t.