Picture imperfect

2009 September 14
by Stace

Overheard in the truck

Hedon is sitting in the driver’s seat, working on her logbook. Stace is in the bunk, reading.

Hedon: Oh my god! That was nearly a catastrophe!

Stace: What?

Hedon: I thought I’d messed up my logbook. Stupid watch!

Stace considers this for a moment, wondering what leaps Fernando has made here, and why, exactly, Hedon’s watch should have anything to do with her logbook.

Stace: Did your watch stop or something?

Hedon: No. It’s this stupid time zone thing.

Stace: Oh.

Hedon: And my stupid big old fat wrist.

Stace: I’m not really following you … uh …

Hedon sighs, as if she’s got something better to do than explaining the obvious.

Hedon: When I got this stupid watch, I saw that you can set it with two different time zones. I used the central time zone, of course, for one, and then decided I’d set the other one for east coast. I don’t really know why I picked east. I can just add an hour like I’ve always done, but it’s a shame not to use the extra time zone, since it is a cool feature of the watch that I should take advantage of.

Stace: And …

Hedon: I thought about using something really cool, like setting it for France time, or Japan time, or Russia or whatever. But I couldn’t pick one. I couldn’t decide which would be best — to be driving along and think, “I wonder what time it is Botswana” or “I wonder what time it is in Australia.” So after a few days …

Stace: For god’s sake, just get to it already.

Hedon: Okay okay. Since I couldn’t pick, after a few days I just set it on east coast time, so I wouldn’t waste the feature. There’s this little button on the side of the watch that you push to switch between time zones, and because I have this big stupid old fat wrist, my fat’s always pushing that little button and switching the time zones on me without me knowing.

Stace: …

Hedon (exasperated): So I go to write in my logbook, check the time, and almost put down the wrong time, because of my big fat stupid humongous wrist. Stupid wrist! Stupid watch!

Stace: Ohhh, so that’s why the other night you told me it was 7 o’clock when it was really 6 o’clock.

Hedon: Yeah.

Stace: No problem. Just change the setting on the second time zone to central time, and you won’t have to worry about it changing on you.

Hedon: I can’t. I don’t remember how to change it.

Stace: Bummer. So this is going to be like that annoying chime that goes off every hour, isn’t it? Never-ending because you don’t know how to make it stop?

Hedon: I can’t believe I’ve hit a point in my life where I can’t even figure out a watch. Stupid watch!

Stace: Did you save the directions that came with it?

Hedon: Yeah.

Stace: Great! When we get home, you can fix both problems …

Hedon: Oh, I’ve got the instructions. I put them in the camera case.

Stace: Then why the hell have I had to listen to that watch of yours chime in every hour for the past week if you’ve got the damned instructions?

Hedon: They’re in the camera case.

Stace: Yeah, I know that now. You’re acting like they’re strapped on the roof of the trailer back there, and not sitting on a shelf literally within arm’s reach of where you’re sitting.

Hedon grumbles, then: The instructions are diabolical. I can’t figure them out.

Stace: …

Hedon: I’m serious. There are no words! It’s all in pictures. And they make no sense at all. Not a word on there. When did people quit giving instructions in words?!

Stace: …

Hedon: I don’t know how I can be expected to figure it out. You don’t know. You haven’t seen it. It’s just evil. What’s wrong with these people! Stupid instruction pictures!

Stace: So … let me get this straight. You can’t follow the directions to fix your watch because the instructions are just pictures.

Hedon: Oh yeah, sound all superior, but I’m telling you, you haven’t seen them. They’re crazy.

Stace: But you obviously had it figured out at some point, since you managed to set the watch in the first place.

Hedon: I’m not sure about that. I think I may have just been pushing buttons and it happened. Or maybe I was in some kind of uber-picture-reader zone at the time. Whatever, I can’t figure it out now.

Hedon glares down at the watch on her wrist.

Hedon: None of this would be a problem if it weren’t for my stupid fat wrist.

A long silence stretches between them. It lasts a good two minutes. Finally …

Stace: I’m sorry, but I seem to have nothing to say to that. It’s like the absurdity of it has overwhelmed my system or …

Hedon: Brain freeze?

Stace: Something like that. Sorry.

Hedon: That’s okay. Go back to your book.

Stace: I think I will. Thanks.

A few more quiet minutes follow, with Hedon returning to her logbook, and Stace staring vacantly at her Kindle.

Stace: It’s not working. I can’t read.

Hedon: Huh?

Stace: It’s like when your brain gets stuck on a song that you don’t know all the words to, so it just loops around and around in your head until you go nuts. That’s what I’m doing right now; it’s just not a song. It’s this whole … picture thing.

Hedon: Don’t worry about it. It’ll go away. Think about how we’re gonna eat BBQ later. That’ll get your mind off it.

Stace mumbles a bit then returns to staring at her book. Hedon writes on her logbook, as her watch chimes 7 p.m.

6 Responses
  1. 2009 September 14

    LOL! When this post started I thought you were going to say….and no one was in the drivers seat as we barreled down the road! :)

    • 2009 September 20

      Gack! Sounds like a nightmare I had the other night.

  2. 2009 September 15

    Have you ever seen the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby “On the Road” comedies??? I’m going to look through Youtube… I remember the days as a kid that I’d stay up late at my grandmother’s house and watch these on the late, late show.

    This episode of “Picture Imperfect: On the Road with Hedon and Stace,” certainly equaled if not rivaled the writing, timing and comedic effect of Hope and Crosby.

    Sooo funny …. you girls just kill me…love it!

    • 2009 September 20

      Thx! I loved those movies as a kid. They’d pop up sometimes on the late late movie, or in the afternoons on the weekends.

  3. 2009 September 16
    Chaos permalink

    Ok, so I gotta say… Why don’t you two look at the pictures together? I’m sure between the two of you it will all work out. If not, bring the directions, and I’ll try. : ) …. oo. maybe Kiddo can fix it! Lol.

    • 2009 September 20

      Sorry, but practical suggestions such as this are beyond me. I’m still in brain-lock in regards to your mom and her watch problems. Good thing I’m getting used to that hourly chime deal.

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