I had been hoping to be one in a million. It really is one in a million. At least if you live in the United States of America. And I do. I had it all planned out to achieve maximum effect and embarrassment for my wife.
We live across the street from a country club that costs as much to join as it costs to send our kids to preschool. We hear the parties on Saturday nights from our front steps. They are loud, obnoxious DJ-fueled karaoke parties designed to keep rich kids from doing bad things before 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., who knows. My wife wants to join the club because we can walk there. I want to buy a second car so I can get to Home Depot while she goes to the gym with the kids.
All that doesn’t matter now. We can’t do either because I’ve been demoted to part-time at a job I’ve sweated for over the last 22 years. 32 hours a week. And anyone under 35 hours a week doesn’t get health insurance. My wife freelances as a copywriter, so she’s no help. Now we have to figure out what to do about her thyroid issues and my high blood pressure.
So I’m here, on the country club’s well-manicured lawn. I decided on the 8th hole; I figured the 18th would be cliché. And 8 is lucky, that’s what I learned from the last summer Olympics. For more luck, I held our silver wedding cake server in one hand; the knife I got when I attained the rank of Eagle Scout in high school is grasped in my right. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.
At just after 2 a.m. I had stepped out of my pajamas, folded them on the desk chair, and walked the five minutes to the country club’s lawn. It felt great. The promised storm had already begun with wind that promised Highlander-style glory. When I got to the 8th hole on the country club green, I sat down, not wanting a passing car to notice the naked guy on the hillock of the expensive country club at 2 a.m.
Still picturing Highlander, I raised my silver-filled hands to the first bolt of lightning that stretched across the sky, daring it to strike me. I was sure it would. I was sure it would. I was so sure it would.
It didn’t. I am here. Naked. And now I have to walk home. Naked. I’m still gripping my cake server and knife. Our town is small enough that this could be bad.
My shoulders shrug. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so bad to walk home in the buff. I get up and brush off my back and legs as best I can. I look at where my body has left its mark, free of electricity, on the country club lawn. Turning on my heel, I do a one-eighty and begin my journey home.