Some days I feel like a complete and total idiot, as opposed to the rest of the days when I feel like a normal idiot.
Take last Tuesday, for instance. I worked in my office all morning, writing, editing and posting stories to our new website, which is, thankfully, pretty much idiot proof—not quite but pretty close.
I worked through the morning to post stories —quickly enough to get them done in a timely manner but not so fast that mistakes occur. I wanted to allow myself time to travel to Central Oklahoma that afternoon, check into a motel early enough to get a good night’s sleep and be up at the crack of dawn the next morning for a research station field day in Fort Cobb.
I got away promptly. I logged my destination into my Iphone map app to determine the best route to Anadarko, Okla. The app showed I had a four-hour drive, plenty of time to find the motel before dark, at which time, I’ve found, motels, restaurants and other apparently stationary structures tend to move around and may be several blocks away from where you know they’re supposed to be.
I also reminded myself to stay within the speed limits as I drove through the small towns that dot the highways from Denton to Anadarko. I’ve contributed to the economic well being of several of those towns over the years.
I skirted Decatur, breezed through Wichita Falls, crossed into Oklahoma, paid a toll, and turned off Interstate 44 toward Apache, Okla., where I made my first wrong turn.
The trouble with map apps is that by the time you realize you’ve taken the wrong road out of town and see the little blue bubble creeping away from the little blue line it’s supposed to be on, you’re 10 miles out of town and faced with a dilemma—turn around and find the road you missed or press on and find another, possibly quicker, route.
I chose plan B. I always choose plan B. Plan B is always wrong.
In Cyril, Oklahoma, after taking another wrong turn—I don’t understand how I can miss a turn in a town as small as Cyril, Okla., but I can—I was further away from my destination than I had been when I was only 10 miles away from the first wrong turn I took.
I eventually found my way to Anadarko, only to discover that the motel had indeed moved and it was almost dark by the time I checked in.
I ate dinner, set up my computer, checked email and decided to confirm directions and starting time for the next day’s field day, only to discover that I was a day early. Next day’s field day was day after next.
I checked my calendars—calendar app on my phone and Outlook calendar on my computer. Both indicated that on this particular day I was a complete and total idiot who can read neither a map nor a calendar.
I was faced with the prospect of a day with absolutely nothing to do. I zapped off an email to Vic Schoonover, a good friend who does media work for North Texas Kansas Oklahoma Cotton, and asked if he had a suggestion for an interview. He did. I spent the next afternoon interviewing a gin manager in Carnegie, Oklahoma. Turned into a pretty good story, if I may say so myself.
I still felt like an idiot.