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Jude McLean Author

Doing Nothing

00:00 / 04:08

I’m lying in bed typing. My editor is sound asleep, so I won’t be getting any dirty looks this time. Bitsie, the adorable, lousy lookout, is snuggled underneath my elbow tucked against my hip. Zoey is hiding in my closet underneath a rumpled blanket I placed in there for the sole purpose of her using it as cover to sneak into my room without me noticing. We have an arrangement: I act like I don’t know that she’s in there, and she waits until I’m asleep to leap into bed and shove me off to one side. Last night she nearly kicked me out of bed entirely. Can anyone explain to me why a Miniature Pinscher needs an entire queen-size bed to herself?


Tonight I went to the drive-in movie theatre. They were playing Peter Rabbit 2. Cute movie. It gave me several lighthearted laughs and smiles. My status as a mythical creature here in Tennessee continued while I was sitting in my car eating some KFC and waiting for the movie to begin.


“Hello.” A southern male voice said to me through my open driver’s side car window. I reluctantly put down my piece of fried chicken I was busy devouring and looked up into a pair of friendly blue eyes. Pretty eyes or not, I was starving, and this guy was now my enemy for interrupting my dinner. I told myself to be friendly, plastered on a smile, and said hello. 

“So, you really are from New York?” He sounds amazed. 

“Yes,” I replied as I licked my fingers. No point in hiding that I would much prefer to be eating than chatting. 

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to take you away from your meal.” Yes, you do. “But, me and the guys had a bet that you were a local driving a rental car.” 

“What made you think that?” 

“You parked your car perfectly. We figured you had to be local because nobody from New York would park like you did.” 

He didn’t realize that he just insulted me. But, the dufus meant well. I huffed out a breath and get out of my car. He took two steps back. That’s right, buddy, I’m a Yankee bitch, so you had best step back because I bite - hard. 

“You didn’t need to get out of your car.” 

“Sure I did. After that warm welcome, how could I not say a proper hello?” He caught my sarcasm. “You were saying about my parking?” 

He stammered, “It’s just that … aw heck. If it makes things any better, I lost fifty bucks.” 

 “A little.” I smiled. 

Just then, a younger guy of about twenty joined us and held out his hand to receive his money with a ‘told you so’ grin on his lips. We chatted a few minutes longer. They noticed the fried chicken in my car and recommended I try the chocolate fudge sundae and the cotton candy. They weren’t so slow as their accents implied. I was on a junk food mission, and they handed me my next conquest. On that note, we parted as friends. 


The Sparta Drive-In. They have one screen and always show a double feature. Since I was driving a sedan, I was able to park in the front row. Apparently, outsiders tend to find this problematic, why I don’t know. You pull your vehicle into a parking space and drive your front tires up onto the hump in the ground that tilts your car, supplying the perfect view of the screen. It’s not rocket science. Now, if someone could explain to me how the delicious cotton candy that I had stuck in my hair and on my face is made, I would appreciate that. That is rocket science. 


Bitsie and Zoey were delighted I had been to the drive-in. They got to lick all the cotton candy off my face and out of my hair. All in all, it was a successful night of doing nothing. 

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