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coming to a muskrat windshield near you: “‘tard on board!”

After dinner with Avitable last night, a dinner than included our agreement that the “Clearly You’re Retarded” radio show should be resurrected–and soon–I decided to make a case for my being the first guest.

I said farewell to my friends Coal Miner’s Granddaughter, Copasetic Beth, Houston’s Problem, and Darned to Heck Grant before dropping Pretty Bride off at our house to relieve the neighbor’s babysitting gig so that I could turn around and get the eldest child from her friend’s house in Dunwoody.  This meant taking 400, a toll road.

I pulled into the booth and opened my center console to notice a quarter and a nickel.  I was sure there were more quarters and nickels below these two coins, and I also knew I had a checkbook and a debit card with me, so I had no concerns.

Me:  Hey, it, um, appears I only have 30 cents here, so I’ll write you a check right quick.
Her:  Do you have any pennies?
Me:  You’d rather have pennies than a check?
Her:  We don’t take checks.
Me:  Debit card?
Her:  Nope.
Me:  What do y’all do when out-of-towners come here, or like, illegal immigrants who have no money?  There’s nowhere to turn around!  Does Georgia hate poor brown people?
Her:  Did you just say ‘poor brown people’?
Me:  Um, no?
Her:  Was that supposed to be funny?
Me:  Here’s 7 more cents.  We’re up to $.37 now.  I don’t know what I should–

(from behind me) HOOOOOONK!

Me (extending a middle finger toward the back windshield):  If I didn’t just have a wonderfully enjoyable evening, I’d be tempted to spout profanity right now.  So, what do I do?  I can’t back up with 5 cars behind me.  There’s nowhere to turn around if I go forward.
Her:  Just go.  *tosses 50 cents into the bin while putting my 37 cents into her drawer*  But don’t drive on this road again with no cash, you got me?
Me:  I’m sorry I suck so badly.

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32 Comments

  1. Wow, there should really be turning points for those stations. Whats a guy to do if the booth-person doesn’t help you? Bend over the hood of the car to please the security guard that everyone KNOWS why he hasn’t gotten laid in the last 13 years. Tssk.
    .-= Wynn´s last blog ..I’m such a tough guy.. girl. =-.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @wynn, I agree! With the part about turning points. Not the other.

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  2. I guess it’s too cold for toll booths up here in the Great White North. We just use overhead cameras to take photos of license plates and then mail people the bill after.

    (Alternatively, you can buy a transponder that you mount in your windshield, that will reduce your service charges.)
    .-= SciFi Dad´s last blog ..Debt =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @SciFi Dad, There’s some thingy I could get to drive right through and get billed as I pass under it, but I don’t use 400 enough to justify it, I don’t think. Unless it’s free. Not sure.

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  3. cash strapped ‘rat bats last.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @avatgardener, Sadly.

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  4. I’ve already learned that if 400 is part of the journey, it’s more convenient to just circle the globe in the opposite direction.
    .-= Grant´s last blog ..Atlanta ni Super Fun Wow Bunnybunnybunnymatsuri 2010 Recap =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @grant, I need to learn to be smart like you.

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  5. Wait – that’s all it takes to avoid paying tolls? Telling them you have no cash? SWEET! I’m doing this from now on!
    .-= Miss Britt´s last blog ..It’s this or cigarettes. Or, possibly, shaking my child. =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @miss britt, Yes! Start doing it daily.

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  6. Well, that turned out pretty well I’d say. Lucky for you she was in a giving mood 🙂 I had something even worse happen to me a few years ago when I moved here to Boulder. I took the toll road around denver to get to Boulder. I had plenty of cash (but no coins), and the toll booth was coins only, there was no booth operator, and nowhere to turn around. I had to go through it without paying. Two weeks later I got a ticket for 200 bucks. Welcome to Denver!
    .-= Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..Keeping your Kids Protected in the Sun =-.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @keith, That sucks!

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  7. There are poor brown people in America? Really? Man. This blog is so informative.

    [Reply]

    Faiqa Reply:

    So, I meant that as a joke and then when I reviewed it after submitting, it came off as kind of bitchy. But. Yeah. Joke. Ha.ha.
    .-= Faiqa´s last blog ..Oh, The Places I’d Go =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @faiqa, Bitch! Just a few. The fact that so many come here must mean it’s a better place to be than wherever it is that they left, though!

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  8. I once drove an ambulance through the toll plaza on the PA Turnpike and had to explain I’d lost the toll ticket. I was prepared to fork over the $29.50 (highest toll to gate) since I knew if I could fish it from behind the lights and sirens panel where it slipped I could submit for a refund, instead the guy makes me fill out a form and swear I got on at Mid County if anyone asks (and I have to perjure myself to the Turnpike Commission), writes it up as an EZPass malfunction ( we don’t have an EZ Pass) and makes me pay $5.00. Ambulances should be able to put the lights on and blow through, IMHO.
    .-= Shieldmaiden1196´s last blog ..Fecal Matters =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @shieldmaiden, PA is great…I breezed through their toll once at 2am and then argued my way out of it no problem!

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  9. Remind me to not ever call an ambulance if I’m anywhere near the PA turnpike. Jeez. (By all means, put on the lights and sirens and blow on through.)

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @countessa, Agreed!

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  10. You do suck badly. Adam said so after dinner. 😉
    .-= Coal Miner’s Granddaughter´s last blog ..Of Migraines, Terry Tate, and Amazing Husbands =-.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @CMG, It’s a flaw. I’m working on it.

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  11. Is the toll only $0.50??? Why even collect it? Toll in my town on Fri is $12…

    And aren’t you a lawyer?? I thought you had hundred dollar bills and gold coins packed in your ‘money clip’!
    .-= jade´s last blog ..Feel the Burn =-.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @Jade, I agree. Sadly, it was supposed to be temporary until they paid for the construction. But guess what? Now they’re used to the money and don’t want to quit collecting it.

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  12. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to charge the gate and just keep going.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @carolyn Next time, I will. I never use cash, meaning I never have change.

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  13. I can’t wait to take you across an international border someday. Remind me to pack a video camera.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @Nancy, Ha! That sounds fun! How ’bout the border between Austria and Italy?

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  14. How many times a day to you have to say that last line? On average?
    .-= A Free Man´s last blog ..And if life is really as short as they say, then why is the night so long? =-.

    [Reply]

    muskrat Reply:

    @a free man, 1-2 times a day, tops, butthole.

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  15. I will often get caught in public parking garages without change, because I never know which ones take debit cards and which only take money.
    .-= Amber Lee´s last blog ..Things I Love =-.

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    muskrat Reply:

    @amber lee, luckily, pretty much all the garages around here take checks or plastic.

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  16. Lucky – normally they write you a ticket so if you are a “poor brown person” with no ID you’d better damn well have 50 cents or be arrested!
    .-= Cranky Sarah´s last blog ..Almost there =-.

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