I wrote this post last October and feel I need to post it again. It is a funny story...another adventure with my friend Rae. Rae died sixteen days after I wrote this. I am so grateful that Ray and I were able to be with Rae for her last days here on earth. Anyone in the need of an uplifting story, read on. I just needed a Rae fix today.
Okay, it is time for another Rae story. This one takes place on the road. I am not sure of the date, but sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. CB radios were big then. My father bought me one thinking it a good idea since I did a lot of driving, and a lot of it alone. I never did chat on the CB with others, but I would listen. Rae had one also...in fact I think about everybody seemed to have one.
|This is what her camper looked like.|
Rae had just gotten her CB and just glanced at some of the lingo...like 10-4 meant 'okay.' The problem was...she would get them mixed up. 10-20 meant 'your location' and 10-36 meant what the time was. Neither one of us talked much on the CB, but when Rae did she would throw out some CB slang.
Once while driving through Kansas she got on the radio to marvel at all the sunflower fields. They were amazing...field after field. And then she said this. "Hey Singing Swede (That was my handle), what's your 10-20?" I thought that was a strange question because I was driving right behind her and all she had to do was look in her rearview mirror.
"I'm right behind you, Earth Turtle (That was Rae's handle). Are you sure you wanted to say 10-20? That is location. Did you mean to ask the time? If so...that is 'What's your 10-36?' "
"10-36? It's that late?" was Rae's reply.
"No, it is not 10-36. It is 9:20 right now. When you asked for my 10-20 I thought you were asking for the time since you knew my location." I was confident she understood me.
"I wish the (choice words) clock worked in here! Is it 9:20 or 10:20? You are not making any sense!" At this point it felt like a "Who's on first" routine beginning, but I tried one more time.
"Earth Turtle! The time is now 9:23. That is the time of day" I stopped there...no need to say any other numbers.
"Then why did you tell me it was 10:36?"
"Because, if you want to know the time you say, 'What is your 10-36.' But it would be easier if we just say, 'What is the time. If you want to know my location you ask for 10-20. I think you just confused the two numbers."
"So tell me, is it 9:23, 10-36 or 10-20!"
I was beyond frustrated and of course, laughing when I heard a deep male voice come over the radio.
"Ladies, please, stop! We can't take much more of this conversation out here. Right now the time is 9:25 in the morning. We are driving on route 36 in Kansas and it is a beautiful day. Do you get that?"
"10-4," I said through my chuckles. Later, Rae came back on and said, "What did he mean, Jackie?"
"Let's talk about it at the next stop," was all I could say. I did not want to say another number.
That night we slept in the camper. Rae took the bed that was made by dropping the table and moving some cushions. I took the loft about the driver's seat. The next day I told Rae that I was just going to leave the bed above the seat down so that I wouldn't have to move and repack all of my stuff. That was fine...and off we went. I had written the numbers down for 'time' and 'location'....just in case she would try to ask for the time again.
|This is not Rae's camper, but this is like it. The table|
converts to a bed.
|This is the loft above the driver's seat where I slept. That|
middle part pulls down to make a bed.
We came upon a train and what looked like a long wait. I was checking out the graffiti on the box cars when over the CB came Earth Turtle's voice. "The #*%# thing goes up and it stays up!" Whoa, what was that about?
Before I could ask, another voice...not the same deep male voice as the day before...but another male voice, "Oh, my lady, that sounds good."
I have to admit...I blushed sitting there, alone in my car wondering which one of the truckers in this traffic had said this. Within a minute, I was laughing and found the nerve to ask Rae what had happened.
"I decided to get a can of pop since we were stuck waiting for a train. I ran back to the fridge and ran back to the seat....forgetting that you left the (explicative) loft bed down and I ran right into it. I swear, I saw stars! Pop spilled all over the (choice words) seat!"
I could not answer. I knew it was not funny....but as usual...tears were streaming down my face as I tried to stop. Rae knew it.
"It's not funny, Jackie," she said.
"10-4," was all I could utter before the laugh forced its way out.