Worst. Day. Ever.

We all have them—those days when nothing seems to go right from the minute our feet hit the floor.

  • The dog throws up on the carpet when you’re already late for work
  • The lid on your travel mug isn’t screwed on tight like you thought and tea (or coffee) spills all over your __________ (fill in the blank)
  • The GPS takes you to the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere instead of your desired location
  • The waitress tells you she’s just given the last piece of peach pie to another customer

I’m sure you’re all nodding in agreement and adding your own items to this list. Some of you might remember the picture book by Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, where Alexander decides moving to Australia will solve all his problems. Recently, I saw something that made me think that the people to whom this happened would come to the same conclusion. Especially since they probably didn’t have a clue at that point how bad their day would turn out to be once they got home. Let me explain.

My son, Nathan, and I were traveling together, enjoying each other’s company and our conversation. We came around a bend, and there it was, right in the middle of the road. No, not a dead skunk or any other animal, but a dead HD TV. Obviously on the way home from the store, the end of the box had popped open in the fall, revealing the shattered contents within. My first reaction was, “OH, NO!” then I started to wonder how it had gotten there.

My ever-empathetic son snickered and commented, “Boy, are they going to be upset when they get home.” I agreed. (Actually, he used a stronger word than upset that I don’t use, but his word was probably more accurate.) What DO you do when you get home and discover the TV you’ve just spent hundreds of dollars on is MIA? Would they drive back the way they came, looking for it? What would their reaction be when they came upon it? Would they leave it on the road, take it back to the store as defective, or make a claim on their car or homeowner’s insurance to replace it?

I voted for the latter. One insurance company has been running ads, creating outlandish situations which they claim they’ve covered. One involves the family dogs who turn on the faucets, flood the house, and perform synchronized swimming in the middle of the living room, much to their owners’ surprise when they discover the mess. “Yep, we covered it”, says the fictional insurance rep.

In my imagination, I saw film of the happy family, strapping their new TV onto the roof rack of the car, driving down the road, maybe even singing on their way home when their newest prized possession decides to take a nose dive. The camera pans to a driveway as they pile out and puzzle over the missing item, then pans back to the destruction in the middle of the road. And then I hear the voice, “Yep, we covered it.”

I will probably never know the actual outcome of this event. But I am pretty sure of one thing: this will go down in their family history as a Worst. Day. Ever.

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