The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dick Schuller
Homespun Yarns 

Officer, I think I may have misplaced my husband


I climbed down the steep incline after relieving myself and then gasped at what I saw.

Expecting to see my car parked on Highway 97, between Goldendale and Toppenish my eyes stared at a vacant spot. My wife and I both had doctor’s appointments in Yakima.

Half way to our destination, I felt drowsy and asked my normally astute wife if she would drive. “Sure, you just curl up in the back seat and rest.”

She took over the driver’s seat, and I slammed her rider’s side door. Now I should insert here that my wife, at age 86, has a slight hearing problem. I told her I needed to relieve myself in the bushes, but when she heard me slam the car door—she assumed I was lying down in the back seat.

Away she went!

Standing on the edge of the road, I thought this whole event might just be a dream, stranded miles from any convenience store or phone.

My doctor’s appointment at 2 p.m. was at the Central Heart Clinic in Yakima. They have a heart-soothing rule that if you don’t show up for your appointment, they dun you $100!

I was sure my wife would soon discover I was missing. Wrong!

Dot: (Speeding away from me) “Are you comfortable, hon?”

Me: (Because I’m standing on the highway) No answer.

I had no cell phone with me. I usually don’t when I’m relieving myself in the bushes. My billfold was quietly resting on the dashboard of our car.

Well... I hadn’t hitchhiked since I was a 16-year-old back in Ohio, but I did have experience at it. Feeling extremely stupid, I raised my thumb at the roaring traffic. No takers.

Just then a car with two young women slowed and pulled up. Through a barely lowered window, a blonde-haired woman inquired, “Are you in trouble?”

“My wife is,” I grinned.

Mary and Louise introduced themselves and asked me to take over the passenger’s seat, as they began to retrace their route.

Mary was driving. “Well, I’m sure she realized you weren’t in the car. Describe your car, and when I spot her, I’ll flash my lights.”

By this time my little wife, who was not able to look toward the rear seat because of the large headrests, tried to console me. When she came upon highway construction, she half turned and purred, “I’m sorry it’s so rough. You OK? Wow, you must really be tired!”

Meanwhile, my newly discovered rescuers are driving the 20 miles back to Toppenish. As we approach the place, Louise offers, “I’ll stand by the edge of the highway and flag down your wife so she doesn’t try to go back to pick you up.”

We finally locate the police department, the same place where they take lost children. The hours are speeding by, and I can just see myself handing over a hundred dollar bill to a very pleased clerk.

I thank the two women heartily and collect their business cards. However, Mary comes back across the street holding out something for me. It is a $20 bill. “Here,” she offers, “when you meet your wife, take her out for a big milk shake.” I promise repayment.

The Toppenish Police contact Yakima police, and yes, there is a Mrs. Schuller here. Dot later told me when she arrived at the mall area in Yakima she said to the empty back seat, “Hon, I think I’ll let you drive in all this traffic.” But when she opened the back door, a husband was not there. She doesn’t easily cry, but she broke down.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a call from Dot, and I’m sitting in the Toppenish police station court rooms. About then, a policeman came and told me he would drive me to Yakima.

As we approach the other police station, the officer asks, “Did she drive off on you?”

“No sir, we normally have a happy marriage.”

“Well, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go with you when you meet your wife—we don’t want any violence.” He was serious.

As I spotted our car parked in front of the police station and Dot standing there, relief swept over me. We hugged and both felt relief when we had a good cry Dot couldn’t find enough words of apology.

From now on if I ever have to relieve myself in the bushes, I’m going to take my cell phone, keys, and billfold!


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