Jeremiah walked out the door like he always did, briefcase in hand, suit and tie in starched perfection. His mind wandered through the course of the day, meetings he expected to have, papers he needed to read through, reports he needed to file. He did the same thing he did every day when he stepped into his car, started the engine, flipped the radio from FM to CD and drove down the street.
When he arrived at Jerry's house, however, things were not as they always were. He awaited his friend and co-worker patiently for 5 minutes, then spent the next 5 minutes considering if he should honk or walk up to the front door. Finally, he decided to wait another 5 minutes and then ring the door bell.
The woman that him when the front door opened surprised him - he and his wife had dined at the Rousseau's on numerous occasions, and Jerry's wife was always immaculate. Today she was not. Maud apologized profusely for her own appearance and for Jerry's lateness, but there was simply nothing that could be done. She informed him hurriedly that their trusty alarm clock that kept perfect time and never went out even when the power went out (it had a battery backup) had gone out! All of the other clocks in the house still had the correct time, but it had stopped working, and so they had slept over an hour late, and Jerry was just now in the shower. When she asked if he wanted to take a seat in the living room while he waited, Jeremiah declined, saying he didn't want to keep her from getting ready for the day either.
Ten minutes later, Jerry ran out the door, his own briefcase in hand and his own suit in mild disarray. After apologizing profusely, he explained everything as Maud had and proceeded to improve his appearance. Jeremiah nodded politely, said it could have happened to anyone, and not to worry, he'd already phoned the office, the meeting had been postponed anyways. Apparently a logging truck had lost it's load just ten minutes before on one of the major interchanges before downtown. The logs, not being satisfied with blocking traffic on the overpass alone, had managed to tumble onto the overpass below and then finally to crash and splinter on the lowest level. The office wasn't sure which interchange or which highways were blocked, and the radio news hadn't been very helpful in suggesting alternative routes.
The pair arrived at the interchange as the road crews pulled the smashed hulk of a tractor trailer onto a flat bed. Looking at the other remains Jerry spotted the tractor that had been pulling the trailer and exclaimed that the driver was really lucky the cab hadn't been crushed. Fortunately, most of the remaining lumber had been pulled off to the side of the road, and the traffic began moving shortly after the trailer began moving.
The next day Jeremiah and Jerry left their houses and headed for work like they always did, but today, both men caught the other checking the time when they drove through the interchange. Jerry cleared his throat, and laughing said maybe he'd better call his wife to pull that alarm clock back out of the trash.
*Thanks for the inspiration from Fr. Longenecker at Standing on My Head (a great blog, btw) and Julie D. at Happy Catholic (another great blog).