Danny Tyree: Are you beginning to sing the lunch time errand blues?

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2022

Many of us in the workforce find ourselves performing the condensed “sprint” version of the marathon endured by hapless soccer moms.

Yes, now that my wife is working full-time and meeting her at home for lunch is not an option, I am spending a lot of noon-ish hours juggling a quick meal and rapidly multiplying errands.

The old-timey dinner bell once soothed the soul by announcing the arrival of a significant respite; but now the clanging would merely make modern Americans realize, “I forgot, I’ve got to grab a taco and vote on the noise abatement ordinance.”

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If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then lunch is the redheaded stepchild of meals.

Even in the era of online transactions and same-day delivery, most of us can quite easily assemble a checklist of chores such as renewing a driver’s license, paying property taxes, depositing a check, signing legal documents, returning a defective product, picking up prescriptions, brightening the day of nursing home patients, lifting that barge, toting that bail…

(“Sorry I got a little drunk and landed in jail, officer. Just get me back to the office by 1:00, and we’re good. I’m tired of livin’ but scared of gettin’ docked by Ol’ Man Rivers in HR.”)

The trips would be less nerve-wracking if it were easier to plan for contingencies such as traffic jams, malfunctioning credit card machines and long lines of mouth-breathers who could conduct business at any time of day but choose to do it during our narrow window of opportunity.

A simple trip to the Post Office can be particularly problematic. You might zip in and out, or you could wind up in line behind the joker who tells the clerk, “No, I don’t need to mail anything today. But I’ve been saving up my money for 70 years and want to do my patriotic duty by paying off the national debt. Are pennies okay? One…two…three…”

Undaunted, I even manage to incorporate funeral home visits into my lunch schedule. I always try to maintain proper decorum while paying my condolences, but some clock-watchers might get into a pinch and cut corners.

This typically manifests itself in statements such as “Just let me snap a photo and I’ll text you later to critique how natural Bertram looked” or “She’s in a better place, which reminds me I need to get some Royal Caribbean brochures on the way back to the factory” or “At least he’s not suffering anymore, and neither will I be if someone will move the hearse so I can get to the chiropractor.”

I know there’s a temptation to call all this the “rat race,” but the rats don’t need to race. They just waddle over and scarf up all the pizza, doughnut crumbs, etc. that humans drop as we navigate repair shops, charity drop-off sites and library book returns.

Our lifestyle can’t be healthy, unless you think it’s healthy to hear someone exclaim, “Hey, I think all my good gut bacteria wound up in my big toe when I entered the parking lot on two wheels!”

At least if you complete your appointed rounds without experiencing a stroke, you can exult, “I’m tired, but it’s a good tired.”


“Wait, I forgot to drop off that school permission slip for my redheaded stepchild! Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed!”

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”