When Worthless Wilma was eleven years old, she walked past a well and heard a little girl screaming for help from the bottom. Instead of going to find an adult who might help, Worthless Wilma went to the creek to look at crayfish. That little girl died at the bottom of the well. Ever since then, she’s been known to everyone as Worthless Wilma.
Today Worthless Wilma turns thirty-four. She’s spent her whole life trying to shed her nickname “Worthless,” but it seems that anytime anyone might count on her she ends up wandering off to go and waste time doing something of no value whatsoever (walking through a public garden, entering a Sun Chips eating competition, attending the test screening of “Who’s Your Caddy” and marking the questionnaire with 3’s all the way down). But today she’s going to change all that.
Today, on her way to her birthday party, she’s going to see a car by the side of the road with a flat tire. A man and a woman will be standing by the car. Worthless Wilma will pull over, and they’ll ask her for a lift. “I can’t risk being delayed,” she’ll say. “But when I get to where I’m going, I’ll phone for help for you.” They’ll thank Worthless Wilma very much.
On the drive to her party, Worthless Wilma will practically chant to herself to strengthen her resolve to follow through on what she promised those stranded motorists. “Must. Call. Tow Truck. Must. Finally. Help Someone!” Once she gets to the restaurant, she’ll rush her hellos to everyone, telling each person, “I can’t greet you for very long as I have to call a tow truck for some stranded motorists.” She’ll fill only a very small plate from the order of nachos in the center of the table. She’ll drink only one margarita, making sure to order her second so that it’s on the way, and then she’ll say to the waiter, “Sir I need to use your phone if I may!”
The waiter will shake his head no and he’ll suggest that Worthless Wilma use her cell phone, or the cell phone of one of her sixteen dinner companions. Worthless Wilma will be shaken by the wrench thrown into her plans and she’ll wait for her second margarita to arrive so that she’ll have something to drink while she considers what to do. To help her mind relax, she’ll complete the child’s maze on her place-mat, and then she’ll ask her neighbor at the table what he does for a living (he’s a parking attendant). Finally, after much deliberation, just before the waiter returns with dessert menus, Worthless Wilma will announce to the table, “I need to call for help!”
She’ll dial information on her cell phone and ask for AAA. When they answer, she’ll hang up and begin playing Tetris on her phone. Realizing that she has not yet done enough, she’ll call back and tell AAA that there is a car with a flat tire someplace. When they ask where, she’ll name the city in which she lives. AAA will ask on which road she saw the car, and Worthless Wilma will shout, “Good God I am just one woman! Flesh and blood, and yet you seem to demand of me divinity!” Just then a cake will arrive and everyone will sing Happy Birthday to Worthless Wilma.
On her ride home, she’ll keep an eye out for the car with the flat tire, but will see no stranded motorists. “Success,” she’ll think. “I helped somebody tonight,” she’ll think. “At age thirty-four, I have finally managed to be of use.” Proud of her accomplishment, Worthless Wilma will drive on home, and she’ll get out of her car and toss her cigarette onto the neighbor’s lawn, setting their rosebushes on fire.
Happy The Saga Of Worthless Wilma Day!