For this week's flashback, I'm going to share a story. It's about the fantastic day I had a few months ago. I didn’t ever blog about it before because at the time, it wasn’t funny. At least not to me. The dozens of guests at my office Christmas party who were regaled with my sad tale by my loving husband may have had a different opinion. (Thanks a pantload for that suggestion, Amanda).
The story takes place on a Saturday that I had looked forward to with promise. I was soaking up the last of the fall weather while we finished our front yard, Fall was quickly coming to an end. My brother had asked me to take him to the airport and said I could keep his pick-up truck for the weekend for my landscaping needs. Score! I had a day of yard work (which I actually enjoy) and visiting with friends planned.
8 a.m. – Drive my brother, Derek, to the airport. He gets out at passenger drop-off, I climb into the driver’s seat with a wonderful Saturday in front of me. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice what else was in front of me. A police car. Keep in mind, I’m not even a football field’s length away from where I dropped him off and I am GETTING PULLED OVER. At the airport. Is that even legal? Luckily, the 12-year-old cop (no way he was old enough to be on The Force) let me go with a warning.
8:15 – Officially pull out of the airport grounds and get on the freeway.
9 a.m. – Looking forward to my yummy breakfast and cup of coffee I’m preparing for myself. Zach has already left for work. Birds are chirping and the sun is shining.
9:15 – My cell phone rings. It’s Zach. He ran out of gas on his way to the restaurant. Who runs out of gas?! He does. I agree to bring him the gas cans we use for the lawn mower.
9:20 – Finish loading the gas cans into the back of my Explorer. Notice that one of the gas cans is missing a lid. Ooooh, breakfast. Can’t believe it has to wait as I rescue my absent-minded pizza guy. Pull out of the driveway. I’m on my way!
9:30 – See Zach on the side of the road. Resist the urge to find out how one runs out of gas when I see how grumpy he is. He fills up his car with the gas can. Only 10 more minutes ‘til I’m home with my breakfast. I drive away as he’s getting in his car.
9:31 – My cell phone rings. Zach is mad that I drove away before waiting to make sure his car would start. Duh, isn’t that what the gas is for? I guess I have to do everything around here. He tells me to come back because the car isn’t starting. I’m mid-intersection and must act fast. Quickly make a U-Turn at one of the city’s busiest intersections. That was close. Glug, Glug, Glug. Realize that sound is GASOLINE LEAKING ALL OVER THE INTERIOR OF MY EXPLORER AND I AM POWERLESS TO STOP IT. Take note of the fact that this particular road has no shoulder. Nowhere to stop. Glug, Glug, Glug. I get stuck at the stop light. Glug, Glug, Glug. The longest stop light in the history of stop lights. Glug, Glug, Glug.
9:32 – Glug, Glug, Glug. I cannot believe there is no f#$@&%@ shoulder! ARGHHHH!!!! Glug, Glug, Glug. Make a hard right to pull in front of Yanni’s Greek Express. Glug, Glug, Glug.
9:33 – [Editor’s note: The next sequence of events are not for the faint of heart and have been substantially edited since they included language that was offensive to truck drivers, hardened criminals and sailors the world over.] This is where I, as the French say, lostmyshit. In public. On a very very busy Saturday. I pulled the down comforter that I had been planning to take to the dry cleaner, but is now referred to as Exxon Valdez, out of the car, the gas cans went flying. The rug that covers the back of the car was pulled out. There may or may not have been excessive stomping on these items. Cars are driving by, people are staring. Children are scared.
9:33.5 – Zach’s red car drives by, he smiles, waves and honks. Beep beep! False alarm. What do you know? His car could start after all! No need for the emergency U-turn. Oopsy!
9:34 – I answer Zach’s friendly beep, beep with a one-finger salute and make sure he is clear on exactly what I think he can do with himself.
9:34.5 – Continual stomping on the items while screaming and crying may or may not have happened here. I can’t make any promises.
9:35 – Leave the sad pile of gasline-soaked items in a pile in front of Yanni’s Greek Express and drive away. Yes, I left a huge mound of stuff, including two gas cans, in the middle of the road.
9:35 – Hurriedly drive away with my windows rolled down to ensure I didn’t die of oxygen deprivation and to guarantee that every living thing within a 40-mile radius could hear my pain through the impressive string of swearwords I'm piecing together. Who knew those words could be used as nouns, adjectives, verbs and prepositions? Impressive.
9:35.5 – Realize I’m speeding down a dead-end road. Make another U-turn, heading to the Mountain of Gasoline-Soaked Dispair, the scene of the crime. See that Zach is there, cleaning up my mess. He has a look of fear in his eyes. He is afraid. Very, very afraid.
9:36 – In one breath, I give him a colorful play-by-play of exactly what happened to me and exactly why it’s his fault. He is still afraid.
9:37 – I head home, all windows down, just as a freak snowstorm/windstorm begins. Awesome.
9:50 – I walk into my house, wreaking of gasoline, soaked and cold from the snow. Attempt to scrub the inside of the Explorer with soapy water. It doesn’t help.
10 a.m. – Calmed down, with the Explorer parked in the driveway with all doors/window open, I make a conscious decision to enjoy my day. So what if the weather is horrible now, I got pulled over and my car is now a multi-ton flammable object? I’m going to find my favorite cozy sweater and embrace the snow!
10:15 – Dig my sweater out of the winter clothes box in the basement. So soft. Feels like heaven.
10:20 – Put on my sweater. Ahhh. So comforting. Notice there’s a little tiny string on the arm. Carefully pull it off. SWEATER UNRAVELS. From the wrist to the shoulder. I kid you not. The entire sleeve is now split in half.
10:30 – Screw breakfast. Where's the Vodka?
10:35 – Wearing yet another shirt, head out to see how the front yard is coming along (the men were there to deliver the sod). Tell my neighbors how horrible my day has been. They feel sorry for me.
11 a.m. – Maegan pulls up in front of the house. Just what I need, my friend! She wants to go to the fabric store. Sounds perfect! Get me the hell out of here.
11:20 – Brousing JoAnn’s fine assortment of buttons. Think that maybe I will swap out the boring buttons on my old cardigans. I am so clever! Everyone will love my custom button makeovers! This is a great day after all.
11:21 – Help Maegan pick out her own buttons. Cute buttons for all! Notice a leaf stuck to the top of my boot. Wipe off the leaf with my fingers.
11:21.5 – Realize the leaf isn’t stuck to my boot at all. It’s actually stuck to the huge MOUND OF WET SOGGY DOG POO that is stuck to the top of my boot. Except that huge mound of dog poo is now covering my hand.
11:22 – Paralyzed by fear, or rather, by wet soggy dog poo, can’t find the quickest way to the bathroom. Did you know JoAnn’s doesn’t have a public bathroom?! They do if you show the scared and confused cashier the wet soggy dog poo on your hand.
11:23 – Run into the “employees only” bathroom and realize it’s out of paper towels. Awesome. Trying to scrub the poo off my hand without touching it. Just as difficult as it sounds.
11:25 – Walk to the car. Decide to go home. Go back to bed. And start over tomorrow.
11:30 – Realize I never got to eat my breakfast. Possibly the greatest tragedy of all.