(Editor’s note: The following incident actually occurred several weeks ago. A certain blogger has been too busy swimming, CAMPING, donating blood, going to parades, and playing The Creamery Game to get around to posting it until now. Because that’s how we roll in July.)
The note arrived on our door Monday morning. “The resurfacing trucks will be in your neighborhood tomorrow,” it warned. “Please be advised that watering your lawn, parking anywhere within a three mile radius of your home, or stepping outside during regular working hours are all punishable offenses and will result in exorbitant fines, torture, or possibly death by stoning.”
OK. That isn’t *quite* what the note said, but it’s close. The parts about not watering, exorbitant fines, and parking far, far away from civilization are all true.
Did this worry me? No, no it did not. I can remain calm in the face of a crisis.
I merely moved up my weekly Wal-mart trip by one day, made sure there was enough food in the pantry to feed a small army and all of their pets for the next 36 hours, and prepared for a relaxing day trapped at home.
While I was at Wal-mart, a friend called. He and his family were unexpectedly in town, and wanted to know if they could drop on for a visit. Of course they could! These particular friends have been going through some trials that make Job’s life seem easy, so when they arrived, I took his wife out to dinner, where she could talk without any munchkins overhearing. I would like to say that we laughed and cried, but we didn’t. We only cried.
After what I hope was a theraputic meal, we headed back to my house. This is when the trouble started. I was about to turn into my street when I realized that I needed to park elsewhere for Resurfacing Day.
“Umm….I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to park a few blocks away from my house,” I stammered. She looked at me like I was crazy. This is not uncommon. A lot of people look at me like I am crazy.
But it was true. I live at the end of a dead-end road, which goes into a T at the top of my street. The resurfacers were resurfacing the entire T. The nearest parking spot was well over two blocks away. So that is where we parked.
Ordinarily, a lovely two-block stroll would be the perfect way to return home after dinner, but in this particular case, we were treated to a good old fashioned Rocky Mountain thunder storm the second we stepped out of Big Bertha. Our stroll quickly turned into a jog, and then an all-out run as the lightning (Oh, the LIGHTNING!) was right on top of us. We arrived at my house drenched, out of breath, and slightly terrified.
The next day passed without incident, with the munchkins happily watching the resurfacing trucks doing their jobs out the window, until I realized that it was Wonderful Wednesday. What is Wonderful Wednesday? Wonderful Wednesday is the day of week when we go swimming and eat pizza for dinner, and I am NOT allowed to miss it.
On Wonderful Wednesday, we like to don our swimming apparel before we go to the pool, because quite frankly, I have not yet attained the mothering skill level needed to change all of us into our suits in a wet, stinky, crowded swimming pool dressing room without crossing that well-balanced line into total insanity. So we squeeze into our swim suits in the sweet, sweet privacy of our own bedrooms, and then sneak into the car via the garage, thus minimizing the damaging effects to any neighbors who might be unfortunate enough to glimpse me in a swimming suit. I don’t want to give them eye cancer. It’s a beautiful system, UNLESS the resurfacing trucks are working on your street and your vehicle is parked over two blocks away. Ruh roh!
Now, I don’t mind being seen in a swim suit at swimming pool, because let’s face it – once at the pool, we’re all in the same boat. Swim suits are the great equalizer of society. We all look ridiculous in them. So as long as we are all looking ridiculous together, all is well.
However, a two-plus block journey dressed in a swim suit with a passel of spandex-clad young’uns following along behind you in the middle of the day when your fully dressed neighbors have inexplicably decided to do yard work? All is not well. I may possibly have broken the world swimsuit-speed-walking record. The munchkins raced along behind me as fast as their little legs could carry them. Elisabeth was nearly eaten by an eagle. I didn’t care. I sped on, pretending that I could not see the neighbors who were all gawking at us and laughing under their breath. I figured that Bitsy would catch up eventually. As long as she was able to fend off the eagle.
And she was.
We had a lovely time at the pool, as always, and then picked up our regular, GINORMOUS order of pizza on our way home.
Then I realized that we were going to have to carry that GINORMOUS, piping hot order of pizza over two blocks while wearing nothing but swimsuits and looking like drowned rats during our neighborhood’s prime social hour.
And I hated the resurfacing trucks.
We survived the wet pizza walk of shame.
That night, I chose not to make the long, long walk back to the suburban to move it to our house. I had a meeting first thing in the morning, so I rationalized that I could leave Big Bertha alone on the streets for one more night, and then I would pick her up in the morning, thus saving the extra gas it would take to move her back to our garage. It was the green thing to do.
The next morning I discovered that the street where Bertha had been parked was the one that was being resurfaced next. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THIS???
As I approached the street, I could see that it had already been roped off, and the resurfacing truck was busily spraying black ooze in the very spot Bertha had been parked in.
And Bertha? Was gone. GONE!!!!
I panicked. My poor, cute little black Suburban had been kidnapped and was probably at the very moment huddled frightened and alone in a junkyard while being drooled on by a giant dog and I was going to be late for my meeting!!!!!
I may have cursed under my breath a bit. Or maybe a lot. Thoughts of violence also may or may not have crossed my mind.
I REALLY hated the resurfacing trucks.
But then, I saw her. My sweet little Bertha had been moved a few more blocks away. To this day we don’t know how it happened. But she seemed to be unscathed.
Now I knew where my car was, but I was still GOING TO BE LATE TO MY MEETING.
In order to get to Bertha, I was going to have to cross the street. Except that I couldn’t cross the street, because if I even stepped so much as a toe onto the slimy black street, the resurfacing police would instantly appear and punish me with exorbitant fines, torture, and possibly even death by stoning. I just knew that they would. Bertha was so close, but so far away (name that band!).
I had to walk an additional two blocks up the street, then cross the road, and then walk two blocks back down the very same street, until I was at last reunited with Bertha. She was sobbing, I know she was, but otherwise unscathed.
I arrived at my meeting 20 minutes late, ran some errands, and then went home to park Bertha in our warm, safe garage. I’ve never seen a happier Suburban.
I thought that was the end of our resurfacing troubles, but a few days later I was returning home from…some very important event which I have now completely and totally forgotten about when I discovered to my horror that I could no longer turn into my subdivision. The resurfacing trucks had struck again. “No worries,” I thought to myself, “I can remain calm in the face of a crisis,” and took a lovely little detour through the farms of Leland so that I could approach my home via the back entrance.
But then, I felt a tickle on my cheek.
And it wasn’t my hair.
It couldn’t be my hair, because my hair was pulled into my favorite frumpy ex-mean-old-school-marm-turned-frazzled-housewife bun and none of it was escaping to brush against my cheek.
So I came to the only possible logical conclusion.
The spider that I had killed all by myself in my bathroom the night before after nearly an hour of hand-to-spider leg combat using large quantities of aerosol hair spray with only a few screams had come back to life and was now a zombie spider and it was going to eat my brains and I was going to crash and die out in the middle of Leland and it was ALL THE RESURFACERS’ FAULT!!!
And I truly, madly, DEEPLY (name that band!) HATED the resurfacing trucks.