Wednesday, August 22, 2007

From Down to Up

I hate it when books stall, or when they slow to a crawl. I hate it when my mind balks and I can’t remember the surnames of my characters and have to go crawling through past books to find them. I hate it when I sit down and work on a research needlepoint piece for several hours and somehow only move an inch or two down the canvas. Time on the calendar flees at the speed of light, but my work crawls like a three-legged ant with a head injury. What’s the matter with me? Why can’t I get my work moving?

I suppose we all have periods like this. When everything comes attached to lead weights except the clock, tick-tocking the minutes away, never to be recovered, and all he while there’s a deadline approaching, and the work is not getting done. I am so bummed out!

I wrote the above on Tuesday afternoon, and then Tuesday evening we had a meeting of the Red Prairie Bonnets (Red Hat Society) at Bucca de Beppo’s for good food and good conversation. And funny stories. The funniest I can’t repeat because this is an open web site and we shouldn’t tell a story a youngster might read and ask his mother embarrassing questions about. But it was a true story – well mostly – and involved squirrels rolling on the grass laughing. The other story Robin also told, after somehow the subject of long lines for gasoline came up – remember them in the 70s? And remember how there were people who’d go around with a hose and a gas can and siphon gas from other peoples’ cars? I told the story of a man who was a very firm believer in the Second Amendment, and who heard a noise in his driveway one night and looked out to see a stranger kneeling at the back end of his car. He took his biggest gun and slipped out of the house to creep noiselessly up on the thief, who had the hose in his mouth and was feeding the other end into the guy’s gas tank. He stuck the gun in the thief’s ear and said just one word: “Swallow.”

When we were done laughing at that, Robin said, “That’s why they put locks on gas tank covers. I was at a gas station and having trouble getting my gas tank cover open and this guy came up and helped me. He told me it automatically locked when I stopped and shut the engine off, but unlocked when I was driving. I thought that was very clever of me, buying a car so advanced as that.” Then one of us asked, wasn’t it a nuisance to lock the cover just when you need to open it? And why complicate things by unlocking the cover when you put the gearshift into Drive? She said, “Can you imagine someone driving up alongside you on the highway and stealing gas?” We began laughing at the silly image of someone in the passenger seat leaning out of a car, lifting the cover and feeding a little hose into her gas tank as they rolled down a highway. But she went on, “Or suppose you are out on the freeway and suddenly you’re surrounded by Hells Angels on their bikes, and the leader comes up alongside and growls through the window at you, ‘Don’t slow down.’ And the guys behind him are taking turns filling up from your tank.” By now we’re hysterical with laughter and I told Robin I was going to retell the story on Killer Hobbies.

See what an evening with friends who tell funny stories can do? I’m not sad or depressed anymore.


Kathryn Lilley said...

A night out with friends it the best! My regular morning antidote to the Mean Reds is a morning walk along the beach. Just being outside by the ocean with the bright sun in the sky lifts my mood for, oh, at least a couple of hours!

Monica Ferris said...

Sometimes just sitting out on my balcony lifts my spirits. It was foggy this morning, softening the outlines of everything. Even the birds' cries seemed different, a bit sharper as if to pierce the fog. The air was cool, damp and sweet. There is a nice walking path near here, I really need to try it out. Because you're right, going for a walk is good for the soul