Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Crazy, Awful, Funny, Really Good Day

Riddle: You have before you a stick about a foot long.  You are asked to make the stick shorter, but you are not allowed to cut it, bite it, break it, or even touch it.  How do you succeed?

Ever have a day so full of varied events it feels like several days?  I had one of those Thursday, May 30.

I woke in a bad mood and was not entirely sure why.  Some clues:  I had finished my novel and sent if off – a few weeks late, and thousands of words short.  I had mislaid my driver’s license and had called the last place I remembered taking it out to show and they didn’t have it.  I had been through all my pockets and every purse I own looking for it, with no luck.  So I was going to have to make that time-consuming trek to the auto licensing bureau for a duplicate.  I was in a mood to bite anyone who came near me.  Then a good friend asked how I was doing (via email) and I vented.  That made me feel better – and a silly suggestion tossed out, that watching Bill Cosby’s hilarious routing about going to the dentist might cheer me up, a little.  So after sending the email, I watched it, and it did cheer me up.

Later in the morning I went over to replace my driver’s license.  I forgot to bring something to read, but when I pulled my number in line off the little computer system, it was 228 – and they were just calling 225, so I thought it wouldn’t be long.  I filled out the form and took my seat.  Then I realized they issued different number series for different services: driver’s license, license plate tabs, and two other things I couldn’t identify.  So the wait was quite a bit longer than I thought it would be.  But the woman behind the counter was cheerful and helpful.  She suggested that since I would have to get a new license for my birthday in October, I could go ahead and do that now.  So I did.  Cost me twenty-three dollars and change, and they don’t take Visa.  Fortunately, I had enough cash with me.

Did a little writing in the afternoon, then left for Brookview Golf Course around 3:40 to practice putting until my Putters League nine-hole, par three game began at 4:16 (I know, odd time – and we’re first up at the tee).  Andrea couldn’t come so it was just Sandy and me.  The sky was overcast and a little threatening, but no rain fell during our game.  I played about as usual, had a couple of nice drives and a couple of good putts, but not a single par.  As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot on my way home, it began to sprinkle and by the time I got home it was pouring.  Since it wasn't a thunderstorm, the rest of the league had to play in the rain, which is amusing only in retrospect.

I had expected to find on arrival that the carpet cleaners we had hired had been and gone – but they hadn’t come yet.  They were supposed to arrive between three and five, but phoned and said they were running late.  Ellen went down to the front door of our complex to let them in.  It was almost seven before they phoned again and said they were here in a green van, could I come out on the balcony so they could see where our apartment was?  I did, but couldn’t see them.  Aquilla Commons is U-shaped and we’re on the outside edge of the U; I concluded they were in the parking lot which is in the center.  I ran down the stairs (we’re on the third floor) and out the side entrance and saw the van – but no one was in it.  I asked Mr. Sisterman, just coming out, if he’d keep the door open for me (I’d left my keys upstairs), and ran around the building to see if they were coming up the sidewalk, but they weren’t.  I imagined them trying to call again, asking where I was, so I ran back up the stairs.  They weren’t calling; they’d come in the main entrance, where Ellen met them and brought them upstairs on the elevator.

They drove their van out of the parking lot and parked it on the street under our apartment and somehow got their hoses up onto our balcony.  One of them (there were two) began squirting a purple solution on the kitty-urp stains while the other started the steam vacuum.  The squirter explained they were late because this was their ninth job of the day – and they were supposed to do only five a day.  The phone rang and I answered it to find the boss of the company on the line, calling from Tennessee.  He apologized and said it would not be possible to shampoo our rugs because the equipment couldn’t reach as high as the third floor.  When I protested that, in fact, they were shampooing our living room carpet as we spoke, he became annoyed and asked to speak to one of the men and they actually got into a surreal argument about whether or not they were going to shampoo our carpet.  They finally convinced him they could – and did.  They did an excellent job and for only twenty-five dollars a room.

Because we had stacked furniture from our living-dining room in the kitchen, we could not fix dinner.  It was eight o’clock before they finished, and we were very hungry.  We decided to eat at Wok in the Park, an Asian restaurant very near our place.  The food there is always good, but that evening it was spectacular.  I had a stir fry with pea pods, onions, bok choy, pineapple and peanuts in a zippy five-spice sauce.  I thought maybe it was because I was so hungry that it tasted so good, but I brought enough home for lunch the next day and it was delicious all over again.

So what started out as a crummy, cranky day turned out pretty good.  And there seem to be the germs of several stories in all those adventures.

Answer:  Get another stick about fourteen inches long and put it beside the first stick, which is now the shorter one.


Linda O. Johnston said...

What a busy, eventful day, Monica. Glad it ended on an up note. Your dinner sounds great! That was a special day for me because it's my husband's birthday--and it was also my little grandson's first birthday!

Betty Hechtman said...

I know what you mean about being in a crummy mood. Laughing always makes me feel better. I have a few stand by movies that always lift me out of a bad mood. I can turn The Birdcage on anywhere in the movie and start laughing. In fact just thinking about it makes me laugh.

I'm glad it worked for you.