Monday, October 13, 2008

Dimwits Get No Dinner

Last Friday night, I drove up Provo Canyon to my family's little vacation home to do laundry. I was simply loving the bachelor life: I sang along with my headphone'd ipod all the way there (a luxury not recommended with company), unloaded the car by myself (it's amazing how much old Bertha can haul), changed into some pj's, and pulled out the grill to cook up some pancakes.

As I settled down for a night of warm banana pancakes, laundry, old movies and maybe even beauty sleep, I began to review the lengthy "to-do" list that I had accomplished that busy day. I mentally congratulated myself as I checked each item off in my mind:

Buy gelatin for that yogurt recipe? ...done.
Fill big Bertha with gas? ...check (groan).
Recycle the huge pile of plastic bags accumulating in the utility closet? ...finished!
Water the plants outside? ...yup.
Deposit that check at the bank?


All at once the panic struck. The calm stillness of the old house was punctuated by my shrill cries of the worst swear word I know (reader discretion advised...):

"CRAP!" I yelled, and sat bolt upright with every sense at immediate attention as I realized all at once that the check I was supposed to cash had been nestled carefully in the back pocket of the jeans I had just shed, which were now...

"CRAP!!!" in the washer.

"CRAP! crud, crud, crudcrudcrud CRUD-- CRAP!!"

I was shouting as I ran down the stairs, my voice getting louder as panic grew from the realization of what I had done. By the time I burst into the laundry room, I was at multi-decibel level.

I doubt the washer has ever been accosted with such force, as it had, up to this point, been living a long and happy vacation existence in the calm of mostly sane and quiet people. I slammed the button to stop its motion and flung open the lid. My frantic slog through soggy clothes revealed absolutely nothing; no jeans, no check, not even watery remains.

I should have been calmed by the absence of soggy paper, but I was off. My frustration only mounted: "Where IS it?" My mind flew to other possibilities. Were the jeans still in the gigantic pile of laundry? Within seconds, the mountain was moved--decimated, really, and as I strode through the wake of the destruction, kicking aside t-shirts and socks, I hollered, "WHERE IS IT?" if expecting a response from the aftermath of the laundry room.

A new thought fell like a forgotten rag into my busily swirling load of my agitated mind:
"Maybe I left it in the car!"

Back up the stairs I tumbled and raced outside, slamming the door behind me. My bare feet danced a jig on the ice as a quick glance through the driver's side window told me the check was not in Bertha's domain, so I turned back to search inside--

and stopped.

The door handle jiggled in my hand, but would not turn. Maybe it was stuck? I turned harder, even yanked a little. Nothing. More worried now, I gave the door a full-out dose of "open up right now, or else".

Uh oh.

Locked out.

I remembered (an aberrant thing for me right then) that in my rush to find the check, I had left a pancake on the griddle and smashed my face up against the freezing glass. Sure enough, there it was, bubbling beautifully and completely ignorant of its ensuing doom. At this point, it was certainly finished cooking, and any further time on the heat would render it inedible. I did consider the possibility of an eventual fire, but honestly, I was more worried about my grumbly stomach than I was about the dumb house. Or even the check, actually.

OK, time to take a moment and focus on more rational thinking, right?

Ha ha! Yeah, sure.
First item on the "save the pancake" agenda was to frantically run around the periphery of the house (in freezing temperatures) in my pajamas (kind of like loony Great Aunt Muriel used to do...) to search for another way in. After the cold snapped me back to my senses, I crouched on the ground in front of the door to try to think of other solutions (and to warm my frostbitten toes). It was then that I felt my cell phone bump against my leg.

Cell phone?


Grandma knew an emergency when she heard one, and in less than two minutes, my uncle pulled up in a big hurry. As he let me into the house, he couldn't speak because he was laughing so hard, and the only words I had for him were, "THANKS FOR HELPING ME SAVE MY PANCAKE!!!"

Thank goodness, the pancake was crispy but not blackened, and I even found the stupid check in a pocket of my purse (I know! who woulda thought to look there?!). All's well that ends well.

Although, despite my abilities, great intentions, ingenuity, and a fabulous sense of fashion, this independent, confident, queen of the bachelorettes could not have bested the elements, met every challenge and saved her pancake without a little help from other people who care.

I get by with a little help from my friends...



Andria said...

Man, what an intense story! I'm glad it had a happy ending. :)

Jenn said...

Probably my favorite post of yours yet. You are an amazing writer, I look forward to your blogs each week!

Scott said...

Hahaha!! Great story! I was cracking up while reading it in the periodicals section of the library, which was a little awkward in such a quiet place. I found myself worrying about how you would get back inside. It was the perfect sequence of bad event, another bad event, ANOTHER bad event... priceless. That should be in a movie or something.

Peter M. said...

"forgotten rag in the swirling mess of my mind?" Holy buckets, girlio! Well written. Good story too.