Let me tell you about this past Friday evening. I worked late, as usual, driving home around 7:30. I had to first stop at a copy shop to see a proof of our board agenda book to make sure it was okay to print 35 copies of a 350 page agenda book with numerous colored inserts. I get there and stand in line while another person at the counter is yelling at them for not getting her project done on time. This does not bode well. Ten minutes later I get to the counter and let them know I was there to look over a proof. They immediately pull out a box, but all that is in it are my originals with instructions that I would be by after 6:00 on Friday to look over a proof.
Copyman: “Oh, I guess it didn’t get done. If you want to wait, I can get one printed out in about 30 minutes.”
Me: “You know, I don’t have 30 minutes to stand around here. I’m exhausted and I had to drive out of my way to come here.”
Copyman: “Well, it’s a pretty simple project. I’m sure it will be okay.”
Me: “Well, I’ve done this enough times to know that it is never simple. Many things can and have gone wrong”
Copyman: “If you want to come by tomorrow, the proof will be ready”
Me: (Big long sigh while rubbing my face) “Okay, again, I’ll have to make a special trip AGAIN. Can we get any additional discount on this since it has taken up my time?”
Copyman: “How about 5 percent”
I’m driving home after this and realizing I have absolutely nothing to eat. All I wanted was a baked potato, so I stopped at Wendy’s and picked one up. Oh, it smelled so good on the way home as exhaustion was really starting to settle in. I get out of my car and I see my neighbor D. walking up.
Back up to two weeks ago, as I was mowing my lawn the mower started sounding funny and then all of a sudden the blade flew off! I realized I hadn’t been cleaning under the lawnmower and it got completely gunked up with clotted grass. The blade kept banging into it and finally said enough of this and flew the coup. I tried getting the blade back on but realized I needed a special wrench that came with the mower and God knows, I had NO idea what I did with it. So a few days back I asked D. (who has the same mower) if he had the special wrench and if I could borrow it.
Back to Friday night. You know how you should be grateful for small favors. I know I should have been happy to see D., but all I wanted to do was to get in my house, feed the cats and have my baked potato. Maybe he will just drop off the wrench. But, no, D. was there to help me with my mower. The light is quickly fading as we are both sweating and swatting mosquitoes who, I’m sure, are overwhelmed with the smorgasbord of ankles and feet. Did I mention that D. is retired. He’s a big guy but does everything s l o w l y. I could tell that he had the blade on backwards but he really thought it was on right. So, I humored him and started it up. Oh, the rattling it made.
Me: You know, I really think the blade needs to be turned over.
D: You may be right. Let me look at my mower and I’ll be right back.
Great, at least I have a little time now to feed the cats. Phone rings, it’s my neighbor K.
K: Hey, C, could you do me a big favor.
Me: (muffled cry in my head) Sure!
K: I was transporting some feral cats today and one bit me really bad. My whole hand and arm is swollen and I’m supposed to be taking care of Kelly’s cat. Would you mind running over there and feeding the cat?”
Me: No problem.
When I hang up I see D. walking up. Sure enough, the blade was on backwards. He fixed it and my mower was humming like new.
Me: Gosh, thanks so much D. This is great.
D: No problem, just let me know if it needs to be tightened up some more. Say, did I tell you about………………..
Another 15 minutes go by as I listen to D. talk about various neighborhood news. A lull finally appears in the conversation.
Me: Well, thanks again. I need to run over and feed Kelly’s cat.
D: Okay, goodnight.
Whew, I run across the street and down about a half block to Kelly’s house. The cat is outside and food is on the deck. Hmmm, shouldn’t there be some water around here? I put out food and run back home and call K. asking her about the water. Yes, there should be some water, would you mind putting out a bowl. I take a Tupperware container and fill it with water and run back over to Kelly’s. As I’m walking back to my house I notice my front storm door is wide open. Damn, I forgot to lock it! For some reason when the humidity level is high my storm door doesn’t close properly and sometimes flies open. I get to the stairs of the front porch and see Sweet Pea (inside only cat) on the front porch. Our eyes lock and we both freeze. I quietly and slowly say “Sweet Pea” and BOOM, he is gone like the roadrunner, streaking off into the night. I cannot repeat the words I said at that point. By now it was closing in on 10:00 and I decided to let Sweet Pea run while I finally sat down at my computer while eating my reheated baked potato. I tried twice after that to get Sweet Pea back in the house but he was just toying with me. After the second time when I did get a hold of his back end, but he hissed and lashed out at me, I said, ENOUGH! I’M GOING TO BED. IF YOU WANT TO STAY OUT HERE ALL NIGHT SO BE IT! I marched up the stairs to the front porch, opened the door and stood in the threshold and said “Last time”. Sweet Pea then just sauntered up the stairs and into the house.
I sighed my last sigh of the day, locked up and went to bed.