It’s Friday, and once again, time for clearing out my mental fridge.
In today’s episode, we reach a little further back, for things from the past (or the very back of the fridge, where light does not reach, and things can mold undetected for much, much longer).
Mother’s Day, 2002. We take my mom out for Mother’s Day brunch. We didn’t plan ahead, had no reservations, and ended up at a Denny’s-esque chain place. Most of my family is hungover. As we are leaving, I look down at the specials board. Someone has erased what the hostess had written there. It has been replaced by a child’s writing. Now being served: clown soup and poo pie. Immediately, I was in the throes of belly churning laughter, unable to breathe, only letting out high-pitched squeals. Funniest thing I had ever read. My brother-in-law came over to see what the hell was going on. He read the sign. He laughed. Then he stopped. Then he walked away, mildly embarrassed that people might think we were together.
Winter 2005. I am working in a small cubicle, in the only corner in an open concept office. I answer calls from people who range from mildly disgruntled to full on losing their shit on the other end of the phone. Higher ups change their mind hourly as to what my job entails. I avoid eye contact with half of my co-workers, hoping they’ll get the hint and stop talking to me. They don’t. One day, I declare that I will not answer any of my co-workers emails, unless they are in the form of a haiku. One girl points out that haikus, by their definition, are supposed to be about nature. I call her a poetry snob and tell her to fuck off. My favorite email?
“I need your report.
If you weren’t such a bitch,
You’d have more friends, toots.”
Fall 2007. I am in a gas station, late at night. I am buying coffee at 11 at night, just to be able to keep driving. There is a trucker there, attempting to make the tea machine work. It is inscrutable. I notice him trying to figure it out, and so I take a look at it. Neither one of us can even find a spigot, and agree that when dealing with hot beverages, one should not try to be a hero. He says “But it’s so lame to have to ask the clerk for help.” Then he calmly turns to the cashier and says, “Hey, can you come help this lady get tea? She’d ask you herself, but she’s too embarrassed.” Thanks, random trucker.
October 19, 2007. I am driving into the country. My son yells from the backseat, “Hey! There’s kid jail!” It is, indeed, a young offenders detention centre. His dad pointed it out on a previous trip, and it obviously made a big impact. “If I’m bad, do I go there?” I told him no, that the kids who go there have done really, really, really bad things. “Like what?” he asked, eyes twinkling, a smile spreading across his face.
From “The Simpsons”
Bart: Inside every hardened criminal beats the heart of a ten-year old boy.
Lisa: And vice-versa.