I was organized today, on account of today I had to take Chickadee into The Big City for her bi-annual appointment with the fancy schmancy eye doctor. Now, I know I’m revealing myself for the country hick that I am when I say that any time I have to go down thataway I plan my entire day around it. I don’t mind if you know how much I hate driving in (or even near) the city. I am many things, but I am not a particularly aggressive driver, and I am not fond of those who are.

So, for me? Heading down to Boston takes a certain mindset.

First off, I came home from the grocery store yesterday with a slab of pork butt because it was on Manager’s Special (read: very cheap). I called my friend Marcey to ask her what pork butt is good for and she laughed at me for a long time. First she just laughed over food being named “pork butt.” Then she laughed that I bought meat that I didn’t know how to cook (but this isn’t new; I will buy anything if the price is right and figure it out later). During the course of our conversation my children ran around calling each other “PORKBUTT!” while I wondered why on earth I ever cook anything.

So I did my research last night, and decided to make pulled pork. This would be easy; I can do it in the crockpot with minimal supervision, and dinner will be ready when we get home and I won’t have to worry about cooking when we will probably be getting in late. Perfect. So this morning I seasoned my butt (haha) and slapped it in the crockpot and got everyone off to school and reminded Chickadee that I’d be picking her up early.

In theory, I should’ve now had the morning to catch up on chores, search the job listings, eat bonbons, whatever. But by the time I got back from dropping the kids, everything was a wee bit… slanty. Tilted, if you will. Hrm. Nothing spices up your day like a wee bit of vertigo. Especially if you’ve been fighting a cold for two weeks. And usually get dizzy when you have a sinus infection. Just what I need! Grrr. Okay, no problem, I will call the doctor’s office and get in there before I need to get Chickadee.

Except, I called the office, and then lay down just for a minute to wait for them to call me back. And when I woke up two and a half hours later, they still hadn’t called. When I called again, they couldn’t fit me in before I needed to leave. So we won’t be taking care of that little issue until tomorrow.

In the meantime, my house was beginning to take on the lovely aroma of pork butt (much nicer than it sounds, really) and I was realizing I needed to drive. To Boston. With my child. While I’m all dizzy. Are we having fun yet?

I got myself ready to go, trimmed the fat from the pork, shredded it up with a couple of forks, and added a box of maximum strength non-drowsy sinus relief and a Diet Coke with Lime. Then I swallowed a bottle of barbecue sauce. Wait. Well, something like that. I’m a little fuzzy on the details. (Hey, at least I wasn’t concocting my own crystal meth, gimme a break.) Voila, dinner! Voila, ready to drive for a while!

Chickadee was in a snit when I picked her up. I’m not sure why. It’s just as well; it was taking all of my concentration to drive, so she read a book and I tried not to let anyone run us over. The drive down was uneventful. I then handed over a hunk of money for the privilege of sitting in the waiting room for an hour and spending five minutes with the doctor so that he could say, “Excellent! See you in 6 months!” Yay.

Back in the car and headed north, we encountered the stop-and-start traffic that is typical in the Boston area when no one seems to know how to merge properly. Today’s experience was enhanced by most favorite traffic phenomenon: Cool Dude In A Hurry. Here we all are, on Route 3 headed out of Boston. It’s a work day, it’s around 4:00. I know it must come as a huge shock that there is traffic at this time, particularly if you drive a very sporty-looking low-slung vehicle. Surely his innate fantabulousness should’ve caused the cars to part much like the Red Sea, just to allow his passage. And quite likely Cool Dude In A Hurry was annoyed with everyone on the road, but as I had the good fortune to be the car right in front of him, I was the main target of his wrath.

He hollered at me. He shook his fist. If I allowed more than twelve inches between my bumper and the car in front of me, I drew his verbal disdain. If I touched the brakes–clearly a sadistic move designed to evoke his ire, having nothing to do with the flow of traffic or the person in front of me slowing down–he rolled his eyes and screamed at the ceiling of his car. The best part was how the left lane was closed off with cones, because they’ve been doing construction on Route 3 for about, oh, eight years. So I can see how it was a complete surprise to this fine gentleman–any time there was a missing cone and he revved up to pull out to the left and pass all us patsies–to discover that, oops, that’s just a missing cone, and the lane really is still closed. He would zoom halfway up alongside our car, then wrench the wheel and fall back in line behind us again, cursing all the while.

After what seemed an eternity, traffic sped up as the left lane reopened. Cool Dude sped past us with a screeching of tires and a flick of a certain finger. I smiled my most serene smile and waved at him while calling out, “I’m sure you’re going to get there much faster now! Have a nice day!”

Chickadee observed this with a small smirk. “Hey Mama,” she said. “That guy was a real porkbutt.”

“Yes he was, honey.”

We collected Monkey and came home to what should have been a stress-free evening. The pork was done. I piled it high on whole-wheat bulkies next to mounds of coleslaw. When I set the plates out next to tall glasses of milk, it was a thing of beauty. Personally, I thought it was a delicious dinner.

But after about two dozen swappings of “you’re a porkbutt” and “no, YOU’re a porkbutt!” and “do you know that’s actually a pig’s tushie??” I had to leave the table. I was dizzy again. I’m not entirely sure it was my sinuses, though. Half an hour later, Chickadee had eaten her sandwich and elocuted at length about how coleslaw is the most disgusting thing in the whole entire world. (It’s so disgusting, that after I told her I didn’t want to hear that, she ate half of it. Please don’t ask me to explain.) Monkey had eaten a couple of crumbs that fell off his bulkie roll. At my insistence, he licked the coleslaw. And made a face. Then he licked the pork. And gagged. Then he said he was full. It’s amazing how a few molecules of food can really fill you up.

I’m about to start the bedtime thing, after which I’ll need to figure out what to do with the remaining pulled pork. Perhaps I should eat it all, and then my pants will fit again!

How will I top this when we make the trip again in six months? Perhaps I can whip up some liver and tripe before driving down there with pneumonia, or something. I’ll start planning just as soon as the room stops spinning. But right now I have to go get the little porkbutts ready for bed.


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