Do you remember those commercials they used to run on TV every Summer–I don’t know who sponsored them, maybe the Humane Society?–that would start out with someone cracking an egg onto the sidewalk, and the deep male voiceover voice says, “It’s hot outside. Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Hot enough to FRY A DOG’S BRAIN.” And then they cut to a shot of poor Fido, trapped in the backseat with the window just barely cracked, and they’d talk about how dangerous it is to leave your dog in the car on hot days.
I had a dream this morning where I thought I’d woken up and booted up my computer. And in this dream–where I was sure I was awake–I decided to check the weather for my vacation destination, which is indeed in a warm part of the country. So I went to Yahoo! Weather and entered the information and the 5-day forecast came up. You know how they give little graphics for the type of weather? Sunny, you get a sun. Partly cloudy, you get a sun with some clouds. Etc. Well, in my dream–which seemed perfectly logical and wherein I was certain I was awake–the forecast graphics were little groups of gorillas with red eyes.
Well, I didn’t know what that meant. So I went to the graphics key (in my dream) and it told me that gorillas with red eyes means “Hot enough to FRY A GORILLA’S BRAIN.” Wow, I thought. That’s really hot, I guess.
And then I woke up.
[Note to self: Do not leave any gorillas in the backseat of the car on hot Summer days. It’s cruel.]
So, you know, it’s possible that I am a wee bit stressed out about leaving town. For no reason other than that, Hey, my brain would love to seize on any possible opportunity freak right out. Just for kicks. Play to your strengths, I always say.
Today I ran around finishing up all the things that needed to be done before I leave tomorrow. First on the list: cross off the list anything that could be put off until my return. Hey! That took care of half the list. Nice.
Next I went to a friend’s house and whined until she lent me a stack of books. On account of I waited too long to go to the library. Oops. Reading material–check!
Then it was off to UPS. Why UPS? Well, I like to shop on the internet. Heck, I just like to shop. But I particularly like the internet because 1) I’m lazy, 2) I can do it sans children, and 3) I’m lazy. Hence I sometimes order things, and they come to my door, and I am very happy! But sometimes I order things, and they come to my door, and then I have conversations like the following:
Me: Hi, I’m calling about an order I just received?
Service Drone: Yes ma’am, I can assist you with that.
Me: Great. Um, one of these skirts I ordered? Is the wrong size.
Service Drone: We shipped you the wrong size?
Me: Yes. No. Um, it’s labelled incorrectly.
Service Drone: Labelled incorrectly?
[At this point, I’m thinking that this store is where lousy therapists are sent to die. “Just repeat whatever they say!” is written on big placards on their desks.]
Me: Yes, um, I ordered a size 4. This skirt is labelled as being a 4, but there is no way that it’s a 4. It’s huge.
Service Drone: The skirt is… huge? Perhaps the sizing is just a little different than some other of your clothes?
Me: No, this skirt is definitely mismarked. I was able to take it off without unzipping it. Actually, I didn’t take it off… it FELL off.
Service Drone: But perhaps–
Me: Listen, no one would love to believe more than me that a size 4 is gigantic on my petite little self. Really. But I have delivered a 9 pound baby with these hips. TRUST ME. The skirt is mismarked.
Service Drone: uhhhh… but ma’am…
Me: Oh GOOD LORD. Listen, I ordered TWO of the same skirt, same size, in different colors. One of them fits. This one is twice is big. Can I send it back or not?
Service Drone: Certainly, ma’am….
Eventually the Service Drone was convinced to send me a postage-paid label to return my size 10 size 4 skirt. Fine. But the label came… umm… a while ago. And it was a UPS label, not a USPS label where I could toss the package in the mailbox. So today I finally sent my skirt back. Not that it matters, or is remarkable in any way, but it did serve to remind me that I told a total stranger that my hips had a 9 pound baby.
Back home, I remembered one more must-do task. I have exactly one bill that doesn’t come on the same cycle as the rest of my bills. It’s annoying, and every month I vow to call them up and ask them to change my bill date, and every month I forget. Anyway. The bills have already been paid, except for this one that I needed to pay tonight. I rummaged around in a pile of papers and extracted the bill, then sat down at the computer to pay it online.
I pulled the papers out of the envelope to read the amount, and then I had a heart attack and died. Really. I’m dead now!
Whoops, I’d grabbed LAST month’s statement. Once I figured that out, I came back to life. Phew. And then I paid it.
While I was online, I surfed over to the airline’s site to do my check-in and print out my boarding passes. Because I’m on top of things! And prepared! And ready! And also, my printer is out of ink! So. Not so much, on that one.
And then I heard it. *scritchscritch* Uhhhhh… what is that? I looked towards my wood stove. *scritchscritch* *clang* Ohhhhh nooooooooooo. No no no NO NOOOOO! I approached the stove, and the damper knob turned. The damper knob–which is, you know, typically consider AN INANIMATE OBJECT–turned. Without me touching it.
Alright, I told myself. Let’s do a quick analysis, here. A bird would be too light to move the damper. A squirrel would make more noise. A pit viper seems unlikely. Why am I trying to figure out what it is? What difference does it make? I’m sure as hell not opening the door to look inside (memories of the time my ex and a neighbor extracted a very pissed off squirrel from our stove flashed through my mind), and what’s the other option? Calling an exterminator at–time check–8:00 at night?
Wait, let’s see. I’ll be gone… almost 5 days. I’m guessing that whatever it is, it’ll find its way out or be dead when I get back. I’m hoping for the former, sure; but either way, I don’t have to deal with it NOW. Noise? What noise? I hear no noise!
Then it was time to pack. Did you know that you need two weeks worth of stuff for a four day trip? You totally do. And that’s why it’s good to wait to pack until the night before, because otherwise you (and by “you,” I mean “I”) will pack and unpack and repack until you have a nervous breakdown. Also, you may or may not keep stuffing more underwear into your suitcase. Why? I don’t know.
Perhaps for the overheated gorillas.