Let me tell you about the kind of day that I had yesterday.
I have been in the process of directing a great farce by Ken
Ludwig for the last ten weeks. The play is Lend
Me A Tenor, and it is the first show I’ve directed since Mary Ellen, my
wife of twenty-two years, left this world for brighter horizons. It was rough
sometimes, and I missed her tremendously. Mary had a wonderful way of working
with a cast and crew, and she made everybody involved feel important and
appreciated. She fostered an atmosphere
of family in the theater, and all the participants bonded and actually cared
about each other.
With Mary being gone, I had to attempt to do this myself,
and it was something new to me, and I’m not sure how good I was at it.
Also, Mary was always my biggest fan, and I often felt like
a little kid when she would come to the performances and just praise them up
and down and make me feel like I had done a good job and like I was worth
something. Well, she’s not here any longer to do that either.
So, when my girlfriend, who lives in Maine, announced that
she and her daughter would be coming down to see the opening night performance,
I was ecstatic! Somebody to share my accomplishment with and to celebrate with!
However, that also meant that I was going to have to clean
the house. Seven months of dust, mold and dog hair REALLY mount up!
SO, for the past week, I’ve been going nuts with learning how
to turn on the vacuum cleaner, acid-swabbing the mold off the toilet seats,
jack-hammering the dirt off the slate and hardwood floors, removing crap from
under the bed that could very well be the remnants of Jimmy Hoffa and making
exciting, scientific discoveries in the back of the refrigerator. (I don’t know
for certain, but I’m pretty sure that anything in the fridge that is growing
hair should be chucked along with chicken that came over with Columbus. ALSO, I
discovered to never, never, never open a carton of milk that has
an expiration date that is prior to 2004.)
Finally, two days ago, I declared the house cleaned and
ready for “Girlfriend Inspection.” The Herculean task had been completed!
Then, yesterday morning, I got a phone call from Ginnie,
lamenting the fact that she and her daughter had both come down with symptoms
of the flu, and would probably not be up to making the trip to Connecticut
because of all the coughing, dizziness, chills and throwing up that was going
on in her household.
Okay. Well, at least I got a clean, germ-free living
environment out of the deal! Gotta look on the birght side, right? Right!
Okay. That took place yesterday.
So did the accident.
Uh-huh. My beautiful Camry got hurt yesterday
afternoon. I was driving home from work
without a care in the world when suddenly a bee flew in the window and landed
on my arm.
I immediately flashed back to when I was child and I was
frightened by a wasp. My mother assured me that, if I didn’t bother him, he
wouldn’t bother me. That was about a
split second before the little yellow bastard stung my neck.
Well, never being one to learn from experience, I sat there
as perfectly still as a person driving an automobile could possibly sit. And,
sure enough, the little, six-legged son of a bitch paid no attention to my
submissive behavior, and he stung me on the back of the hand. I quickly swatted
the offender and, of course, he didn’t die, but he fell off my hand and into my
crotch, where he lay for a moment, buzzing in the most pissed-off manner as
possible. I glanced down for a split second and squashed the asshole. When I
looked back up, I was confronted by two huge, brilliant set of brake lights.
My reflexes being impeccable, I immediately stood on my
brakes, and the wonderful, patented anti-lock braking system did it’s job and
prevented the tires from locking up, thus allowing my car to glide,
unencumbered, into the SUV that was three feet in front of me.
One slow-motion crunch. Just before the impact, I glanced at
the speedometer – 17 m.p.h. How bad can this possibly be?
I felt the seatbelt push into my lap and chest. I watched
the crumple zones in the front of the car crumple. I took note as the hood
buckled. I heard the screech of the metal, the squeal of the rubber attempting
to grip the asphalt, and then, the climax of a sickening thud of plastic
I got out of the car.
I was encouraged when I saw the minimal damage that the SUV had
incurred. There was a scratch on the bumper and the trailer hitch was slightly
bent to the right. Nothing that a hammer and a container of touch-up paint
couldn’t take care of.
Then I took the corner and was confronted by the devastation
that once was the front of my Camry. All
I could think of was that this is what Thelma and Louise’s car must have looked
like when it was finally fished it out of that canyon after the movie had
The grill was smashed, thanks to the strategically place
trailer hitch protruding from the back of the SUV. The driver side headlight
was fine. The other headlight…what other headlight? Gone. Decimated.
The hood. That once wonderful, sweeping, sleek piece of
sheet metal, had been transformed into a read-out of a seismic graph depicting
an 8.0 earthquake.
The SUV’s driver and I exchanged insurance information. Then, I got in the car and continued my trip
My Camry. My beautiful Camry. The car that Mary Ellen picked
out for me and loved. It had been violated. If I could have found that fucking
bee, I would have somehow breathed life into him just so that I could kill the
little fucker all over again! And enjoy it!
And laugh heartily as it little, spindly legs twitched and it’s conical
little body writhed in agony!
When I got home, I decided that I was not going to drive the
vehicle again until it was repaired in case the radiator was damaged. I could
always drive Mary’s old Eclipse until the Camry had recuperated. So I hopped in
the Eclipse, banged my head on the roof, as I have always done in that damned
little chick-mobile, turned the key in the ignition, and . . . nothing.
Battery dead. That’s happens when I car isn’t started in
So, after an hour of getting the battery and installing it,
I had wheels.
It was at that point that I decided to hang out the laundry
that I had stuck in the washer before heading off for work that morning. The forecast was great for clothes-drying:
sunny skies and 90 degrees with only a 10% chance of rain.
After that, I ate a quick supper and took off in the Eclipse
for dress rehearsal at the theater…smashing my head upon entering and exiting
the stupid vehicle yet again, of course. But before doing that, I took
everything off the front passenger seat of the Camry and dumped it all on the
front, passenger seat of the Eclipse.
When rehearsal was over, A techie asked me for a ride home.
As she opened the passenger side door, she neatly removed most of the debris
that I had placed on the seat. Notice that I said “most”. When she exited the
vehicle, I looked down at the passenger seat, and there, in two crisp and
distinct pieces, lay my sunglasses. My expensive, prescription sunglasses. My
Rayban, Joe Cool sunglasses.
When I pulled into my driveway and got out of the car, the
skies suddenly opened up with a drenching deluge. I just stood there in the icy, pelting rain,
staring forlornly at my clothes on the line.
10% chance my ass.
I made my way to the house, shook all over like a dog, and
grabbed a glass out of the kitchen cabinet. My nighttime ritual includes
putting a glass of ice water on my nightstand for consumption in the wee hours
of the morning. I took the glass to refrigerator door for ice, pushed on it,
and gazed in amazement as said glass shattered like it had been hit with a
howitzer shell. I stared at the jagged shards that lay at my feet in disbelief!
Talk about horrible days! Everything I touched seemed to
break, and every plan I made seemed to go awry!
With that thought in
mind, I decided to skip one part of my nightly ritual: the part where I walk into the bathroom and
take a leak.