These things happen, what are you gonna do? One minute you’re minding your own business puttering around the house and the next you’ve shot yourself square in the face with a household cleaning product and you’re staggering around bellowing like Oedipus when he finds out he married his mother.
That was two weeks ago. A more recent goof-up took place last Friday. It was less serious but a lot more humid: I went through the car wash with the driver’s side window down, even after smirking at the kid when he said, “Put ‘er in neutral and close those windows!”
“I haven’t done this before?” the smirk said. “What do I look like, a chimp behind the wheel?”
Then whoosh, everything inside the car was wet: My pants. My jacket. My lovely hair so carefully flattened not two hours before with chemicals and jolts of electricity. And that’s not counting the car’s interior, which looked like our Aunt Gertrude did that time the lion sauntered up to the edge of the cage and aimed a torrent of pee stronger than a firehose at her there in her new Sunday coat.
But then yesterday! My God, yesterday was worse than any of these.
It was actually last night. Darkness had fallen, I had my two young houseguests in the car, fresh from their wrestling match. We had just been through the drive-through and now, here in the parking lot outside the local supermarket, they were chomping on their two sackfuls of animal fat while I was busily devising a food list rife with fresh fruits and vegetables, black beans and yogurt which I hoped to introduce into their unsuspecting systems over the next several days .
I was pulled up in one of the middle rows of the vast parking lot and we were talking. That’s what teen males like. I have found. They like to be in the car with some music tuned in low while they talk – just talk, joshing a little and speculating, narrating the world as it passes before them I don’t know anything more fun than hearing them do it.
We had a good 30 feet in front of us and really the parking lot was pretty empty, and good thing too.
Because they next thing I heard was when one of them said “Wait you’re driving?”
“OH GOD AM I DRIVING?!” I yelped and sure enough: I only thought I had put the car in ‘park’ whereas really it was still in ‘drive’ and I just had my foot on the brake……
Until I suddenly didn’t have my foot on the brake and we were just sort of coasting across the parking lot like a little toy ship under sail.
It’s my birthday today and it’s true I’m gittin’ up there but before you say you think I’m losing it let me just say in my own dubious defense: I’ve always been like this; just ask my family.