Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Victim of a Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy

This morning, when the alarm went of at 5am, I convinced myself that I would go to the 8:15 class and hit the snooze button. As 8:00 drew near, I decided that, since I just finished yesterday's class a mere 13 hours before, I should wait and go to the 6pm class, and finish out the week with evening classes. I could start next week, I reasoned, with morning classes.
That would have worked out just fine, if it were not for the intervention of the Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy (VFWC). The VFWC sent gremlins to cause the latch on my fuel tank to freeze up. When I got to the gas pump, I could not put gas in my car. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm bad about running my car way past empty to the fumes, which is exactly what I had done right before the problem with the fuel latch. So, I prayed all the way home and commenced to looking for the keys to Jim's Durango. Jim is in Dallas on business, and of course I could not find my keys to the Durango, so I had to call him (at his client's office) and ask him where his keys were. Now, it is not my fault that I had to do this. If he had left his keys anyplace sensible, I would have found them right off. But they were in an otherwise completely empty chest of drawers in the office. (???) So, with keys in hand, I went to get gas for the Durango, which, according to the electronic display that tells you how many more miles you can drive until you are sitting by the side of the road, had 49 miles to empty. I could get gas later, I thought. I had an appointment at the psychologist office (yes, I know I'm leaving myself wide open here, but trust me, it is not me that's crazy--it's my imaginary friend), which was only 3 miles away. Now, math is not my strong point, but I figured that 3 + 3 had to be less than 49. Wrong. Well 3+3 must now equal 47, because when I got home, I had only 2 miles to go until empty. I decided to let Jim worry about that one when he gets home and fiddled with the latch on my car until I finally got it open.
By this time, I was running late for the 6pm class, but maybe had enough time to get a little gas and get there half-way through the opener. I go back to Ingles, and am pumping gas into my car when this nice man says, "Excuse me, ma'am? I was just heading into the grocery store, and I noticed that your right front tire is completely flat." I looked where he was pointing, and bless Pat if the thing wasn't flat as a pancake. Obviously, the VFWC had sent another gremlin to let the air out if my tire. The nice man said, "I think there's an air compressor behind the booth." He pointed at this contraption with hoses hanging out of it like tentacles. Then he smiled and went into the grocery store. Now, I am convinced that if I were 23 and skinny, he would have put the air in for me. However, since I am 24 (the official Jazzercise age) and VOLUPTUOUS, I had to fend for myself. I finished pumping gas--something which, by the way, I truly believe that married women ought not ever have to do, but if you run out while your husband's in Dallas you do what you have to do. Then I drove over to the giant metal octopus. It wanted quarters. Of course, I had no quarters. I went to get change and fed it. It started making this heinous racket and I jumped back about three feet. I was afraid to get close to it. I worked up my nerve, and approached it politely. It didn't bite when I picked up the end of the hose--which actually turned out to be only one very long hose. After closely examining the flat tire, I figured out I had to twist off the little cap thingy on the little thing that sticks up. I did that. Then, I put the end of the hose on the little thing that sticks up. I waited, and waited, and the machine was making all that racket, but my tire didn't seem to be taking on air. I stared at it more closely, thinking maybe it just took a while to get enough air in there. After a minute or two, I happened to glance down at the handle, and I saw what I had missed before. A gun-like thingy that you had to press to get the air to come out. Once I pressed it, the tire pumped right up. But then I wondered, how much air do I need? I put air in till it looked right, then let go of the handle. A little stick popped out that had a measuring stick on it, in increments of 10. It was at 20. I had no idea if this was enough, but thought, what the heck, there's time left on my quarter, I'll put in some more. So I did. When the little measuring stick got to 30 I quit. Astoundingly, (according to Jim) this is close enough to right that I didn't hurt anything.
Next there was the issue of the black grease and muck that the VFWC had smeared all over me when I wasn't looking. By this time, it was 6:15, and I decided that the best course of action was to head on over to Panera Bread to wash up and get some dinner.
On a more successful note, I did get a lot of writing done yesterday. I've sent out the first 3 chapters of LCB to several friends from my writer's group and my sister, who were generous with their time and agreed to to critique and copyedit. When I get them back, I'll polish and send them out. Meanwhile, I'm working my way through the rest of the book, converting it to first person. I like it much better this way.
So tomorrow, I'm going to make it to Jazzercise at 8:15, and next week, I'm going to try really, really hard to get there at 5:45. Y'all hold me to that, okay?

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