November 9, 2008
On Saturday, Gina got her windshield replaced. This is a process that involves getting up early in the morning, which was the easy part, and not washing your car for a few days, which was the other easy part, or so I thought.
When we went to pick it up, we were warned by the Service Administrator not to wash the car for two days. Actually, not warned. We were gently exhorted to make a genuine effort not to do so. “Try not to wash your car for two days”, he pleaded.
As though it were a real challenge.
“Oh, yeah,” I said, “We’ll play it safe and wait a few months.”
“No.” He was suddenly serious. “No, you definitely should wash your car before a few months.”
We lied, and said that we would.
Then we went to pay, and we were cajoled again by the cashier. Twice.
“Try,” he said, emphasizing the word to show us how important this was. “to not wash your car for a few days.” And then he rephrased it: “You know, just for two days—if you can—try not to wash it.”
It was too much for me. As soon as we left the building I asked Gina if we could go to a car wash. She smiled.
We went to fill up the car, and I got out and started the gas pump. I walked over to the squeegee/dirty water station and picked up the squeegee. “Wash your windows, ma’am?”
That night, we went to Kevin and Linda’s for his birthday. She had made all his favorite foods, including carrot cake. There were two cakes out on the table, but Linda mentioned that she had made a third cake “accidentally”.
I wondered how that might happen, that someone would accidentally bake a cake. Perhaps, a series of trips, each less likely than the last. Or: “Oh, crap, I accidentally folded an egg into this batter.”
And then I thought: This is why they’re so cautious at the car dealership. People who can accidentally make cakes probably really struggle to not wash their cars.
November 2, 2008
We carved pumpkins yesterday. We almost didn’t, for lack of pumpkins. A few years ago, I purchased a huge pumpkin for the day-after-Halloween price of $0.50, so I assumed that it would be equally easy this year, but after going to four different places, we had no such luck. We eventually called up the guy who runs the closed pumpkin patch, took a few pumpkins that were left outside, and threw a thank you note and $5 over the fence. We also requisitioned the neighbor’s pumpkin after the drunk guy who answered the door offered it to us.
We all managed to not cut ourselves. You know, every year the internets fill with the fear of people who think that their children will be killed by candy—some even go so far as to do crazy things like X-ray their candy—and then hand their children a knife and a slippery gourd.
Of course it’s not true. The ones that are the most suspect are the cases where the kid breaks into a family member’s drug stash and the candy is then laced to cover it up. Like if you had a bunch of heroin or cocaine you’d just waste it on poisoning a couple of kids. As a child, I conflated the paranoia over pedophiles with that of drug dealers. I had this image of the drug dealer as a trench-coated thug beckoning unsuspecting children into the recesses of a tinted-windowed Cadillac to foist that first free hit upon them. So imagine my surprise in college when it turned out they were just guys who slept late and talked a little too loudly. I guess all the people who send those emails around never went to college.
So enjoy that candy. Unless it was made in China, of course. Because who knows what the hell they put in that.