Friday, September 09, 2011

The Perfect End to the Perfect Week

The holiday was nice. I extended my weekend into Tuesday. That was nice.

Remember it. It won’t happen again.

Wednesday we had fourteen hours of more or less continuous violent thunderstorms. The power went out at 2:30 in the afternoon. Water started coming accumulating in the basement as 2:45. Your correspondent tried to hold back the tide with a sponge mop until I noticed whitecaps in the water. I gave up and waited for the power to come back on so the wet-vac would work.

At 7:30 our utility’s service line said our power would be restored by 9:00. By 9:15 the message had been changed to, “as soon as possible.” I dozed in a chair, ready to spring into action the instant the power came back on. At 12:15 I moved to the couch. The lights came on at 2:30. (Note the classical symmetry.)

By 2:32 I had the wet-vac humming. Done at 5:15, the only chore remaining to set up a floor fan that is usually kept upstairs to blow air across the mop-dry floor. Took off my Crocs (yes, I’m a 55-year-old man who wears Crocs in water-related emergencies) so I wouldn’t track wet footprints through the house. Slipped as I reached the bottom and drove my left big toe into a rack of shelves. Stomped around the basement doing my impersonation of George Carlin’s cat. (You get that joke or you don’t. ) Dragged the bloody stump upstairs to find the nail hanging on by individual atoms. All thoughts of a nap before work dead because, no matter how tired I was with ten functioning phalanges, I’m wide fucking awake with nine, so I signed in to work at 6:00. Worked until 4:30, when one of the broken toothpicks I’d been using to prop open my eyes slipped and embedded itself in my cheek. (This is the only exaggeration in the entire story. Swear to God.) Got something to eat and crashed on the couch until 8:00 this morning.

Today. Friday. Time to mellow out and ease into a weekend. A night of rest and elevation makes the toe look like it belongs to a human being, though not necessarily the human being it is attached to. Time for a little treat. I don’t drink worth mentioning. Don’t do drugs. Yo quiero Taco Bell.

One problem: they have a strict no zapatas, no camisa, no servicio policy. I slide a sock over the toe. Not too bad. Loosen the shoelaces as far as I can and it fits into a sneaker. Not happily, but it fits. I’m out the door.

I never realized how much your big toe is involved in working the clutch. (Note to aging people who remain clumsy: automatic transmissions are the way to go.) I coast through stop signs and never go above second gear all the way to the parking lot, where the pinnacle of my week awaits.

Taco Bell is on fire.

I shit you not. Nothing too dramatic. No flames shooting out of windows and telescoping ladders. At first all I saw was the emergency rescue vehicle and thought, “It’s Taco Bell. Maybe someone just got sick. No reason not to go in myself. The lines are probably non-existent.” Then I saw the five fire trucks from various jurisdictions, and people wearing Taco Bell jerseys walking away and figured maybe I should eat elsewhere.

Saturday can’t come soon enough.

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