July 19, 2005

Well, first thing Friday--

There was lunch with John and Jeff. Quite the little soiree, I must say. Lots of stinky gas-making vittles, and lots of laughter at each other’s expense. Caught up on what all has happened to The Bad Place since we left, then it was magazine swap time! And Jeff forgot his, because he’s a big igmoranimus. So, I showed off the Volvo for them. Jeff’s already seen it, but not with the super cool new windshield, or my fantabulous High Mileage Club badge. On then to the church building for John and I, except that since he, too, is a great big mo-ron lummox peach-headed alimentary canal with dress shoes and a nice tie, he left out of the parking lot at the Summit ahead of me, not waiting to FOLLOW me to where we were going. Good thing I told him were it was, because he made every light, and I got caught by every light.

John has one of them there high-toned Toyota Tundras with a V8 (since he’s now a wealthy private practitioner), and he thought that SOMEhow I’d managed to escape the parking lot ahead of him, which made him drive even faster to catch up with me. Or, in this case, to pull way ahead of me as I fumed at the traffic lights. I finally caught up with him after we’d gotten to the Wal-Mart in Leeds. Took me twenty miles to reel him in--I suppose I could have driven faster, but I wasn’t quite comfortable going too much faster in the Volvo for fear that it could just dump its guts on the Interstate with a loud death rattle.

Got to the building, walked around, took photos, walked some more, and I got thoroughly sweat-soaked. I had on my good clothes, and the combination of heat, humidity, and a plate full of chicken chimicanga wasn’t really the best way to maintain my usual dapper turnout. We got finished looking around just as the OTHER group of folks pulled in the parking lot, and after I’d been turned into a big sweat-soaked tub of goo. They brought three guys with them, so I introduced everyone to everyone, John left, and we started walking around some more. Outside, of course, thus making me even MORE sweaty and bedraggled-looking. I sorta looked like the late Chris Farley in his role as motivational speaker Matt Foley. (And I had a van, which was very suitable for living in, down by the river!)

Talked to them a good long while (but no longer than John) and finally I got to go home.

Changed out of my watery duds, put on my usual shorts and tee-shirt, and proceeded to start the weekend with a nice cookout.

I lit off the newly refurbished gas grille (FOOM!), let it get blazing hot, put some hamburgers on to cook, closed the lid, walked inside for a second or two, came back out, and the whole shebang had quickly conflagrated with all sorts of smoky, grease-fed fury. That’s what I get for buying cheapo cow meat, I suppose. Anyway, I ran to the door and asked Rebecca to bring me a cup of water, then went back and stood there battling the inferno by shouting at it to stop being so hot and smoky. I really needed a cup of water, though. I was about to go get the hose to damp things down a bit, when Rebecca came to the door holding a cup and said, “Daddy, someone’s on the phone for you.”

“Ah, who is… well, it doesn’t matter--I’m burning the place down at the moment--can they just call back?” She started to walk in--“HEY! GIMME THE WATER!” when Reba appeared at the door, “TERRY! It’s someone about the van!”

OH! Well, that’s different! I got Reba to come out and douse the blubber fire while I went in to palaver. Guy calling from Huntsville, of all places. Wanted to know all about it, without really waiting too long to hear the full answer. Eager fellow, it seems. He wanted to come see it Saturday, so I started trying to see how close I could get him to Trussville. Started out with Gardendale, then he suggested Warrior, but it seemed everything south of Cullman was terra incognito for him, and he seemed also to believe that driving any further south would cause him to drop off the edge of Alabama into some kind of pit of monsters. ::sigh::


Cullman, then. Cracker Barrel on 157. 9:00 a.m. And yes, I allowed that I would be willing to dicker. Which was not he smartest thing to say, but doggone it, I’d already had to pay for insurance and the car tag, and although I can get partial refunds on both, it’s gotten to be something of an albatross. A great big white steel albatross, dripping little pitty-pats of precious fluids onto the driveway.

The only thing was that Saturday we also had another appointment over in the Wild West part of the county--a birthday party for Ashley’s great-grandmother which we were quite obligated to attend. It was at 1:00, though, so we set the vehicle inspection time at 9:00 Saturday morning.

Boy, how I hoped this guy wouldn’t back out. He’d hung up before I even got his name and phone number. All the seeds in place for a jumbogantic fuster cluck.

Eat (and the burgers actually turned out quite will, with lots of nice tasty black stripes) baths, and to bed.

NEXT: Vantastic Voyage!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 19, 2005 11:43 AM