October 21, 2014

The Bunch

Disclaimer: I wish I could tell you I made this up.  I didn't.

So it's Sunday afternoon, and I've arrived in Haymarket to pick up my friend, who is going with me to play a round of golf.  Both of us are decent players, but want to be better.  Both of us are desperate to be outside, and to be away from our chores at home.  I pull into the driveway and see my friend putting her shoes on.  She tells me to follow her to the backyard, she wants to say goodbye to her husband and daughter.

And so it begins.

I have no sooner closed the door than her bulldog rushes me.  I love this dog, but she is a slobbering mess and I literally just had the car detailed.  Too bad, so sad for me.  Within seconds, there are tongue and slobber marks all over the side of my used-to-be-shiny-black car.  Sigh.  I also have apparently made the mistake of wearing a blue shirt, which is now covered in slobber and white dog hair.  Bigger sigh.  I get the dog semi-calm and start to walk around the house, when my friend stops and says out of the corner of her mouth "act cool Phee, turn and wave to my neighbors."  I turn and see two women walking two dogs.  I wave. My friend waves.  The women do not wave back.  Friendly neighborhood.  My friend mutters under her breath and we continue on.

We're almost around the corner when she says " oh - there are some people here. Try to stay calm."  Stay calm? What the hell does that mean?  I start to ask but it's already too late.  I round the corner.  Suddenly there is SO MUCH NOISE! Holy crap, but there is screaming and laughing and crying and music and the sound of an axe against a tree, and the dog has started barking and my friend is now yelling to be heard above the din.  I see to my left 9 - yes, 9 - children of varying ages, genders and ethnicity eating pizza.  Scratch that.  Eating and throwing pizza at each other.  Two of them are running around the picnic table with the pizza in hand.  One falls and skins her knee and immediately starts crying screaming.  The other kids yell at her to shut up.  I narrowly miss being hit by a flying pepperoni.  I hate pepperoni!  Father down at another table, I see my friend's daughter, pizza in hand, dancing on top of the table and feeding chunks of pizza to the barking dog, who is now running in circles.  That dog is going to barf, I think.  No shit, less than a millisecond later - dog barf.  Everywhere.  Now we have 10 children total screaming "ewwwwwww" at the top of their lungs, and the poor dog has collapsed in the barf.  My friend is racing toward the dog.

But she trips.  Yes, she trips.  On a partial deer stand, which her husband is in the middle of putting up on one of their trees.  It is at this point I see him.  He is in FULL CAMOUFLAGE - I mean, boots, pants, a shirt, and a hat and he has paint on his face.  We are in suburban Haymarket - there's a Starbucks within walking distance.  I mutter a stunned hello as I reach to help my friend up.  He just looks at me.  He's not very talkative anyway, but he's down right scary with the face paint and boots and the bow. Yes, I have now noticed the bow is out.  He is ready to kill.  I am suddenly reminded of a super bizarre TV movie I watched one day when left alone, circa 1976.  All I remember was a lady on a rock, who was struck with an arrow, and she died and slithered off the rock..... all with weird 1976 TV music playing.  Apparently, I have been haunted ever since, because BAMM - I suddenly can see the whole scene in my mind, and I look around for rocks.

It is then that I see the three OTHER women, also standing in the backyard, under a different set of trees.  They are arguing.  Hotly.  My friend is now up and moving again and she moves to introduce me - to everyone, all at the same time.  She yells "hey! This is Phee. Phee - this is the bunch."  The children start running toward me, again with the pepperoni.  The husband mutters again and asks if I hunt.  Sorry, no.  Then the middle of the three ladies introduces herself as a pastor, and the two other women are getting married.  Here, in this backyard, under the trees that currently carry a clothesline with washed patio furniture pads hanging on them, and next to the three with a deer stand in it.  It is at this point that they start to introduce themselves to me when one of the children races up and says "MOMMY!  OTHER MOMMY IS COMING AROUND THE BACK OF THE HOUSE!"  Wait, what?

Other mommy comes around the house. It is one of the two women who didn't wave.  She starts yelling at first mommy, who is standing next to me under the tree.  Her finance starts yelling back.  Then the second woman comes around the house.  There are now 4 screaming lesbians in the backyard.  The pastor is trying to calm them down.  I am trapped like a rat. I look to my friend for help - she is now yelling too. I look to the husband.  He is IN the deer stand, staring at all of us.  Three of the children race up - two are crying. Mommies, mommies, stop fighting. What the hell? Who is which kids mommy? Who is together, who isn't? I am so confused.  I just wanted to play golf. What is happening?? Someone make it stop.

The dog is still lying in her vomit.  I gingerly make my way over to her and coax her OUT of the vomit and over to a small wading pool.  She climbs in and lays down.  Suddenly my friends daughter is in the pool too. The pool with washed off dog vomit.  Then two more kids are in the vomit pool, screaming "dog barf, dog barf, we love dog barf!"  I can feel a migraine coming on.  My friend races over - Phee! Why are you letting the dog in the wading pool?  The dog is covered in barf!  Really? This is my fault? I stare at her.  It dawns on her that I am perhaps a bit overwhelmed.  She sighs, and says she's sorry.  It is at that moment - that exact moment - that a flying piece of pepperoni finally smacks me on the side of my head.  Everything is surreal. I have pizza in my hair, there are screaming lesbians currently ranting about who cheated on whom and why the first two cannot get married under these particular trees, because the other two had sex under those trees first.  The husband now looks like the deer - trapped in headlights, terrified to move or speak. And there are children and a dog covered in barf swimming in a wading pool at my feet.

My friend grabs my arm and yanks me up.  We go inside.  Follow me, she says.  We go upstairs, she opens the fridge, she grabs two cider ales, she walks out the front door and to my car.  In total silence we load in her clubs, she grabs her shoes, and climb into my slobbered upon car.  For a moment it is quiet.  I start to take a breath and then we see them - the dog, the lesbians and the kids, rounding the back of the house, coming straight at us.  GO GO GO!!!! She's screaming! Phee, start the car and GO! For the love of God, get us out of here!!!  Now she's crying.  Please Phee, please go!!!

We make it out of the driveway and speed away. I can see the women still fighting in the rear view mirror.  We drive in stunned silence for 15 minutes all the way to the course.  We get out, we go in, neither of us speaking, and proceed straight to the bar where we polish off an entire Bloody Mary in about 2 minutes flat.  I finally look at her and say "What.The.Fuck.Was.That?????"  She smiles and says "oh them?  That's just the neighborhood bunch".

Thank you powers that be, for letting me live in a condo. Alone.

October 10, 2014

The Deer

Death.

It wasn't pretty. It was heartwrenching.  Didn't matter that it wasn't a person but rather a deer, that had been hit head on at 45mph, tossed into the air to land with a heartbreaking thud in the grass on the side of the exit.  Broken. Bleeding. In so much pain.

I checked on the driver first, of course.  He was fine.  Car was badly damaged, but he was fine.  Until he cursed at the animal and moved to kick it.

It's funny. I have trained in martial arts for 22 years now. I'm used to throwing my body around, to hitting things, to blocking things.  It's so very different when it is REAL LIFE.  He pushed me out of the way and continued to move to hurt the already dying animal.  Shock, revulsion, grief, anger. You name it, I felt it.  I lunged back at him and work instincts kicked in.  Time to calm down.  Time to take a breath.  Know that if you don't, I'm a second away from subduing you - and I will.  Your choice. What will it be?

I will never forget that animal's flight through the air.  The sounds it was making.  The struggle of it dying, as another woman who had stopped actually petted it's head as she spoke to it and to animal control.  I will also never forget that man's face as it dawned on him that this woman in front of him, whom he didn't know was quite possibly going to crush him if he made one more move toward a deer in the grass.

He got in his car and drove away, still cussing at me.  Other people continued to drive by without looking, much less stopping.  I bent down in the grass next to the woman whose name I didn't and would never know, and watched helplessly as the deer died.  Blessedly, it did.   No more pain.  No more suffering.  No more lying there with legs that would never work again, bleeding and bleeping and gagging.

We will all experience death in our lives.  Maybe not like this, but we all see it eventually in one form or another.   I won't lie - I question a God that would allow such pain and suffering.  Of humans, or animals, of any living thing really.  But I also must hope that in experiencing something so sudden and violent and gutwrenching, that there is something better on the other side.  That there IS another side.  That if this pain and suffering must exist, that there is some sort of reason for it.

Go to that place, little one, and rest easy now.....

September 23, 2014

The Windshield Wash

I was going to try and be nice today. Really, I was, but I just can't do it.  I'm annoyed.  Oh you lucky readers, you.

So I have a question for you all, but let me set up the situation first so you have context (and my point of view, of course....duh)

I'm sitting at a stoplight in the wilds of suburban VA.  I'm in the left turn lane, and it's a long light.  It runs off of Rt 29, which during rush hour, is a major road with lots of traffic, so if you're trying to get onto Rt 29, you usually have to wait.  I am behind my least favorite kind of vehicle - a big old SUV. An older SUV, so it's more square and obnoxious than others.  It's clean and shiny (this is key).  Anyway, there I sat, and we sat there for at least 4-5 minutes, because during this time I (1) checked my blackberrry; (2) checked my cell phone; (3) put lipstick on; (4) got a piece of chewing gum out and (5) fixed the lid on my coffee cup, which I'd finished drinking out of.

Before I go further - yes, my agency is antiquated and we still use blackberries.  I, in fact, have a blackberry with a roller ball.  I KNOW, right?

Anyway, so there I am, and I have done all of those things.  I'm more the turtle in the morning than the rabbit, so suffice it to say - I took my time.  I was there a solid 5 minutes for sure.

The light turns green, and off we go.  I no sooner finish making the turn, than the jackass driving the SUV sprays her windshield fluid, and of course because she is now going 25-30 mph and she's driving a monstrosity of a vehicle, the fluid splashes back ALL.OVER.MY.CAR.

Which yes, I had just had detailed the day before.  Murphy's Law don't you know.

But here's the thing:  You're at a STOPPED LIGHT for at least 5 minutes. Hell, she was there BEFORE I pulled up behind her. She had at least 5-6 minutes to wash her stupid freaking monster windshield.  Why did she not do it then?

Is it rude to use your windshield fluid when you are in motion, and you know that there are others behind you?

Am I just a raging maniac for thinking you should do this kind of thing, unless it is an emergency of sorts, when you're stopped, vs. when you are moving?  And by emergency, we're talking snowstorms, or something splatted on your window, etc.  AKA - you truly cannot see, and you NEED to - immediately.

Being of course, the DC driver that I am, I honked.  Just to let her know she was being rude.  Did she care? Oh not one bit.  She took the time to open the window and flip me off.  Lovely.  But the switch had flipped.  I kept my poker face, and with my new sunglasses (which ok, just a shout out to Ray Ban - they are AWESOME!), I have an amazing poker face.  I didn't speed up.  I timed it perfectly and kept pace, and then right at the last minute, put my blinker on and got in front of her.  Trapped like a rat, bitch, and I even used my blinker. Take that!

And yes, I'm not proud of it, but I TOTALLY used my washer fluid at that exact moment and her perfect, stupid, obnoxious SUV got all wet.  I give it to the Germans - they make their cars with some POWERFUL fluid mechanics.  It was beautiful, it was awesome, she had a total hissy fit.  I had a moment filled with PURE joy...and then immediately asked for forgiveness, because I felt kind of like a loser for doing it.... until I drove another 20 feet and then got all happy again.

My joy aside, I'm actually really interested in what people think here?  Is this a normal rant? Or have I gone off the deep end (friends in Uganda, watch the smart ass comments! LOL)