(TUES UPDATE: the Magilla Gorilla reference I made in a Tweet is down in the update panel at the bottom. Apologies if there's an autoplay - I have the code set for false, but some people are hearing it. Argh. Well, it fits; Monday carries over into Tuesday, it seems.)
Monday is one of my favorite days, except whenWife calls early from somewhere out there in the world, her tire having blown, and she needs to get to a meeting. I am now awake but not entirely. One cup of coffee - input location into phone. Daughter, who woke to take the call and woke me, says she’s just going to skip school today and sleep in. Me, who is working on 5 1/2 hours of sleep and does not appreciate this image of slack-off indolence while Mother is in peril and I’m having to hie my way across town before breakfast, informs her in a rather stern and loud voice that she had better get up.
I feel bad about this and apologize right away, and it’s met with withering pre-teen eye-rolling - which, of course, I have no moral standing at the moment to criticize.
Off. Find car. Swap vehicles. Wife has called Triple A, and they’re en route.
I look around. There are worse places to be stuck.
See a Triple A van approach. It drives past. It goes over the bridge. Across the river. Huh. When it returns, the driver says he can’t touch anything until the dispatcher approves it, since my wife made the call and now I am here. This confuses everything, even though we have the same account and it seems unlikely that I have strolled up, stuffed a strange woman in the trunk, then sat around waiting for Triple A to show up so they look in the trunk. Do you have a spare? Under the body, sure.
Also Triple A Minneapolis is not the same as Triple A Minnesota / Iowa, which means the computer systems aren’t integrated as well as they could be. I imagine PCs with big CRTs running 1997 Windows. Informed of the wait for the dispatcher I am somewhat testy, a fact I realize only by the driver’s verrrrry caaaalllly explanation of things - at which point I snap out of it and apologize profusely. It is not yet 8:21 and I have behaved poorly to two people. I will have to do much, much better.
The apology works, inasmuch as he cared one way or the other, and we had a fine chat. Then I drove back to the house on that puny little spare wheel, which somehow makes you feel like you’d done something wrong. You let things get to this.
So Monday is one of my favorite days except when it starts like that.
Also except when: breakfast reminds you that things are still amiss in the skull area. The old tooth that hurt no longer hurts, being gone, but the back of your jaw is stiff and sore, and somehow makes your ear feel compressed when you chew. That’s great because I was wondering how to extend this whole hole-in-the-head problem for at least a month, and it looks like I’m on track.
Also except when - well, instead of making dinner I took daughter to Perkins, because it was right next to the service station where the tire would be replaced. We both had breakfast. I really felt like a big, greasy Perkins breakfast - the omelette, a pancake, hash browns, the works. We amused ourselves talking about this and that and looking at the various pictures on her Instagram feed; when we were finished the phone rang, and the service station said it would be about 40 minutes.
So we went to the big-box power-center across the street, the one that used to have CompUSA. It closed and nothing took its place. Years later, nothing. About four years ago the Cost Plus World Market - “We’re Pier One with Wine” - closed up as well, along with Office Max. Circuit City closed. Remember 2007-2009? How much everything sucked?
The Office Max was replaced by a Staples. The Cost Plus World Market space, eventually, was replaced by . . . Cost Plus World Market. They just moved right back in. Like nothing happened. We went back to the “Exotic” food section and found a jar of Fluff, so she can have her first Fluffernutter for lunch tomorrow. A treat. Usually I send her something more nutritious, but as I noted, I was cross this morning.
We stopped at Staples, because there was still time to kill. She amused herself playing with Metro. Not one of the computers was connected to the Internet, so you couldn’t live-test any of the whizbang feature. I examined a few tablets. They had five. One was on. The rest would not turn on. I picked up one to see if there was a button on the other side; of course, it was connected to a metal pole that fit into a hole in the counter to keep people from stealing them. When I picked it up . . . .
That went on for some time. I felt honor bound to stand there and explain to the person who came to shut it up that I just picked it up. That’s all. I just wanted to pick it up. He had about the same level of hail-fellow-well-met I’d given the Triple A guy. So it all evens out. Later he was cheery, too, apologizing for the racket.
I saw that my daughter had written several fake letters in the Metro mail program, jokey text-speech blurts of inanity, and I made her delete them all before we left. It was about this time that I realized I had a stomach ache. Mondays are generally good except when you have a stomach ache.
Back at the garage, the car was ready. Where was it? Out on the side, the fellow said, and he made a gesture that indicated I should turn right, and I’d find it. I did, but only after circumnavigating the entire parking lot. If he’d said turn left I would have found it around the corner. Ah well. I get in and remember it was almost out of gas, so I back up to the pump, put in the card, punch in the desired grade, turn to the car - and there’s no way to open the gas-hole cover. On mine you open it manually. Back in the car, look under the dash. Nothing. Get out the instruction manual. Page 3-18. There it is. Pop it; go around. Pump has timed out. Redo.
Drive home: stomach ache is much worse. Spend the next three hours, up and including the present, dealing with something that is apparently short of food poisoning, but suggests that spending a day in a state of querulous agitation over several matters ranging from work to tires, followed by coffee and hash browns, is not a recipe for digestive quietude.
So I usually like Mondays. Except when.
Oh: about this.
Wallyballou got it:
Not sure what is funny about the mobster family pic. Could it be the copy of Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess on the bookshelf?
That was it. Not something you see in a mobster doc, really. I always look at the books on shelves in shows, and that one - having spent so many years on my own shelf - leaped out.
Definitely Earthly Powers. Good catch. I used to love listening to Larry King interview Anthony Burgess on the radio.
Then you heard me as a young man call up and ask AB a question. I was amazed I got through - why, didn’t everyone want to talk to Anthony Burgess? On hold for half an hour, then Larry said “We go to Minneapolis,” and I start talking. So does someone else. The caller in front of me was from Minneapolis. Burgess starts asking him questions about Minneapolis, since he spent some time at the Guthrie. I’m screaming. ASK ME, HERO OF MINE, ASK ME! When it came my time I asked him why he wrote the Enderby books under the pseudonym of Joseph Kells, and he said his publisher said he was writing too much and should put out the books under another name. DISCONNECT.
And that was my experience talking to one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century.