We kicked off our summer in typical Worrell Family Adventure Style with the usual amount of chaos and fiasco. It all started when Mr. Jenn and I came home from a wonderful night on the town and noted that the house was rather steamy—not in a Date Night way, but in a The-Air-Conditioner-Has-Shit-the-Bed-and-It-Could-Cost-Five-Thousand-Million-Dollars-to-Fix way. Mr. Jenn was more concerned about the status of his Late-Evening-Escapades, but he needn’t have worried. Cars have A.C., too, you know.
Anyway, I began the First-Monday-of-Summer waiting for the sweet little old man with the air conditioning tester and the tools to show up. Not one to waste a second, I began scrubbing the pantry/laundry room. To interrupt myself for explanation purposes, I love to can the veggies from our garden. I bought some cheap Fart Mart shelves on which to store the jars of string beans, tomatoes, and whatever else I can pickle the hell and botulism out of.
As I cleaned the floor around the largest shelf unit, I noted that the entire bottom had caved in on one side. If the thing chose to collapse while I was putting in one of the six million loads of laundry I do each day, I faced certain death by Mason jars of pickled beets—a notable, albeit painful, way to expire.
I cautiously dropped the F-bomb because I didn’t want the vibrations of my shaking rage to further weaken the delicate pyramid of jars obviously far too heavy for my damnable shelf. I spent the better part of an hour pulling all the food and jars off all the shelves in the pantry and stacking them in the kitchen. While carrying out this tedious time suck and sweating to death, I heard a disturbing series of pings, clinks, cracks and giggles. Upon checking out the noise, I learned that Lil’ P., who recently turned sixteen months, had just invented a game called Mason Jar Bowling with a golf ball he apparently pulled out of his ass. I say this because I had recently cleansed the house of these annoying television screen shatterers after realizing that Lil’ P. can fit a whole golf ball in his mouth. His big sister, Lil’ K., stood egging him on with a plastic golf club and laughing her head off at him.
“He’s pretty good, isn’t he, Mama?” she said, pointing to a cracked jar with string bean juice slowly leaking out onto the floor.
Again, it’s necessary for me to interrupt myself. I had planned all these educational good times for Lil’ K. and Lil’ P. this summer—reading, making crafts, and Other-Activities-Not-Involving-Nick-Jr.-or-the-Disney-Channel. Instead, I began our summer by setting up the Hellion Corral in the living room, piling it full of toys, loading both kids therein, and turning on a Max and Ruby Marathon. I bribed Lil’ K. to entertain her baby brother in the fence for the next few hours by promising to download a video game for her Leapster Explorer. Whenever y’all are ready, I’ll accept my Parent-of-the-Year Award.
About this time, Mr. Air Conditioning came up the driveway. As soon as I heard the barking and snarling, I realized I’d forgotten to put our crackhead beagle in her pen. Lil’ P. suddenly found a weakness in the fence, scaled the section, and pulled the whole thing over. I grabbed him before he cracked his head on the floor and ran outside to deal with Crackhead and Mr. A.C.
I found Mr. A.C. cautiously walking back to our outside unit with Crackhead snapping her teeth at his heels.
“Just ignore her, and she’ll stop,” I told him after welcoming him to our House of Nutjobbiness. Mr. A.C. would have nothing of it. Crackhead could smell concern and fear which fueled her barking and snarling. Mr. A.C. kept swinging his electrical tester thing in the general direction of her head, which did nothing but further piss her off. At one point, she leaped with such passion that she farted explosively, paused for a second to look at her butt, then went right back to Defending-the-Homestead Mode.
Lil’ P. pointed at her. “Mudbutt, buttcrack, poot,” he noted helpfully.
Luckily, all the commotion roused Big A., my stepdaughter, from her fitful, warm rest, and she and Lil’ K. came outside to see exactly how the world might be ending. The girls called to the dog, and we distracted her enough to get Mr. A.C. back to his truck. Once she thought she’d chased the Bad Man away, Crackhead let us catch her and put her in her pen. Mr. A.C. then replaced the capacitor on our unit in about five minutes. I paid him, offered him a jar of pickles, then sent him on his way.
Big A. had since readied herself to go meet one of her college girlfriends for lunch. She kissed us all, hopped in her Jeep, and ran off to be carefree before busted shelves, falling jars, golfball throwing boys, crackhead dogs, and broken A.C. units replaced her adolescence with wrinkles, saggy boobs, and constipation.
Just as I got the fence repaired and both children safely sequestered back inside, I hear feet running up the porch stairs. Big A. burst through the door, breathless.
“There’s a mouse in my car,” she told me. “THERE’SAMOUSEINMYCAR!!!!!!!!!!!!”
She had left it here last week when she went to the beach with some of her friends; anything that stays parked out here in the woods for any length of time over fifteen minutes or so gets a mouse. If you doubt this, see my earlier post on Mouse Turds.
“I saw something moving in the passenger floorboard, then I saw its tail!” she cried. “It climbed up under the dashboard. If it crawls across my foot, I’m going to wreck.”
I had been texting Mr. Jenn at work throughout the morning with a blow-by-blow of each debacle, so I texted him for advice on the mouse.
“THERE’S A *&^%%$##@#$%^^ MOUSE IN BIG A.’S *&&^%^%$$# CAR!” I typed.
“BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!” he texted back, ensuring that he may never ever get any more lovin’ from me in this lifetime.
I popped the hood, beat on the dash, revved the engine, and knocked on the wheel well. I drove the Jeep up and down the driveway, hoping to scare the little bastard out of its hiding place, but having no idea what I would do with him if he showed himself.
“I don’t see or hear him,” I told Big A. when I returned. She continued to rev the engine in the driver’s seat. She was talking on the phone to her boyfriend, and I heard laughter on the other end.
“I’m so glad you find this funny,” she said as more chortling ensued.
“Get used to it,” I told her.
“Well, I guess I’ll try it,” she said, carefully putting the car in gear.
“Stay calm if he comes out,” I told her. “Don’t wreck—remember he’s much smaller than you.”
She nodded. “You just never know what’s going to happen around here, do you?”
*Le Clown has two worthwhile blogs, and both are linked here. Happy reading!