Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Oct. 21, 2003 - 7:29 a.m.

If I may quote from my entry of the 17th:

"You know, I really really meant to make an entry yesterday."


So dammit, here's my dilemma. I wrote Pt. 1 of my amazing Friday Night Fiasco so long ago it's kinda lost its lustre. "Yeah, big whoop" is what I'm hearing people say. "That was almost TWO WEEKS ago already. What have you done for me lately?"

I mean, I could reveal that I was the lone surviving terrorist on one of the planes that hit the Twin Towers, but even that wouldn't create a ripple in this fast paced market TWO WEEKS after the event. The feds would let me off for lack of interest. It's true - a guy who told me in a chat room that he's a lawyer told me so.

Oh well, I'll wrap it up anyway and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ennui.

So where did I leave off? Oh yeah - I was tired and dispirited from nosing the grindstone for thirteen hours without a drink...did some stuff...then went to bed. A half hour into my obligatory Claudia Schiffer Gone Wild dream the phone rang. I stupidly answered, and fatally acknowledged my wife's choking sob on the other end. We join our story already in progress....

(BTW, I've made an executive decision: "NewWifey(tm)" is now just "J". I'm tired of typing the damn thing out, and it slowly dawned on me how annoying it looks, too. Just know that "J" is my two year old wife. Take that however you want.)

J is not one to cry easily, unless a kitten gets fed into a wood chipper on "Pet Detectives" or something. When we first met and went riding (take that however) she crashed Big Time and broke a finger. She just picked the bike up, yanked bones back into sockets, and wicked the throttle wide open again. She didn't even tell me til weeks later, when I asked why she had to twist her wrist at an odd angle to get that digit into her nose. This is a tough chick.

But she sure was letting loose now.

Like most guys, I immediately think "PMS". Or maybe she ran over a small child. A retarded small child. I kept my fingers crossed for the latter.

"BWAAAHH!" she bwah-ed, "I locked my keys in the car!!!"

What the...?

Locked her keys in the car? THAT was causing the torrent of tears? That sealed it: PMS. And as we guys all know; when you ladies have PMS, we are the ones who suffer. And was I about to suffer.

I don't know if I was just too exhausted to react rationally, but I was very nice to her. I spoke soothing words, smoothed her feathers, calmed her down a bit. Then I asked if she'd thought of calling the police or - ding!ding!ding! - the customer service desk. She was at a friggin' Home Depot after all. They must have an entire aisle devoted to carjacking products. And orange smocked experts who will patiently walk you through the niceties of bypassing locks, alarms and irate occupants.

"*Sob*...but...gnuh-h-h-huh...I thought I had a husband who would help me!"

How do you answer something like that? I've only been married two years. The "Fuck you - I'll swing by in the morning with a bagel" response is still a decade away. I just sighed, told her I'd Save The Day, and got out of bed.

One thing about living in Bucolic Splendor: it's only bucolic because it's miles from anyplace people like to go to. We have to pack a sandwich for the trip if we want to go out for lunch. Fortunately J was stuck at one of the closer outposts of civilization to us, a Home Depot only 45 minutes away. I decided to leave my Power Puff Girls pajamas on.

I know the route by heart, since it's the same road I take to work. That makes it all the more galling of course, as I've just come this way a few hours previous...and would be doing it again in a few hours time for my next work shift.

At least it was easy to find her in the parking lot. The store was closing in a few minutes and her red SUV was one of the few remaining. During the day, the place looks like a clearance showroom for red SUV's. But now...wait, what is that?

Next to her SUV was some sort of structure - kind of a mini tree-house, but sans the tree. I had to laugh when I pulled up. J had spent the time waiting for me constructing a small fort from the lumber she bought, so she'd have a comfy place to sit out of the elements. It was pretty impressive, with sides, a shelf to sit on, and even a slat "roof". All built around one of those rolling carts as a frame. Unfortunately she's not laughing, sitting there in her work outfit huddled among the 2x4's.

I suppose in a way this is all my fault. The week before I did a voiceover job. It was quick, tax free, and I walked out with a nice check. Rather than spend the money on more sock garters or dunning notices, I thought I'd buy J a present. Ever since we've been together she's lamented the fact that she doesn't have a miter saw, and how much stuff she could do if she had one. Well, I'm not gonna be the only husband on the block who refuses his wife a miter saw! I marched that check over to the Home Depot (the very same one I was now in front of) and plunked the entire wad down on a Rigid Compound Miter Saw. I earned a Get Out of Jail Free card with that one, I tell you.

And I was about to use it.

I stopped the mighty WRX next to her compound and got out. Tossed her a hug, pried her bangs out of her mascara, and gave a little butt squeeze. A huge, unjudgemental smile on my face. It did the trick. She was relieved and almost happy again. "C'mon, unlock my car and help me load this lumber up" she said.

My smile froze.

Um.... Uh-oh.

After only two years J can read me like a book. She sat down right in the grimey, oily Home Depot parking lot and started sobbing into her hands.

"You...forgot the keys, didn't you?"

I stood planted, staring over her head to a spot somewhere on the horizon. It took all my effort to nod stiffly, once.

Well. "Ok, listen, I'll just drive back home, grab the keys and be back here before you know it. Hang out in your fort for another hour. It looks very cozy...."


I almost did. But first I convinced her to let me try something else.

I got back in my car and scoured the place til I found a security dude having a cup of coffee in his security mobile. I asked him if he had a Slim Jim or even a wire hanger. He looked at my pajamas. "We don't do that sort of thing" and rolled up his window. Must be practicing for the Police Academy. He's a shoe-in, I bet.

Back to J. She doesn't want to call the cops. I don't know - is this some sort of Midwestern ethic, that cops shouldn't be bothered unless there is spurting blood or ethnic minorities involved? Whatever, she didn't want to trouble them, even if it meant crawling through a busted side window and causing blood spurt.

However, we were soon to be saved. Noticing that the keys were lying square on the front seat, she had a flash of inspiration. Demanding my wallet (hers was next to the keys. I should mention that the car door slammed shut AFTER she'd gone shopping, so after she'd paid for everything) she hustled back into the HD before they closed, sqeezing sideways through the security gate as it was sliding shut. Five minutes later she came marching back, a piece of rebar in her hands.

Carefully, very carefully, J snaked that piece of stiff rebar through a gap between the drivers door and the roof. The gap was there because I had wedged my fingers into the seam and was pulling for all I was worth. Which wasn't much after the day I'd had, but it was sufficient. She wriggled...pushed...wriggled some more...finally managing to get the key fob flipped over and towards the near edge of the seat. Then, some more careful positioning...hold breath...and....


She managed to press the tip of the rebar down squarely and firmly on the electronic "unlock" button on the fob. I could relieve my now swollen fingertips.

We were saved!

Of course, it was also 11:30 at night, and we still had to load up and drive almost an hour home. I'd been up almost 24 hours (have I been harping on that? tough) and would have to be back up at 5am for my Saturday shift.

But at least I got wood!

(Oh, J made a very nice - spectacular, actually - bookcase for the dining room, and a series of fitted shelves for the bar from the lumber the next day. It's solid oak, stained and finished with some kind of poly coating that makes it look classier than anything else we own. Of course, a used spitoon would even be classier than anything else we own, but still. I'm very proud of her, and when she's speaking to me again I'll tell her so.)

Well, I dragged that out about as long as I was able. In retrospect it wasn't that horrible or tragic (despite what it seemed at the time), but since nothing else ever really happens in my life I had to play it for all it was worth. I hope you understand.

Have a good night, kids. Don't forget your keys.

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