|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Dec. 02, 2007 - 5:16 p.m.
Can somebody let me off this stupid ride already?
After my last entry SIX MONTHS AGO NewWifey(tm) had a relapse and was rushed back to surgery, where Dr. Nick removed pretty much everything he hadn't taken last time.
Extended convalescence ensued, during which time two of her three available orifices were welded shut. On top of that Percoset makes her gag reflex act up, so even that one remaining option was pretty damn disgusting sometimes.
This illness has been very, very rough on me.
Ah well, at least as of a month ago she's firing on all cylinders again. Clean bill of health, huge bill for services, and all three inputs back in working order.
She's even been out and about socializing with her homies again....
Fun British term of the day: "Groundhog Lay." Describes the repetitive, almost scripted, sex that long term couples seem to universally lapse into. Same moves in the same order in the same room at the same time of day. After day. After day. "Wake up campers, it's Groundhog Lay!"
Plus a few you may not be familiar with.
To celebrate such arboreal largess the good people of Warwick throw an "Apple Festival" every Fall. They block off the center of town, rent tent space to vendors, and brace themselves for a tidal wave of New York Times subscribers who saw the annual "Big Apple Celebrates Little Apples!" headline in the "Styles" section.
Normally none of the attendant hoopla has anything to do with me. I like apples well enough, but fighting my way through Mecca sized throngs for a 5 pound bag of Granny Smiths and a cider donut is not my idea of "Celebrates". So I usually spend AppleFest weekend holed up in the Man Pit downstairs at DangerHouse (where lately I've been frustrating myself trying to teach Casey the Wonder Corgi a 'Numa Numa' routine that will make us millions).
This year, however, I was fated to fight throngs.
NewWifey(tm), see, has plunged into the sport of Competitive Sewing.
I know, I know. I've mentioned that how many times now? It still amazes me. Hot blooded, motorcycle racing, power tool wielding, hard drinking redhead...sitting in a rocker with an afghan on her lap (the coverlet, not the terrorist) quietly stitching the alphabet onto a beige colored swatch of linen. She's even joined something called an "Embroidery Guild", and in typical truculent NewWifey(tm) fashion she has, in the span of less than a year, pushed her way into the Vice President's chair.
Whatever. We all have a Dark Side. Hers is just more boring than most.
One of NewWifey(tm)'s duties as VP is to come up with ideas for the group that don't involve sitting motionless for hours stitching alphabets onto linen. So far they've gone to a textile museum, a decorative ceramic tile museum, "The Mighty M" gambling casino at Monticello Raceway (the little old ladies wanted the buffet and penny slots) and attended seminars on everything from "How to Keep Your Needles Sharp" to "Alternate Methods of Back Knotting".
Last month she proposed "Let's get a booth at the Warwick Apple Fest and sell a bunch of our shit! Maybe we can even sign up some new members!"
The proposal was voted on and passed 18 - 0. All the hens were very excited. Every member was assigned a duty, they coordinated plans, and the meeting was adjourned.
That was Monday. The fair was set for the following Sunday.
Back at home NewWifey(tm) animatedly told me about the coming fete.
"We're gonna erect the biggest tent we can shoehorn into the slot they assign us and cover the walls inside and out with our stuff. I'm thinking I should make a few chotchkies just to add a little variety, too. Waddaya think of these flip-flops?" And she pulled a pair of bubble gum pink rubber thong sandals out of her bag. She had sewn some kind of small fuzzy boa to each foot strap.
"They're hideous" I said. "It looks like something a 93 year old Miami dowager would wear to bingo. No one up here is going to buy them."
"Fuck you. I'm making a bunch anyway."
"Fine. No skin off my beak. Just don't bring any back to the house. There's gotta be a dumpster there or something where everyone throws their trash. Fill it if you have to."
She glared at me. "Did I mention I volunteered you to set the tent up that morning? I'm just getting over surgery and can't do it, you know. Set your alarm for 4:30." And she walked off.
Shit. I hate sewing.
By Saturday the Guild had their AppleFest permit, a slot assigned to their tent, and instructions to arrive before 6am with all their gear or the streets would be closed to them. The hens had all gotten their framed alphabets to NewWifey(tm), who boxed and loaded them - along with 130 pairs of fuzzy flip-flops and several gross of Guild pamphlets she planned on handing out - into her truck. Then she hitched up our trailer and piled on the tent and folding table.
For a girl recovering from major abdominal surgery she was remarkably cavalier about stressing her abs. I did my best to make sure she stayed safe though: I told her to be careful.
Sunday morning, and right on schedule the alarm blasts us out of bed.
It is POURING outside. I mean, Katrina North pouring.
NewWifey(tm) stared out the window, her jaw lowered to just below her sternum.
"YOU WERE ON THE RADIO ALL WEEK! WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL ME IT WAS SUPPOSED TO RAIN TODAY?!"
Then the phone started ringing. One after another the ladies all started calling. And cancelling. It was raining, dontcha know. The only lady who called to confirm she'd be there was 89 years old and pretty much a complete invalid. I don't think she realized it was even drizzling, let alone deluging. Her great grandaughter was going to drop her off at the park.
I suggested to NewWifey(tm) that perhaps the entire Fest was cancelled, given the severity of the monsoon. Who the hell would risk driving in water deeper than their engine block just to get a goddamed apple?
She picked up the phone and dialed the automated fair info line. She listened for a minute, then hung up.
"It's on. They suggest we get there early because some of the roads are already flooded."
We donned our rain gear - Glad Lawn-n-Leaf Bags with custom arm holes - and started the 10 mile drive to the park.
An hour later we found a parking space. It was a quarter mile from the Guild's assigned slot.
"I'll wait here while you set up the tent" NewWifey(tm) said.
"Hey pal, surgery, remember? You don't want me to permanently damage my girly bits, do you? Do you?"
I un-bungee'd the 10x10 foot canvas tent NewWifey(tm) had rented the day before. It now weighed 380 pounds.
There followed almost another hour of dragging, kicking, cursing and wading through knee deep rice paddies to the other side of the park in order to set it up. Then, by myself, in 40 mile per hour winds and ankle deep in mud, I staked the fucker out. It looked like a blimp straining against mooring lines before takeoff.
Then I slogged back to the trailer for the tables. Then the chairs. And finally the boxes of cross stitching and fuzzy flip-flops.
You probably have no idea what it's like to wrap 43 framed cross-stitched alphabets in Saran Wrap and affix them to the walls of a bucking saturated canvas tent in the middle of a gale, and I hope you never do. I'll just say that I finally got it done at the same moment the 89 year old invalid arrived. Either the old bat REALLY wanted to man the booth, or her great grandaughter REALLY wanted a day off. After wrestling her wheelchair through the mud and staking it down inside the tent alongside everything else, I was ready to retrieve NewWifey(tm).
"WHAT?! It's pouring out! The park is a Vietnamese rice paddy! I must have 40 pounds of mud and leeches caked to my ankles just from tramping the quarter mile -"
"Exactly. You don't expect me to show off works of elegance and precision with filthy ankles, do you?"
She didn't wait for an answer, or even for me to turn around. In one fluid motion she planted her feet on the floorboard, pushed off, and launched herself across four feet of open space. I took the full brunt of a Size 6 square in the chest and staggered back. Without pause she scrambled up and over my head, ending face down against my back and holding on by interlocking her feet around my chin, a la a Norwegian wife carrying champion.
"Let's go" she said into my ass.
I farted, she screamed, and we took off.
It must have been another 2 days before I finally got us to the tent. Each step required extricating my foot from thigh deep clay, a huge sucking sound, and more torque than the Space Shuttle launch carrier.
Once there she sprang sprightly off my back while I sank down into the relatively dry muck under a table to rest.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"I've gotta catch my breath for a sec, babe. I've just done done an amount of work equivelant to rolling Michael Moore up Pike's Peak. With his mouth open."
"Oooooh no you don't. Crawl out of there this instant and get going. Lots of ladies will be showing up any moment, and you look like a fat leprosy beggar from Calcutta. It'll hurt sales. Now GO HOME. At least you don't have to pick me up later. Marie volunteered her husband for the return trip." And she kicked me in a caked shin.
Back, back I went to the Ford yet again. I got in and the shocks bottomed from the weight of the mud south of my belt.
An hour of detours around flooded streets later and I was 10 miles away back at Dangerhouse. I took two (10mg) Percosets with a half liter of Maker's Mark, tossed Casey the Wonder Corgi a pack of frozen Sabrett hot dogs, and knew no more.
Later that night, 11 or so, I was awakened by Marie's husband's 18 ton Dodge Hemi-MegaRam V-16 truck tearing up our front lawn as he hauled the tent trailer to our back yard. After uphooking it he backed up to the front door, the passenger door opened, and NewWifey(tm) dropped down the 3 feet to the landing where she waved him off then walked inside.
She was carrying 43 framed crossed-stitched alphabets and a sack of money.
"I'm beat" she said. "Did you make dinner?"
I just stared at her. The bag of bills looked like it was about to explode, it was so full.
"Wha...wait a sec. It doesn't look like you sold any of your primers. Where the hell did all that money come from?"
"Oh, well, there were all these women who'd driven up from Manhattan to sample quaint apple goings-ons in a quaint apple themed setting. It must be some kind of "adventure amongst the savages" status symbol thing. And they were gonna sample apples in situ if it killed them."
She looked at me like I was under the influence of Percoset and Bourbon.
"These are society babes from MANHATTAN, dummy. Monsoon or no monsoon they were all wearing heels. Very, very expensive pumps - Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Coach, shit like that. When they realized they were gonna be trudging through ankle deep gear-oil for the next several hours, and then word got out that I was selling flip-flop sandals, every one of them made a bee-line to our tent first thing. When I saw the herd thundering across the muck towards me I tripled the price and ended up selling every last pair. We probably cleared 900 bucks on 18 dollars worth of sandals."
I gulped. "So...ah...that's great! 900 bucks, you say? Listen, there's this -"
"Stop right there" she said. "This isn't my money, it's the sewing club's. And we've already decided to spend it on our next project, a fancy alphabet primer done on Platinum Cashel linen with 'Au Ver a Soie' floss thread. You'll love it."
"Honey, what I'd love is a -"
"You're getting an alphabet primer. And if we have any money left over, we're going out to dinner. But don't worry, I'll bring you back a doggie bag."
"Oh well, at least this fiasco is finally over. I don't ever want to go through anything like that again. Tell your hens to stay away from me for the next six months or so, willya?"
"Too late. I told the ladies you'd be thrilled to help them with Pumpkin Fest next month. All you have to do is transport and arrange a couple hundred pumkins, and make a few pies. All the proceeds will go for red and green thread for our Christmas alphabet primer!"
Shit. I put on my furry boa flip-flops and went to the kitchen to make us dinner.
On the bright side, later that night: "WAKE UP CAMPERS, IT'S GROUNDHOG LAY!"