Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Day of the Bed

     The sweat flowed like lava from their skin.  The black top was a hot skillet ready for morning breakfast.  The taste of salt from the sweat produced an unquenchable thirst and the banshee-like screeches, coming from the little ones on the sidewalk on the Southside of Birmingham, was deafening.  Two objects were hanging precariously from the top of the vehicle, and the fear of these devices of torture falling was always present in their minds.  Twine and ropes hung as if to represent a type of gallows that awaited, and would ensure their fate.  The ancient Greeks described a world ruled by Hades in similar terms, but this was only a family of four trying to move a mattress and box springs on the luggage rack of a Nissan Xterra.  Maybe, the Greeks had trouble moving beds too.  How did we get to this point?  It was a Journey into Darkness that began innocently...

     The day started with a plan.  A plan to go to yard sales.  These yard sales were chosen by my wife, and we would abide and find them.  A detour for hat shopping occurred en route.  An Alabama Crimson Tide football hat to be specific, because toe will be hitting leather very soon.  Unfortunately, my old BAMA hat had been thrown to Parts Unknown after the somewhat chilling ending to last years Iron Bowl vs. Auburn, but that shan't be spoke of here.  The hat shopping turned into baseball glove and Ring Pop shopping, and no hat was purchased. 

     Next, was the hair cutting of a young hippie.  No more skate boarder/bangs in the eyes type hair.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you want to get a job and impress someone's father one day that's not the way to go.  Hair cut and yard sales await.  Yard sales were a bust, and lunch at Golden Corral was called for by the wife and children.  I've been through the hell of getting into a bad chocolate fountain at the Golden Corral, and it has historically been a big hit or a huge miss as far as eating goes.  Took a chance.  Bad chance it was.  First off, the Bathroom area smelled like a circus.  That is never a good sign.  Even animals don't crap where they eat, so to speak.  Food was cold, and the only redeemable food item was the corn pudding.  Corn pudding?  I don't know, but it was good.  Even the desserts were horrible, and that in itself should be a crime.  Buffets should have good desserts or you should face prosecution from the authorities.  Quantity over quality I suppose.

     Then came the mattress store in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.  Why Vestavia Hills, Alabama?  Swimming Pools?  Movie Stars?  Nope, just luck of the draw.  It was a fluke that we were even in this place to begin with.  Life deals the cards, we just play them.  Long story short, nice lady with a good priced mattress and we made the purchase.  I would like to take this time to say something sort of unrelated, but I need to say it.  My wife would have bought a mattress from the store in Gardendale, Alabama, but the lady was extremely rude and unprofessional when she came in the store asking questions with the kids in tow.  We don't tolerate idiots around here very well, so no sale was made by this mattress store saleswoman.  Two words come to mind, as described by my wife, "Female Dog."  To quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I've got to say about that."

     The nice lady, not the one in Gardendale, told us that we could save $80 by loading it up and taking it home today.  She spoke of her renowned prowess for knot tying, and that the luggage rack of an Xterra would do fine.  Cheryl, filled with visions of dollar signs saved in her eyes, said "Sounds good."  I on the other hand was skeptical.  I have moved many things over the years, and I have had many things scattered all over the interstate.  Mainly, because I believed I could tie it down effectively.  I knew we were in trouble when the nice lady's hands were shaking as she tied these "knots," and she reference the You Tube instructional video that she had just watched.  Eyebrows raised.  They were raised even further when she said, "I prayed about this really hard before I came out here."  Not faulting her for praying by no means, but I was under the impression that she was an expert of the knot tying variety.  We left Vestavia Hills with a box springs and mattress, and my first words to Cheryl were, "Fasten your seat belts, this is going to get interesting."  It did.

    First moment of concern came with the shifting of our bedding from the top of the Xterra on the Highway.  We were forced to remove ourselves from the road, and this is where we pick up the story from the opening.  Luckily, I had some rope.  The expert knot tying from You Tube had come loose, and we were stuck on the Southside of Birmingham.  The children were hot and irritating.  Not irritated, but irritating.  I almost sold them to a homeless man named Romeo, but I thought better of it.  I also had an idea that the kids could ride on top of the mattress and box springs, thus holding them down while we traveled.  My father put me in the back of a pick up truck many times to "hold" stuff down.  I'm still living, with all my limbs.  I knew that Cheryl wouldn't go for this idea so we moved on.  We thought we had it tied down enough, and the journey continued.

     Stopped once at the Jazz Fest on the North side of town to adjust the load, and almost got a hot dog.  Stopped again at a car wash across the street from the Jehovah's Witnesses place.  A guy named Alphonso was very friendly, and offered a car wash, but I told him that we had to be moving on.  This mattress ain't gonna set itself up!  Stopped in Fultondale to wipe Maddie's nose, and adjust the ropes.  I told Cheryl, "If we make it past Gardendale we've got a punchers chance to make it."  She was skeptical.  Stopped once more in K-Mart parking lot by a woman selling tomatoes, and I had to yell at Jesse for teasing his sister.  She may have been teasing him I can't be sure, but hot, tired, irritated, and transporting a mattress and box springs adds up to  a bad mood.  That is a fact.  We came into Morris at the mile stretch that I call the Autobahn.  The speed limit goes up from 50 to 65 for about a mile or so, and its every car for themselves.  It's like the Wild West out there.  We were so close to home we could feel it.

     Somewhere people are laughing, and having a good time.  Joy is everywhere and flowers are basking in the sun.  Smiles are contagious, and no one is sick, not even a cough.  There is joy in Kimberly, Alabama too, because the mattress and box springs didn't fall off.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In Search Of Neckovich and The Sassy Sofa

     The first day of school is a magical time for all parents.  Kids not so much, but parents love it.  It's like a national holiday to get the kids out of the house and catch up on those "Breaking Bad" episodes I missed the first time around.  This year we here at La Casa Perry had two children going to the old schoolhouse.  One for the first time, and one entering the next step in his sure journey to a PhD, middle school.  Miss Maddie will be making her presence known in Kindergarten and J-Jam would burst onto the scene in the 6th grade.  Great day for all!  Funny thing was, the actual school days of my children were not the big story of the day, but my adventurous minded wife wanted to find a place called "The Sassy Sofa" or was it "The Brazen Loveseat," I can't remember.  Well between fighting the school car pool line and a search for this elusive store that I was sure would act as a sedative to my nervous system, it was quite a day!  Happy first day of school kids!  I still didn't get to watch Breaking Bad, but there's always tomorrow.  Meth cooking chemistry with a side of Mexican cartel must wait I suppose.

     What torture is worse than getting bamboo shoots shoved under your fingernails?  No, not water boarding.  Not anything medieval or Spanish Inquisition related.  I have studied both of those subjects in my time in the hallowed halls of History at UAB.   The most horrible torture is....The school pick up line.  It's run by a totalitarian regime that is borderline fascist.  Well, not really fascist, but I could make a case for it.  If you don't do it right, guess what?  You're in trouble.  Lots of trouble.  Especially, if you are of the Male species of human.  I don't mind getting a "Bless his heart" from time to time, but the looks you get if you screw up the car pool line could cause permanent damage.  Tough crowd to be sure.  I am a very conscientious picker upper of my children, but we all make mistakes.  I'm not perfect, but I do my best.  The school car pool line is a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma.  True dat.  I was able to conquer the first day drop off with ease, but I had a good co-pilot.  My wife took the day off and was there for moral support or really to prevent me from punching somebody in the throat.  Not that I would do that, unless of course they asked for it.  Just kidding!  As far as you know.

     Kids dropped off.  Check.  Now what?  Well, let me tell you what- a trip to some place called "The Sassy Sofa" or was it "The Audacious Ottoman," can't remember.  Not only were we going to go to "The Cocky Couch," but we would also stop off at a Thrift Store and Antique Shop or two.  Great day right?  Buying somebody else's underwear has never been a pastime that I enjoyed, and looking at old musty items that have a certain patina is not my idea of a good time.  But guess what?  My dear wife loves this sort of thing, and she did prevent my potential incarceration at both schools this AM so I kind of owed her.  We were off.

     Fist stop was a Thrift Store.  Thrift Stores have a certain smell about them that make me uneasy.  Reminds me of the smell at funeral homes and hospitals, but I love my wife so much that I will go to the ends of the earth to make her happy.  I looked at the weight benches for a while, and then the books.  I ended up looking in the glass cases where the "valuable" stuff is held, and I noticed a guy standing right behind me.  Let me paint the scene for you.  There is literally no one in this place at such an early hour, except me, my wife, a couple of employees, and this guy standing behind me.  I turned around and did my normal "What's up, how's it going?" thing, but he just looked annoyed and breathed hard.  I said, "Ok then, nice talking to you," and walked away.  He walked up to the glass case and looked at whatever it was that was in there and then walked over toward the men's clothing.  Dude really wanted to see that Nintendo 64, like right now.  Give me a break.  It reminded me of the time that I was garbage can shopping and I knew exactly what garbage can I wanted and where it was, but when I got there a lady was standing in front of it and doing some type of garbage can research that I can't begin to understand.  Did I stand directly behind her to force her out?  No, of course not.  I kept my distance and cursed under my breath like any normal human being would do.  Some people.

     Next, we went looking for "The Sassy Sofa" with the help my phone.  Siri was in rare form on this morning, and was pretty sassy herself.  Our GPS, MIA has been disconnected and temporarily lost in the move to the new house.  At least that is what I plan on telling the authorities.  We never really got along anyway.  You can read past posts about the relationship between MIA and I.  We had quite a time trying to find this place, and Siri took us to a place called The Prickly Pear or something, and an old antique mall.  Cheryl did buy an old 50 pound insulator thing and a metal chicken at the Antique mall so all wasn't lost.  It turned out that Siri had the old address of "The Cheeky Chair", and we were able to find this sought after furniture type store place after we fixed her error.  Got there, and true to form it was like a sedative to my nervous system.  I almost fell asleep standing up, but Cheryl enjoyed it.

      Finally, to cap off the afternoon.  We had to go back and pick up the children.  Yep, more car pool line fun and hijinks for all!  We did eat a very nice lunch kid free, and it was fantastic.  Unfortunately, there was a table with a young child with Grandma and Grandpa beside us eating also.  Young fellow was kind of a rebel and he went all rogue.  Felt like home.  I leaned over and told the frazzled grandparents, "It won't be long.  He'll be starting school too.  You're gonna miss these days."  They looked at me like I was crazy and continued eating.  Off to the car pool line.

     Five hours later we picked up both kids.  It's a bit rough on the first day.  I only got the "you stupid idiot" look twice, and those were from my wife. I call that a success.  Maddie had a great first day of Kindergarten, and she raved about the Pizza and the Playground.  Jesse was more muted on his day, but I did get the following story:  It seems that Jesse and one of his friends were sitting in class and the teacher said, "We're going to go around the room and I want everyone to tell me their name and what they would like to be called.  Nicknames and that sort of thing."  Jesse turned to his buddy and said, "My name is Jesse Perry, but people call me Neckovich" - which cracked them both up.  I didn't get it and am glad he didn't say it to his teacher, because she wouldn't have either.  The gist is that Neckovich is so far from Jesse that it's funny - at least to 6th graders.  Glad he didn't say Heisenberg.  That reminds me, Netflix and Breaking Bad await for tomorrow.  That is, if I survive the car pool line again.  If I call you, please help me make bail.  That's all I got.