Man, what a weekend. I may need Sunday just to recover.
I stagger home around 2:30 AM, and sleep the sleep of the just.
Saturday morning, I stagger out of bed and go off to sushi for my friend Angi’s birthday. Entertaining, good food, good company, dreadful service, but you can’t have everything. I am running a serious sleep deficit as one might guess, but it’s all good.
From there I head off to a party given by the ever-amazing Laura the Lube Lady, who sells…um…adult…equipment. As ’twere. This is her last such party, she’s going into another field, so I absolutely had to attend, and throw a little extra on the credit card to support my favorite health-teacher-without-decency-standards and also replace some of the material that Mysteriously Vanished In The Mail. Plus, I mean, if you can’t hang out and giggle about cyberskin vibrators with your friends, what can you do?
“The problem is that it feels like skin, but it’s not warm! It’s weird!”
“Perfect for all your necrophilia fantasies!”
“…thank you, Ursula.”
From THERE, wide-eyed, punchy, and prone to giggling, I go home, and my buddy Joe* arrives carrying God of War 2 and Resident Evil 4. I start playing, with the usual haphazard video-game assistance, rendered more difficult by my inability to recall the difference between right and left under pressure. “There’s more shotgun shells to your left. No, your other left. No, your other…well, okay, you can go that way too, I guess…oh god! Health! Health! Use the shotgun!”
Five hours later, having demolished a pizza and my nerves–I’m a button masher, not a strategist, so every time those damn villagers appear out of nowhere behind me with a pitchfork, I yelp, scream obscenities and begin firing wildly, much to the amusement of onlookers–I fail to kill El Gigante, yell “Infinite festering fuckwads!”and we realize that oh, hey, it’s 1 AM, probably time to call it a night. He heads off. I’m getting ready to turn in, and there’s a knock on the door.
“Um,” says Joe, “I think my truck’s been stolen.”
“What!?” I throw the door open.
And Ben takes this moment to make a break for it, shoot between our feet, and vanish into the night.
We both take off after him, but the back of the apartment complex is in deep shadow, and the cat is long gone. Down one cat and one car, we regroup.
“Got a flashlight?”
“It got lost in the move.”
“I have a flashlight…”
“…it’s in the truck.”
There comes a point in even the worst situation where all you can do is start laughing.
The amazing thing is how calm we both were. The truck was either towed, in which case it was retrievable, or stolen, in which case it would have stalled out a quarter mile down the road, owing to a silent alarm system. Ben is chipped and has been a stray before. We went looking for the cat first. I pulled out his wet food and tapped on the can, which usually brings him running, and Joe plunged into the woods, displaying either excellent night vision or a love of cats exceeding good sense.
After awhile, when it became obvious the can wasn’t working, I went digging for towing information for my apartment complex, which was not forthcoming. Seriously, they never tow. My buddy Eric had left his car here during Rocky Horror without incident. Finding nothing, I went back to looking for the cat.
Cat has vanished. We regroup again, decide to look for a stalled out truck. We’re halfway to the car when there is a rustling in the bushes. Joe dives after it, and the bushes erupt into rattling, rustling, shaking, and dried-leaf crunching.
I wait. The bushes continue to shake.
Just as I’m wondering if perhaps he had mistaken one large grey animal for another and grabbed a raccoon, and whether I will blog this before or after I take him to the ER, he emerges, bearing a disgruntled Ben. There was much rejoicing. (Apparently the cat had been strolling nonchalantly along a log, hit an impenetrable tangle of brush, and then decided that perhaps the person who’d been giving him an ear rub earlier wasn’t THAT bad.)
Once the cat has been roundly snuggled and cursed, we go looking for the truck. Owing to my mild distraction at that point, I took a speed bump at 40, provoking screams from passenger. Pause to make sure transmission is still in car. Apparently so. Situation can get no worse, surely.
“Um…I think one of us stepped in dog shit….”
And at that point, we found the sign with the towing information. Sure enough, the towing agency had come by, for the first time in ages, and dragged the truck off. Okay. We can handle this. We’re professionals! We have Mapquest! Off we go to the impound lot to wait for the tow truck to arrive.
Also waiting are a couple, a guy and a girl. The girl is wearing heels. This will be important later.
We wait some more.
The girl, through a series of wiggling contortions, squeezes through the gap between chain link fence and gate and goes looking for their car.
“That’s not a good idea…”
“No, it isn’t.”
“The tow truck driver’s gonna arrive any minute now.”
“Actually,” I say, glancing in the rear view, “he’s here now.”
Girl hears approaching truck and runs for the gate. Unfortunately, you can’t run very fast on gravel in heels. In a picture perfect “pwned!” moment, the tow truck turns in and the headlights catch her squarely, halfway through the gap in the gate.
“That was worth the tow, right there…”
Truck driver gets out, pulls out his cell, and snaps a photo of the girl. Oooo…busted.
Anyway, Joe goes and negotiates the return of his car, gives me the thumbs up that it’s all good, and I head home, bemused and mildly annoyed at my apartment complex, but hey, all’s well that ends well, and I have the cat back, none the worse for his adventure.
So at 2 AM, I’m lying in bed, cat wedged between my knees, wondering if I’ll dream about zombie attacks, when the phone rings. “I’ve got the truck! And the drama didn’t end after you left…”
So the tow truck driver decided to charge the girl with trespassing, and called the cops. The guy went in to claim his car, while the girl pleaded with the driver. Guy is apparently stinking drunk and in no condition to drive. Joe pays his fine, gets his vehicle, and leaves, to discover girl and driver have vanished.
Apparently she tried to make a run for it. In heels. The tow truck driver, not wearing heels, gave chase.
She got about half a mile down the road before the cops arrived.
It’s nice to know that no matter how inconvenienced one is, it could always be a helluva lot worse.
And this afternoon, as I was driving past the duck pond on my apartment complex, I caught a flash of black and white out of the corner of my eye, and saw a picture perfect pair of hooded mergansers, male and female, sitting on the cold mirror surface of the water. Which were lifers. So that more than made up for sleep deprivation.
And now I have a whole ton of violent video games. And I have to go buy another memory card for my PS2.
*One of the only human beings to ever cause me to lose my temper, a feat which deserves a certificate suitable for framing. That we are again on fairly good terms is a testament to the healing power of violent video games. I will forgive much to a man who comes bearing God of War 2, and he can kill that fucking lava spider in Devil May Cry, which is nothing to sneeze at. Would that he were single, alas.