Our street is one-way, a fact that registers with approximately eight out of 10 drivers, the ones who can see the giant DO NOT ENTER/WRONG WAY sign at the beginning of our block. The other 20 percent drive on, oblivious. Alan has taken, in the last few years, to yelling at these drivers as they go past our house.
“One-way street!” he barks from the porch swing, after which I always scold him.
“You sound like the crazy old man with a plate in his head,” I say. “You are becoming a banal neighborhood cliche. Knock it off.” Like this works.
Today, push came to shove, or rather, moron came to his just desserts. A Jeep Cherokee went the wrong way up the street, blew through the unmarked intersection (because there’s no need to put a stop sign for drivers who aren’t supposed to be there to see) and got T-boned. It wasn’t a bad accident, but I knew it would bring Alan out of the basement, this event being the event he’s warned about for years now. The fruition of his dire prophecy! Of course he was the second person on the scene.
No one was hurt, but true to form, the driver was a moron. “I knew I was going the wrong way, but I couldn’t find a place to turn around,” he said. This didn’t stop him from bombing through the intersection without even slowing down, though.
I’m afraid that was the highlight of our day, other than the Thai food at dinner — a red curry of chicken thighs, peppers and onions, prepared by yours truly on the spur of the moment with some curry paste and coconut milk. Mmmm. The thighs are where the flava is, I always say, in unison with about every other serious cook in the world. We spent the rest of the Sabbath cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, throwing away and cleaning some more. How can a person like me, who considers herself the antithesis of a pack rat, own so much crap? But much of it isn’t crap, which is why it took so long. I’m particularly fond of old letters and amusing stuff sent through the mail, and I had a good chuckle over a bushel-basket full, but I tried to be merciless in pitching. I look forward to the paperless society, but I notice that the longer we’re around, the more we make.
I found a postcard from Deb, postmarked 9 Feb 1988. Text: I think I’m seriously nuts about this Mike person. It goes on, then concludes, I’m thinking of marrying this guy. Am I nuts? She was not, it turns out. She married this Mike person — we now just call him Mike — they had two kids and are still married.
I can’t throw this away. That’s good news for Rubbermaid and their stacking storage boxes, I always say.
Here’s something else I found — a 3-by-10 picture frame from Pottery Barn, still in the box, suitable only for those rare panoramic pictures I take once in a blue moon with a disposable camera. Ten minutes later, I found a panoramic photo of Alan, Lance and The Blonde, standing on a street corner in Stratford, Ont., on one of our once-annual theatuh trips. Now it’s in the frame on my bookcase.
Have I bored you silly yet? No? Well, then, you deserve a reward. You know Dave Barry is weeks away from taking a one-year leave of absence that could well turn into early retirement, at least from the column business. Good thing we have Gene Weingarten to fill the gap.