Welcome back, hostess-with-the-leastest. This has been a hectic past few days, but at the end of it:
1) I am a lifeguard. There will be no drowning if I have anything to say about it.
2) I nearly drowned my phone, but it recovered.
3) I attended an iftar on the last night of Ramadan.
4) I missed the Cannabis Cup.
I guess the catch-up begins on Thursday night, when a fundraiser I helped organize was held — it was a bikes-and-beer pub crawl/poker run, i.e, a visit to five closely adjacent historic taverns, on bicycles. The day was hot-hot-hot and sticky until it wasn’t, which in summer in the Midwest means we were all dying of sweatiness until a massive thunderstorm blew through. We were on stop no. 2 when it hit (the one with the best jukebox, I’m relieved to report), and it pinned us down past our departure time, and sundown. Finally, we made the executive decision to dash two blocks to the next place in a light shower, and things were pretty OK for a while.
I was riding what I called Bike Uber, our old Schwinn Twinn, a c. 1971 tandem that has a curb weight about half that of my car. I always liken its ride to that of a Soviet limousine; it takes its time getting up to cruising speed, but once it’s there, it has a spectacularly solid momentum that’s truly a pleasure to pilot.
We scratched the fourth bar and I was headed for the final stop, alone on the bike, in a light drizzle. And the skies opened. By “opened” I mean all the water in the world fell on my head for about two minutes. I was already damp, but now I was well and truly soaked to the skin. I checked in at the last bar, made sure I had no chores to do on the fundraiser, and left for home – air conditioning is nearly intolerable when you’re that wet.
But by then the rain had stopped for good, and the ride home was kinda magical. The pedaling banished the chill, and Grosse Pointe was reflecting light from every wet surface in the face of inky darkness. All the storm drains were gurgling; hardly anyone was out and about. When a car’s headlights appeared in front or behind me, I just turned a corner and adjusted the route home, noticing which blocks had the new LED streetlights and which still had the old ones. The Soviet-limousine ride was pleasant. I made it home in about 15-20 minutes, and didn’t even have the brown stripe of muddy water up my back, because old bike = fenders.
The only casualty was my phone, which had its ports facing up during the downpour, and the mic/speaker stopped working. But Alan put it in a bag of desiccant in the hot sun, and it healed itself.
Lo, I have a lucky star.
Saturday was more lifeguarding class. We practiced all our saves and had our water test, which we all passed. I still don’t feel competent, but I’m less incompetent. Sunday was the written test. The instructor plugged some gaps in our instruction, including the dreaded AFR — accidental fecal release. We were told the sanitation procedures for both the Baby Ruth variety and the chocolate-milk spill, and she revealed that some years ago, her lowest-performing guard arranged just such an event to force a closure and an early quitting time for himself.
Reader, I cannot tell a lie: My first thought was, I bet I know who he voted for.
And Saturday night was a big feed for the final night of Ramadan. Dearborn was popping. Fireworks and food trucks all over, once the sun went down. There were Eid gifts for the children, and for once, I went home from a dinner party with no wine in my belly and woke up Sunday feeling just fine, although not capable of driving 70 miles north to the Cannabis Cup, where LAMary’s son was selling swag. I should’ve, but it just felt like a bridge too far.
So sorry, Pete.
I didn’t have time to do more than glance at the Sunday papers. What did I miss?