Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

At Book Club Friday, our host, Michelle, remarks that she has a chilled bottle of champagne and she doesn't even like champagne. Kate, Niki and I look at each other. We like champagne. We like champagne a lot.

She brings it out. It's Moet. She has no idea how it came to live in her fridge. She has no interest in it at all.

"Wanna pop it?" someone, I'm sure it wasn't me, asks.

Niki and I tell her that it's really good champagne. Is she sure she doesn't like it? No only does she not care, she doesn't even care AFTER she knows how good good it is. I'm salivating and Niki looks like she's been in a desert for six years.

Kate, though, Kate says, "Oh, Michelle. It's really good champagne. You should save it."

What?!!! Shut up Kate. Let's open it up. I swear Kate must have tried to talk Michelle into keeping her bubbly at least a dozen times. Thank God we ditched the lawyers from Book Club years ago and didn't have to draft up a contract first. But armed with full verbal admonition and warning, Michelle agrees to share the wine. We all have a glass and have a few really fun toasts with it.

It is yummy. Michelle's reaction, and I quote, "Meh."

Turns out, it was Michelle's boyfriend's wine. But he didn't much care for it either.

I love Book Club.

Ali and I road-tripped to Jasonville for our delayed family Christmas. Jeff had to work and then had basketball and football plans, so we were planning a sleepover. Reminded of the trip, Ali whipped up a batch of peppermint cupcakes while I went to the gym and we were off.

On the way down, Alison regaled me with school gossip and tried to get truck drivers to honk for her. She later interrogated her Uncle Jim as to whether he honks when kids give him the classic request by putting their fist in the air and pulling on an imaginary chain.

He claims he usually does and was appropriately aghast at her contention she once was flipped off by a cranky trucker.

Before we get to Donna's, though, I'm enjoying the twists and turns that is Indiana 59 when I come up to make the turn to Donna's house. And there is a big-ass billboard with the face of a high school classmate of mine. I almost drove off the road. It's startling to see an old friend's face come at you out of nowhere.

"That is one big-ass billboard," I say, not thinking about my co-pilot. She is both horrified and elated that I've cursed in front of her. "Nice one, Mom. Great role model."

Later, Diane is telling a story about how the Supreme Court ruled that flipping off a state trooper who ogles your girlfriend isn't grounds for arrest for disorderly conduct.

I check to be sure that Alison isn't in the room.

Diane claims a local police officer has taken similar actions when the local townfolk flip him off. Armed with Constitutional protection, we set about plotting a protest somethime this summer. It will be Jasonville's Occupy Movement, a flip-in, if you will. I predict the effort will peter out long before the weather breaks but we'll see.

I can't remember why we did this -- there was no alcohol in sight -- but Annie brought over some of her old prom dresses and Rebecca and I tried them on. I can't get one zipped and the other is really snug but I got it on. Aleasha loans me a tiara, but my parade wave is denounced as lame. And yes, my 15-year-old niece looked way hotter in her dress, which did zip up.

After that, Donna plots to separate my best euchre partner, Rebecca, from me by having us pick numbers for a tournament. We are separated. My new partner and I, Johnny, do make it to the finals but in a last-minute cheat attack, we lose to Donna and Rachael.

We stopped in to pick up Debbie for breakfast this morning and went inside to look at her way-cool remodeling job. On the way out, I went to pick up my keys, only to find them gone.

Donna and Jim were waiting in the rain outside as I retraced my steps and Debbie looked around for them. As my panic increased, I sent Ali out to look in the car, knowing they weren't there. I'd tossed her slippers into the trunk and could have sworn I put my keys on her new breakfast counter.

But the only keys there belonged there. There's no way into the trunk of my car but with the key fob, which is on my keys. If it's in the trunk, I'm going to have to call the Captain or a locksmith. Guess who was first on my list.

The keys are no where to be found. Jim gets out of his truck to see if his keys will work. He drives a Ford product. I was unsurprised when this trick didn't work, but Debbie decides she'll try HER keys.

Oh, but wait. Those aren't HER keys in her hand. They're MINE! She had them the whole time....

We'd planned a slow way home, but weather predictions of freezing rain had us heading out of town right after breakfast. We get home ahead of the storm but the rain is really causing some problems and at one point, we stopped the car so Alison could take a shot of a section of the highway that was inches from being flooded over.

Our front yard is puddling up and I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't sneak into the basement.

We get home early enough to see Jeff before he's off to his football party. He takes my car, so when I take Ali to volleyball practice, it's in the Subaru, an automobile I've declared dead about 12 times but Jeff keeps ignoring the DNR I've placed on it.

I get her to school and go in to be sure the team is there and all is well. I dash back out in the cold, cold rain only to find I can't get the damn thing started. I turn the key but the key won't turn.

I turn the wheel. Key won't turn. I check the gear to be sure it's in park. Key won't turn. I turn the wheel the other way. Key won't turn.

I get out of the car (in the cold, cold rain) lock it, unlock it and get back in. Key won't turn. I make sure all the lights and bells and whistles are off. Key won't turn. I put my foot on the brake and try it. Key won't turn. I wiggle the wheel again. Key won't turn. I put my foot on the gas and try it. The damn key still. Will. Not. Turn.

I put the key in the opposite way. Still no dice. I fume. I curse. I sit there and try the whole thing again. I feel my extremeties start to freeze.

I call Jeff, not for a rescue but just to see if this has ever happened to him. His little friends, helpful as always, ask me if I'm using the right key. Is my foot on the brake? Is it in park? Am I using the correct key?

Jeff says he'll pack up before the game is over, predicting I'll call him back to alert him that I've fixed the problem before he's halfway to the rescue site.

I sit back. I check email. I check Facebook. My phone is nearly dead but I can't charge it because I CAN'T TURN ON THE DANG CAR!!! I get a blanket from the back. I try everything again. Key won't turn.

I sit there and fume. Jeff's supposed to be 10 minutes away. Desperate to stave off frostbite, I pluck the owner's manual from the glove box. It tells me to do all the things I've already done.

Oh, but then it says don't just try to turn the wheel ONE way, Wiggle it back and forth BOTH ways and THEN try to turn the key.

My cheer of elation fades. I have to call Jeff now. He's halfway to get me. Missed the end of the game.

Fortunately for me, he's a happy captain and only makes a bit of fun. It's happened to him a time or two. Yes, he knows I think the Subaru should be retired. He's still happy to see me after sleeping in a cold and lonely bed.

Then I tell him about Debbie and the missing keys.

Sometimes I think he loves me only because I give him such good material to work with. Although, if I can shed 10 pounds and fit into that black prom dress, I could give him another reason to keep me around....

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