Xmas 2008 Part 2
For those of you who just joined us, be sure and read this first, or you won’t know what’s going on!
“I don’t fucking believe it! We ran over a…tire!”
I stood up, as vexed, perplexed, and whatever other ‘x’ words you can think of to see The Girl standing on the island that separated the two lanes of traffic next to some guy who, to my recollection, had coalesced out of the ether. “I think that’s my tire,” he said dumbly.
His truck and trailer were stopped on the inside lane of traffic northbound, and he went on to say: “I thought I felt it come off.” Shit. “Well, I’m stuck on it now.” I told him, my mind racing.
“Is your car front wheel drive or rear?” The Girl answered that she didn’t know, since it was a rental. I answered “front” automatically, since ALL small cars are front wheel drive. I didn’t think that the Subaru might be all-wheel drive, as we were stuck in the middle of the fucking boulevard and I was high centered on Bubba’s spare tire.
“Try backing off of it, it’s just a rental, right?” Well, why not? So I threw it in reverse and scraped his tire down the road in reverse for 6 or 8 feet. “No good, it’s not going anywhere.” I was back out of the car wondering how the fuck I could get off this tire when I noticed that the curbs on the island were not sharp but sloped. I hopped back into the car and said “I’m going up on the curb” I quickly drove up onto the curb, heard the scraping stop, then came back down and hopped out of the car to see both The Girl and Bubba looking at me open-mouthed.
“That was a really good idea,” The Girl said. “I was just thinking we’d have to get the jack out, and the cops would come…” So we looked at the tire, which needless to say was shredded. Bubba said it wasn’t his good tire anyway and without further adieu, we both got into our vehicles and got the fuck right out of there.
We got back to Skid Rodeway, sober and happy to have survived. The car didn’t shimmy or make any funny noises. Luckily the tire had been in the very center of the lane, and I’d run over it squarely. Fortunately for me also, Subarus have a long skid plate that runs the length of the car, for noise reduction I think, and the tire did not scrape off my oil pan or anything. Basically, it did NO DAMAGE!
When we got back inside our room, it was still cold. Shit. The cranked heater was putting out marginal heat to ward off the 20° night, and even with the heat load that our 1950’s era room refrigerator put out, we knew that we were going to be snuggling tonight. In fact, the gap in Dag and Michele’s door was so large that they had to shut a towel in the door. Really.
The baby was still up so they came over to our room to drink and visit while she cried and wandered about looking for sleep in her own cold room. We took the blanket off of our spare bed for her, and I think Michele once actually blow dried the baby to warm her up. Do you really think I could make this up? We hung out, drank beer, wine, JD and Coke, and eventually Dag and I retired out to the SUV so that we could rock out on tunes so the girls could sleep. After 15 minutes or so, Dag and I both had to piss, so he went behind his car, I went behind the one right next to it, and as we finished, there was Michele looking out of the hotel room door, (which was across the lot and upstairs), laughing hysterically. God dammit, we were busted. Fuck it.
I staggered into the walk-in refrigerator that was our room for bed about an hour later, to see The Girl huddled in there under the covers (both bed spreads), fully dressed and sporting a lovely knit cap that Grandma had given to Michele earlier that day. I changed into my night pants, left my socks and long sleeve shirt on, and got in bed. The heater was exhaling its glacial breath right onto my mostly bald pate, however, so I fumbled-fucked around with cold fingers and fished out my wool hat, which I put on, then promptly fired up the old chainsaw.
The next morning we cracked out of our igloo, and went to face the roadway shower, which was as good as you would expect. Not only did it spit out like an old drunk with a swollen prostate, the temperature fell from almost arctic, them immediately rose to almost scalding, as if there were little Rodeway gremlins fucking with my already chipper morning-after mood. Here is the epic flow rate:
After we were bathed and Dad was good and hungry, and had called to tell us so, we headed back over for breakfast, football, and a bunch of tunes to download from my iPod to Michele’s computer. Thanks again Sharepod guy, you rock my world. Gift opening at Grandma’s hospital was at 3:00, where they have a conference room, and had supplied a salad, bland bean casserole, chew-free broccoli, and mashed potatoes and gravy, that were too salty for everyone but me. Mom and Dad brought the ham.
The gifts were all very well received, especially the hand-beaded bracelets that The Girl had spent DAYS making over the last few months. She even made one for little Katie, who surprisingly didn’t think it was candy and try to eat it. Of course, she had been so besotted with candy canes and her cup of “coppee” (which is mostly milk with a taste of coffee in it) that she couldn’t be persuaded to eat anything else.
From Grandma, Dag and I both got zip-up sweaters from LL Bean, who she loves. His was black, and mine so navy blue that it is nearly black. She had got me one last year too, but it was a royal blue, ribbed, and so old-man looking that I promptly gave it to my dad. He was good enough to wear it to Xmas dinner this year, so we were really rocking the sweaters. Hopefully Grandma didn’t remember the sweater, but if she did, she didn’t say anything. This year’s sweaters were nice, and we both loved them. Side note: Though I had every intention of bringing the sweater back to Spokane with me, I think I forgot it, but I’m not sure as I haven’t unpacked yet.
The Girl got various Bed, Bathe and Get Naked smell goods, which she was happy with, and I gave out CDs, including 2 Neko Case and a Maria McKee to Dad, Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia to Dag, an iTunes card to Michele, and the Mamma Mia DVD to my Mom, which I have to say has the gayest fucking cover I’ve seen. Seeing Stellan Skarsgard striking a mouth-open pose with a knee up made me want to wash the gay off myself just for handling the unopened case, and I’m the furthest thing from homophobic that you’ll find. I think my anus is actually less tight than it was. Fortunately my mother didn’t insist on watching the film while we were there, or it would likely have cost me my sexual preference. It probably would have done wonders for my fashion sense, however. *flips hair*
I got a really awesome razor knife from Dag, which saved my manhood. It even folds! Yes! I think my best gift though was from The Girl. She presented me with an iron-nickel meteorite from a site near Buenos Aires, and wrote on the card one of the sweetest and most humbling things that has ever been written to me. The words and gift itself, knowing how much I love space, made me burst into tears. Damn! My manhood just ran away again, giggling. Well, if you see it, just say: “who’s your daddy?” and maybe it’ll come to you.
After we were done, The Girl and I hung out with Grandma until about 8:30, then went to back to hang with the family. The rooms were much warmer when we returned that night, as it wasn’t nearly as cold on Sunday, for which there was much rejoicing. Monday we all met for breakfast at IHOP, The Girl and I went back to the folks’ for another few hours afterwards. I did the E-brake turn again, to her delight.
We got some more video stories from Dad and Mom, a family history archival project that I began last Xmas, then went for a another quick visit to Grandma, which was great. It was even nice enough to wheel her outside for some Vitamin D precursors. It still was surprisingly chilly, so we wheeled her back in, and drove to In-N-Out Burger for the second time of the trip to indulge in the best fast food burger on the near-west coast. Those ARE good burgers, Walter.
We hit the road excitedly, because we had a room at the Luxor and were looking very forward to our upcoming dinner and first in-person meeting with the lovely and talented GolfWidow and That Man of Hers. GolfWidow has been and inspiration to me for a long time, and we’ve actually “known” each other for about 3 and a half (now I know why I always type 3.5) years. She even helped me recode my page way back in the day and will do so again, because I’m bored with it. I can change the color and stuff, but I think it needs a new look. Sorry, getting off track.
I’d spoken with her on the phone the day before, and we’d set up a date to meet at the Luxor buffet at 8:30. The Girl and I figured we’d roll (no pun) into Vegas about 4:30 or 5:00, so we’d have time to chill, get a buzz, get some video poker or whatever, and be good and hungry for them. Well, everything went fine until…
No, I won’t do that to you again. We got about 5 miles from Hoover Dam, and traffic just…stopped. Yeah. It crept along, slug-like, then stopped again. 2.75 (see how nice that is) bladder-bursting hours later, we got across the god Dam, stopped the Hacienda Casino for a good long piss, then made it to the Luxor and got checked in and to our room and 7 fucking thirty eight. Gah!
I’m over it.
Now unlike the shitter at the Rodeway Skid, here you can dook it out in style. In fact, you can even hold a meeting or call the wife while you’re at it, because nothing says “I love you” like the sounds of your own shitting reverberating in the background.
Dinner with GolfWidow was awesome, as I expected, and we talked, laughed, and regaled one another with tales of joy and sorrow until they kicked us out of the place at about 10:40, because apparently the world kept turning around us, but we just stopped noticing. GolfWidow signed my copy of her book that I had brought with me, and then insisted that I also sign the copy of The Bad Directions CD that I had brought for her.
Next time we go to Vegas we vowed that we would come on a day that the two of them did not have to work, because a meager two hours is just not enough. Not by far. Her husband and I are both ex-military, so there is a lot to talk about there, and she’s just an awesome and funny person, as well as being a great writer. For those that don’t read her blog, you should. It really IS all that, and more.
Well, it’s time for me to bring this boring and verbose account of the holidays to a close. Thanks for spending it with me!