Can I Go Back to Bed? Please? (Updated – now with pictures!)
It’s been one of those days, and it’s only one in the afternoon.
I woke up from a bad dream in a bad mood. “You rejected me!” I said to my vunderful Viennese vife. “You’re a rejector!” I threw back the covers and tried my best to stomp out of the bedroom. It’s hard to stomp effectively on carpet. Some of the effect is lost somehow.
“I did vhat?” my beloved bleary-eyed bride asked, sitting up in bed. “I rejected you? I did not!”
“Did too!” I replied, standing in the doorway. “In my dream. You told me that you and Mel Gibson were going to Tahiti with a bottle of tequila. It made me sad.”
“You need to remember to turn the TV off when you sleep,” she said. “You fell asleep vatching the news again.”
I stomped off to the kitchen, in a muffled, carpeted sort of way, startling the cat. One cup of water in the microwave for a minute and a half, toss in a teaspoon of instant coffee, some sugar…
“Ow!” That hurt. Hmmm… Take another sip. Ow! Why does this hurt? The coffee’s not hot… Abandoning the coffee I wandered into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Aaaahhh… I have a zit in my moustache, just above the corner of my mouth. I’m sensitive there! It’s not yet seven in the morning and I’m in a bad mood, I’ve upset my wife, scared the cat, and at the tender age of not-quite-forty have acquired a pimple.
I tend to my daily ablutions, taking care not to hurt myself, and head back to apologize to my wife. “I’m sorry I accused you and Charlie Gibson of running off to Zanzibar with a box of wine,” I said, kissing her on her delicate little forehead.
“It vas Mel Gibson,” she replied, “not Charlie. Und it vas Tahiti we went mit tequila, not Zanzibar.”
Off to work I went, mildly groggy due to the abandoned coffee. Aahhh, what a glorious day! The sun was shining, gracefully reflecting off the neighbor’s garbage can, birds happily scolding squirrels… I decided to walk to work. This is not unusual – I generally only drive the car on Mondays when I have to go to the bank. About halfway to work I started thinking of my motorcycle. I formulated a plan. I was going to get my motorcycle at lunch – that way I could take a short trip after work. The day was looking brighter.
“I vas thinking,” she said, “Vy don’t you take the afternoon off and go tootle around on the motorcycle? You seem stressed lately.” I pondered that thought for a second. There’s nothing going on at work, but I hate to leave for lunch and never go back… “Hmmm,” I replied. “I’ll think about it. It does seem to be a good time, and the weather’s good.” We chatted for a few minutes more, until I got home. I threw a TV dinner in the microwave (you can get ’em ten for ten bucks at Hy-Vee) and started dreaming about an afternoon in the sun. By the time I’d finished my so-called “chicken” I’d talked myself into taking the afternoon off as well as the following day. What fun! And my little European Snickerdoodle is working at the County Fair for a few hours tomorrow – I can ride the motorcycle down to the fairgrounds and surprise her… This is gonna be great! All I gotta do is go back to work and let them know what I’m doing…
I gathered all my stuff — helmet, bike key, extra hair bands, sunglasses and headed out the door. We have a one-car garage which sits at the end of our driveway. There are fences on both sides of the driveway. Our little white car is parked in front of the garage, in which resides the bike. I hop in the little white car (a 1993 Ford of some kind) to move it out to the street. Key in the ignition, turn… Nothing. The battery is dead. Dead, dead, dead.
Not only can I not get the motorcycle out with the car sitting there, but I can’t afford to take any time off work if I have to buy a new battery (or, Lord forbid, an alternator). So much for happy afternoons in the sun. (I probably could still take a vacation day tomorrow, but I’d feel horribly guilty.)
After making a few phone calls I figure I can pick up a battery charger at Wal-Mart (gasp!) for fifteen bucks. Then I can limp the car down to our local mechanic (Woody’s Garage – I highly recommend him) so he can test it to see if it’s the battery or the alternator. Yich.
I call my wife to tell her the glorious news. “The car is broken again,” I said into the phone. “The battery is dead.” I related the details to her. “Vell,” she said when I finished, “We can’t really afford to do much. Ve might have to use the credit card.”
“Nah,” I said. “I can walk to work for a couple weeks until we can get the money saved up to fix the car if we need to. I don’t think we need to use the credit card.”
She agreed. “But,” she said, “You can still take tomorrow off as a vacation day if you want. It won’t change your paycheck any, and you really need to go de-stress.” I told her I’d think about it. “And I’m still sorry about getting mad about you and Mel Tourmet going to Abu Dhabi,” I said. “You’re so nice, you don’t deserve goofy husbands getting mad at you for dreams.”
“It vas Mel Gibson,” she said. “Und it vas Tahiti mit tequila, remember, not Abu Dhabi. It vas your dream…”
Back at my computer at work, I started mulling over the possibilities of a vacation day. You know, if things go right I could probably get the car charged and to Woody’s by eight in the morning. If it’s just a battery, I could probably afford that if we went the cheap way… You know, I just might take a vacation day tomorrow! I painfully stroked my moustache, pondering the possibilities.
“Bong,” went my e-mail. Our biggest customer. He needs to have a bunch of stuff done, “by the end of the weekend.” He goes on vacation Monday, you see.
So much for my vacation day. Now I’ll be lucky to salvage Saturday! I’m sure I’ll end up working Sunday…
But, on the good side — my wife never DID leave for New Delhi with Mel Brooks and a bottle of champagne. I DO have a job, and a nice little house with a nice little kitty that may eventually forgive me for stepping on him this morning. And I have a motorcycle, too. AND, I am now the proud owner of a battery charger. (I feel like I’ve come of age… No one’s truly an adult until they have a battery charger.) It’s all good… I’m just having a grumpy day.