Silly Grins

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This explains why someone stayed up until past 1:00 am last night going a little Loco…

(the next morning) 5:30 am-ish

The clock in the kitchen is always fast. Even though they know that, they always feel like it is a little bit ahead of their other timekeepers, kind of looking out,  keeping them in line. Must be Domovi’s Shinto cousin or something like that. 

A little too late for dawn patrol, but that’s the time I thought I woke up this morning. Hella early for my lazy ass, anyway... After going out to check on things, came back in to find the wife up.  She must have been in a bit of hurry, but then she slowed down once she realized that she was an hour ahead of herself. All I could do is look at the clock and wonder.

In the front of our place is one of those scratched up mini-vans. Yes, it’s ours. And that thing has taken a beating. Literally.

Background History

1st time
Nothing is ever as good as the first time… 
First time, she tapped someone. No damage was done to the grandma in front of us. Still, we drove all the way out to the folks’ house to give an extra gift. Despite what the laws may say on the books, it was 100% our fault. Grandma Dent was more concerned with our youngest, just happy to know that he was okay. We gladly ate the cost of the reset, which didn’t amount to that much because it wasn’t exactly rhinoplasty. Put on just enough foundation to cover up the bruise so no one would notice unless they were really looking. That’s why we went the extra miles to say Thank You in person.  
The second incident was 100% their fault.  We’d had our second kid just a couple of months before. Thank god for car seats.  The orange-haired girl who hit us with her kei-car had been going slow, but didn’t see the invisible yellow light.  We had actually started braking at it before it went the three-second-red color. She may not have seen the “KIDS ON BOARD” warning sticker and not been able to somehow put the two together.  That sticker that we’ve got promptly displayed at eye-level for most of the cars around to clearly see, really does mean PLEASE DON’T FUCKING HIT US! Maybe she would have actually noticed something had we gone with the Harmony Land inspired motif.  We had actually taken some time to pick out something that would effectively communicate our will to live. We actually were concerned about our safety.

Her yankee (no, not the seppo kind – and yes, the word is italicized because it’s not really English, though I've been told that it can be understood as a high form of praise) looking boyfriend had done his best to try to grab the wheel from her, so they only really clipped us.  (You’d be amazed at the number of women who go to get their licenses renewed in the 100% illegal pin-heels at the local version of the DMV.)  People may look down on kids who drive fast cars, but all the misbehaving Ms. Beehives' bad-boy boyfriend had done paid off. Saved us from being pushed out into the crossroad.  Got a lot of respect for that.

Fortunately, we were able to keep everything cool and let the people on duty do their job. We really lucked out. 

Despite the inconvenience of having to chauffeur the whiplash-wife back and forth to physical therapy over the next few months, they thought we were lucky. A good chunk of the money they got went into the kids savings, and the wife wisely invested the leftovers on a massage chair.

When the yankee’s future bride showed up at our place, along with her folks, she asked to hold our child, the adorable little one that she could have killed. The young woman started crying. She started crying the way people do when they are trying to hold it in, like she knew she fucked up and somehow got lucky. If we felt anything, we weren’t letting it out, not now. This is a lesson the girl has got to remember. She’s paid her tuition. Now let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that she doesn’t forget.

What is it with sets of threes?
The third time we were hit happened in a parking lot. A squat-looking grandma didn’t seem to be able to back her car up at a normal speed. She had started out slowly.  Missed once. Tried again, and then just seemed to floor it. Had we been in a better mood, it could have even been funny.  But we weren’t laughing. Grandma Squat didn’t look like she was old enough to be losing it, but there was undeniably a dent and the back hatch that was not gonna close. Duct tape couldn’t even fix it.

I made it a point to stand between the older lady and wife, just in case.
 Yes you did hit it kind of hard.” 
For some reason, I wasn’t in the mood for small talk and the wife was already on the phone.  
And then continued, “And we are calling THEM. Right now. And although this IS inconvenient for everyone, we will WAIT. THANK YOU.” 

We had all been standing (our youngest was walking by then), standing off the starboard side of our mini-van when the aft, port side collision occurred.  Number 8 (the mom) had ADHD, the son (first child and therefore Number 8’s curse), maybe a little too firmly gripped by the hand. Dad? The guy who was desperately trying not to turn into one of those dopey guys RKat commented about?  He was on transport duty for the little Lumberjack, who was at the controls while strapped into her Master-Blaster harness when G-Squat torpedoed the hull. We all knew the drill.

After another, “Oh, you again…” from the boys in blue, followed by a casual,“Yeah, third time…you should be good for another seven before you need to be weary of the next set,” we felt like we’d somehow been dealt our bad luck in the best way possible.  For that, we were thankful.

Even though the mini-barge has been given another layer of paint, we think she’s dying. Not her heart, but her frame. It’s giving out. She’s got rust, the chronic kind. From saltwater.

If you’ve gotten this far, folks, congratulations.  Now, here’s the slightly raw part.

For the last few days, Number 8 has been sleeping in the front room, with the window slightly ajar so she can keep an eye on our mini-van, all night long if necessary. She’s on a deathwatch of sorts, guarding against whoever is scratching the van.  

(Last night I was up kind of late...)

At first, I thought this was the usual wave of paranoia, but then our local koban gave the diagnosis…it looks like kids. Adults usually leave deep gashes, deeper than the ones I finally noticed this morning after we’d gently removed the blue tarps that had been blanketing our loyal work-horse. 

I’m not in denial that there is a possibility that it is one of the kids in the neighborhood.  For any number of reasons not openly discussed in public, one of them may actually be doing this.  My long-term solution, in addition to the LED sensor light that was put in a few days ago, is to spend a little more time working the soil before planting a playground of sorts in our yard. One that all the kids will be invited to use. If there’s going to be any trouble, which there always is with kids as they grow up, I’d at least like to have it out in the open where I can see it.  Give them a sense of ownership. 
But they’ve got to stick to the rules.

Hopefully this is one thing they’ll be able to look back on someday and maybe even take pride in, tell a few stories about. Build a few memories. We’ll see.  You never know.

(These last 72 hours or so have been somewhat surreal.)



  1. "She started crying the way people do when they are trying to hold it in, like she new she fucked up and somehow got lucky"

    Hopefully that sits deep and takes. If that's a lesson learned than someone someday will NOT be killed by her.

  2. I sure remember the first time I ran into someone. Fortunately the grandma of the kid in the car in front of her (three-car accident) had strapped her granddaughter in.

  3. I really, really love driving fast, roof open, deep at night in my Fast Car. And hate myself for doing it.

  4. When the weather is good, that's the way to go.