As my previous post mentioned, I, along with a couple of cohorts, put luminaries throughout the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it rained overnight and about 80% of the bags were flat in the morning. So collection of the luminaries began a day earlier than expected.
I don’t have a big neighborhood, but it feels a lot bigger when you have to make trips to and from your house over and over, carrying about 25 pounds of sand each time. And, while I was grateful to have all the extra help putting out the lights, it’s probably pretty well known to event organizers that cleanup is a lonely task.
It took about 3 hours and according to my MS Band, which has come out of retirement today, it was over five miles of walking, stooping, standing, and carrying. The Band does not have a monitor for self-pity, but even if it did, I wouldn’t want to see the results. A maxed-out chart is uninteresting anyway.
My self-absorbed activity absorbed most of my day and resulted in me skipping substantial meals. I snacked on shit and salad (got to be balanced), but after the luminaries collection was finished and the tea lights separated from two trash bags full of crumpled paper bags, I was ready to eat.
On Christmas day, your dining options are limited. So, fault me for not planning ahead and having food of my own to eat at the house (just shit and salad). Of the available options, I chose IHOP, because they have a sirloin tip dinner that isn’t half bad (It’s close to half-bad, but not all the way there). The roads are pretty empty going there, which is positive. But then I found out why the roads were empty. Everyone was already parked at IHOP.
Sometimes, you can tell when a restaurant is fucked right when you walk in. I got that. Sometimes, you can tell why a place is fucked, too. Mmmm, probably the party of 12, would be my guess. I don’t know why this is not common knowledge that as the size of the dining party grows, the time and effort to service that party grows exponentially. That’s for another blog post.
I did eventually get seated and got my food. It was good, but it wasn’t enough. I know, right? You want more shitty food? A little shitty food, actually, a normal portion of shitty food isn’t enough? Yes, that is what I am saying. But, me, being the courteous customer, keenly aware of the long line of people waiting for their opportunity to eat shitty food, I got out quickly. But I was still hungry. For what?
Convenience store hot dogs, that’s what! I was mentally prepared to purchase and eat two roller dogs, so I made my way to a nearby Circle K. Unfortunately, they had two hot dogs on the grill. Also unfortunately, they were “jumbo” hot dogs, which isn’t something I’m into. It has nothing to do with any intimidation or personal inadequacy, it’s a mathematical law – the meat-to-bun ratio. This is also a post of its own, but in summary, the amount of meat has to be balanced with the amount of bread, just so, otherwise, it’s shit.
Despite the out-of-whack ratio I was facing, I made my move on the dogs, which were spinning slowly in front of me. Did they think they could escape, confusing rotational motion for forward motion? I was just about to take down my first dog when the counter lady said, “Oh, you don’t want them. They’ve been there since about noon.” But, but, these are the only spinning meat sticks you have. I think I do want them.
She talked me out of one more poor decision for the evening. Undeterred, I went to another Circle K down the road. This store had an array of jumbo dogs, but they were all corralled behind a sign that said “still cooking”. I sense a poor decision coming on…
And so it was made. I left the dogs undisturbed and instead bought a cup of boiled peanuts. And a coke. And pretzels. And since this is probably my last night on earth, a Powerball ticket. Once in my car, I make another excellent decision – eat the peanuts here and now. If you’ve never had fresh boiled peanuts, just understand that these things are soaking in brine for hours and hours and hours (and hours and hours and hours more if no one’s buying them). In that time, they absorb liquid. And when you go to free the peanuts from the shells, that liquid is expelled in the most messy way possible. It’s like popping zits of brine (oooo, a new band name for AK).
After realizing I had nothing to wipe my hands or vehicle interior with, I shuttled the peanuts back home where I ate them hastily. My stomach protested loudly at every bad decision I had made in the last hour or so. This led to finishing off some ice cream, straight out of the carton. Why not? Gonna die. Or get some serious shits. But know this about me: I do not puke.
And all of that leads me to my final poor decision of the night and possibly my life – writing this post.