It ain’t no Pickle Car. Just an obscenely long post.

If I’d have been disciplined and posted during the Denver trip last week, I could of avoided this painfully looong recap. If I lose you halfway through, I completely understand. I feel the need to post details for posterity’s sake, however. It’s the little things I love remembering.

Saturday morning: News from my handyman.

Yes, I have a handyman. In Denver. Not the bow-chicka wow-wow “Oh my it IS hot please DO take your shirt off would you like some lemonade” kind of handyman. Not the 25-year-old porno pizza delivery guy variety. No, he’s a Vietnam Vet who’s logo is a giant red octopus. A giant red octopus with a tool in each tentacle and a face that looks eerily similar to his. A giant red octopus smokin’ a cigar, which is accurate. It’s actually pretty funny.

Anyhoo, the news. My house — the house I bought two months before MP was born; her first home; the tiny 1923 cottage I put so much work into; the place that’s now a rental — was left an absolute pigsty by the latest tenants. Two college guys. I am officially a WANKER for convincing myself they couldn’t do much damage in nine months. Which is comical, considering the gestational significance of the lease and their correlating level of maturity.

The mess wasn’t the worst part. Apparently, in the three weeks it had been sitting vacant, the washing machine was continuously filling and spilling … all over the mudroom floor and down into the basement. Not only did I need to have the washer repaired, the resulting moldy carpet needed to be ripped out; as did the warped wood floor beneath, and subsequently, MY HAIR.

Oh yeah, the boys broke the electric garage door, too. A nice little $750 parting gift.

I LOATHE being a landlord. (A long-distance landlord, no less.) Unfortunately, considering the current market’s sorry state, I can’t afford to sell. And truth be told, I have a strong emotional attachment to the place. When I finally DO sell it and say goodbye to all it’s ghosts, admitting that chapter is REALLY, TRULY closed is going to be more than impossibly tough.

Between dealing with carpet cleaners, numerous trips to Home Depot and lots and lots of sweaty yard work, I DID actually manage to do a few FUN things.

Saturday night: Sleepover and vodka lemonades at Tattoo Daddy and Corporate Mommy’s new house. When did my friends become the kind of people who live in 4,300 square foot homes? In the ‘burbs no less? It pains me somewhat to admit it was actually quite nice. So nice, in fact, I think it took them — consummate city dwellers — by surprise too.

As strangers living across the street from one another in one of Denver’s very urban neighborhoods, our infant children brought us together. Their son, FDR (logic behind this real life nickname is too politically incorrect to post, trust me), and MP are two months apart in age. Tattoo Daddy was MP’s first, if not unlikely, babysitter.

Together, they’re the coolest couple I know.

And just good people. Case in point: later that night, when MP’s eye swelled shut in violent protest to their cat’s dander, Tat Daddy happily ran to the store for Benadryl. Good peeps. I miss ’em.

Oh yeah, almost forgot about this.

For the first time, I have appliance envy. ‘Crushed ice machine’ has always been on my list of frivolous things I’d buy if I were fabulously wealthy.

Turns out, there are actually refrigerators on the market that DO THIS. What?!? Something on the Fabulously Wealthy List may actually be within my reach??

Ice is my vice. My dentist’s nightmare. I chew it ALL. DAY. LONG. Yes, I’m aware of the whole supposed sexual frustration connection, my fellow junior high friends, and trust me, that’s one explanation that wouldn’t be a stretch for this single mama. However, I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more of a full-blown addiction.

The monkey on my back.

Which brings me to …

Sunday morning: The Denver Zoo. Quote of the day: “Mommy, those monkey’s tushes are GROSS.”

Yeah, about that. Remember how you wanted a pet?

Have some cotton candy instead. A “food” first. Had it not been for Spongebob, this little undesirable would’ve gone virtually unnoticed.

As in, “Huh. That’s weird. A big ball of pink lint on a stick. Meh.”

Okay, it WAS mind-numbingly good.

The corndog was pretty tasty too. Another “food” first.

Sunday night: Grandpa Bobo wakes me up at 12:30 a.m. to tell me there’s an alarm going off. Clearly spooked, he makes me get up and investigate with him. Turns out to be my brother’s travel clock in the living room.

Bobo later admits he’s freaked out in my brother’s 100+ year-old house and confesses his temptation to tiptoe into the guest room while MP and I sleep, and camp out on the floor.

The next night my brother baits Bobo (who, as expected, buys every word) by telling him strange things have happened in the house — always at 1:20 a.m. — and then predictably sets the travel alarm to 1:20 a.m., leaving it by the couch as Bobo lay sleeping.

I had to intervene. I had to get some sleep.

Monday night: MP touches a light bulb. Says she wanted to see if it was hot. It was. Glad we cleared that up.

Tuesday night: Out to dinner with the fam. The drive downtown finds us stopped at a light behind some fancy-schmancy car. Bobo oogles and asks (like I’m an authority) what kind it is. I, of course, have no idea. I reply, “It ain’t no Pickle Car,” which he adopts as a catch-all phrase for the remainder of the trip.

For those unfamiliar with the genius of Richard Scarry, THIS is a Pickle Car.

Add it to the Fabulously Wealthy List. I’d SO enjoy driving to work each day in this.

Turns out the car was actually some kind of crazy Acura. That looked like a Kit Car. That looked like a hairy Italian.

Later, at the restaurant, all hell breaks loose. MP finally cracks under the continuous stream of excitement. Once home, I send her to bed with the iPod and her Princess tunes. Along with the cotton candy, the corndog, and the lightbulb-touching incident, the iPod is indeed another first.

Two important new discoveries: Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Deadliest Catch, also with Mike Rowe. Did I mention he’s my new secret boyfriend? More on that later …

After a busy five days, the best part of the trip, hands down, was watching MP interact with her younger cousins. I mentioned last week she insists on calling them her “brothers.” She wants siblings so badly. And I do wish I could give her a few. Maybe, with more visits, this will be a happy medium.

17 Comments

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17 responses to “It ain’t no Pickle Car. Just an obscenely long post.

  1. If you hadn’t mentioned the sexual frustration thing and Ice connection I totally would have in my comment..wait…CRAP I am so redundant…

    Anyhoo glad you had a good trip and I am so sorry about the repairs. Geesh….what a mess.

    Oh and MP is right, monkey butt is gross. Cotton candy is awesome and lightbulbs (when on ) are hot. Observant she is (said in my best Yoda).

  2. I loved the recap.

    And, a few observations:
    From her profile, I totally see MP’s resemblance to her mama.

    I love your brother’s humor, and understand you had to sleep, but would have loved to see where he would have taken the joke on Bobo.

    All in all, this post was not long enough, in my humble opinion.

    And that ain’t no pickle car.

  3. You have a “Honey Do” man, I’m so jealous.

    Over here, my kid knows that I have a big crush on Mike Rowe, too. You should ask him out. I dare you. He might show up on your doorstep to tape the “Dirty Job” of single motherhood.

  4. KD — I KNEW if I didn’t touch on the ice/frustration connection someone like you’d totally get it.

    SDM — I was SOOO tempted to leave the clock alone. Poor Bobo is SUCH a chicken with the spooky stuff … I was afraid the guy’d stroke out. My bro and I pimp him CONSTANTLY.

    SMS — You right! I DO have a Honey Do Man! Hey, wadda ya know? Now I just need to find one LOCALLY. And re Mike Rowe — you’ve totally inspired me. I think I may just go for it! Seriously. Kind of like the “My Date With Drew” movie. Ooooh, I’m gonna have FUN with this. Thanks!!

  5. Oh, yes, the dreaded “Appliance Envy”. They have medication for that :)

  6. I am addicted the the Deadliest Catch and I don’t even fish. It almost makes me want to stop eating crabs. Almost.

    Bring MP here. Bird and Deal are dying for a little sister. Thanks to the snips of a certain urologist in town, that ain’t gonna happen.

    We are all quite familiar with the pickle car. Richard Scarry has great illustrations but way too many words for a bedtime book.

  7. My car accidentally resembles the pickle car.

  8. I am so proud of you grasshopper! You used “wanker” in a sentence! Brings a tear to my eye!

    Seriously, I would hunt those wallies down, those mongrels who laid waste to your home (wow, it’s not every day I get to use that combination of words in a sentence!) and give them the beat down of their lives.

    Nothing and I mean NOTHING makes me angrier than crappy tenants. The hubby, having to deal with our home back in the UK had the mother of all craptastic tenants. Imagine trying to manage that from 5000+ miles away. Thank Jeebus we sold that place. After that experience and reading those like yours, there is no force on earth that could ever move me to ever do that again. Never. I do however understand your situation and I think you should be sainted!

    Bobo cracks me up!

  9. BHE — Gotta git me some STAT.

    ilinap — Oh there’s NO WAY we read the whole book. The Richard Scarry Before Bed Rules: pick two or three pages.

    Foolery — Color me jealous.

    Auds — I know — WANKER! Totally thought of you when I was writing it. And I can’t believe you did the landlord thing across an OCEAN. What a nightmare that must have been. Ugh. Totally on the same page — the last time I do this, that’s fo sho.

  10. You know, I too think those monkey’s tushies look awfully horrible too!

    And Deadliest Catch and Dirty Jobs are two of my husband’s latest favorite shows… we watch them all the time!

  11. I love Mike Rowe’s voice. He could read the encyclopedia to me anytime. As for the tenants,
    I’m so sorry. And for the lightbulb too. And for monkey butts.

  12. Geez, how did I get here? I have been sitting here reading for so long I have forgotten. But I am so glad I happened to find you. You are one funny chickie.

    If you like Dirty Jobs try TruTV’s Black Gold.

    Adding you to my faves.

  13. Ahh, we know the pickle car well. Seems the chap that drives the pickle car (whose name escapes me now) is always getting himself in trouble. Now is that prereq to have pickle car or just the little pig guy?

    My babe wants siblings too. She tells people that she’s going to have a baby Brother, then they look at me and my belly. I shrug my shoulders and walk away. I’m guessing I’ll have to buy her a dog.

  14. I love Dirty jobs. Mike Rowe is yummy.

  15. When I was in college, my friends and I from the girls dorm use to hang out the rugby, frat boys that rented a house. We called it “The Stud Hut”. They totally recked that place. We had some great parties there. I’m sure that’s what they used your place for. Poor house, never knew what was coming.

    I’m totally with Bobo! I’m easily spooked. But I laughed at him anyway.

    MP is so smart! Bailey, my oldest, wanted siblings. Now she has three, and she refers to her only child days as “the glory days”.

  16. love Mike Rowe, love Richard Scarry…

    sounds like you had an eventful time, to say the least. :)

  17. “I am officially a WANKER for convincing myself they couldn’t do much damage in nine months. Which is comical, considering the gestational significance of the lease and their correlating level of maturity.”

    So true, so funny, and why is it that these things never occur to us until AFTER the damage is done??

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