Tuesday, January 24, 2006

wicked cold cah

As a general rule, car doors never freeze on Saturday morning. It's always, always something that happens when you have to get to work. Like getting pulled over for speeding, or running into a neighbor who decides to give a really long and thoughtful response to "hey, how's it going?"

Tatertot's mom was packing her eleventeen children into her van (which I'm pretty sure is the same one that the Libyans used in Back to the Future) when I realized that my car was a big useless ice pop. She wished me luck before she peeled out. Thanks, lady. The next time you're going out for the night and you tell your kids to come over to my place in case they "need anything," I'm putting a sign on my door that says, "Call 911. Good luck!"

I checked all the doors and realized that my trunk wasn't frozen. This was clearly just my car's way of mocking me. I waited for the tatertots to leave and then did the shameful thing that I've had to do once before: I crawled through my trunk to get to the front seat and start the car. Yes, it crossed my mind that a UPS guy could happen to come along at any moment and see me tunneling through my backseat like Inspector Gadget, but I feel like they've probably seen crazier stuff than that, don't you? Well, maybe not. I may not be very dignified, but at least I'm resourceful.

So I made it to the front seat, which felt sort of victorious, but I still had to perform some extensive defrosting (imagine if I made it to work but was then trapped INSIDE my car?). No two ways about it, I was going to be late. And on my meeting day, of course. And on a meeting day that I have to present on, of course. You're only forced to crawl through the underbelly of your frozen car when you're late for a meeting at which you have to present.

So I call work. Schmoo gets on the line.

Schmoo: Hey Red. Are you going to make the meeting?
Red: I think so, but maybe you could start without me.
Schmoo: Start without you?
Me: Yeah, you could just walk them through the beginning of the report and I'll be there probably ten minutes into it--
Schmoo: I don't know.

Schmoo has been doing this job for, oh, ten years. She's read, oh, fifteen thousand of my reports. And I'm never late for these meetings, ever. She's bright and competent and has been doing this for much longer than I have, yet in the course of this conversation she's suddenly become a malnourished kitten hanging from a tree branch in the dead of winter.

Schmoo: I mean, they don't want to hear from me. I'm administration. I'm the enemy.
Me: Ten minutes. That's it.
Schmoo: I know, but...
Me: You could get Supergirl to pinch hit for a few minutes if you're really concerned about it.
Schmoo: Maybe we'll just conference you in.
Me: Ugh.
Schmoo: Okay?
Me: Yeah, okay. I'll call in at 8:30.
Schmoo: Okay.
Me: Actually, why don't you "just conference me in" every Tuesday from now on and I can do this from bed.
Schmoo: See you at 8:40!

Anyway, I made it in, finally, and later on was telling somebody about my trunk diving adventure. She told me that once she sat behind a line of cars and beeped at them for not moving. She said she was there for a solid five minutes before she realized that they were parked. I immediately felt better.

And I know that I'm not really one to judge after what I did today, but... a solid five minutes? How does that happen?

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