Did you ever wake up in the morning fully prepared, "To Do" list in hand, knowing what needed to be done, and chomping at the bit to get down to it?
I had such a morning.
And then, did you ever go about your morning only to discover that this day God has other plans for you? That God spent his previous evening cooking up a big batch of Chicken Surprise Casserole just for you?
I have tasted God's casserole. I've savored every bite and considered every delicate flavor, every nuance, and I believe, humbly, that I can recreate that recipe here now.
Keep the following image in mind...
GOD'S CHICKEN SURPRISE CASSEROLE:
Level of Difficulty: Supernatural
Preparation Time: 3 minutes (for God anyway, eternity or longer for you and I)
Cooking time: 3 hours
Recommendation: Not recommended for beginners
Tips: Start early, like at 4:00 AM
Main Ingredient: Water. A lot of Water. When you think you have enough water, add another gazillion gallons.
1 '97 Purple Toyota Lexus (specialty ingredient. Substitute: Any vehicle with height under five feet)
1 "To Do" list (entirely optional)
1 Dark and Stormy morning
1 dash unawareness
1 dash stubborness
1 dash stupidity
1 smidgen of "WTF?"
2 big pinches of "OH SHIT"
1 Big Truck with Asshole Driver
1 Smartass Cop
1 Clueless Girl in PT Cruiser
170 LBs Sleepy, disbelieving husband
1 dash AAA
110 LBs Obnoxious Teenager
30 LBs Sweet toddler
METHOD OF PREPARATION:
Mix the Chicken, Lexus, To Do List (highly optional) together with the Dark Stormy Morning. Let sit for two minutes. Stir in unawareness, stubborness, stupidity. Add half of water in steady stream (more water than that. Like a lake full of water. That's not enough. More....More...More.....There you go...)
Blend with "WTF" and 1/2 of "OH SHIT"
Fold in Big Truck with Asshole Driver
Stir in remainder of "OH SHIT".
Add more Water all at once
Add Smartass Cop and Clueless Girl in PT Cruiser
Freeze for 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 800 degrees
Stir up Sleepy, Disbelieving Husband
Bake for oh 1 hour, maybe 2
Add Obnoxious Teenager
Sprinkle with Sweet Toddler
And that, my friends, is God's secret recipe for Chicken Surprise Casserole
Or what I like to call "Happy Fucking Monday".
For you non-culinarians, here is the narrative version:
Mondays are my turn to pull the early shift at work, meaning I am up at 4 AM and at work by 5 AM. I like Mondays because it means 3 hours of relatively quiet time in which I can catch up on things.
Today, God had another plan.
It started out predictably. Chicken: Up at 4 AM, showered, dressed and ready to meet the day, perhaps less alert than a normal 8:30 AM day (I say that in my own defense).
I head out in the purple (which BigB insists is silver) Lexus towards work already thinking about what I am going to do when I get there. Completely unaware of my surroundings.
In the middle of Pontiac Avenue, there is a big puddle of water. I am already well into it when I realize that after two days of steady rain, this ain't no ordinary 'Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" type of puddle. This is a "bring your speed boat and water skiis" type of puddle. And because I am stubborn and occasionally stupid, I choose to keep going. And then because I'm afraid the car will stall if I stop to turn around, I keep going. The water is half way up the side of the poor Lexus, who really deserves more after 220,000 miles of loyal service (Sassy, I also have that Inanimate Object empathy problem), and I am thinking to myself "When You are Going Through Hell Just Keep On Going". We almost made it but we stalled just short of the end. I wasn't sure what to do. In true introvert style, I needed to think a little bit, so I turned on my hazard lights, rolled down the window and lit a cigarette. Should I call BigB, who sleeps like the dead, or should I just hoof it home? I sat pondering. It was rather peaceful, actually.
That is when God chose to send the big ass truck with the asshole driver at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction. I looked through my windshield at him, he looked at me with a maniacal grin, and I know he was thinking, "Sucks to be you mothafuckaaaaa". I had a half second to think, "Oh Shit", as I realized my window was open and before a tsunami came pouring through my window, putting out my cigarette and my cell phone, and drenching me in cold water.
And then, because God does have a sense of humor, the Big Ass truck with the Asshole driver stalled, too. He must have called the Police, because suddenly they were there. (and this is where I must point out that a little precautionary thinking by the administration of the city in which we pay our taxes might have been useful, because, doesn't that part of the avenue always flood? And shouldn't I, as a tax paying citizen be able to expect that someone, after two days of steady rain, might have thought of that before 5 AM and have been keeping an eye on it? Shouldn't there have been a cop or a fireman or a crossing guard or SOMEone there to block my path and save me from my own stupid self?)
I hauled myself out of the car, knee deep in water, and started trudging towards home. I sauntered by the policeman in his nice, warm, dry car, trying to look cool. He hollers out the window, "Hey, you were almost there, why'd you stop?". I'm thinking, "Whatever, Smartass" but I say, "You know, I was going to keep going, but I thought it would be more fun to stall the car and walk home". So he says, "Where do you live?", and I am thinking the very nice policeman, whose salary I help to pay, is going to give me a ride, but sadly, no. I say, "About a mile" and he says, "O.K Do you think you'll be able to move your car soon?"
And then, there's this girl in a PT Cruiser who has pulled up behind the whole mess and is waiting patiently for the go ahead because she is possibly even more clueless than me but clearly has better guardian angels because she has been blocked from entering the mess into which she would surely have otherwise entered. So I motion to her to roll down the window and I explain the situation. And give her directions. While standing in the cold, freezing rain. And then she says, "Thanks". And as I continue on my way home, she passes me going in the same direction, the direction that I so kindly pointed out. But does she stop to think, "Hey, maybe that Chick could use a ride?" No.
I continue my walk through the cold rain. What's a little more water, at this point, right?
I arrive home, wake up BigB just to share the misery, and inadvertently wake up the littleb, as well, and we are all just one happy family (not so much) waiting for AAA to come tow the car. I am on the phone with Marilyn, the fairly unhelpful AAA operator, who asks me what color the car is. I look nervously at BigB, who is standing right beside me, because I know the Lexus is purple, and I know that saying it is purple will be infinitely more helpful, and I really want to say, "Marilyn, it is Purple", but BigB is very sensitive about the color of the Lexus and claims it is Silver, and because I know he is already "highly anxious", which is code for close to blowing a spark plug or two of his own, I say "Silver", but then I cover the phone and whisper "with a purplish tint" because I really am not very bright and I can't help myself.
Marilyn says, "Thanks, it will be 1 to 2 hours. We'll call you" (don't call us).
So BigB goes off, huffishly, in my opinion, to wait for the AAA truck to come tow our Silver/purplish Lexus.
Then the Teenager Who Lives in the Basement rouses himself for school and wants to know what all the excitement is about and when I tell him, he says, "Really Chicken? Seriously???".
But then littleb says, "Mommy, do you want a hug?"
Yes. I do. Thank you, littleb. You are worth watching Max and Ruby times 1 million episodes. Of course, he will grow up and say, "Seriously Chicken???" too, but I am choosing to live in the moment. Totaled Lexus and all.
And yes, the Lexus has most likely met its demise, no thanks to me, and I am having Survivor's Guilt. And now because this post has gone on far longer than the situation really warrants, I am going to call it a night.
Stay tuned for my next post in which I impersonate well known people impersonating my "On the Spot" reaction.
By the way, could any of you be kind enough to give a down on her luck Chicken a ride to work tomorrow?
Riding the wave,