Saturday the 14th

I have one loyal subscriber that incessantly complains whenever I post too many posts without pictures. He often sends me an email that in essence “boos” me.

I usually tell him that he is a big boy now and that he needs to use his words. But I’m quite certain that even he will be happy that this entry does not include any imagery, except whatever your imagination puts into your mind.

This story transpired on Saturday, March 14, 2009. The day after FNSC was victimized by the hype surrounding Black Market Pizza.

I am not saying that Black Market Pizza is to blame for my Saturday, but there was a series of low grade slasher movies that were popular in my youth that centered around Friday the 13th. Invariably, the person that survived the brutal onslaught of Jason Voorhees would wake up on Saturday the 14th thinking that the worst was behind them. They had survived the night. Then Jason or his mom or Tommy Jarvis would jump out of the lake and the nightmare would continue.

I woke up on Saturday the 14th feeling like the horror of Black Market Pizza was behind me. I had big plans for the day. Big plans! I didn’t know that something was still stalking me. Waiting to pounce and ruin my weekend.

Jason was picking me up at 7:30 in the morning so we could head to Best Buy to buy a dishwasher. Afterward, I was going over to my Aunt Lori’s to do my taxes. Then I was meeting Baier at King Buffet for lunch to celebrate the anniversary of his birth. Then I was heading to Rieman Music to see the remodeling work Derrick had done on the store. Then I was hoping to get the dishwasher installed. Then spend the afternoon watching the Cyclone women advance to the Big 12 title game. Then I was going to rest and relax for a bit. Then I was going to go to Shenanigans (yes, regrettably, I was planning on going to a Boone bar) for the birthday party of a friend from high school. The bonus of this party was that Willy was going to be there and he was allegedly going to be in full Dance Machine mode. I have never seen Willy dance, but I have garnered sworn testimony from his friend Kristy over the phone that he does indeed dance. But in the back of my mind, I still believe that he only talks about dancing. I was going to make a brief appearance at this party and then meet Shannon at DG’s to see Otter play. I’m not at liberty to say, but Otter just might be one of the bands that is playing Ames on the Half Shell this summer. I repeat, it was going to be a full day.

It started out well. Jason picked me up and we headed over to Best Buy. I had talked to Scottie D. on Thursday night, when he did expert work running cable to my office and living room, about coming over on Saturday to buy a dishwasher.

I had done some dishwasher research and new that I wanted both a stainless steel outside and a stainless steel inside. The outside is to match the rest of my appliances. The inside is because allegedly polymer tubs wear out rather quickly.

I swear that Scott said to meet him at Best Buy at 8.

At 8:05, we arrived in the Best Buy parking lot. We were greeted by a sign telling us that Best Buy didn’t open until 9. Since we had an hour to kill, I suggested we get some breakfast. I had heard great things about a little breakfast joint in Campustown called Angie’s Kitchen.

We killed an hour there with their food that can be best described as perfectly adequate.

We returned to Best Buy where Scott and I went over all of their dishwashers in stock. As it turned out, they had one dishwasher in stock, but it happened to be the dishwasher that I wanted.

Today was my lucky day.

We loaded the dishwasher up into the back of Carla’s van and headed to Lowe’s to pick up a few plumbing supplies.

When we got back to Boone we unloaded the dishwasher and Jason went to work on installing it. I went over to Lori’s to do my taxes.

It turns out I will be getting a healthy return back. Enough to pay off my electrician, buy a new fridge and perhaps even buy a new camera. One of the great tragedies of 2008 is the fact that I did not buy a new camera all year. I know, brings a tear to the eye.

Today was my lucky day.

I returned home to pick up some stuff I might have needed for the trip to Ames. Jason had already finished installing the dishwasher.

I met Baier at King Buffet. Inexplicably, King Buffet is his favorite restaurant. The food was perfectly adequate and we had a splendid conversation about many of the days hot topic issues.

At the conclusion of our meal I bid Baier a fond aideu and then headed downtown to Rieman Music. Derrick and his minions have done an impressive job of remodeling the store. He has made coves for individual types of products. Plus he painted the place and took down the old town and country border that used to spoil the place. It is very nice, but don’t take my word for it. Head on down and check it out. Buy a trombone or two.

I left Rieman Music and headed for my couch. I didn’t want to miss a moment of the Cyclone women playing the Baylor Bears.

As I sat on my couch I started to feel sick. Although the women were not playing well and would ultimately lose, this was not the type of sickness I feel when I watch the Greg McDermott men play. With the obvious exception of when they played UNI. I felt pretty darn good that night.

After the game concluded, I felt worse. Eventually I got to feeling so bad that I didn’t even want to move from the couch. I sat there watching whatever was on the History Channel.

I had the sensation that I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. I checked the time and I sadly realized that I wasn’t going to be leaving this couch on this night. I texted Shannon to let her know that I was shafting out. She texted me back to relay hopes that I feel better at some point in the future.

I put the phone down and laid my head back down on the pillows. At 9:37, I got a text message. Admittedly, I did not know it was 9:37. I thought it was well after 10. I struggled to get up and read my text message.

My expectations were that the text was from Willy saying that he was “setting the dance floor on fire” and wondering if I was making an appearance. The other possibility was that the message was from Shannon letting me know how much fun I was missing.

But the message was from neither. It was from Monica Henning:

Jeff proposed to me tonight on our trip. I said YES. (Then she included an emoticon, but even when I am quoting somebody I can’t bring myself to use an emoticon. But use your imagination. It was a happy emoticon. It probably involved a colon.)

That was a pretty cool development, but I was in so much pain I couldn’t even think straight. I decided to send the congratulations on the morrow. I frequently use the phrase “on the morrow” when I am sick.

I laid my head back down and continued to inbibe what the History Channel was dishing out. What seemed like hours passed. Then something magical happened.

I had spent my free time on Saturday organizing 3 tubs. 1 tub for audio visual cables. 1 tub for computer cables. 1 tub for phone stuff.

The magic happened 4 times into the phone stuff tub. I instantly felt, not so bad. I picked up my cell phone to check the time: 1:45. Too late to drive to Ames or go to Shenanigans. I laid my head back down on the pillow. I was asleep almost instantly. I didn’t wake up for 12 hours.

I talked to Jason the next day. He had also been sick. We both agreed that we wouldn’t be going back to Angie’s Kitchen. I decided that next time I needed to get breakfast in Ames, I would stick with The Grove Cafe.

But I don’t want the tale of Monica’s engagement to be just a footnote to a tale of vomiting on a caller id box. It is pretty exciting that Monica is tying the knot. I heard a poem once and although I definitely didn’t write it, it is what I hope Jeff feels in 50 years.

Anniversary: One Fine Day
by Walter McDonald

Who would sit through a plot as preposterous as ours,
married after years apart? Chance meetings may work
early in stories, but at operas, darling, in Texas?
A bachelor pilot, I fled Laredo for the weekend,
stopping at the opera from boredom, music I least expected.
Of all the zoos and honky-tonks south of Dallas,
who would believe I would find you there on the stairs,

Madame Butterfly about to start? When you moved
four years before, I lost all hope of dying happy,
dogfighting my way through pilot training, reckless,
in terror only when I saw the man beside you.
I had pictured him rich and splendid in my mind
a thousand times, thinking you married with babies
somewhere in Tahiti, Spain, the south of France.

When I saw the lucky devil I hated—only your date,
but I didn’t know—he stopped gloating, watching you wave,
turned old and bitter like the crone in Shangri La.
Destiny happens only in plays and cheap movies—
but here, here on my desk is your photo, decades later,
and I hear sounds from another room of our house,
and when I rise amazed and follow, you are there.