Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I was sure I was going to end up tumbling into an abandoned well half-filled with rotting corpses

It’s stupid season around these parts again. And yesterday the Resident Offspring joined a gaggle of kids to head down to the Stampede grounds to spend a shit-load of money getting nauseous from the sun, the grease, and the G-force spins. Good times.

Fairly early into the evening, the phone rings and it’s the RO,
screaming into the cell phone over the cacophony of the midway that there is talk of a sleepover at one kid’s place and if it’s a go, can she join in? Oh, and can I bring her toothbrush and some other necessities over to said kid’s house? If it’s a go, that is.

After much toing and froing and calls made from the crazy mouse spinning coaster, it was established that sleeping over was indeed happening. But it had taken so long that by this point, I had already called the kid’s house (thinking I was actually calling said kid’s cell, as the RO had hers turned off) and ended up talking to someone I assume was her mother. She had no idea that these plans were in the works, but said, “meh, C brings kids over all the time, she doesn’t have to tell me first”.

I pointed out that it sounded like there were going to be 10 kids descending upon her house,
because I sure as hell would want to know a little detail like that, but she was completely nonplussed. Cooler mom than I am, I thought.

By this point it was getting late, the Spousal Unit had long ago headed for bed, and I apologetically told her I would be dropping off some stuff at her house but wouldn’t be able to get there till about 10:30. Would it be alright if I came by that late?

It was at that point that I realized that I am no longer the party animal that I still am in my head, when she said, “well, we’re going to be heading out to see a movie around then, but hopefully my son will still be home”. Heading out at 10:30? Shit, we don’t answer the phone after 10.

So I grabbed the RO’s stuff, threw a cd into the newly resurrected player in the urban assault
vehicle, thank you jeebus, and drove north, along the way dodging a group of twenty-somethings giving each other celebratory rides in shopping carts across MacLeod Trail. You get that sort of thing during Stampede.

There weren’t really many houses on the street that I had been directed to, just a fire station and the backs of some businesses. So I had to guess that the house I was looking at was the right one. It was hard to tell, as nobody had put a porch light on. Actually there wasn’t a porch. I got out of the car to investigate and saw, peering at the place through my cataracts and night blindness, that the left side had a house number on it, one number higher than the one I was looking for. It appeared to be a duplex, although I couldn’t be sure, as it was pretty dark and I am pretty blind.

And then I noticed another house, hidden behind a overgrown mass of hedges, with a small
gap in the hedgerow where some paving stones led toward the house. I thought maybe that was the place. This house was even darker than the other one, and as I approached it on the cracked and uneven paving stones, the hedges seemed to close in behind me, sealing me off from the noise of the traffic. I started to get distinctly uneasy.

The pavers ended before I reached that dark house with a single light burning deep inside one of the far rooms. I stepped onto the grass, and the ground was rough and broken, an uneven minefield of mysterious hillocks and secret caverns, secrets that I had no desire to ever uncover. I took another step and the mosquitoes swarmed to meet my flesh, just as the voices inside my head started screaming, “don’t go down into the basement, you fool!” And that’s when I realized I had no desire to be in a Rob Zombie movie and I got the hell out of there, taking care not to break my ankle on the way back to the city sidewalk.

In the end, I walked up to the other side of the duplex, finally spotted and confirmed the house number and then, when nobody answered the doorbell, left the Resident Offspring’s stuff in a heap in front of the door.

I figured she could look after herself from that point on.

18 comments:

URBAN BLONDE said...

Man, you're a cooler mom than me.

As soon as I saw the house I'm afraid my innate snobbery (read: fear) would have kicked in and I would have been picking up my DD at the nearest C-train station.

Crying and teeth gnashing be damned.

Allison said...

Ah, sleepovers. There is no way my mom would have dropped stuff off for me, I would have had to fend for myself. Kudos to you for making the trip. Hope the Offspring had a good time. :)

bloody awful poetry said...

I've only been to one sleepover. Even that took some pretty tough convincing. And the creepy house in the woods and whatnot! How utterly awesome! Canada here I come!

Hope the RO made it home safe!

kelly said...

I am not a mom but if I were...I would go insane at the thought of a group of teenage girls decending on my house....I can't think of many worse tortures

mister anchovy said...

somebody had to think up the deep-fried twinkie, someone with a very dark sence of humour...it just is not intuitively obvious.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I realized that my imagination was kicking into overtime, Urban Blonde and that I had to reign it in. The RO is a really sensible kid and I knew she would contact me if she had any issues.

To be fair to the RO, Al, she really only asked for an essential item and would have been quite happy to do without the rest, but I figured since I was going there anyway...
I think she's still tired!

I'm guessing your parental units would have been less than enamoured of the environment of this sleepover, BAP. I hope I am not giving you the false impression that all of Canada is a slasher movie set!

I KNOW, Kelly! I mean I can handle it quite fine if I have prior knowledge and can prepare myself by barricading the bedroom door and whatnot, but an unannounced invasion - not going to happen.

hehe, Mister Anchovy, it's like someone said "take the worst non-food you can think of and make it 100X more disgusting". Apparently they also have deep-fried oreos.

justacoolcat said...

Who goes out after dark? What are you Canadians up to?

BeckEye said...

Good thing you didn't knock on the door. You might be putting the lotion in the basket right about now.

Grumpie Olde Bastarde said...

Hey Barb-ster!!

WAAY off topic here, but wanted you to know that I have just received your email. Response should be in your inbox.

Peace!

GOB

Barbara Bruederlin said...

No good, obviously. I firmly believe that every good Canadian should be tucked under a blanket on the chesterfield come dark, JustA.

That was my next thought after the half-rotting corpses in the well fear, Beckeye. I consider myself lucky to have my skin.

Got it! Thank you ever so muchly, GOB. You are a goddess-send! As well as a gentleman and a scholar.

John Mutford said...

Oh you brave soul. When they reach their teenage years, my kids are going to be shipped off to unisex boarding schools (possibly on the moon) run by robot nuns.

Westcoast Walker said...

Your tolerance is admirable - and I may be asking you for advice when my youngins reach their teen years - right now they are young and cute so I take lots of pictures so I can remember that in years to come!

Personally, my psyche is permanently scarred from seeing too many cheesy slasher films in my youth, and more recentky zombie films. I constantly plan my potential escape route wherever I go (read the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks - he always stresses the importance of having a plan)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I wish I had thought of that, John. Actually I have to admit the Resident Offspring is a very sensible savvy kid. It's her mother who has the crazy imagination.

You HAVE to have a plan, Westcoast Walker! Especially around zombies. That survival handbook is invaluable around these parts.
ANd you can never have too much evidence that your kids were once sweet and cute.

Beth said...

You're cool. You referenced Mr. Zombie. Relative?

Gifted Typist said...

Zoiks zombie, that's like something from the Bros Grimm. How did it turn out? Did RO stay there. Were you comfy with her staying there?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I believe he might be one of my German cousins, once removed, Beth. Even so, I can't stand his movies.

She stayed there and it turned out I had left her gear at the right house and everything, Gifted. I had a few moments of doubt, but not enough to take seriously.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You've got my vote for mom of the year.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think pushover of the year would be more fitting, Dr M, but thanks.