Humor Non-Fiction posted November 30, 2016


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Coffee, bear claws & a mallet through a friend's car window

Nanny Diaries-BEEP BEEP BEEP!

by Mary Wakeford

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Timehop is a cool app. It shares daily reminders of happy occasions: Cute captures of grandchildren, pets, meals, accomplishments and even failures. Photos taken with your phone's camera each day are historically held in a database, from the moment you added the app. My Timehop account dates back eight years and provides a treasure trove of memories.  

My family insists I am a serial shooter. They even accuse me of sometimes ruining the moment because of my need to record everything. Brunhilda, my snarky inner voice, insists one day the ingrates will thank me.  She also suggests I shouldn't hold my breath.  Brunhilda, named after an old friend's bitchy ex-wife, inserts herself frequently into my writing. The moniker is fitting in both cases.

Today's Timehop brought up photos of the time I slammed my friend's right rear wing window with a yellow handled mallet. The force of the impact bounced me backwards like a roly-poly bug caught in a tornado.  My second attempt completely missed the window and hit the door frame. Following a third failed attempt, I wondered if my friend's car window had been manufactured with kryptonite by ninja Korean auto makers.
 
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Last year's very nice day began at 9:30 and morning coffee catching up with a close friend: a bear claw danish--or two--or three.  It ended badly with my friend's departure later that afternoon.  

Elizabeth and I tend to make our coffee clutches a marathon event when we are able to coordinate time together.   It's rare and special when it happens and the planets and stars it seems, have to be in perfect alignment.  The date worked for both of us after months of incompatible calendars.

That particular morning, everything was going great as we toasted coffee mugs and celebrated my birthday which had taken place three months earlier.  I wasn't kidding about the planets and stars aligning. 

When my friend, Elizabeth, took her leave at 2:30 that afternoon, I walked her to the SUV parked curbside with my one-year-old grandson propped on my bear claw-enhanced right hip.   

Things went to hell in a handbasket shortly thereafter.  I blame it on the two wooden six-foot bi-fold closet doors laying on the gravel next to our driveway, patiently awaiting a trip to the dump. They looked innocent enough.  Looks can be deceiving.

My friend, being your typical AAA+++ helpful Type A personality, insisted on loading the doors into her SUV to take to her home where bulk trash was scheduled for pick up the following morning, saving us a trip to the dump. My insistant "No, no no, that's okay's" fell on deaf ears, just like Brunhilda's "No-no-no's" earlier that morning as I dove in to claim my third bear claw danish.  

Elizabeth was already in the process of manhandling the first closet door and was well on her way to her rear cargo hatchback with it.  Her awkward gait while straddling the door simulated a drunk monkey on a tightrope.  I couldn't stand by and watch her load them by herself, so I carefully and lovingly placed my grandson in the front passenger hold of the car to keep him safe while we loaded the closet doors. 

I even went to the extreme of closing the right front passenger door completely to ensure he wouldn't tumble out onto the sidewalk if he pushed against it.  I'm a deliberate thinker in anticipting worst possible scenarios.  I try to prevent them from happening by anticipating and squelching every conceivable outcome.  My mother used to blame the curse on our Irish heritage--the gift ran rampant throughout our bloodstreams.  I like to think of it as being proactive.  Brunhilda embraced the curse as a solid survival mechanism.  It is considered by some a deficit in the gene pool--mostly the very people we are trying to protect. My little guy was happy as a lark.  The outside temperature was a pleasant 85*.  

What I didn't foresee in my friend's open purse on the passenger seat would become critical in 3.2.1. The curse of Eire fumbled.

At the conclusion of the second set of the awkward doors being loaded, I closed the rear cargo door and walked toward the front of the vehicle with my friend to retrieve my little bugger. Suddenly we heard the all too familiar sound that momentarily stopped both our hearts, at this point compromised by too much caffeine and arteries clogged with danish frosting.   B.E.E.P. B.E.E.P.  -- Otherwise known as, "Oh shit, he locked the doors."  Brunhilda was the first to drop the F-bomb.

There sat my toothy little grandson, pleased as punch with himself, FOB in hand, with continuous B.E.E.P. B.E.E.P'ing as he continued to engage every button available on the little black devil in his hands.  

He was delighted with the new squeaky toy that he had taken from Eliabeth's purse, parked and open on the seat.  He was grinning ear to ear with every tone the magic little box made as he watched our coffee saturated, pastry stuffed, H.O.R.R.I.F.I.E.D faces from the other side of the window.  

Brunhilda demanded to know how the kid got hold of the fooooooking FOB, before declaring "Oh Shit, we've got to call the fire department, he could die in there!"  As if on cue, my little guy engaged the car's auto theft warning siren which did nothing to calm the nerves of 2.5 people on the other side of his lockdown.

Minutes ticked away with me trying to get him to hit the unlock button on the fooooooking FOB with my friend watching intently, ready to open the right rear door at the slightest tone announcing an unlock had been achieved.  The baby managed to engage the theft deterrant siren a few times which thrilled him to no end, but couldn't quite master the one showing the opened padlock.  

It was about this time I had the idea to retrieve my own FOB from the house, so I could show him which button to push from outside the window. Brunhilda suggested that although the kid was smart for his age, I was nuts if I thought that would work, further adding I had been reading too many Montessori books on child intelligence with a focus on natural curiosities.  Afterall, the kid was not yet two and the only way he was going to hit the unlock button was going to be by pure luck, Irish or otherwise.  

I ignored the little bitch, assured my little imp I'd be right back before running for the house, my own FOB, and cell phone.

Elizabeth making goo-goo eyes through the glass window was having no effect on my grandson's building hysteria with my absence.  Bruni found it necessary at this time to bring up the suggestion kids are like dogs; when they see you leave, they assume you are never coming back.  She was onto something, because my grandson freaked out with my departure.  Happy smiles morphed into desperate "Don't leave me, Mimi" full-on hysteria. Had my grandson been a dog, my friend might also have been down a seat in addition to the wing window that would soon meet its demise.

I returned a few minutes later to beads of sweat dripping from my little buddy alongside his unconsolable crying.  It was hard to differentiate between the two.  The copycat FOB instruction reached a climactic failure when he threw it in the direction of the backseat, between the bi-fold closet doors now taking up the entire length of the SUV's interior. I sensed critical times were upon us.  Even the three bear claws in my stomach started to percolate.

I informed my friend I was going to break a window.  Her gulp did not go unnoticed as I headed to the garage for a hammer.  Mimi was a tad bit crazed at this point, and perhaps that is why I chose the big-assed yellow handled hammer otherwise known as a demo mallet.  I returned curbside with a purpose and a plan.  I chose the wing window just behind the front seat, hoping the height of the seat would protect him from the flying glass. Later that evening, my 'knowing-all-things' son would inform me I chose the most expensive window to repair and should have taken out the rear hatchback.  

With my grandson now approaching complete hysteria with Elizabeth trying to keep him directed to facing the front windshield, I put my athleticism to work, set up for the swing and ... BAM.

The recoil nearly knocked my on my ass.  I believe I even heard the window say "Try again, bitch". Brunhilda piped in it was her, not the window talking.  I came again stronger with the second wind-up.  This time I missed the wing window entirely and hit the metal door frame.  I imagined a grumpy umpire crouched behind me yelling "Strike Two!"  That time the mallet nearly gave me a concussion on the rebound as it whizzed by my head on the recoil.  I remember saying out loud, "Oh my God, Elizabeth, did I just miss and dent your door frame, or is that old damage?"   Brunhilda snickered while muttering, "You really are a fucking optimist--of course you just dented her door frame!"  Elizabeth was quick to confirm the obvious with a speechless nod.  

This would be about the time I remarked her vehicle was either kryptonite, or I needed to eat another pastry to enhance my swing. I raised the mallet once again and swung hard, sweet chariot. The three strikes and you're out rule was called as another blow of the mallet bounced off the glass.  

Fearing for her car's safety at this point, Elizabeth frantically tried to dial up AAA car service using my unfamiliar cell phone.  Dialing was not going well due to screen glare, bad eyes, a screaming toddler, her FOB in Nether-nether-land, and her car being demo'd by a friend right before her eyes.  Her phone with the AAA contact on speed dial was inside the car, along with the errant FOB and purse responsible for my grandson's treasure find.

Realizing we were up against mallet-proof glass, I grabbed my phone from her and had 9-1-__ punched in when my peripheral vision caught Elizabeth morphing into super woman (no cape) on my left with another attempt at glass penetration.  She yelled something inaudible just before the BAM!  She achieved glass collapse!  I struggled with destruction envy as I marveled at her breakthrough, if that is even possible.

It all goes a little fuzzy for me at this point--as Elizabeth then repeatedly slammed her closed fist through the mangled safety glass in a frantic attempt to fish for the rear door lock.  Brunhilda screamed, "Why the fuck didn't she use the mallet head instead of her fist to break through?"  It got fuzzier for both me and Bruni when 'E' pulled her hand back and we noticed a LOT of blood before she ran around the car to the driver's door, yelling "I CAN'T GET THE LOCK OPEN!"  

We weren't sure why she headed for the driver's door, but attributed it to shock setting in with the flow of crimson red--and pain.  Brunhilda suggested the situation had pushed our friend over the edge, and she might need a sedative.  One for her and two for us as soon as the grandkid went home with his parents.

As my friend continued to scream from the other side of the car, I calmly and carefully (thank you Irish gene) reached inside the opening Elizabeth had barehanded, found the lock, and va-da-boom, we were in like flint.  

I retrieved my grandson from the front passenger hold and wondered what he must be thinking. Brunhilda quipped, "How about these old chicks are cra-cra!"  I ran him to the hose bib and proceeded to wet him down. Arizona's November's aren't terribly warm, but he had worked himself to a bright red complexion with his ten minutes of imprisonment, and I wasn't taking any chances.

Once he was calmed down, I ushered Elizabeth to the guest bathroom and placed her hand under running water to assess the damage.  My grandson, now content and soaking wet, busied himself on the bathroom floor with the fooooooking FOB--BEEP-BEEP!  Brunhilda screamed, "OMG, THE KID HAS THE FOB AGAIN!"  I assured her it was keeping him occupied while I dealt with the bloody trauma playing out in the sink before me.  

When the doorbell sounded, I wondered if I had gotten off that final 1 off when dialing for help just before being interruped by the capeless Superwoman.  I ran to the door to find our family godfather, Dr. Shabaan.  He had stopped by to pick up a fundraiser bread order.  Impeccable timing.

He quickly put his medical prowess to work and took over triage, sanitizing then taping my friend's heroic but mangled fingers back together as 
BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP reverberated from the bathroom floor with the fooooooking FOB's continued engagement by the wee one.  

I calmed down about midnight following a few beers, and am forever thankful for my blessings in friends.  FOB's--not so much.

And the final clincher to this story?   We would find out later that day my friend's bulk trash pickup had taken place about the same time we were breaking and entering her car...Fooooooking FOB-ulous!

 










 


Recognized


The reference to 'In Like Flint" vs. "In Like Flynn" is intentional; taken from the James Coburn spy series as well as the later Austin Powers movie of the same title. There is a scene in the Coburn movie of women trapped behind rows of glassed in compartments. Though Elizabeth and I weren't wearing bikini's, it struck a chord and thus the reference. We were definitely not smooth operators like Errol Flynn that afternoon

I was going for a spoof on the (not so) 'smooth operator' reference with the James Coburn's movie, In Like Flint, and the bumbling Austin Powers movies of the same title. We were definitely bumbling it that afternoon.


Video courtesy of Youtube.


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© Copyright 2017. Mary Wakeford All rights reserved. Registered copyright with FanStory.
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