The story I am about to tell you is 100% true. My logical mind pushed it out of my mind from its occurrence on Saturday until today when the phrase "halloween costume shopping" reminded me. And in true Martin fashion, you'll not get why halloween costume shopping had anything to do with it until the end.
Saturday is generally spent messing about watching college football and scoreboard watching. At least for me and KC, whilst Laurie fends for herself on her Kindle. This week was an even more distracted one than usual, as KC succumbed to the siren call of Draft Kings, the fantasy/gambling site. He talked me into nosing into a game or two, so we each set up head to head matches in baseball against anonymous opponents. Soon, I was parked at my computer, KC at his laptop, and Laurie at her Kindle, with two out of the three intently watching for their baseball players to do something good. The TV played on in the background, a football game that was getting about 5 seconds out of every minute's attention.
"We are pathetic," I said, and we laughed and continued on, paying just a smidge more attention to the game.
Time moves on and Laurie has left her Kindle to embark on project #1 for the weekend. Wanting to have something more substantial to eat when she gets off at 11 PM this week without all the work, she simultaneously cooked a pot of spaghetti, a skillet of chorizo, and a mess of her great (mild by Terran standards) chili. These would then become "instant leftovers" for the week, save whatever we got into that night. In the midst of her adventure, I suddenly had a burst of excess energy (having done next to nothing all day) and it raining outside at the time, I had no real way to release it other than pacing about the house. Somewhere in the midst of this, Laurie uttered a cuss word (forget which), and like a moth to the flame of something to do, I swooped in to find out what happened.
The electric can opener was no longer functional. The venerable leftover from the Carter Administration had worked fine just two days before, and indeed just two small cans of tomato sauce before.
"Y'know, it has been acting funny lately," I said, retrieving the old faithful hand cranker out of the utensil drawer. I even test opened a can. These things work forever, I thought to myself as I bounced out of the kitchen and back on my manic journeys.
Then Laurie cussed again. "What now," I said in a tad more colorful phrasing.
"It won't work!" She said.
"It just worked a second ago," I protested. But sure enough, the crank turned, but not so the gear below the blade. I looked it over, turned it a couple more times, tightened and untightened the crank, and then, with an air of laughing defiance, the gear popped into my hand, and the circular blade flew to the floor and rolled merrily under the oven.
"I think I see the problem," I said.
This, I decided, was serendipity, emphasis on the dip: Now I had a cause to expend this energy on. "C'mon, KC," I said gleefully. "We're going to Wal-Mart."
Minutes later, we were inside the Happiest Place On Earth looking for modern replacements for the deceased tools. KC quickly found a new hand-cranker, and thought we were done. "Nope,gotta get a new electric one, too. After much internal debate, mostly due to its "Convenient extra tall" ness that I wasn't convinced we needed, I grabbed the Black and Decker, because it was after all a Black and Decker. "Okay, now there was something else Laurie wanted to look for at Wal-Mart she couldn't get at Kroger this morning."
"Call her," KC said.
"Forgot my phone," said I.
"Here", KC said as he dialed the number on his phone and handed it to me. No ring. "Just wait", he told me.
"Still no ring."
He took the phone back. "You shut it off somehow," he explained, calling me something other than "dear Father", though I don't remember exactly what. He redialed and handed it back. It rang. And Again. And again. For Laurie's phone was just around the corner from the kitchen, and she couldn't hear it over that ever so noisy stove.
"Let's look around," I said and marched off past the halloween costumes. Yes, we are up to that point. As we passed, I felt something poke me in the butt. And again.
KC had grabbed a little devil's pitchfork from a display and was having at me.
"Really?" I said. I continued on my quest for nothing, and a couple of aisles later, I turned to say something to KC and found he STILL had the pitchfork.
"Don't tell me you're going to buy that", I sneered.
"No, I don't know where to put it", he said.
"Anywhere but my ass," I suggested.
With that and sufficient payment, the adventure was over, and we returned home with our prizes. Laurie soon had the new Black and Decker out of the box, and was looking over the instructions.
Then, a cuss word.
"OMG, have you broken THAT one too?" I asked in exasperation?
"No..." she mumbled as she returned to where she cast off the box and reached in for one of the non-essential but neat things that was part of the new machine. "There it is, I knew it was missing something."
On the bright side, the chili was great.