Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Kindness of a Stranger

We had an Old Chix gathering a couple of weeks ago at Scari's house.  It was just the original four, Scari who's a widow, barren, and has an incurable disease...she likes to mention these things frequently in an attempt to gain attention but it kinda falls on deaf ears since we've all heard it about a million times... me, Prissy, and Elmo who's husband just died.  Elmo was the reason for the gathering at Scari's.  We thought she'd be less self conscious in a small group where we could eat, drink, and be merry in a non-public setting...we usually go for Champagne Brunch at the casino because we all get senior discounts and hence, drink for free.

At some point during our festivities, Elmo mentioned she needed a new BBQ and it just so happened that Priss had one that she and her husband never used so she said Elmo was welcome to it.    

The following weekend, OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) and I went to Costco so I took my fancy new truck thinking we could load up the BBQ and haul it back to Elmo.  Wrongo  bongo.  These new trucks are sooooo tall, you need a ladder to get into the bed.  There was no way we could lift this fancy ass BBQ into the truck.  I should have known.  Priss never buys anything cheap, and this BBQ was no exception.  I figured it was aluminum, and would be light weight...wrong again...even after we wised up and removed the full propane tank we still couldn't lift it.  I would like to point out here that in spite of our aged status, OF and I really aren't wimps.  We both have horses, haul hay around, throw heavy saddles up on giant horses...okay, they're really not "giant", but sometimes they seem that way...especially when the old back or shoulder is gimpy...the point is, we are capable of lifting a "reasonable" amount of weight.  Just not the Prissy heavy duty BBQ that does everything and then some...we left BBQ-less.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I ask The Husband to hook his little utility trailer up to the truck (it has a ramp) so I can go get the BBQ.  It's a little six foot trailer so I thought it would be a piece of cake backing into Prissy's perfectly landscaped suburban front drive replete with giant cement urns lining the side of said driveway...I back my three horse trailer all the time so why would it be a big deal?  If I'm being totally honest, it now takes me a little longer to get it right with the new truck...I blame this on the new truck being longer than the old one was...plus it has fucked up divided mirrors that show close up and far away...so I never really know which one to focus on...  In my heart, I know the problem is mine but I still blame the truck.

On the way down the hill, I try to call OF to see if she'll help me.  She doesn't answer.  OF is a woman who never goes anywhere without her phone...she panics if she doesn't have her phone with her.  But when I call her for help...she doesn't answer.  I secretly think she knew I was going to ask her for something and just didn't answer when she saw who was calling.  

So when I can't get OF, I try Elmo's phone.  Yet another woman who is never without a phone...no answer. Story of my fucking life...I can't call Scari because I know she'll still be in bed and I already know Priss & her husband won't be home...but I figure since the trailer has a ramp, I can wheel the BBQ on myself.  I immediately start getting nervous.

I make it to high class suburbia in under thirty minutes.  The street is lined with palatial homes all landscaped to perfection.  I've driven into the real life version of House Beautiful magazine.  Nary a yard car to be found in this neck of the woods...and there's no Big Wheels trikes lining the driveways either.  You'd never know anybody had a kid in this neighborhood...kids make messes...and there's nothing, not even a blade of grass out of place anywhere.

Unfortunately for me, even though the streets were probably wide enough for four cars, I couldn't get the truck positioned to back straight into the urn lined drive with the magic BBQ sitting at the end like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  

So...my first attempt failed miserably as I found out that it's way easier to back a big long horse trailer than it is to back a short, short, utility trailer.  I barely touched the steering wheel and the little trailer nearly jackknifed...okay then...start over.  Now I'm really nervous because I can see a white sedan getting ready to leave its driveway two houses down.  Fuck...I'm blocking the street.  I manage to get the trailer a little ways into the perfect driveway...at least enough so the white luxury sedan can get by, when much to my surprise once it's past the front of the truck, the door opens and out jumps Mr. GQ.  I try to roll down the drivers window as Mr. GQ approaches because it's obvious he wants to say something to me, only to lower the rear window instead...this is not the first time I've done this in the new truck because I don't know where the fucking buttons are...nervousness just tends to magnify my imbecilic tendencies.  

It must have been the universal "yikes" face I gave him as he drove by that prompted him to stop.
Or the way I sheepishly covered my face...

I was mortified...

"Hey, I'm an expert at this...do you want some help?"  asks GQ.  He really does look like a GQ model on his way to a  photo shoot and I briefly wonder what he can be an expert at because GQ doesn't look like the type who would ever get dirty or place hands on any type of machinery whatsoever...I say briefly because I had these thoughts in the nanosecond it took me to bail out of my truck and turn it over to a complete stranger simply because he told me he could do it.  "That would be wonderful, thank you" I manage as my feet hit the pavement...  

Thank the Lord that I was driving the new truck and not "Old Red".  Old Red is a 93 Ford that's seen better days and is all dented along one side where a deer decided to ram it...the deer won.  If I'd been driving Old Red and wearing my usual...as I was...bag lady garb, GQ probably would've called the cops thinking I was there to commit some heinous crime.  (I really did look like an old bag lady.)

True to his word,  GQ backed the truck down the never ending driveway and stopped it right in front of the BBQ.  He didn't even have to stop and pull forward once or twice to regroup like I would have had to do a million or so times.  

"You want me to help you load it?"  GQ asks as he starts to let the ramp down, noticing me fumbling with the trailer latch on the drivers side.  I can't get it to move...it feels like the stoopid pin holding the ramp up is welded shut.  

GQ has the other side open in the hot second it takes me to say "Oh thank you, that would be great" and pulls the pin I've been fumbling with which, when he lays his golden hand on it, suddenly acts like it's just been shot with a heavy dose of WD40.   WTF????

I manage to act like I was helping him wheel the BBQ up the ramp, probably hindering more than helping when he asks how I want it to ride?  Duh...what?  "Well," GQ explains, "if you put it this way, there'll be less drag when you're driving".  I nod like I know what he's talking about when I say "okay".   

GQ says he thinks I'm good to go and heads back to the white Lexus he left parked in the street as I thank him profusely.  It may have been a little much for him when I tried to kiss his feet.  I think I may have scared him.

After using forty feet of the sixty foot rope I brought I finally feel I have the BBQ tied securely to the trailer...I even had to laugh when I looked at how stoopidly I tied it up.  Mrs. Moronsky at work again!  I manage to get to Elmo's house without incident and with the help of her and her daughter we get the whole shebang unloaded and in her back yard.  Elmo's my kind of peep...she has a yard car.

I have no idea what prompted GQ to stop when he saw this big ass new truck driven by an incompetent old woman who probably in his opinion had no business being on the road...maybe he was simply afraid I'd wreck his neighbor's yard if he left me to my own devices...or maybe he was just a nice guy doing something nice.

It's amazing how the kindness of a stranger can touch your life...and make you want to be kind in return...it's the stoopidist thing...