Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2006
The McGrump Report
Did you ever wonder if the day was going to figure out if it was good or bad?
My day started off reasonably well, I guess. It's daylight when I drive to work now, which is kind of nice. And the scenery between home and work is absolutely gorgeous. I drive through a lot of undeveloped or semi-developed forest land, with all that entails. And this morning it entailed tails - specifically elk tails. Oh, and the elk were still very much attached to said tails.
I was driving down the main highway between my house and the turnoff to work when an 18-wheeler in front of me slowed and stopped in the middle of the road. It was ungodly-o'clock in the morning, there really was no other traffic on the road but the two of us, and no roads, no lights or stop signs. I was actually early for work for a change, so I wasn't really irritated, just curious to know what had prompted the big rig to halt in the middle of nowhere.
About that time, though, one of the aforementioned elk ambled into my line of sight and the rest of the way across the road. He (or in this case, I think it was a she) was clearly in no big hurry, just taking in the scenery and casting a mildly disdainful look at the huge metal beast that rumbled from so nearby. I gotta tell you, had I been the one walking in front of a just-stopped big rig, I couldn't have pulled off regal and unhurried. Panicked and sweating, check. Incoherent and cowering, check. Regal and unhurried? Nope.
Once Missus elk got past the front end of the truck, the trucker got moving again and I followed a couple of minutes or so behind - just in time to see the Missus join up with a couple of her kin on the far side of the road. I swear that they turned, sniffed out another measure of disdain, and pranced on along their way, gossiping about the uncouth creature with the round black rubber hooves and wearing a white trailer after Labor Day and before Easter. And it was as big as a house (or two) - clearly in need of a diet.
Okay, so I'll admit I wasn't privy to their conversation, so it was pure speculation on my part. After all, I was wearing a smaller pair of those same round black hooves on my truck, though there was no white on its exterior, thank God. Despite my obvious taste (at least in vehicles,) they excluded me from their clique. Burn!
For the record, I really do enjoy seeing elk, as long as I'm seeing them from my vehicle and they're not charging at said vehicle like a mad bull or dashing out in front of it so I can't avoid hitting them. Encountering a bull elk at that close range, even when driving, tends to get people killed.
There is such a remarkable, peaceful, pastoral sense in driving through an area where wildlife moves in such apparent unconcern (a moment of serious aside here) that it really did start my day off well.
Opening the door to my house and looking eye-to-eye to them in the morning might give me a different perspective, of course, and that's always a possibility in my part of the world. We know elk, skunk, fox, coyote, and probably more come traipsing through this community and through this complex, leaving their little presents to join the deposits from the dogs whose owners don't believe in pooper scoopers. There are also mountain lion in them thar hills, and bears. And sometimes they decide to come down from them thar hills, which can be a pain. A couple of years back, there was a major rabies problem here in town. We're taking SEVERAL rabid animals attacking humans, over a period of time.
Well, face it - when you live in the middle of a national forest, you're going to see and deal with sometimes dangerous life forms.
And sometimes you have problems with the ones that aren't bipedal, too.
Work was... well, work. I went in, did my thing, and couldn't get two words out straight all morning except when reading verbatim. (That I can do in my sleep. Sleep reading is an essential skill to anyone in this business. If you don't believe me, ask dangerspouse.) Trouble is, since I'm a one-woman operation in the morning and we don't receive tear-strip news and PSA's, ad-libbing is a necessary evil. Only this morning it came out ab-lidding, lib-adding, addled-lib, and so on. Anything but what I originally intended when my tongue got tangled into nots... er, knots.
I wish I could say it was my first scrambled-brains day. Actually I could say it, but I'd be lying through my teeth. Spending a few decades in this business pretty much guarantees there'll be days like this. You just grin and bear it and encourage your listeners to laugh along with you. If you're lucky, they'll fall for the old, "I meant to do that!" line and you're in like Flint.
As ever in radioland, it was survival of the unfittest, so I
expired perspired perservered and made it through the day with my job and my skin intact, at least for the moment.
Unfortunately, for the second day this week, we also had an Internet outage that lasted for several hours. Only this time around, the outage involved at least three states. Nobody could or would tell me the reason, only that it was a broad-scale 'Net crash. I pointed out that this was the second outage in a week's time, to which the poor rep replied tiredly, "I know." I didn't say anything else, despite my frustration. I've been the one on the other end of that phone and I know how hard it is to be called every name in the book, all because your company can't get its head out of a proctologist's territory.
By the time my workday was finally over - at least the radio part of the workday - I felt like I'd been run down by a streetcar, or at least an errant elk.
Then, when I arrived home, MC reminded me of the papers I was supposed to bring home, paperwork he needed for one of our web projects. Paperwork I'd left sitting on my desk at the studios.
Despite the beautiful weather and the fact that I normally enjoy a drive, I was driving by the Braille method (hit the bumps on one side, move over until you hit the bumps on the other side, repeat) and counting every bump until I pulled in at home again tonight. I made homemade enchiladas and a veggie for dinner, did the dishes, and camped out in front of the computer. Sometime around the time we were eating dinner, the Internet had finally returned so I had at least a little while to catch up on my Diaryland reading.
One thing I'd be remiss not to mention. Well, technically a few things. MC keeps the house absolutely spotless. He ran the vacuum before I arrived home today. He puts the dishes away if I've washed them, and there are virtually NEVER dirty dishes in the sink when I get home from work. The towels are always hanging neatly in the bathroom, never on the floor. He makes the bed. He periodically cleans the bathroom, dusts, whatever needs to be done. The man is, quite literally, my dream come true. I used to always say I needed a wife to do the housework and such, just not with the whole sex thing because I'm not particularly into women.
It never occurred to me that a wife could be male, which rewrites the rule about the whole no-sex thing. And it saves me the fight with the Supreme Court over same-sex marriages.
I am now officially tired and grumpy, so rather than take it out on my readers, I'm going to stake a claim on the TV for an hour or so before calling it a night.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )