Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Neighbor Can You Spare Some Time

My favorite elderly neighbors asked me to come over yesterday to help them with some new FANGLED technology. I gratefully ran over salivating hoping to assist Mavis and Eddie with perhaps a Bluetooth music system or HDTV linked to their netbooks.

As they graciously opened their door like their long lost son just returned from the war (I saw their furniture..we’re talking the Civil War), I see a box holding a—cassette loading refurbished answering machine and a VCR on a TV which was YES, you guessed it, still flashing 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01 12:01.

My current age must not have resonated with them as they offered me cookies and milk as I set up their answering machine, even know I could swear I smelled their afternoon ritual of whiskey sours seeping through the air.

I tried to simplify the process of them recording their message into the machine even testing it with them a few times before I felt confident they could handle it.

Before I left, I adjusted their MAGNAVOX VCR clock and set the timer so they can tape their GUIDING LIGHT soap opera but I just didn’t have the heart to tell them it’s being cancelled in a few weeks.

That evening, I felt obligated to call to see the technical progress of my “greatest generation” and their giant step into the 19.5th century as the answering machine kicked on.

Then….the love I felt knowing they followed my directions to the every detail was just overwhelming.

“HI…YOU HAVE….REACHED THE CIRELLI’S…." “It’s not working Eddie..the light isn’t on..” MAVIS, SSHHH….ERIK TOLD ME THAT IT ONLY NEEDS TO FLASH ONCE,…IT IS ON………PLEASE LEAVE A MESS---" “Eddie…I don’t think that is the light he was talking about.. He was talking about the VCR light” "MAVIS.. I KNOW WHAT I’M DO---.BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP”

Mmm…the only message I could leave was. “Your answering machine sounds perfect. I hope you enjoy your PROGRAM tonight” as I rushed to send their phone number to everyone on my twitter account because no one is going to believe this message unless they hear it for themselves.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Averting Disaster

The merging lane was a disaster ready to implode. The intersection itself was already packed while the space was narrow and obstructed. I just avoided a rear end collision a few moments before as I diverted my eyes to see what was passing me on the side that smelled familiar. I returned my focus to the impossible task at hand and decided I had to either stop completely to avoid adding to the trouble ahead or shoot the gap.

I didn’t hesitate. I accelerated to bypass the slower drivers and the undeciders. I shot through the lane and looked back to see two old ladies, a man with a Bluetooth headset and a family with twins scarcely miss the crash of a lifetime.

But as I moved down to the cereal aisle, I noticed my challenges had just begun and I knew right then, I was going to have to take a quick detour to grab a cold chocolate milk and just endure what was going to be another Sunday crowd at the food store. I relent that some pain is unavoidable as I hear echoing over the lanes, “NUMBER 24, your Deli order is now ready”. --- I need more than chocolate. I’m Number 275.