Sunday, March 09, 2008

Foo-foo (or Fu-fu)

One of the great unanswered questions in the world is "Where does lint come from?" And by that, I don't mean your run-of-the-mill dryer lint. That obviously comes from the lint troll who lives under your dryer. No, I mean lint that appears out of thin air and attacks one from all directions like thousand of silent ninjas.

It began innocently enough. A trip north so my son could spend a day with his cousin at the high school he plans to attend next fall and a visit with money men and the builder to do some further work on the home remodeling plans.

Since my son had no school last Thursday and Friday due to conferences, we drove up Thurday morning, talking about music, cars, and other matters that fall into the somewhat narrow and selective region of subjects suitable for discussion between a teenage boy and his father. The two hour drive was uneventful and after making a stop for some sandwiches for the boy, I left him at the empty house (armed with the lap-top and a couple of car magazines) while I went off for a three hour session with the financial juju men.

On the way home from there, I stopped off for essential supplies in the form of a growler of beer from the local brew-pub and happily passed the time until we took off for pizza with one of my brothers and his daughter.

I should have been suspicious because things had been going all together too smoothly all of this time. The car had been running flawlessly. My son had been in a pleasant and agreeable mood (he's fifteen). The dog stayed in the yard when let out the door for her infrequent needs. And we were still able to pirate a WIFI signal from somewhere in the neighborhood. Too smooth.

So, as I backed out of the driveway and turned the wheel to align myself with the street, I managed to brush the snowbank with the front driver's side of the car. Now normally, this would be no large deal, but this was March in a town that had seen a lot of snow early on, but not much lately which meant that this snowbank had the consistency of granite.

Long time readers may recall out of the mists of time, a story about a patch of black ice combined with poor judgment on my part that led to a series of educational explorations into auto body repair, fender removal, and the sobering costs of plastic bumper skins.

It was with these memories surging to the foreground that I heard the sickening crunch that my previously pristine bumper made with Mt. Rocky on the way out of the drive. My son in the next seat was oblivious to what just happened just as the passengers on the ill fated Titanic were when there was a slight tremor under their feet that cold and starry night so long ago. Oh for the days of yore when bumpers were made of spring steel designed to shear off small to medium sized trees without a flinch.

Upon arrival at the pizza place downtown, I confirmed the worst - the plastic bumper skin was cracked right on the corner - not horribly, but defiled none the less. No more car shows for that baby.

For me, the night was now cast with a slight pawl. I soldiered on gamely, not wanting to take anything away from the wonderfully greasy pizza and pitcher of beer that awaited me, but inside I was mourning.

My son left with my brother and his cousin when our repast was finished and I wandered aimlessly for a bit before heading home.

The next day proved to be one where I could not get out of bed. I could have been the two Cosmos the night before, or the lateness of the hour when I finally put my head down, but I suspect it was the benadryl that I took to lessen the still present itching. Or maybe all of the above. In any event, I slept far longer that I am accustomed to doing and woke feeling befuddled and at odds as I wandered the strange house that will become my home sometime in the near future. It is bereft of furniture but full of memories. I marvel at how small it seems without anything in it and I wonder how we used to fit so many people into it.

I attempted to make coffee with the supplies I so thoughtfully brought up with us. I had a whole box packed with Maleeta pot, coffee grinder, tupperware container of beans, thermos, insulated mug, teapot for boiling water, and no filters. What a bonehead I am. Somehow, a morning glass of water just isn't the same.

I idled the remains of the day away with a little reading, a little browsing, and a long walk with the Wonder Dawg around the old neighborhood. Everywhere I went I was cascaded with memories of covering the same ground with much younger feet. There was the place I picked up a bird drunk on fermented mountain ash berries and confined it in my pocket to be released later in study hall. There was a place where we built a fort in the woods and played doctor with the girl from down the block. There was a place where we hid racy magazines to be endlessly read and fantasied over until they dissolved into pulp fibers from overuse and exposure to weather. One can go home again, but not to the same time.

My son finally came home from his trial day at the high school, chilled to the bone from his walk home. True to teenagers everywhere, he had left home without sufficient clothing and no hat while he hoofed it to his cousin's and from there the six blocks to the high school. As soon as he walked in the door, he jammed the knit winter hat down over his ears and left it there for the next six hours.

Now warmly clad, we headed out to visit the architect who works with the builder who will wave his magic wand at our little house and turn it into an empty wallet. I have to say that it is very fun to watch my son get so involved in the planning stages of this project. We spent a happy hour pouring over drawings and plans and finished up by looking at the three dimensional concept twirling around in circles on a computer looking very much like a nicer version of Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz.

My son then abandoned me once again for the lure of his cousin's house, but then I got a call from a friend from down south who was up in the northern climes on a work errand and so we went off for a bite to eat followed by a poker game.

Now, I have written of these poker games before on these pages and won't boor those of you who are familiar with this group of geezers and geezerettes that have been gathering for a good many years to hurl insults at each other across the table as the tides of fortune move a small pile of nickels, dimes, and quarters from one location on the warn baize covering to another. Suffice it to say that it is always a special time and being able to introduce a new fish to the pool makes it extra special - especially when they say, "How do you play this again?"

It was sometime late in the game when it struck. It came out of now where, silently, and with deadly accuracy. At first, I didn't even realize that I had been hit. It wasn't until my friend, the newbie at the table started laughing everytime she looked at me that I suspected something was not right.

It was one of those deals where you know something is wrong, but you are not sure what. Was it my fly? No, I was sitting down at a table. Likewise, I could rule out the toilet paper stuck to the shoe and my skirt tucked into the top of my panties. But when I involuntarily looked down (see previous disaster checks) I found to my horror, that I was covered head to foot in little specks of lint. I mean covered.

It looked like I had gone swimming in a pool of Styrofoam bits or if I had taken a nap under the outlet of an insufficiently filtered industrial dryer network. My black pile pullover was speckled with little hitch-hikers. Likewise my pants.

What had gotten my friend going were a few errand lint balls that had settled on my mustache and which threatened to fly off every time I opened my mouth to speak. The ensuing events threatened to end the solemn church like atmosphere with which the rites of poker are carried out and indeed capped the end to that particular evenings festivities as I hopped around trying to shake off the offending trash particles while everyone else descended into ever increasing sub-levels of junvinality as they speculated where I could have come up with such an attractive look and by what nick-name I should now be known as given my speck-tackular appearance.

I am now Foo-foo.


It is now Day-6 of the experimental drug regime and I am not noticing any untoward side effects. I am not smarter nor better endowed. My hair is still thinning and I still don't understand tax law.

This is all a bit disappointing, but I will let you know if things change.


Blogger Kristie said...

Was the lint with you when you left the house???

2:25 PM, March 09, 2008  
Blogger Phaedrous said...

Kristie - As far as I know, I was clean upon arrival at the game. This is a complete mystery. No one else was touched.


Now certified lint free

2:59 PM, March 09, 2008  
Blogger Kristie said...

Well, then, I guess your personal attractiveness cannot be denied. :)

8:04 PM, March 09, 2008  
Blogger lime said...

ok, so the drugs have not made your hair grow back or endowed you like a bull, neither can you understand tax seems they have significantly increased your static charge so you are now a lint magnet though!

i'm thinking i could have used you this morning when i pulled out a black jacket to go with a skirt and it was needing a lint roller.

8:51 PM, March 09, 2008  
Blogger Cheesy said...

"agreeable mood (he's fifteen)."

Did the skies part and rainbows appear??
I think Kristie is on to something.... Turn that into "chick magnet" powers and you're set babe!

8:53 AM, March 10, 2008  

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