As we drove down a major Houston highway, I noticed that despite the clear blue sky, it seemed to be raining, starting with a light drizzle and slowly but surely escalating to a view obscuring downpour. Believe it or not, this isn't unusual here, especially this time of year. What was unusual was the color of the rain: brown, like mud.
It took about ten seconds but my brain quickly processed that this wasn't a rain storm, nor was it coming from the sky.
It was brown muck coming from the improperly covered 18-wheeler ahead of me on the highway. Suddenly, the loose canvas covering the top of the truck flipped up, completely open in the back now, and suddenly, an enormous load of brown muck coated my car. I couldn't see anything through the front windshield. I went into lifesaving multitasking mode.
MAKE NO SUDDEN MOVES
USE AVAILABLE SIGHT
TURN ON WIPERS
TELL CHILDREN TO STOP THAT SHRIEKING
OPEN MOUTH IN SILENT SCREAM
LOOK AT CAR NEXT TO ME AND NOTE THEIR MOUTHS OPEN IN SILENT SCREAMS
THANK GOD FOR ANTI-LOCK BRAKES AND FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
CURSE FLORIDA DRIVERS WHO DRIVE ALONGSIDE BIG ASS TRUCKS (THAT ARE DUMPING THEIR LOAD) TRAPPING A HALF DOZEN CARS
THANK GOD FOR DIVINELY SLAPPING FLORIDA DRIVERS UPSIDE THE HEAD CAUSING THEM TO GET OUT OF THE EFFING WAY
THANK GOD BIG ASS LOAD DUMPING TRUCK MOVES OVER INTO OTHER LANE
QUICKLY PASS BIG ASS LOAD DUMPING TRUCK
TURN TO LOOK AT TRUCK TO SHOOT THE INTERNATIONAL SALUTE OF DISRESPECT
FORGET HAND GESTURES WHEN YOU READ THE LOGO ON THE TRUCK'S DOOR
COMMENCE OWN LOUD SHRIEKING THAT DROWNS OUT KIDS
It was a BFI Waste Treatment Truck.
Do you know what that means got dumped all over my car and the highway? THAT'S RIGHT! EXCREMENT!
HUMAN DISEASE-RIDDEN WASTE!
Patience says, "Mommy, what's the smell? It...stinks!!!!"
Say, with dawning horror, "It's...it's OUR CAR."
PICK UP EMERGENCY BATCELLPHONE AND CALL SISTER. GET VOICEMAIL.
"You have to find me a car wash. I'm at [undisclosed location] and I need a car wash RIGHT NOW. Look it up on the Internet, anywhere I don't care. I don't even care if it's environmentally friendly, just FIND ME A PLACE TO CLEAN MY CAR! CALL ME!"
CALL HUSBAND. GET VOICEMAIL. REPEAT SAME MESSAGE.
REALIZE YOU HAVEN'T EXPLAINED WHY. CALL BACK BOTH.
"It's me. I need a car wash because a truck dumped SH....EE ummm SH....AW ummmm poop all over my car," I said, meanwhile, the Echo Sisters in the back chorused, "POOP POOP POOPIE DOOP! OUR CAR IS COVERED IN POOP!!! YUCK!!!" Then, while Persistence inhaled to start chanting this again, Patience ad libbed, "And our car STINKS to HIGH HEAVEN!"
I realized created a little bit of a Beat Poetry performance art thing, centered around poop, which pretty much sums up my life. That's when my ovedeveloped sense of the ridiculous began kicking in. I may have begun giggling, possibly a little hysterically.
When I finally arrived at my sister's house, the waste had dried on my car, and had also begun baking in the heat, emitting an even fouler odor. Using wipies a la Monk, I opened and shut the door, instructing the children to stay put.
I went inside and demanded my sister get me plastic gloves and other protective coverings, then went back outside to rescue the children form the poopmobile.
"DON'T TOUCH DON'T TOUCH," I shrieked. Intrigued, the other children began pouring out of the house. I shouted, "STAY BACK! This is HAZARDOUS MATERIAL!"
"Ewwwwwww," they all cried, "It STINKS!"
I looked sadly at my poor little car.
Later, I took it to a carwash. I put it through. It came out. I scrubbed it. I put it through again. I scrubbed it again. It still has bits here and there, and I haven't even looked under the hood.
Kind gives new meaning to the phrase, "crapped on my day."
As I told the story, it got more and more vivid and more and more funny, and that's when I realized that at some point, at heart, I really had begun thinking of stuff like this as "things that happen" instead of "things that happen to poor poor me."
We all get shat upon. Truly.
Later, when I was cooking a pizza and it got a bit burned, Patience said, "Oh, it's okay Mommy, it happens. Just cut that bit off and it'll be fine."
I realized that I was passing my hard-learned yet worthwhile lesson along to my kids, and I felt a little bit of all right.
Wash it off and drive on.
So...I'm sorry I didn't get the Hump Day linky up on Wednesday. I had a little crap to deal with. I'm pretty sure you guys all understand that well. :) But here it is now, and I hope you add yours in, whether you already wrote it or are also running a little late due to crap. I'll do my best to pump this up, okay?
Here's the topic, in case you missed it:
get your big kid britches on people, because I'm going to ask a lot of you and I hope you join in: what stunning realization has enlightened you recently or at some point in your life and caused you to take a turn, either in your life path or in your thinking? And...what happened next?
Here's the link spot where I hope a lot of you add yourselves in:
Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert. Do not reprint or reproduce without permission.
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