Friday, December 28, 2007

Do You Know What Time It Is?


But we'll get back to our blogtitle in a moment. Now it's time to do something we haven't done in a long time: Lick the Pig!

[SUMMARY: You are so excited right now.]

Let me tell you a little car tale: my little car has expired plates. Like, four months worth of expired. I didn't know. Usually, the City and County of Denver will send a notice and I can send a check and they will, in turn, send my new stickers. Turns out they're "running really far behind" this year.

So I went to pick up Genius Sarah at the airport Wednesday night. Through a series of hilarious mishaps worthy of the three stooges,§ I had to circle around three times before actually connecting with her.

On the final approach, one of the police officers stationed at passenger pick-up to keep terrorists from loitering directed me into an empty space by the United door.

"I need to go down to Air Canada," I yelled out the window.

He directed me again.

"No... you see, my friend is waiting for me at Air Canada."

He pointed at the blank spot by the curb.

"Air Canada! Way down there!"

He gestured emphatically with both arms.

I huffed and probably rolled my eyes and swerved into the space.

The cop came to the window and said, "Why were you yelling at me?"

"Because I didn't think you could hear me."

"I pulled you over because your license plates are expired. Could you hand me your registration and proof of insurance?"

"Oh. Yes."

Because everything except the license plate was in order, he let me go with a warning and a lecture about how very inconvenient and stupid it would be to get a parking ticket for expired plates.

"Now tell me, young lady, why didn't you pull over when I told you to?"

"I didn't know you were pulling me over. I thought you were directing traffic and directing me somewhere I didn't want to be."

"Go pick your friend up at Air Canada."

"Thank you."

Yesterday morning, about six blocks from the office, I noticed a cop behind me and a lane over. As I was operating outside the law, I started to get nervous. Sure enough, like a raindrop to a freshly-waxed car, he pulled in behind me. And followed me for six blocks. And pulled me over right in front of the office.

"Do you know why I pulled you over?"

I briefed him on my airport trip and he let me off with a warning and his business card.#

Y'all may have noticed we (until yesterday, I thought it was mostly just me) spend a certain amount of time gazing out our giant office windows at cranes, billboards, fashion disasters... the dinner theatre that is downtown.

Can you see where this is going?

When I finally stumbled in to the office, Hans greeted me with a cheery, "So what happened out there, you hardened criminal? Doesn't look like you got a ticket."

Of course, the client was watching out her window and said to Hans, "I can't believe this cop is going to pull someone over in this weather."

"Hey... that's Marin's car!"

[SUMMARY: All the world's a stage, all the Mini Coopers merely players.]

Speaking of quotation marks, I found a doozy of a sign in the Kaiser Permanente pharmacy Wednesday. I wish I'd had my camera, but I had to settle for taking very careful notes so I could share with y'all.

Yeah, you don't get any weird looks% at the clinic when you start copying instructional signs.

Punctuation, format and capitalisation [sic]. Very [sic]:

If your Name is "NOW" on the
"Name Board"
or you are "Handicapped"
Please "WAIT HERE", Until
"CALLED" to the Counter for Service
*Thank You*

[SUMMARY: Spectacular!]

Speaking of window-watching, this billboard showed up a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving.

We didn't get to watch them put it up, which was bad enough, but it's still the same old billboard now for over a month.

Apparently Keystone has more money than M&M/Mars. At least I'm not craving chocolate every hour of the day anymore.

[SUMMARY: Advertisers have my number. I am sucker, once again.]

And speaking of window-watching, it must've sucked to be this guy yesterday:

I told Hans it would suck even harder if the parking lot guy came along with his clipboard and enforced the "no free parking EVER!" rule and gave him a ticket.

Funnier, too.

[SUMMARY: Seriously, a LOT of Comedy Central over the weekend. I think in punchlines.]

Partly I just like the composition of this picture, partly I find it a fine segueway into my next piglickable subject, which is the Return of the Snow Guys.

You may remember the Snow Guys from last year.

This is either a new crew or new methodology,†† but not much less annoying.

[SUMMARY: Here it comes, friends: the Bitch of the Day!]

There are no machines this year, so I don't get the joy of listening to the snowblower run for two straight hours up and down right in front of my house, only to look out and see a guy plodding along behind a creature blowing absolutely no snow off a perfectly dry sidewalk.

Last night, there were at least two crews of four guys on this job for upwards of eight hours.

I first heard them scrape and clang at 10:30, just as I was turning off the lights to go to bed. And they woke me up at 12:30, 2:10 and 4:30. I finally got up at 4:30,‡‡ madder than all get-out. They were still puttering around when I left at 6:15.

I want to stress here that our little neighbourhood is less than nine square blocks and less than seven blocks of sidewalk. No driveways to shovel.

I would also like to stress that I could clear the whole fucking neighbourhood with a garden trowel in eight hours.

At 4:30, I peeked through my blinds in classic "you kids get off my lawn!" preamble and saw four guys standing right at the foot of my stairs, talking. When people talk in that loud, laughing social way in the street, I can hear it in my house.§§ One guy was twirling his snow shovel on one point of the blade. Sometimes, he'd lose control and it would clatter to the ground.

Then the supervisor, who had been driving by every half-hour all night to inspire a round of, "Hey, Manny!" drove by and there was a brief, shouted exchange. The shovel ballerina got bored and began BOUNCING THE SHOVEL ON THE BOTTOM STEP, which sounded like a slow jackhammer.

I was trying^ to put on sweats, practice my irate phone call to the management company and compose the story for blogging when they stopped breaking and started shoveling. Again. They shoveled my stairs and porch for the THIRD time.

It WASN'T SNOWING last night.

Can you tell the level of perturb by the number of capital letters? Oh, yeah. I'm a lot of fun when you wake me up at 4:30 in the morning.

[SUMMARY: Breezy.¶¶]

Let's lighten it up,## shall we?

Hans and I went to Wahoo's for lunch and I spied this on the light over our table:

Let's zoom in:

[SUMMARY: Funny on so many levels.]

Finally, I'd like to share my entry in Cheryl's Holiday Cheer Christmas Lights Contest:

I saw this on my way home one day last week.

View from the left

View from the centre

View from the right

I didn't actually go in and browse around their yard, at least partly because the letter posted above that sign asked that donations be made to their mission in lieu of giving money to support their light show. I can think of about a dozen ways a meeting in the Kisling's yard could go haywire for me.

[SUMMARY: Christmas if for the light of heart.†††]

I'm going for coffee.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I think I'm clever.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): That's quotes as in "quote," not quotes as in "euphemism."

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I'm Larry, Moe and Curly all wrapped up in one bungling package.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I know I shouldn't. Sometimes I can't help it. My inner teenaged brat is too strong.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): And by, "you," I mean, "I."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I had the fleeting moment of self-flattery when I mused he might be hitting on me. I had the more practical moment of self-preservation when I decided I'd flash his business card in case I got pulled over again, hoping the evidence that I'd just been warned would inspire another cop to leave me alone. I'll let you know how that works out.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I fancy the management company may actually have listened to the myriad complaints (and death threats... more importantly, threats of lawsuits) about last year's snow removal debacle.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Hence, the blogtitle.

§§FOOTNOTE (snakey!): And your thumpy, thumpy car stereos, oh you kings of Chihuahua perpetrating the stereotype.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): It was so walking-while-chewing-gum.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two snow shovels, bouncing in the night): Brother is laughing. See, years back I put a very brief message on my vmail -- I maintain that a lot of the standard, "I can't take your call, leave a message, I'll get back to you, have a nice day" is understood and a waste of time -- and Brother told me I sounded bitchy. I was truly crestfallen, because, as I told him, I'd been going for "breezy." Now every time I get snappish, he looks at me and says, "Ooooh. Breezy."

##FOOTNOTE (pounding like a two-day migraine): Ha! Pun!

†††FOOTNOTE (triple threat!): Seriously. I think I'm funny. Because I think puns are funny.

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