Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Bad Day Adventure: On Lessons and Kit Kats

I had one of those Bad Days a few days ago.

But not as bad as this rabbit's day.

You know the kind.  The kind where you are like all happy in sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and BOOM.  There it is, the Bad Day.  Just standing by the side of your bed, smiling eagerly at you because it is ready to PLAY and you don't have a choice but to engage.

The Bad Day is from a family of Harbingers of Crap (herein referred to as HOC).  You may recognize other powerful HOC members as Death, Disease, Serious Dishonesty, and my personal favorite, Food Poisoning (he's like a cousin twice removed or something).

Or red-headed step child.

The thing that all of these HOC members do really well is just come out of effing nowhere and blindside you with their Crap.  Yes, we've all had bad days.  Like the ones where you get in a little trouble at work, or you have a fight with a friend or significant other, or your ninja-like amazon parrot mangles the poor little toe of your sweet, angelic cockatiel (this happens to everyone, right?) when you leave the room for 8.7 seconds.

We've also all been sick with a cold, flu, allergies.  We've been lied to before. Those things are no fun, and I'm not trivializing them, but they are not members of HOC.   HOC Disease sees you walking your dog on a sunny afternoon, sneaks up behind you and shoves you as hard as it can, yelling "HA HA NOW YOU HAVE CANCER" as it runs ahead of you.  It may or may not come back to kick your dog.  

HOC Serious Dishonesty may find you at home, reading your favorite book.  It knocks on your door politely, so you are not alarmed when you get up from your comfortable couch to see who is visiting. As you open the door, Dishonesty reaches out to gingerly grab both of your hands, looks you straight in the eye and says, "Your best friend just told the universe that Secret You Never Wanted Anyone To Know.  Kisses!" and leaves, skipping down your driveway.


Now that we are all on the same page, I'd like to go back to the Bad Day.  Bad Day HOC members often initially alert you to your misfortune in the body of someone you recognize.  For example, in my recent case, Bad Day was dressed very convincingly as my husband, Russ.

I was having this really weird dream where a bunch of doctors kept trying to give me the flu shot, even though I really didn't want it, and I was in a deep philosophical debate with my dream doctors about why this was.  It was a good dream though, because I was WINNING, which is my favorite. 

That's right.

But Bad Day woke me up, really nicely.  

"Hey," fake Russ said.  "What time do you work?"

I immediately knew this wasn't my real spouse, because I'd told him already I was off today.  That should've been my first indication.

"I'm off today," I said carefully.

"Oh, okay.  Well, I think your car battery is dying.  I tried to move your car to get mine out to go to work, but your car won't start.  Don't worry, I can still get my truck out.  Do you want to come to work with me and then drive the truck for the day?'

I declined, mostly because when there's a problem like that, I'd like to solve the problem versus just working my way around it, but also because I really wanted to get back to sleep to continue winning my slumbering debate.  Alas, it was not to be.  Russ left me in my bed to ponder the pros and cons of being productive and/or hibernating for the day.

A tantalizing notion, sir Wiggum.

I had this brief moment where I thought Russ was probably totally incorrect about the status of my vehicle.  Yeah, he fixes cars, trucks and boats and is mechanically inclined and has been since he was a zygote.  But I mean, my car is a Prius.  You know, a HYBRID.  It's fancy, it's 12 years old, and it's a little moody.  What would Fix-It-Russ know about a hybrid electric car?  Probably nothing.

So I walk out to my car, keys and phone in hand, thinking I could fix just about anything the Prius throws at me.  I get in, and try to start the car.  The only indications this attempt occurred were two little lit-up symbols that came on the dashboard, and the swearing in my head.  The symbols were normally; they always are there when I first turn on the car.  But the whole power down thing? Not good.

I tried three more times, because you know, that's what any experienced auto mechanic would do.  Each time, the car got weaker and weaker, like a little whimpering kitten who just wants to stay asleep but keeps getting waked up.  Mmerrrrrrr.  mmmerrrr.  merrrrrrr.


I looked in the trunk of the car, since that's where the auxiliary battery is, to see if the battery connections "were good."  I say that as if I knew what I was looking for.  I tried to look really confident when I did this Battery Check step, in case any of my Very Mechanically Inclined neighbors were watching me in my Halloween pajamas through their windows.

"Yep," I said to myself as I ripped the battery compartment cover off incorrectly.  "I can safely determine that this battery is NOT on fire."

Satisfied with my professional assessment, I closed the trunk and went back into my house.  I made a few calls, one of which being to roadside service.  An automated system saved my life and hooked me up with a towing company.  All I'd need to do is tow my sad car to the mechanic, have the problem fixed, and all would be well.

At this point, I'm pretty sure Bad Day was sitting in my living room, eating candy.  He was invisible at this point, but I could sense an evil presence.  Something just didn't feel right. I bet he watched my every move, chuckled at each cheerful response I gave to the towing company when they called me, tried to convince my dog to poop on the carpet (but that dog listens to no one).  Bad Day relished the fact that I had no idea my bad day was a Bad Day.

Jeez Skeletor, you ripped.

I decided to perform some basic personal hygiene to prepare for the arrival of the tow truck.  I started doing some errands around the house, and thought about what I'd do for the rest of the day.  The doorbell ring pierced my deep thoughts and sent me into a frenzy.  Tow Truck Guy was here.  I tore around the house, grabbing my phone and purse, throwing the dog into the kennel, making sure everything was set for me to leave.   

When I opened the door, a very nice elderly gentleman by the name of Art greeted me.  He gave me one simple instruction: to hand over my car keys.

I went to the table by the front door where my keys were.  Or, normally are.  Oh god.  Where are they.

Art was talking happily about his dog, and the two cockatiels he used to have, and oh he misplaces things all the time.  At this point, I was cheerfully reacting to his anecdotes while I searched through my Mary Poppins purse to find my keys.  But they weren't there.  Now, the friendly chatter from my new friend became increasingly distracting as I traveled into different rooms of my house, hoping to find my keys tossed carelessly onto a pile of clothes or on a night stand.  But Art kept talking, which at this point I know was a direct result of Bad Day infiltrating his body in a demonic-possession like manner, the sole purpose of which to not allow my brain to think clearly.

I retraced my steps.  Over and over and over.  No keys, no where.  My birds were now screaming, because the fun fun game of Look At Mom Run Around A Lot had begun and was extremely entertaining.  My dog cried from his crate, because His Life Is Over when he's in there and humans are still in the house.  TWEET TWEET HELLOOOOOO WHINE WHINE WHINE THIS ONE TIME I THOUGHT I LOST MY GLASSES BUT THEY WERE ON MY HEAD

I googled "Oh for the love of god", and this is what I got.  I'm satisfied.

It was getting to be too much, and I was ready to claw my own eyes out.

Then, Bad Day forced my friend Art to say, "Did you lock your keys in the car?"

My heart sank.  Could I have seriously done that?  No, I reasoned with myself.  Because this wasn't a Bad Day.  That kind of thing would only happen on a Bad Day.

Art and I did a thorough search through the car windows and could not find the keys.  Now, I knew alien abduction was the likeliest option.  

At this point, I started to feel tremendous Shame.  This poor tow truck guy was just hanging out in my yard while I ran around looking for keys that were probably resting comfortable in some alien orifice on its way back to Planet Actinzar as an artifact that would remain the pinnacle souvenir of deep space exploration for those particular alien lifeforms and I'd never even be credited, which is just really unfair.

Yeah well, they stole my keys.  Maybe we should form a support group, little pixel man.

I kept apologizing to Art, saying I felt bad I was wasting his time and that I was so disorganized.  Luckily, Bad Day had left Art's body so I got nothing but kind and understanding words.  

"Well if they ain't in the house and they ain't in the car, where could they be?" Art said.

Bad Day whispered softly into my ear, almost imperceptibly, "....the trunkkkkkk...."

I HAD been in the trunk.  I put my phone down there.  But I'd grabbed that.  There's no way my keys were locked in the trunk, but maybe they were.  The self doubt that only happens when you're in that horrific limbo between acceptance and denial of your day being a Bad One completely took over my body.  I stood motionless in my driveway as the internal struggle raged within, while Art looked on.  I finally looked at him and said, "I don't know what to do."

He didn't have the ability to unlock my car, so he said he'd go back until I could find me keys, then just call him back again.  I agreed to this, and walked back into my house.

When I called to get a locksmith, the man helping me (from India) kept helpfully telling me to have a better day, which was impossible because I was having a Bad Day and that just got me more upset.  The conversation was cyclical, because I'm sure no one has ever called this particular operator with the problem I had.

Operator: So you locked your keys in your car?

Me: Maybe. I  don't know for sure.

Operator: If you have not locked the keys in the car, what kind of assistance do you require?

Me: I think I locked my keys in the trunk, but I need someone to open the car so I can check.

Operator: Can you see the keys?

Me: ...No, I have no idea where they are, I think I locked them in the trunk.

Operator: Excuse me ma'am, they are in your trunk?

Me: Yes.  Well, I hope they are.  Because if they aren't, they are probably in outer space.

Operator: What is the zip code for this Outer Space?

I'm not sure, but I think this Killer Klown knows.

Eventually we got it worked out and he sent a locksmith to my house.  While I waited for his arrival, I realized something.  I mean, it can't be surprising to any of you reading this that I may or may not have locked my keys in the car before.  Like, more than once.  More than five times.  

I'm pretty familiar with the drill.  The guy comes, wiggles this thingy into the window, flips the lock, and


The alarm goes off and the car suddenly relocks itself and the headlights flash and the car is like GET THE EFF AWAY FROM ME YOU INTRUDER BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Andy gets it.

The alarm is so loud and it is so stressful, and if you don't time everything just right you can get locked out of the car again, and then the locksmith has to do the same thing over again only this time with a wailing car alarm making him want to murder someone.

I imagined a scenario in which the locksmith got to my house.  He unlocked my car, the alarm went off sending my neighboring into a feverish rage while I opened the trunk and still could not find my keys.  What did that mean?  

Oh, Bad Day was right there to paint the picture for me.  I scour the vehicle for my keys, the BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP grating on me, my heart pounding as I search in desperation for the only item that can get my car fixed, and I never find them.  And the car alarm sings its song, loudly and proudly, lights flashing and neighbors staring in judgment at me.  And I simply crumple to in the front yard directly into a massive fire ant mound, all the while my Halloween decorations as they look unsympathetically onto my misfortune and Bad Day laughing heartily at his handiwork.

By the time the locksmith arrived, I was wrought with stress.  I even spelled out the aforementioned scenario, warning the guy that I may just swear a lot and then become an inert heap of blond hair.  


"Well," he said.  "Then I really hope your keys are in here somewhere."

He got to work on prying my door open enough to slip the unlocky thingy in.  I braced myself.  He braced himself.  

"Okay, ready for this?" he said as he slowly moved the thingy towards the lock.  

Every part of my body winced, my hand on the door handle so I could pull the door open before the car relocked itself.  


He unlocked the car as I ripped open the door and....

beeeeeeeeep.  beebeebeep  beep.  beep beeeeep.

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The most pitiful sound squeezed itself out of the car.  What tiny remaining power there was in the battery made its way to the front of the car to defend it from me and the locksmith.  It could barely make a sound.  In a way, it was kind of cute. I could've listened to it happily for a while.  There were no lights, no attempt to relock itself.  I sauntered over to the trunk release lever, popped it, and found my keys sprawled out across the random crap I haven't Done Anything With since 2008 in my trunk.  Out of sheer compassion, I put the alarm out of its misery.  

"There, there," I said to the car.  "You tried your best."

In my mind's eye, I could see Bad Day, sitting sourly on my front stoop.  His mechanical knowledge of my car was just as bad as mine, for we both forgot that a dying battery means a dying alarm.  The most embarrassing and potentially worst part of the process was turned into a jolly funny time.   And I realized that Bad Day can often be tempered if you just laugh in his face.

Or you could try that.

Because you know what? When I stood outside waiting for the dude to unlock my car, I fully appreciated how gorgeous the weather was.  It was a perfect fall Florida day, and the leaves are changing color and it's just nice.  I wouldn't have been outside as much as I was had this whole debacle not occurred.  So I stood there and for a brief moment, really enjoyed the opportunity this stressful scenario gave me.  And then the Bad Day got a little better.

In fact, this realization took such hold of my attitude that a few hours later when I found out I'd be selling my left arm to repair the car, I was fine with it.  Because I was sitting on the couch watching Paranorman and eating Kit Kats, which of course is completely incompatible with Bad Day activities. 

I realize that some Bad Days are just like really, really bad.  Bad Day could've totally upped the ante on me, like that time when he made my dog eat a raisin left in my house probably since 1994 and he pooed straight blood in Biblical proportions and of course this was on a Sunday so we had to take him to the emergency vet where we paid lots of money also in Biblical proportions....gasp!  But ultimately, I think it's always your point of view that can make or break Bad Day's power.

So what about you out there, dear readers?  Tell me of your Bad Day sagas!  

*hearty laugh*

p.s. IT'S LIKE I TEMPTED FATE.  I think Bad Day was hiding under my bed or something, because after I wrote this blog and put all the pictures in and made it all polished and ready to go, I saved it.  Then I went back to work on another blog and...

dun dun DUNNNNN

This blog DIDN'T SAVE! Two hours worth of work down the internet drain!! Ohhhh you Bad Day, how you've tried to spoil my night! But behold, I still have Kit Kats left, so I am impervious to your spiteful ways!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you tell a story! I also loved Hue Manatee and Drowsy Duck :-)