Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last we left off, our heroine had bore witness to a #2 in her #1 bed... now, for the conclusion of our story.
As I head back downstairs to wash my hands in gin and lye, she adds that Grandpa went through a few rolls of toilet paper last night during his “troubles.” I ask if I need to get more TP for the bathroom and she lets me know that I have plenty, but she just wanted to let me know that he used a LOT. Grandma’s old friend Honesty rears its ugly head and I want to tell it to just shut up.
I quickly flee downstairs and try to forget the thoughts and questions and images running through my head. I have no time to dwell on them because now my mom is having some sort of emergency in the bathroom downstairs. Apparently there was a crack in the toilet seat and it has pinched her butt -- to the point of drawing blood.
I’m not sure what she thinks I can do about toilet seat cracks or pinched butts at 9 a.m., especially considering I can still smell the imaginary poop stain on my hands, but she wants some action. I look helplessly at my dad, and he immediately begins a combination of muttering and swearing that dad’s throughout the world use on their kids no matter their indiscretion (Why would you eat the last of the cereal? What were you thinking when you borrowed my car and didn’t fill it up with gas? When are you finally going to do something around here that isn’t a cousin of Shit Stupid and his friend Horse’s Ass?).
He gets up and heads out to his car to get his toolkit so he can fix (and I quote): “The problem that never should have existed in the first place. Who has a crack in their toilet seat and doesn’t fix it, for chrissake?! I bet you haven’t gotten your oil changed lately, either!” Not getting regular oil changes is akin to lighting a baby on fire or tattooing a swastika on your forehead in my father’s handbook of life. You may as well strap 18 sticks of dynamite to your chest and stand next to a bonfire rather than bear the wrath of driving the 200 miles to visit him for the weekend without getting an oil change that had better include a free car wash, fluid check, tire rotation, and cup of coffee.
In the meantime, my mom emerges from the bathroom and asks if I want to see her injury because it’s stopped bleeding but it still hurts and she wants to make sure she doesn’t need stitches. I quickly tell her there is nothing I would like to see less than my mom’s ass on Easter weekend and ask her to wait for dad to come back to administer any necessary first aid.
He returns to the scene of the crime and the mutter/swearing begins again. I nervously pace around in the kitchen, not knowing where to go since the upstairs is contaminated with poop and my mortified grandparents and the downstairs is filled with images of my mom’s bloody butt.
Finally my dad calls me in to the bathroom to look at his handiwork. I think he is joking or torturing me because all I see is five layers of grey duct tape wrapped around the toilet seat cover. I think he actually would have duct taped the whole seat if I hadn’t stepped in and physically removed the tape from his hands. Now I have a toilet seat with an eye patch; a large gray eye patch. I half expect the cast of the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” to show up and tell me I was now a part of the team and would be a part of their “You know you’re a redneck if…” bit.
I escape upstairs and try to avoid my Grandpa’s eyes as we pass each other on the stairs. I lock myself in the bathroom and try to calm down. I don’t even want to begin to think about the state of my toilet up here now that I know Grandpa had been punishing it for the past eight hours, let alone the fact that his butt touched the same surface my butt is currently touching.
Of course, he has not replaced the empty roll of toilet paper. Of course! If the toilet paper came with a remote or a housewife then it might be possible for him to somehow manage to put a new roll on.
I sit on the toilet, twisting toward my sink to rummage underneath it for a new roll. The first thing my hands find is an item that should have been de-Grandparented in my cleaning frenzy yesterday. It is the largest dildo in the history of dildos, complete with a three-inch battery pack and a host of settings. “Bob” is a new addition to my family, purchased by some of my friends in the face of my constant complaining about my lack of sex in the new millennium. To add to my panic, I am pretty sure that good ol’ Bob had been moved over the course of the night. Most likely he was discovered by my Grandpa in his hunt for more toilet paper. Lord knows what my Grandpa thought of this pulsing little treat. All I know is that I needed to keep vodka under the bathroom sink or in the toilet tank for future situations like this.
I shower and get ready very slowly. I can’t even imagine what the topic of conversation is downstairs between my grandparents and my parents. I pull my mom aside and tell her what I suspect Grandpa has discovered and ask her what I should do. I’m not sure what her advice is as I can’t make it out over her hysterical laughter.
She continues to laugh uncontrollably during the rest of the visit, thus sealing her fate to be moved to an out-state nursing home as soon as she turns 65. My Grandpa tries to say something to me before he leaves, along the lines of “I’m sorry and I think I found something I shouldn’t have....” but I just grab his shoulder, whisper, “Let’s not talk about this again” and help him load his stuff into the car.
© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Cresap.
Friday, September 18, 2009
When you come from a large family, it becomes very possible that something crazy will happen to one or several members of the family either due to food, drink, or the mammoth stress of keeping your crap together for six straight hours in front of everyone. One year one of my cousins flushed his underwear down the toilet (reason unknown), plugging up the entire septic system at my uncle’s house and getting busted when he forgot to cross out his name written in black marker across the waist band.
My turn came at Easter a few years ago when I made the mistake of going out the night before my parents and grandparents were planning to stay at my place. I should have spent the night tidying up my bachelorette pad so that it passed the Parent Approval Test as well as the rarely attainable Grandparent Approval Test.
I should have spent the time tossing around a few of the doilies and knick-knacks Grandma had given me over the years and placed baskets of fruit and potpourri in prominent locations. Instead, I left the house in a mess and just hoped that the dust and dirt would be hidden with my low wattage light bulbs and heavy light-shielding curtains. My grandparents were only staying for a quick overnight visit and I was counting on their traditional “early to bed, early to rise” policy to help me get them in, out, and on their way.
Plus, I planned to keep my evening on the town low-key. Making bold statements like this (“I’m not going to sleep with him tonight;” or “I’m only going to have one piece of cake”) usually guarantees that what really happens is exactly the opposite of what I think will happen. But I felt strong that I could keep it under control just this once.
My friend Janie and I started off with a few drinks at the Palomino -- a nice place with waiters and cloth napkins and fancy drinks (i.e. heavy on the alcohol, light on the boring mixers). After declaring the Palomino a fun-free zone, we decided our next move was the Skyway Lounge, a strip club on Hennepin that featured (free of charge) lots of big hair and lopsided boobs, 2-for-1 caesarean scars, and mysteriously sticky floors (well, not so mysterious if you really thought about it).
Janie and I made friends with a few of the more-normal looking guys in an attempt to keep ourselves from getting attacked by one of the strippers who might think we were trying to move in on her turf or by one of the customers who wanted to attack us for entirely different reasons. A girl should never go into a strip club alone and at the very least should know how to make a shive out of a bar coaster or whiskey tumbler while her hands are tied behind her back.
Our man dates were around our age and cute but very, very, very, drunk. My date alternated between smoking a cigarette out of the wrong end, passing out on the table, and trying to get one of the strippers to let him put his hands down her bikini bottoms. Janie’s date was still able to use words to form sentences, so in my eyes I was making a sacrifice to the Wing Man Gods by talking with the less sober, less attractive friend (which would someday pay off when the Wing Man Gods rained a hot, rich man down upon me).
Things were floating along well, meaning that our dates had bought the first two rounds, when all of a sudden the fun came to a crashing halt because our fellas started a fight in the bar and got all four of us kicked out. I had never been yelled at by a stripper before and I was pissed that my time in Sniffer’s Row had to come to an end because of these two knuckleheads and some stupid fight. I had only used six of my 20 dollar’s worth of tip money and now had a puffy wallet that barely fit into my purse. It was all so unfair.
Outside the bar, we stood and tried to figure out what to do next. The boys wanted us to continue the party somewhere and they argued that the most logical choice was their place. My guy grabbed a little baggie of something out of his coat pocket and began swinging it in front of my face like a little metronome, offering to let me try some if I would come back to his place with him No, no, no, no. No. This idiot was whipping his drug stash around in public, on the busiest street in Minneapolis, while his friend and my friend looked on casually. What the hell was wrong with these people?
I immediately told my friend I had to go and high-tailed it out of there. My date decided to follow me to my car, trailing at least 10 feet behind me (sometimes more if he stopped to talk to strangers) and asking me where we were going next. Somehow he kicked it into high gear just as I was getting on the elevator in my parking ramp and hopped in the elevator car just as the doors shut. He came swooping in to give me a hug/kiss but all it took to keep him at bay was a hand to his forehead. He began half-heartedly swinging at my arm to try and break away but he would just throw himself off-balance and laugh at me for playing “hard to get.” At the elevator’s first possible stop, I jumped out and once he followed me a few feet, I quickly jumped back in and let the doors shut behind me. I gave him my most apologetic peace-out sign while he gave me a look of complete surprise and confusion when he realized he was not going to get laid.
I was nearly to my car when my cell phone rang. It was Janie. I hoped she wasn’t still with her date and/or that she wanted me to come join them for awhile. I let it roll to voicemail and checked the message once I got into my car. “Hey, Jen, it’s Janie. Say, my car has been towed. I thought I parked it in a spot that was okay but I guess there was a No Parking sign where I couldn’t see it. Can you come and get me? I’m at the lot on 1st Ave. I’m not sure where they towed my car to but there is an impound lot near Dunwoody. I’ll call and see if my car is there. Call me back.”
Frick frick frick frickety frick!
It is 2 a.m., I’m tired, I’m thirsty, and I’m selfish. My evil twin tells me to drive, get out of downtown Minneapolis and pretend I didn’t hear my phone ring. My twin tells me I could get away with ignoring the call. It reminds me that I have company coming tomorrow and really need to get ready for it. It says that my Grandparents have never stayed with me before and this is a special visit. What if they have secretly been saving money for years and decided to choose only one grandchild to bequeath a hefty inheritance upon their deaths? The difference between inheritance vs no inheritance could be something as small as fresh linens or having a high-quality toilet paper for my Grandpa’s sensitive skin! And as of this moment, I have neither of those things for them! Frick.
I argue with my evil twin on the drive to pick Janie up, on the trek to multiple cash machines to try and compile enough cash to free her car from the impound, and in the line of drunken idiots at the impound lot that can’t afford to get their cars but want to argue about it with the one attendant on duty. My evil twin laughs at me when I hug Janie goodbye and tell her it is no big deal, that I’m not tired anyway, and that she can pay me back on Monday. My twin finally shuts up when my head hits the pillow around 3:45 a.m.
The alarm goes off at 8 a.m. I need to wake up and get ready and go get my cousins and bring them with me to the Easter celebration at my uncle’s house, which is a miserable two-hour drive away. I barely have time to shave the fuzz off my tongue let alone look presentable at the Easter shindig. Within the first hour of my arrival, my Grandma asks twice if I have the flu and my mom has put the back of her hand to check my forehead for fever.
I deny having any sort of flu, which leads to the unavoidable suspicion that I am pregnant by a man I hardly know and that is why I look so pale and am acting so quiet. I give up and go into the basement to watch sports with the men and hopefully avoid any further interrogation about my uterus and whether it is carrying a bastard child. (Unfortunately my uterus is still vacant and only being used as an interim storage facility for things like Cosmopolitans and french fries.)
During my exile in the basement, I casually ask around to see whether any of my cousins have plans for the night and if they could possibly take in the grandparents. They all laugh and say they would love to help me but since I am clearly hungover and made my own hell by going out drinking the night before Grandpa and Grandma came for a visit that they are just not able to help me out this time. Those little punk bastards.
When I leave my uncle’s house, I get a five minute head start on the Parent/Grandparent convoy and drive at a breakneck speed to get to my place and spend 15 solid minutes cleaning the place spotless and putting away anything incriminating like underwear or bras. (I’m sure my grandparents know I wear them but that doesn’t mean I need to flaunt them in their faces.) I am exhausted, hungover and just realizing I am not going to have a bed to sleep in since my grandparents will take my bed and my parents will take the couch. I spray a thick film of Febreze over every surface and desperately try to remember when I last washed my sheets. I have no idea if it’s been two days or two months. I just hope my grandparents don’t stick to them or contract bed bugs, or somehow sense that I have ever had sex or thought about sex on or near them.
When they finally arrive, I conduct the world’s fastest and most poorly lit house tour in America. At one point my Grandpa hits his elbow on a candleholder and my Grandma nearly falls down the stairs but I just keep moving them along so that all they smell is the faint scent of vanilla Febreze in the air.
My parents and I wake up around 8 a.m. and are amazed my grandparents haven’t already appeared fully clothed and ready to go. We know they are up there and have been wide awake since at least 6 a.m. and are just trying to be polite and not wake us up. Lord knows what they are doing but if my Grandpa goes more than eight hours without a television in his line of sight then bad things happen and not even my Grandma can stop it.
When my Grandma finally appears in my stairwell at around 9 a.m. and asks me to please come upstairs alone, I figure she is finally going to give me the spanking that has been coming to me for years. My parents must have thought the same because they wished me well and remind me I had had a good life and should feel blessed no matter what happens next.
My Grandma leads me into my bedroom and stops on the right side of the bed (oh yes, the very same side of the bed I sleep on every night). She quickly pulls back the covers and reveals some brown spots on my sheets, some spots that I am gathering are not good judging by the look on her face. At this point, I am still in the denial stage and hoping she is going to tell me that Grandpa fell asleep with a Snickers bar in his hand and it caused a few little melted brown stains.
I don’t know what to do. Did I poop the bed on Friday night and then let my beloved Grandfather sleep in it?! I start to look out the window and wonder if I could kill myself by jumping out my 2nd story window or at least gain enough momentum from the fall to propel me 500 yards on the road toward a new, grandparent-less life?
She quickly cuts to the chase. “Grandpa had a little accident on your sheets this morning. I think it was all the nuts he had yesterday. I told him he would get an upset tummy if he didn’t stop. Anyway, I wanted to show you and ask you what you wanted to do.”
What I wanted her to do?! It was pretty obvious to me what our next steps should be:
1. Burn the sheets.
2. Burn the ashes.
3. Flush the ashes down the toilet.
4. Replace the toilet.
5. Move to a new townhome.
6. Never speak of this again.
She sat there looking at me and telling me how sorry she was and asking if it would be okay to use my washing machine. I didn’t understand the question. Why would we need the washing machine when I planned to douse the poop sheets in lighter fluid and set them on fire as soon as I could get her a safe distance away from them?
While I was glad that it wasn’t me that had crapped the sheets and allowed my Grandpa to sleep on them, I was baffled as to what to do next. I didn’t want to embarrass my grandparents any more than they already had been but I had so many questions (Where was Grandpa? Did she make him crawl out the window and wait on the roof while she delivered the news? Why didn’t she just throw these sheets into the washing machine located just outside my bedroom and protect me from this information? Why did she have to be so honest and trustworthy? Was the poop a new arrival or had Grandpa pulled a midnight shart and the smell got trapped under his Grandpa underwear and went undetected for six hours, thus seeping down into my mattress, box spring, and the carpet below it?)
Before I could do any additional damage to our relationship, I grabbed the sheets in the manner of a magician and in one motion get them off the bed and into the washing machine while coming into contact with the smallest amount of fabric possible. I tell her not to worry about it and reassure her that this happens all the time.
As if this isn't enough to guarantee at least 5 years of awkward family gatherings between grandparent and granddaughter, there's more. Tune in next time to find out!
© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Cresap.