The truck had been in the shop, but it was back and we expected Chris would drive himself to school. Chris had made other arrangements and wanted Brian to drive him. I was running ahead of schedule, so I wanted to drive Chris and get to work early, letting Brian take care of getting Victoria to the babysitter. Brian says ok, it's now 7am, and Chris stands out in the driveway bawling like an abandoned calf--MAAAWM. MAAAAHAWM! Come ON!--while I put my shoes on. So charming. I took Sligo Creek Parkway because the speed limit is 25mph and I so delight in hearing repeated enjoinders to HURRY UP OH MY GOD THIS IS A SHORT LIGHT DON'T MISS THE GREEN HURRY AAUGH and so forth. I think he made it to school with minutes to spare.
I am very close to being out of gas, the needle is below E and it's been like this for a while. I pass three gas stations because they are too pricy and another because it would be hard to merge right in time to get there (University Blvd sucks from about 5:30am to 11pm) and I get to the cash-only gas station and wonder what could be wrong because there is a pump open. The cash-only station is usually only a penny cheaper than the other best-price station up the street, but it's always full with a line waiting on my way to work. I pull up to this pump and turn off the car. Now I can stop wondering: A woman is standing next to my door. I open the door and she says, "I payda money I no gedda." It doesn't register, I look confused. "Thissa pumpa me!" I think I get it, but I'm still not sure. I'm not fighting Ms. Binks for a crummy gas pump. I drive off and try not to think about the four hundred times I have told people that running out of gas is about the stupidest car problem anyone can have.
Now I head home and I buy gas without incident. When I pick up Victoria, the babysitter asks what I am doing tonight. I tell her we're visiting friends and she says, "Good. You have time to get my goat at the Giant. Just tell them it's for Mrs. Karim." I am not making this up--she has two first names and three last names and she uses different combinations depending upon the occasion. The day before she had given me a gigantic picture to mail for her and for the return address she wanted me to use a completely different name. I asked, "Who is this?" and she said, "Oh, that's me. This is going to my brother, I don't want to confuse him." So I go and I get the goat. Victoria finds a butterfly net, so I get that, too. I am standing in line at the 15-items-or-fewer counter with my big sack of goat cubes when a man squeezes in front of me and says he was already in line. He points to a stack of candy waiting on the edge of the counter. Whatever. I don't care if he wants to butt, but he insists upon chatting with Victoria and she will have none of it. He doesn't give up and neither does she. Finally, we pay, deliver, and go home to change clothes (me) and eat (Victoria) and we go to reception night.