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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Let the Games Begin!

Uh oh.

It's October.

You know what that means.

I keep telling Sister St. Aloysius that she should just float over to the Catholic Charities and ask the ladies for all their old white sheets and then just make up a bunch of ghost costumes in different sizes.

I think it would be charming if we had a whole neighborhood full of ghosts running around in all sizes. Why, the children could easily accessorize from their own closet and be 'cowboy ghost' or 'construction worker ghost' or 'football player ghost'. "Guitar hero ghost", the list is endless.

No one likes my idea.

I have already made my first trip to the fabric store. Since I haven't returned in a couple of years, the help there has all turned over and no one remembers me from my last debacle. I can also, by the way, go to the bank without fear of arrest because my bank opened another branch even closer to our house.

Funny, after all of this time, the exact same thing happened in the parking lot. I think that one day I might find myself driving endlessly in and out of the fabric store parking lot and eventually realize I have died and gone to Purgatory. I picked Thursday to go over there because the Santa Ana's had finally stopped blowing on Tuesday and I thought if I had to drive through the parking lot for the rest of my life I could at least have the windows down and have a cool breeze.

It was cool on Tuesday. It was cool on Wednesday. But on Thursday, the Santa Ana winds blew back in like a giant city-wide hot flash.

For those of you who have never experienced what is known as a "hot flash", as we older women have, it is as though the temperature of the entire earth has just inexplicably shot up to 107 degrees. It really doesn't feel like it's just you. It actually feels like something has gone horribly wrong with the world thermostat.

Throw in an actual hot day and you have a human inferno. Spontaneous combustion, anyone?

Another opportunity for suffering!

News flash: yes, old nuns have hot flashes. Oh, how we love the chance to help the Poor Souls in Purgatory and oh how we identify with their suffering! If only for a few minutes at a time.

Several times a day.

And all night.

On the first pass through the parking lot, there actually was an open space, but it was blocked by a Lexus parked all catty whompuss. You've seen that phenomena. The owner doesn't want the car to get scratched and so parks all crooked, taking up two spaces. Very selfish.

I guess I shouldn't judge. Perhaps the owner actually just can't park. At all.

On the second pass through the parking lot, I thought I was getting a nice spot because an giant SUV was pulling out, only to find the person driving that behemoth was actually trying to squeeze into a compact space.

In her defense, all the spaces in the fabric store lot are compact.

There were people who 'made up' a parking spot, adding themselves to a row, or parking behind the dumpster or along side the dumpster. It's Crazyland at the fabric store every day in October.

On the fifty first pass I got a spot next to a very shabby looking car. I am always amazed that the very worst looking cars are always the ones who have one of those steering wheel locks on the steering wheel. If I was going to steel a car out of that lot, I would definitely be going for the catty whompuss Lexus, because there are only three reasons to steal a car:

1. A joy ride. Who would want to take a joy ride in some beat up jalopy with no air conditioning and the person's belongings piled in the back seat on a blazing hot day? Definitely go for the Lexus.

2. As a get away car for impulse crime. Again, the heap could just stop dead in the street after you've driven two feet. You need a car that going to get you outta there. Lexus.

3. Because you are a car thief. You patron saint is St. Dismas and you'll go for the Lexus.

It turns out that the dumpy little vehicle was someone's home, as the inhabitant was at home at the time, fast asleep. Somebody needs to tell him to go park in the swimming suit store parking lot during the month of October instead of the fabric store parking lot right before Halloween. Poor thing.

It's not going to be me. I'm not waking up some poor man asleep in the blazing heat with all of his belongings in the car and a steering wheel lock on the steering wheel of his beat up old crate.

If I was St. Martin de Cabellros or St. Francis of Assisi I would have traded cars with him right there on the spot.

Have I fallen short of what the Lord asks of us?

I should have at least left him a card with our neighborhood address on it. I know how the neighbors so love having people living in cars parked on the our street. Is it fair to give others an opportunity to suffer?


Anonymous said...

My problem is failing memory, not badly enough to panic, but to the point where I don't beat myself up if I've misplaced the keys for the umpteenth time, nor immediately go into attack mode on my spouse--where did YOU last see my keys (as if, on espying said keys out of ordinary spot, would've put them somewhere else, to 'teach a lesson', or even if ever so helpfully placed them somewhere I wouldn't fail to notice--and, then not even see them perched on my purse, or on the car dashboard.) I am at point, now, with this memory issue, that I tell myself, "It's okay, just need some good sleep, and it'll be all right tomorrow."

So, I drive around the parking lot, imagining a spot near enough to the front door so that if I have to locate it in the dark, it will not require a taxi. By the 51st go-around, however, I've got to use the restroom and tired myself imagining these non-existent spots, that I forget to pay attention to the sign Row E. I still have an occasion to rejoice after the end of a long excursion, a time of reaffirmation in the goodness of God, that I can say to myself, 'Aren't I just smart about this; it's a good thing I parked next to the door.'

Which tried and true saint helps out with failing memory, specifically finding one's wagon in a parking lot? (Dear St. Anthony has been a steadying friend over many years for help with items that just require an occasion for more prayer.) Probably, it would be the Saint of gadgets like those car-key triggered alarms that start barking on activation, the 'Clap-on, Clap-off' Saint.

Claudia's thoughts said...

I find it very irksome that people will take up two spaces, sometimes I am tempted to puncture their tires as revenge. But being a civilized person and worried about getting caught (that is what holds me back, really) I do not do that.

Back in the mid eights I had a ten year old VW which I did not lock the doors. My daughter (bless her heart) was about three, she asked why I did not lock the car. "Who would want to steal a ten year old car?" asked I. "Someone who does not have a car." said Emily. REally, out of the mouth of babes came the answer.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have an old car no one would probably want, but it's the only car I have and I couldn't afford to replace it (and even with insurance money that would take awhile and I need to get to work). So... I put a club on it. And I feel like I dork every time, but I do it!


Sue said...

When I had an old car, I didn't lock it because I was fond of it, and didn't like to think of a thief having to smash his way in through a window.

Even with all the modern security systems it still takes a 'good' car thief only about 20 seconds to break in and drive off. In fact, you could argue that the more sophisticated security systems we create, the more skilled criminals we create at the same time. If someone is determined to have your car, they will have it regardless.

Mind you, I don't think anyone was actually tempted by my 1958 VW Beetle with its tiny rear window, 6 volt battery and lots of rust holes.

I have a friend who has an ancient Deux Chevaux and when it rains, he has to stop and find shelter in a porch or somewhere because the inside of the car gets soaked. You guess how much fuel is in the tank by shaking the car and listening for sloshing. It was his mother's car and is parked on a farm in France. I'm sure Bobbie wishes someone would steal it ;))

Andy said...

Actually, most car thieves wouldn't want the whole car, and a Lexus is pretty hard to get rid of on the black market. They actually want the parts inside, and the cops aren't going to look very hard for a stolen 1998 Ford Taurus.

Tyler said...

Sister, what saint should I invoke to help me loose weight and keep up my exercise?

Monica said...

I always park by Penny's, no matter what mall I go to so I always know at least approximately where my car is. it helps!

Sharon said...

I always park by the buggy corral. It takes into account laziness and forgetfulness-it's a visual que (even if there are 6 or 7 buggy corrals, that's still only 6 or 7 possibilities, instead of seemingly infinite ones) and I don't have far to go to return my buggy to a corral.