So Ben Franklin And A Tornado Walk Into A Bar Together…

Dreaming at night, for me, is like going to the theater.  It’s full-on, with surround sound, high-definition pictures, vibrant colors, and themes that seem to be dreamed up by Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney, when they all met for coffee at Starbucks one morning and said, “Let’s collaborate.”  All I lack at night is the bag of extra-buttered popcorn.

Do you know the big pits in the middle of the Jiffy Lube oil changing stations, where you pay forty American dollars and they change your oil and tell you that your Suburban will flat-out explode if you don’t buy a million-dollar air filter from them RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND?  (That almost sounded like a big 180, as far as topic changes go, but I promise… I’m going somewhere with it, which is more than I could ever tell my English professors in college.)  I dread driving my Suburban into those places, because I know that if anyone could drive her vehicle crooked into the garage bay there and drop her front end into the pit, it would be me.

It’s why Hubs bought me a T-shirt that says “Voted Most Likely To Wreck Your Truck.”  It’s bright pink.  He handed it to me, grinned and said, “Amen.  This should have been in your senior yearbook.”

Last night, I had a dream that I was driving my Suburban on the interstate, and the oil changing pit was apparently one thousand and nine miles long, because I had to straddle it with my tires and drive and drive and drive, like I was driving on down to Nicaragua for a taco dinner with real pico de gallo.  Yes, it was a long trip.  And through it all, I was gripping my steering wheel, trying to keep my tires on either side of the pit, which ran right down the smack-middle of the interstate, and I kept holding my breath.  Hubs was riding shotgun.

You can all just imagine how the conversation went between the two of us.  I don’t think we had driven nineteen entire feet before Hubs demanded that I just pull over and let him drive.  I didn’t.  I was all about the THANK YOU, BUT I’LL HANDLE THIS STRESSFUL DRIVING SITUATION ALONE, AND PLEASE JUST BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELT AND FALL ASLEEP OR SOMETHING, BUT DO QUIT PESTERING ME ABOUT HOW I NEED TO BE OVER TO THE LEFT! OVER TO THE LEFT!  BECAUSE YOU’RE GETTING ON MY LAST SURVIVING NERVE.

And then, as if the stress of keeping my vehicle out of the pit at 75 miles an hour wasn’t enough, I looked in my rearview mirror, and YES!  That really WAS a tornado quickly approaching us, and I couldn’t veer either direction with my Suburban to escape it, because GIANT STINKING PIT!

Hubs had some brilliant ideas as to how the situation should have been handled, but, in the end, I stopped the Suburban, opened Hubs’ passenger door, shoved him out, and we both got into the pit.  And the tornado went over the top of us, and the Suburban didn’t put up much of a fight, as it was whipped away, tumbling end over end in the air.

When it had all passed, I crawled out of the pit and told Hubs, “Well.  I guess we’re walking now.”  I was all matter-of-fact in my statement and wasn’t the least bit concerned that I had just lost my Suburban in a wicked scene put on by Mother Nature herself.  I just started walking.  And then there was Hubs, walking beside me, and honestly, we looked like we were walking into the sunset at the end of an emotional movie, just before the credits roll.  But y’all know it wasn’t a happy ending, because I’m sure Hubs was snarling something to me on how I could have saved the Suburban, too, if I had just LISTENED TO HIS IDEAS!

And then Thing 2 woke me up because MILK!  I NEED MILK!

I don’t think that it comes as any surprise to know that living inside my head is absolutely exhausting, people.  Some days it plum wears me out, and today is no exception, because I decided that my list of THINGS TO ACCOMPLISH should begin at 8:00 this morning with the single word MANICURE and end at 8:00 tonight with the phrase SO THE LITTLE RED HEN FOLDED THE LAST LOAD OF LAUNDRY ALONE, with forty-nineteen other items of business that were taken care of in the space of those twelve long hours.

And I’d love to pound the potatoes out of the keyboard tonight and produce a word or eighteen hundred for y’all to read, but the honest truth is that I haven’t got the strength.

Oh, I’d love to put a post up.  I really would.  It’s just that I can’t.  I have a baby.

I sing praises to my friend, Evelyn, every day for giving me the Baby Card to play.  It is more useful than the Get Out Of Jail Free card, because, so far, I haven’t been given a hard bench to sit on in the slammer, since I have obeyed all posted laws except for the one that says THOU SHALT NOT RUN THROUGH YELLOW LIGHTS THAT ARE ON THE VERY VERGE OF BECOMING RED, because listen.  If there’s any yellow left at the stoplight, I’m all about pushing down on the gas pedal and getting myself on through it.  It’s my one mad driving skill that makes Hubs proud.

All of my other driving skills make Hubs hang his head and whisper to himself.

So, I am honestly off to bed tonight.  My college self would have been appalled to know that she would one day grow old enough to consider 8 PM to be an acceptable bedtime.

(I feel like I should warn all of my favorite college students about what the future holds for them.)

(Let me try it out.)

(Dear Kaylyn, you’re young now, and whooping and hollering the brown-and-gold team on at school — YAY!  And GO, COLLEGE TOWN!! — but one day you will grow up and be old enough to remember a time when you bought things called cassettes that had to be rewound to find your favorite song, instead of just spending $1.29 at iTunes for the latest showtune from the Muppets’ newest movie.  And when you reach that age, your hips will ache and your knees will pop, and your iPhone will be capable of doing things you’re not even aware of, because you also remember a time when DADGUM IT!  A PHONE WAS FOR MAKING CALLS AND NOT FOR ACCESSING SOMETHING CALLED THE INTERNET THAT PUTS YOU IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE IN INDIA AND WHAT ARE ALL THESE BUTTONS FOR?  And when that time comes, you will think — on some evenings, when you’ve run forty-nineteen errands — that 8 PM is a right-fine-and-dandy time to go to bed, because EXHAUSTED!  This is what they don’t teach you in college.  This is what you learn on one of life’s little field trips.  I’m sorry to scare you.  Enjoy your traditional 1 AM bedtime for a while yet, but it’ll come back to bite you in the neck like an ill-mannered Cullen, because you can’t stop the aging process, no matter how many dollars Estee Lauder and Clinique spend on advertising campaigns to convince us otherwise.  And old people?  Well, when the Jell-O mold salad from dinner is gone and The Wheel of Fortune is over, there’s nothing left to do but call it a night and get into bed.)

Whew.  That was a bit of a tangent, but so worth it for the college generation, I think.

So tonight, people, I will just leave y’all with one little snapshot.  It’s a picture that delights me to no end, because apparently Benjamin Franklin is alive and well, as he was reportedly spotted in Small Town, USA this week, talking about electricity and bifocal glasses.

Hopefully later, after Me-Maw has taken her Geritol With Speed Additives tablet, I’ll be able to tell y’all about the day of the Living Museum in the boy’s 5th grade classroom.

Until then, good night, sleep tight, and pleasant dreams to you.

May all of your pit-and-tornado drama be completely over with when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning.

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