July 18, 2005

Less Like 'Ben Hur' Than 'Been Hurt'

[Part II of my Fourth of July story is here. Part I is here.]

We got back just in time for all the day-trippers to head back to the Fort, which left Gunner and Cover Girl in the position of being at the wrong location without their vehicle. Of course, if I'd known that what should have been a twenty-minute trip would have taken more than two hours, I would have left them at the IICNBIWDTSUL and let them drive themselves back. See what I mean when I say I have trouble with "X people traveling in Y vehicles to Z locations" problems? We got somebody to drop them off at the IICNBIWDTSUL on their way back to the Fort. At least I assume we did, because we didn't seem them after that. Maybe they walked. Who knows?

So to answer the burning question at the end of Part II ("I had gone almost two hours without beer on Fourth of July weekend. Somebody was going to have to pay."), who ended up paying?

Me, of course. I was gone long enough that everybody else drank all of my beer, and I had to go buy more.

Not long after I returned , Tater and Cueball came down the hill in their chariot, and when I say 'chariot' I mean "golf cart towing a wheelchair," to tell us it was time for the race. You think I'm kidding about that? Here's a picture from Memorial Day weekend, where Project Chariot completed its Concept Evaluation Phase (on a budget of 75 cents - 50 cents for the wheelchair at a garage sale, 25 cents for rope):

Project Chariot acceptance test

Since we only had one chariot, the race would have to be against the clock, on a mixed-terrain course laid out over the lowest level of the addition (Rogers told me they'd originally designed the course to run up the hill, and that part worked OK, but on the downhill return the wheelchair kept outpacing the golf cart). Since I was now going on three hours without a beer, I was far too sober to even consider participating, but I did volunteer to serve as official timekeeper. And quite a lucrative position it was, too, with bribes being offered from all directions. If I'd known this was going to happen, I wouldn't have needed to make the beer run in the first place!

About three contestants into the race, flower_goddess noted how self-appropriate the wheelchair was - the first person to seriously hurt himself would need it to get around afterwards! Fortunately, it didn't come to that, as the race ended without anything more serious than a spilled beer (although we did observe a moment of silence in memory of that). DA took first place - although there was some whining from the Kenny/Carmine Racing Team that DA had used illegal aerodynamics to gain an unfair advantage - but since we'd never really decided on a prize, we just dunked him in the lake.

It was dark by the time we finished dinner, but I was in the mood for Night Vision Jarts.
"Wouldn't you rather have the field lit up?" Dimples asked me. As I've said before, she's more or less the conscience of the neighborhood, which is an admirable position especially considering that keeping her husband DA out of trouble is a full-time job.
"Well, yeah, but you remember what happened on Memorial Day weekend." DA and Carmine had tried to use a slim jim to crack the lock to the box controlling the field lights, resulting in an impressive impromoptu fireworks display and a couple of new Napoleon Dynamite-style hairdos.
"Which is why I got the key from the association president."
"Game on!"

Before we could get the lights on, however, we saw a set of headlights coming down the hill. "I think that's psycho-ex-wife," Saint said. That got everybody's undivided attention, and we all dove behind DA and Dimple's place hoping she wouldn't see us, think nobody was home, and head out again.

A little background about psycho-ex-wife: the 'hood had finally convinced Saint to divorce her a few months before, after several years of increasingly bizarre behavior on her part. Case in point: on a previous trip to the sandbar, psycho-ex-wife accidentally knocked the ashtray off the floating bar into the water, then spent the next ten minutes berating Saint for having done it, despite the fact that he was fifteen feet away at the time of the incident and four other people had seen her do it! Anyway, the divorce was still fairly fresh, and nobody in the 'hood had the heart to tell psycho-ex-wife that Saint got all the friends in the divorce and she shouldn't come round no mo'. Yes, I realize that makes us bad people, but that's the way it is. Last we knew, she was living on a boat with a guy that we're pretty sure is gay (possibly explaining her lament that "nothing's happened between us yet"). But I digress.

Fortunately, it wasn't psycho-ex-wife, but Deej and Rusty, who stopped by to tell us about a potluck cookout they were having the next day. They joined us for a few games of Jarts under the lights (DA and I went undefeated in five games, thankyuhvurramuch), and I managed to get back to the proper point on the Beer Curve about the time everybody went to bed.

That'll teach me to play chauffeur on a holiday weekend.

Posted by Chris at July 18, 2005 09:13 PM

Category: Tales Of My Neighborhood