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Monday, October 17, 2005

Time Love & Tenderness

My cousin Joey has got to be the nicest and sweetest, 30something (way closer to 40something) guy I know. Of course, he had great teachers. His mom and dad are by far two of the most genuinely kind and loving people in the history of ever.

Joey's compassionate side kicked in full throttle last week. When Aunty Shorty came home from a radiation appointment, she walked into her house to see her son had shaven his head.

Earlier in the week, she became upset because her hair was falling out. Joey, being the little sweetheart that he is, didn't want her to feel sad and shaved himself to the skin.

They sat, side-by-side, bald heads leaning against one another and laughed. They thought aloud about what a great picture that would make for their Christmas cards. And then they secretly plotted shaving Uncle Giant's head while he slept.

Good God! She caught me again! If you have been hanging around Home Fires for a while, you are fully aware of my fear of the PTA president. This morning, at 8 a.m. I was blindsided by the evil one. Again. While dropping the kids off in the loading zone at school, I kissed Lane 2, patted Lane 1. (I'm no longer allowed to kiss him in public. Blog post for another day.) As my daughter closed the car door, I looked over my left shoulder to pull away.

There she was. Her face was practically pressed against my window. "Ms. Lane," her muffled voice called, while her stupid arms waved.

"Oh fuck." I said under my breath, in my very best ventriloquist impersonation. I tried really hard to smile at that lady. I cocked my head to the side as if to beg her for mercy. I gave her the "Please God help me" look. She didn't catch on.

Before I had my window opened she began her rambling. "Ms. Lane, I am so glad I found you this morning!"

This bitch is much too chipper for her own good. She was smiling ear-to-ear. I firmly believe, in her head, catching me off guard, is like a game of Capture the Flag.

Still smiling, she said, "Ms. Lane, we are having a few fundraisers and could really use your help."

I wanted to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars I already pay the school in tuition. I wanted to close her stupid smiling head in my window. I wanted to toss my lukewarm coffee, that was clutched between my thighs, right in her perfectly made up face. I wanted to turn sharply and leave skid marks on her dry-clean only pants suit.

Instead, I said, "Sure."

Sure? Did I really say that? Why did I say that? I really didn't mean to say that. What have I done?

"Oh, I just knew you would help Ms. Lane. Can I get in so we can discuss this further?"

Mom always said, "Don't pick up hitchhikers and don't talk to strangers."

Why didn't Mom warn me about crazy PTA ladies?

I don't know how or why, but my mouth said, "Sure" again!

She cheerfully hopped into my passenger seat. I wished I had an eject button for that seat. I wished I had the balls to accidentally put the car in drive before she closed the door. I wished I had a tranquilizer gun to shoot her in the neck.

She rattled off four different fundraisers that the PTA needed help with. She got me where I live. "Ms. Lane, I know you are an author and it would be quite an honor if you would assist us with our book drive."

She only used the term "quite an honor" to butter my biscuit. I was on to her and that phony tactic. My mouth said, "Sure" again!

As I sat befuddled, she continued her rambling. In my mind, I conversed with my mouth. I told it not to say the word sure anymore. Ever. As I sat deep in thought, I heard her say "Friday sound good Ms. Lane?"

"Sure," said my mouth, as she happily bounced out of my car.

I have no idea what it is my mouth agreed I would do Friday. I just hope I can get an appointment to have my lips sewn shut before then.