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Friday, August 29, 2008

Everybody Loves A Parade!

A fucking month? Wow! Where has the time gone? Thanks for the emails, yes, I am still alive. Sorry I haven't updated in so long. The good news is I have been sidetracked because I am up to my ass in freelance work. I love when people pay me to do what I love.

There's so many things to tell you guys about, I barely know where to begin. Besides my publishing credits growing, it's harvest time, which means Mr. Lane is working his ass off. The kids are back in school and...we have another live-in.

We Lanes are on our fourth live-in in just two years. Last I checked this wasn't The Heartbreak Hotel. Why exactly do we always end up with extra people?

At least you'll be happy to know, it isn't another of Lane 1's friends, or another wayward coworker of Mr. Lanes, and I didn't pull this one off of the streets. Sure, he is hoboesque, but he is my brother in-law, Corky. Remember the one who cried when the rabid raccoon had to be shot out of our tree? That brother in-law. So yes, he is sensitive in nature, but his life is topsy-turvy right now, and we are acting as his detox center.

Another person, leaving more mess, eating more food doesn't bother me. It's the talking while I am working - that bugs me most. I hate when people think because I am at home, I am available. Drives me cockroach-in-the-light wild! Thankfully, he is getting better.

Most of you know I'm on the board at the Teen Center. What you may not know is that when it comes to those kids, I am easily suckered. The latest... a parade float. Yeah, I had to make one, and you all know I am more autistic than artistic.

This festival with parade and carnival is the biggest thing going on in our town all year. The float had to be better than okay. The parade theme was Riding the Rails. I thought it would be cute to have the Teen Center director dress as the conductor, and have the kids decked out as hobos... providing I could build a train.

Knowing I had less than a week to make it happen, I thought using a wagon trailer to haul them in, and a ride-on lawnmower for towing, I was halfway there. I had my working clothes on, you know, my lesboish/carnie gear, please don't judge.

Here's a picture.... I was telling my friend (through my teeth) to shut the fuck up when she said, "Smile, carnie!" as she snapped the picture.

Anyhow, I went to our two hardware stores, I said, "I know I look like a carnie, but I'm not. See all these teeth I have?" Then I asked if they would donate some plywood and paint in exchange for free advertising on the float. Both agreed, and I was feeling pretty fucking slick by then.

Seriously, who can make a parade float without spending a dime? I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back for being so smart. And then, out of nowhere, the reality that I can't draw a train let alone build one came to my mind. I sat Indian-style in the grass, thinking hard enough to create smoke signals to far away villages.

I ran into the house telling myself I could hide until the parade is over and then say I was abducted by aliens or some such shit. I seriously felt sick. And you long-time readers know, I rarely get sick. Last time was when I pissed my pants at Dairy Queen. It has been a long time. Maybe I could lie and tell the kids Mrs. Lane came down with a bad case of Miss Pissy Pants Syndrome?

In the house I grabbed my notebook. First I sang the Thinking Chair song from Blue's Clues, and like a flash, I thought about The Little Engine that Could! It was brilliant... only I still didn't have time to take drawing classes.

I called my mom in a panic, because that is just what I do. With all of the sympathy she could muster, she said, "Oh come on, Lois! You'll do fine!"

Where was the "Don't worry, honey." or the, "I'll be over to help."??? Stupid Mom!

I sat with my notebook doodling for a while. Something that resembled a trains engine emerged. I ran outside like my ass was on fire. I measured the wood and trailer, and started drawing on the wood. Eight tries, and one giant pink eraser later, I had it... a perfectish train engine outline. Okay, so maybe it looked more like a huge dick with a smokestack, but whatever, the kids didn't notice any Sigmund Freud phallic similarities.

I went into the garage and raided my old man's tools. With a jig saw I carefully followed the lines I'd drawn. Halfway into cutting out the engine's silhouette, Mr. Lane pulled into the driveway. "What are you doing with my tools?"

Pretending not to hear him over the saw, I never looked up or responded. But my arm was tired and I wanted to take a break. Next thing I knew, I looked like I had a case of Parkinson's. My arms were shaking all crazy like, and my mouth was going "bup, bup, bup" uncontrollably like Goldie Hawn's in Overboard. He took his saw out of my hand, turned it off and said, "What the hell?"

I batted my eyelashes at him in the sexiest lesbo/carnie way possible, and flashed him a winning smile.

"Give me that!" He demanded.

And then the sucker cut the rest out for me. Ha! It was a win/win!

When he saw me line up the silhouette against the other board and trace the outline, he said, "Here let me cut that one too, so you don't hurt yourself."

After he was finished cutting both sides out, I sarcastically said, holding my heart, "My hero!"

And you know what? That float took first place in two categories! It won Best in Theme and Best Kids Float!