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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Live to Tell

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Last week I went to get Lane 1's car out of the impound lot. (Please see the last two posts for the back story if you are new here or have been MIA a while.) The police use a local towing company to keep cars until investigations are complete. When I got there, the lady behind the counter told me it would cost me $175 for storage fees.

For a moment, I forgot that I am a nice lady who lives in the country, and basically went Chicago style on her ass. "You do know why the car is here, don't you?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Storage fees, really? Like I was on frickin' vacation and said, 'Hey, ya mind storing my car for a week?' You've gotta be kidding."

The owner came to talk to me and made me an offer I could barely refuse..."I'll buy the car from you for $125 and you can just give me $50 for storage."

"Really! Wow! What a fuckin' bargain! I give you 50 bucks and you keep my kid's car? Are you kidding me?!" I walked out. Pissed off beyond belief. Lucky for me, my friend Jackie was there to talk me off the ledge. She was right, he wasn't worth it, the car wasn't worth it, and I clearly am too straight for jail.

After unloading a ton of fuckery, I went into the cop shop. There I spoke to Officer Awesome and told him what the towing company said. "And I came here because you were almost on your way there to pry me off of that guy's pencil neck." I flashed him a winning smile. Most cops like when you flash them something. Lucky for me, just my smile did the trick.

Before I got home, the towing company had called to say, "The fees have been waived. Feel free to pick up the Omni at your convince."

I felt vindicated as I walked out of there with my broad Chicago style shoulders. I climbed into that boys' locker-room smelling, twisted metal hunk of a car feeling like a circus clown loaded up on meth as it puttered all the way back home.

Remember last week when I told you guys about that nice man from the church who wanted to collect money for a car fund for Lane 1? He came forward anonymously, so I told the messenger to let him know we appreciated it, but it wasn't necessary. Well... he did it anyhow.

He sent... are you ready for this shit?

$1,000 to replenish the boy's bank account.

Isn't that crazy?! I can't tell you how excited the boy was. It is still driving him crazy trying to figure out who did such a nice deed. I hope my kid remembers every detail of this whole story because there's a ton of lessons to be learned.

Things I've learned this week:

Besides all of the above... Before screaming at the top of your lungs, and threatening to beat the living shit out of the dog for tripping you while you're putting dinner in the oven, you should make certain your teenager isn't in the kitchen. Otherwise he may start singing "In the arms of the angel..." just like the animal abuse song on Animal Planet's ASPCA commercial, because you may laugh so hard, you almost drop the roast for a second time.

If you see a new mom back to work, wait until it's just the two of you to whisper into her ear that her boobs are leaking, otherwise she may burst into a postpartum depression fit and bawl right there in front of everyone, making her mascara leak too. Thankfully, I didn't have the heart to let her know there was also a giant stream of spit-up down the back of her blazer.

Waking a man up with oral sex is like giving him a winning lottery ticket. Don't ask, just trust me.

When you are really sick and your chest is wheezing so much that you are whistling through your tits, you can still eat crackers without the crumbs blowing out of your nips like confetti at Times Square on New Years.

You're welcome!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Will Buy You A New Life

If you read the post below, you know that my son's car was totaled.

The other day, we found out it wasn't the man who they said. Rather, a man with a very similar name. (First names are the same and last names are different by a couple of letters, both men are around 400 pounds, and they live in the same little neighborhood. I can see where the mix up was.) Not that one person's life is more tangible, but this guy's life circumstances were far better than the other man, who incidentally, I can't wait to see.

Simply a case of poor choices that resulted in his death. You just wish you could go back and say, "Dude, it's a $400 car and a DUI ticket, hardly worth your life."

Choices, we all have them. All I can do now is show my kids and their friends how that 33-year-old man chose to live and die.

Because Lane 1 could only afford liability insurance, and the man didn't have insurance, we again eat the cost of someone else's poor choices. The last time was when my brother in-law tried to off himself in our house. I'll spare you that tangent too.

And to all of you who have offered to take up a collection for a new car, thank you sincerely, but please refrain. We are Lanes. We always come out of a pile of shit smelling like roses, 'cuz that's just how we roll. One of the men from a nearby church, who doesn't even know us, also offered to take up a collection. The thought is honestly appreciated, but completely unnecessary. Of course, I'll wait a lot of years before I tell my son I turned down money from all of you thoughtful people.

As messed up as the whole situation was, Lane 1 managed to make himself a pitcher of lemonade with his lemons. The little shit has gotten out of homework all week, because he lied to his teachers and said his books were all in his car at the police impound lot. I secretly love his creative bad side.

Last night a police officer came over to release the Omni from impound, I have to pick it up today. He explained that the investigation took longer because of hearsay and rumors, common stuff in a small town. Besides the fact, what family wants to believe a loved one's death was a result of something so injudicious? I can't blame them for demanding a full investigation. The final report states the same as the scenario I posted below. It honestly breaks my heart to think about.

Yet, we roll with the punches, try to learn a lesson in all of this and move on to the next chapter of life.

I proudly present to you...

...Lane 1 and The Green Machine! Can I get a woot, woot?!

Searching frantically with every free moment, Mr. Lane and I found this little gem a few towns away. I wish I had video footage of the big surprise. You guys, he lit up like a little boy again. His big ol' brown eyes filled with tears of joy. He had this proud peacock strut as he walked over to give his old mom a big bear hug. His smile had finally returned. He hugged me so hard I couldn't breathe.

He was so excited, he could barely speak, "Thank you, Mom."

Breathing that boy in, I sheepishly said, "Well before you give me all the credit..."

He broke our awesome embrace, looked at me with his head cocked to the side like a confused puppy, and asked, "Did I pay for this?"

I smiled at my son for being so smart. "Me and Dad cleaned your account out this morning, and Grandpa and Nana are floating you a loan for the rest."

With a shrug of his shoulders, he reached in for another hug. "That's alright, Mom, it's awesome! I love it!"

Sealed with a kiss and a promise to not be riding dirty, Lane 1 celebrates as if it were a Toyota.

As he grabbed his keys off of the table to leave this morning, he was singing, "I will buy you a garden, where your flowers can bloom. I will buy you a new car, perfect shinny and new." And that, pretty much made my day.

Thank you for all of the, love, prayers, well-wishes, concern, comments and emails at Yahoo and Hotmail, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, sheesh, you guys were posting everywhere, even on ANT's blog. It means a lot to the Lane Gang to know how much you all care.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Silent Sigh

Nothing can freak a mom out as much as a phone call moments after curfew from their teenager who's crying so hard, you can't make out the words he is saying.

I got that call Friday night from my son, Lane 1. Of course my heart sank and mind raced with the many horrible possibilities, as I pressed the phone harder to my ear, trying to understand what he was saying. Lane 1 never cries, so I, expected the worst.

It's hard to believe the kid who was goofing around and planning this outfit for the dance, could be so incredibly sad less then 24 hours after these photos were taken.

He was oozing in confidence and was probably way too secure in himself for his own good. I told him it was bordering on porn and he needed to end his striptease there.

Later, it was the worst, but luckily for us, what we were dealing with was a piece of cake in comparison.

He came out of the Valentine's Dance at school to find someone had ran into his car and drove off. We've lived in this town for two years. This is the second hit-and-run we've experienced. I won't go off on that tangent right now.

Mr. Lane and I went to the school to see the impact was so hard, his car was sideways in its parking spot, and his bumper was 70 feet away. It looked like someone took a can opener the entire back end. Totaled with only liability insurance. Thank God he wasn't in the damn car. Thankfully, none of the kids were hurt. The accident happened minutes before the dance let out. It could have been so much worse.

Lane 1's friends rushed over to ask what happened. Many offered to go looking for what appeared to be a black car with pinstripes based on the hunks of fiberglass laying on the ground. Even with a posse of renegades ready to have his back, Lane 1 hugged me and sobbed into my shoulder as we stood there.

Do you remember when someone stole his bike? Magnify that by a million. It's one thing for a 13-year-old to have his bike stolen, and a whole different animal to see an almost man of 16 years, lose his first car at the hands of someone's recklessness.

Remember how happy he was three short months ago, when he got the car?

He worked all summer saving his money and became the leader of The Beater Brothers with his 1985 Dodge Omni. As happy as he was that day, he was equally devastated.

The officer arrived and barely got Lane 1's name written down and he was getting another call. "There's a car on fire. I have to go. Stay here and I'll be back as soon as I can."

I looked at my old man and said, "You know that's the person who did this right?"

He said, "I bet it is."

Lane 1 said, "Let's go."

We drove up to see a giant ball of flames that reached the top of the two-story house it was next to.

They stayed in the car. I walked up. As the flames lessened, I could see what looked like a black car with white pinstripes along the sides that matched the debris we'd seen at the high school.

In my mind, while watching rescue workers rush around, I thought, prayed or hoped it was someone who'd gone for a joyride and decided to burn the evidence. The longer it took them to extinguish the flames, the bigger that pit became in my stomach.

A firefighter walked up to the driver's side and said, "Call the coroner. We have occupants."

I walked away.

It's strange how emotions can shift so quickly, going from anger to sadness in seconds. We headed back home and called the police station. "Just have the officer come to the house when he is done."

We sat there until 1:30 a.m., talking and thinking about who that may have been. Lane 2 had a friend over spending the night. She started to cry. "Most of my friends' parents drive drunk with them in the car."

I tried to console her as I tried to wrap my head around what she just said. Do people really not know better or are they just that stupid?

The officer called and asked us to meet him back at the school. "Because there was a fatality involved, we have to impound your son's vehicle."

I woke Mr. Lane up and told him I was going to meet the officer again. He stumbled out of bed and came with. We'd been up since 4 am, and were completely spent. We helped pick debris off the road, as we dug for information. The officer was tight lipped but another investigator, offered up a scenario.

After hitting Lane 1's car, the man drove off in hurry. He was so drunk or out of it, he missed his turn home. He tried to make a U-turn, but his car landed on a slushy, muddy, grassy shoulder and got stuck. Because he had so much damage to his driver's side, he couldn't get out of the car, and because he was over 400 pounds, he was unable to crawl through the passenger side. He kept spinning his tires trying to get out of the mud, and something in his engine sparked. His car was fully engulfed in flames.

I can't and don't want to even imagine. I don't care how drunk you are, if your body is on fire, you're going to sober up really quick. Horrifying to think about.

They asked us to convoy to the impound lot. We saw the flatbed that held the other vehicle. They couldn't remove the man at the scene, so they placed a tarp over the car. All things you don't want your child to see, feel or experience.

By then, we'd heard who the man was, and that only made the situation worse. I used to take care of his mom at the nursing home. He used to help support our teen center. His mom and son were the only family he had, and unfortunately, his 20-year-old son is wheelchair bound.

This man chose to take off after hitting the car. If he was drunk, he chose to drink and drive. People just don't consider the ramifications for their actions. He lost his life over a $400 car and a possible DUI ticket. Such an incredible waste.

As horrible as it all is, I hope this will serve as a lesson to my son and his friends. I hope they will understand if they make a mistake, they can own up to it rather than make a situation worse by running away. I hope seeing the impact of drinking and driving up close leaves a huge impression in their young minds.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Buffalo Stance

Well, I lied to you guys... again. Remember a year ago when I said something like, "Unless my dogs start to shit gold nuggets, I won't write about them."

Total lie.

Since it's Super Bowl Sunday and I can't really give a crap about football, I actually considered watching Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, with my daughter, Lane 2. It's a great day for vegging out, so why not? Puppies are cute, and I hear there's a kitten halftime show that the crazy cat lady within would enjoy.

But before I could make up my mind, I had my very own Puppy Bowl in my living room.

Mr. Lane's dog Daisy isn't a fan of other dogs. Specifically other dogs whose asses are way too tall to sniff. When a friend came over with her over-size drool machine, Daisy hid under the coffee table.

She only came out long enough to bark at Cujo.

Darla wasn't too sure about this horse-sized dog either. I tossed a couple of bones in their direction, because I'm evil like that, and this is what happened.

As Cujo turned to get the bone Darla had her eye on, he stepped on the other bone behind him. My dog lucked out. She grabbed that bone and ran like her tail was on fire.

That's enough puppy bowl for me. Maybe I'll go make some chili with the ground buffalo meat my neighbor gave me. Who gives people buffalo as a gift anyhow? I really shouldn't look a gift buffalo in the mouth.

Enjoy your Super Bowl and I'll get started on my Buffalo Bowl.