Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Tale of Few Pities

Once upon a time in a land so far away most Americans called it "Canada" a Volvo-driving princess insisted upon independence.

For her age, the princess was wise. By 24 years she'd mastered the arts of combine-driving, kuchen-baking and car plug-inning but despite her high IQ, Princess Katie had one and ONLY one fault, if such a small, insignificant imperfection could even be labeled as such. And that was pride.

One afternoon the beloved princess braved the negative double digits and the day before's 8.5 inches of snow, hopping into her trusty steed, aka Vinny the Volvo. As she hiked the mountains of freshly fallen fluff (in her pointy-toed black boots) she slid into her vehicle, waving to the street plowers and snow shovelers clearing the complex's parking area.

As usual, gifted and loyal Vinny started and marched right over the ankle-deep snow the plowers left behind. By the end of the parking lot, Princess Katie was faced with a choice: turn right down the graveled and infrequently-travelled alley or proceed left towards a main highway also known as an emergency route leading to the only hospital in the county.

Using her not-inherited and yet somehow natural vehicular wisdom (Both her parents practice road rage. Her mom refuses to brake while using cruise control and frequently calls neighboring drivers "assholes." Her father refuses to personalize his license plates because based on his driving, his most-deserving moniker is SOB.) our princess chose the latter, turning front-wheel first into a steaming pile of still-falling angel poo.

Stay calm, Princess Katie thought to herself, you're prepared for this. After a deep breath, Katie reached for the magic wand she'd packed in the event she'd need more than her two-for-a-dollar mittens to plow out sweet Vinny: a plastic dustpan.

To know-it-alls out there, claiming a shovel would work better, try this parka on for size: Despite conquering her second winter in the Upper Plains, our leading lady doesn't own a driveway and therefore didn't own a snow shovel either.

Soon, Princess Katie was on her hands, knees and dark-colored dress pants heaving snow from behind poor Vinny's tires. She scooped and she scooped finally braking, flipping to neutral and pushing like a grandpa without his castor oil.

If the car starts to roll, she figured, surely she and her black boots would be able to leap tall snow piles, open the driver's door and apply the brake before hitting anything of any value (to her).

After three or four pushes, five or six golden-lab like digs and 30-40 minutes, the 4-door family car hadn't budged.

Imaging the shame of having to leave the vehicle in the middle of the street and yet still a mini-van's length away from its original parking spot, the princess wrinkled her nose and hummed the tune of Disney heroines past.

Suddenly, a plow the size of a forklift bowed before her, nearly knocking the windshield wiper off her headlights.

A brave knight on his gas-powered steed attempted to free the maiden and her trusty European import from the grasp of a frigid Mother Nature. He was underdressed for the weather, showing enough skin for the princess to know: Surely if he bought me a drink, I'd give him my realphone number, she though. But the knight's efforts were to no avail.

As if conjured by Hermione Granger herself, a second knight appeared pushing, pulling and directing the steering column but even his help aligned neither the stars nor the princess' front-wheel tires.

A third male appeared, but this one lacked any sense of chivalry, charm or good-looks.

Got any jumper cables? asked Scary Larry the t-shirt-reader (you may remember him from previous posts).

Do I look like the kind a girl that No. 1, owns jumper cables and No. 2, has a clue how to use them?

No, sorry, she said, wondering how he expected her to drive her immobile vehicle towards his.

By the end of the pleasantries and a half dozen pushes, Princess Katie got the boot.

Just let me do it, said Knight No. 2 ousting Katie from her spot in the driver's seat. Being as the Sir Not-So-Nice-Alot (but kinda nice-alot cuz he freed her car), the princess steadied her crown, exited the vehicle and gave the reigns to a snow plow operator in an FOX motocross hoodie.

Soon, the Volvo's gas pedal pummeled a hole in the car's carpet and its speedometer exceeded 90 miles per hour. The air filled with fuel-smelling fairy dust and Princess Katie clicked her heals expecting to land in Cabo San Lucus.

The smoke was so thick, it covered Larry's lazy eye and had it not been for his dog-urine stench, she may have forgotten he was there at all.

Alas, the dust fell and the Volvo was free.

Oh my god, thank you, thank you! the princess beamed, cursing herself for spending her last 20-dollar bill on beers some parole-violating dude should have purchased for her.

The princess ignored the stares from the three neighboring apartment buildings. What? That's totally not MY Volvo. Must be someone else's. They're so common here, you know...

Soon she was in, buckled and even pleased enough to break for school-children too mindless to look before crossing the icy streets.

And everyone lived as happily ever after a possible considering in this state, stepping outside at this time of year makes boogers freeze.

Happy New Year.

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