Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Family Holiday Circus Has Begun: My Sister at Starbucks

My younger sister and I have an annual contest to see who pulls the ditziest, most dingbat stunt of the year.

I think she's going to win the prize in 2006. Heaven forbid that I top this one in the 45 days remaining in this year.

My sister called me this morning. She had just gotten to our hometown yesterday after driving two days from Colorado with a car full of stuff and two dogs, where I am also returning.

Seems that when she arrived, she couldn't get into her rental condo until later in the day. So she went over to Starbucks to chill out, have a latte and, well, use the facilities.

After waiting to get into the bathroom, she finally went in. Minutes later she turned to flush the toilet with her purse on her shoulder. Quicker than a jack rabbit, the purse slipped and her keys fell out of her overstuffed bag into the toilet and disappeared without a trace into the abyss of the gyrating, screaming, flushing commode.

"It was one of those power flush toilets from hell," she moaned.

It instantly sucked all ten of her keys, key rings, keychain, and a big red pepper spray cannister she had attached to the keys for protection into the centrifugal force of the water before gulping the ensemble into middle earth for all eternity.

"And there I was, alone staring down the toilet begging my keys to come back."

"The dogs were locked inside the car, I was locked out and looked like someone out of the Beverley Hillbillies after driving for two days wandering out of the bathroom. I felt like the idiot of all time."

"So I went over to the man behind the Starbucks counter and told him what just happened. He was really sorry but offered no help. Said there were no second chances with that kind of industrial strength toilet. And then he offered me a free cup of coffee..... I wasn't thirsty."

"I think you'll win the ditzy prize this year, " I said.

Well in the end, it turned out my little sister eventually found an extra car key stashed in some hidden magnetic box attached underneath her car and was able to get back in and drive away to the condo. But she added, she was now working on getting new duplicate keys made with those space age chips that cost about $250 each."

"Can you imagine?" she said. Yes, I told her, I had been there too. But not from having my car keys flushed down the toilet.

And as for me, I can let her have the award this year, without going into great detail about my dingbat moment this summer: While hiking in the Rockies one day with a group of friends, during lunch I was passing around a package of dried plums from my pack, saying that I had never had a dried plum before.

Someone asked if I had never eaten a prune? Well sure, I said, I've eaten prunes, but never a dried plum.....they're different, you know.

I was corrected: prunes are dried plums. And the dried plum thing was just a new marketing ploy from Del Monte.

No they're not, I insisted. Prunes are prunes and plums are not prunes....I'm certain of it....certain of it....

Well, someone pressed, have you ever seen a baby prune, before it becomes a prune?

Maybe, maybe not, I said. Can't recall.

Laughter abounded from all around me, as I grasped to make the case that prunes are not dried plums in lenghty, nonsensical oratory.

Needless to say, I will not live such a faux pas down for many moons. I simply had never given any thought whatsoever to the origins of prunes. But hey, confusing prunes and plums is not the same as flushing your car keys down the toilet at Starbucks,

Is it!?

1 comment:

AskMom said...

It's less expensive to be in the dark about the shameful relationship between plums and prunes. But otherwise as klutzy as keys down the toilet. Sorry, Web :)

Now, you wanna hear about the time I told one of my interns all about my latest love graphic detail......standing on the floor of the House Chamber .....while my microphone was still on......and the C-Span cameras were still rolling?

Pride, R.I.P. Thank God the tech on duty that day was a friend. The tape disappeared, but a Congressman who was lurking behind me heard it all and has never let me forget it. This is one of the many reasons I'd never run for public office.