Thursday, August 09, 2007

Seven Years of Bad Meatballs

You know what I really miss? Mad Libs. Love 'em, but since I'm 37, I don't often get asked to participate in a Mad Lib session. I'm thinking about starting a club.
Anyway, we're back from Seattle, and yes, I did overhear a snippet of the cousins filling in some Mad Libs, in which someone was doomed to seven years of bad meatballs. The funny part was, at that moment I thought "holy crap, I think I've been sentenced to seven years of bad meatballs..."
All in all, the trip was cool - we went on a starfish hunt with the kids - and found dozens of them that were as big as my head, as well as some sea anemones, decorator crabs, moon snails, turkish towel, cancer crabs (which we ate), and all of the regular wacky sea life you might expect. We had some great seafood, took a ferry to Bainbridge Island, went to the Pike Market (as every good tourist should), and had some kickass coffee. Most importantly, the kids had a great time, and we all got to sit down to dinner together as a huge extended family a couple of times, which hasn't happened in god knows how long.
Funny little sidebar - every time we ask Sam what his favorite part was, he'll say "making masks with Julie and Antonia" or "having the potato races with Jeanne"... which is great... but we could have saved a couple of thousand dollars by buying him potato and a paper plate in Pennsylvania.
(I'm just kidding everyone, calm down...)
On to the meatball part - We tried to leave for Seattle Saturday morning on a 7:30 flight, which was ok with me, because waking the kids up early means there is some possibility for nappage, which is like gold on a cross country flight. As meatball-luck would have it, our flight was delayed because the flight crew needed their mandatory 8 hours rest and the plane was late the night before, so we stared out the window at our empty plane for three hours before they were ready to go. Not so bad, really, because the kids were pretty mellow. Finally, we were allowed to board, and after sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes, we finally took off. (are you ready for the fun part?) In 15 minutes or so, the fasten seat belt sign went off, Sam and Lily started their movies, and all was right with the world...
Until the Captain's voice came over the loudspeaker, "Uh, folks, we seem to be getting some warning lights in the cockpit, so as a precautionary measure, we're going to turn back to Philadelphia. We should be back on the ground in about 15 minutes." ... which was a little disturbing, because we didn't really want to delay our trip, and he didn't say if we would be back on the ground in one, or many, pieces. People were shooting around some nervous glances, and my mother had turned completely white, but all in all I was just pissed at that point. Then, as if the pilot could sense that some people in the cabin were not tense enough, the loudspeaker pops back on. "Good morning again folks, your Captain here. Just so you know, when we land you'll see fire trucks, ambulances, and some other emergency vehicles on the runway, as well as escorting the plane to the gate. This is just a precautionary measure, it's required every time there is a landing like this, so there is really nothing to worry about." At this point, my mother actually turned clear, and I could plainly see my wife (who had now become a sort of greenish-blue color) sitting on the other side of her. He then mumbled something about a smoke warning light coming on, but in my head all I heard was "...if you haven't made a commitment to one particular religion, my copilot and I suggest you do so now. Also, feel free to kneel in the aisles if you have to confess anything important; you're welcome to join the mile high club if you wish; and all the alcohol is free, courtesy of Mr. Crenshaw in seat 9B. Our flight attendants are passing out a short pamphlet on the five stages of grief - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Currently, my copilot and I are in the Acceptance stage, although I must warn you, some of our flight attendants this morning are still in the Anger stage, so we suggest you do not speak to them, or look them directly in the eye. The weather in Philadelphia is a balmy 78 degrees this morning, and the local time is 12:38. We know you have a choice in airlines out of, and directly back into Philadelphia, and we thank you for choosing US Air." So we sat on our doomed plane and waited for 15 minutes to land, and did indeed see all sorts of rescue equipment as we finally rolled in - and just to put a little icing on the US Air experience, we had to wait for over four hours to get our luggage and car seats off the plane, and wait until Monday to get another flight... good times...
Once we got back home from Seattle and things calmed down a bit, I was actually able to sleep for the first time in weeks (why couldn't I sleep? no idea) and thought the bad meatball karma might actually be in my head... and yesterday, I was downright chipper. Until, of course, I heard a terrific crash from upstairs, followed by a scream from my wife. (don't you just love using 'terrific' in a sentence like this? It's so 'black and white movie'...) I dash up the stairs faster than any chubby guy has dashed before, only to see my daughter's feet sticking out from an overturned dresser, like the Wicked Witch of the West. Apparently, in an overzealous attempt to help find Sam's pajamas, she decided to scale the drawer-pulls like Sir Edmund Hillary and pulled the whole thing on top of her. She was fine, but needless to say, everyone else was really freaked out. So this morning, first thing, I went to the hardware store and bought 3,142 brackets that are used to secure I-beams together, and securely fastened everything in the house to the nearest wall, floor, or ceiling. It's been a bit of a hard day, getting used to living in a house where nothing actually moves (It's like we're living in one of those Amish farmhouse museums in Lancaster) but I figure if we can't crash land, and nothing can fall on top of us, we'll be ok. Oh, and by the way... I've been nominated for a Blogger's Choice Award (see the little baloon-y thing at the top of the page?) in four different categories (I won't tell you who nominated me unless you ask), so please take a minute and sign up to vote... you guys are the best...


Squishy said...

Loved this post. Very funny! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I will be sure to keep reading yours. The photos of your little ones are gorgeous.

You are very funny and very witty!

Squishy said...

After having a good look at your blog, I find you very amusing, so I have added you as a link on my blog.

Cheers Amelita

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