Friday, December 3, 2010

The Age of Asparagus

One of my colleagues gave me a Christmas ornament this afternoon. He said he usually thinks of ornaments for professors with young children (and showed me the corresponding fire truck and school bus models). But he saw this glittery bunch of asparagus tied with a red ribbon, and he thought it would fit in with my office menagerie.
I told him it was perfect! A gift for my inner child! Green stalks with pointy hats look like the evergreens out my window, or the Christmas trees around town, but surprise: asparagus!
It’s the season of gifts. I walked to the mall on my way home and had a barbecue bacon cheeseburger (with those onion straws, too!) from Cruisers in the food court. The cook accidentally made it a double. “It just tastes extra good,” he said when I picked up my tray.
I sat alone in the food court and stared at a TV and the convection currents of people buying movie tickets. 
Dickens the cat investigates my pink Christmas tree. He doesn't
much care for asparagus in real life, so I think the ornament is safe.
I'm finding that given the choice between a good photo without
cat, and a blurry photo with cat, I will still choose blurry with cat.
Downstairs, a line formed outside the gated Nordstrom's. Santa posed for pictures with well-dressed kids at the base of the four-storey Christmas tree. A quartet in Dickensian period dress (hoop skirts, top hat, all that) sang like mute figurines: I couldn’t hear them over the mallish din. 

On Wednesday morning, I received a gift of a different sort. My spoon was poised over my oatmeal when I spied a police car cruising up and down my street, flashing not its red-and-blue but its traveling amber light.
Muffled messages squawked from the police cruise, as if the teacher from Charlie Brown had been a dude: Wonk ha wonk a wonk.
The flashing amber light ran its track as though along the edge of a marquee.
Was there an armed robbery on my street? Was The Man seeking a fugitive?
Wonk wonk…must move car…
Oh, no.
My car was snowed in while I was gone for Thanksgiving, and I figured I’d dig it out come April.
The police officer saw me chipping away at the snow mound at least half the size of my car. I was wearing a rainbow hat and my deer in headlights/little lost lamb/ woman on the edge look.
Rod, the snowplow driver, also witnessed my tiny seesaw motions with the shovel. With one swipe of his mighty blade, he scraped away the glacier in front of my car. 
“You don’t even need a push,” he said. 
Not only did I not get towed, but I didn’t have to spend half a day digging out my car.
Thank God for Rod.


  1. this post made me kinda teary eyed

  2. Hey, Beth! I felt kinda teary in the moment(s). I also felt shamed and freaked out and dysfunctional damsel-in-dress while the car thing was happening, but that gave way to gratitude for the help.