Friday, December 24, 2004

Postcards From The Edge

Scenes from the first 24 hours of the Evans Family vacation in Palm Springs:

1) On my list of places to have a DEFCON 5 diarrhea attack, the Vons supermarket on the corner of Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111 isn’t even in the top 50. Yet there I was yesterday, standing near the soymilk, feeling that familiar cramping and realizing I had to find a bathroom within the next two minutes or face the prospect of terrifying the old ladies shopping for Christmas hams with an ugly display of “what brown can do for me.”

“Where’s your men’s room, dude?” I asked the Vons stockboy, interrupting his deft replenishing of the Cool Ranch Doritos.

“Down aisle six, through the double doors, up the stairs on your right,” he said.

“Bless you, skippy,” I shouted back as I ran down the aisle, my hand over my butthole.

I raced down aisle six in record time, burst through the flimsy brown double doors. There was a sign that said “Authorized Personnel Only.” I thought for a second that maybe I shouldn’t proceed, but then I realized that people who are about to redecorate the produce section with a spray of chunky brown holiday poop nog are clearly “authorized,” so I continued. I jetted up the stairs praying to God and Hari Krishna and Mohammed and all those dudes that stretching my legs wide enough to cover two stairs at once wouldn’t open my sphincter and unleash Armegeddon. When I got to the top of the stairs, I found myself standing in the middle of the Vons employee lounge.

Just in time for the employee Christmas party.

There was a table with homemade cakes, cold cuts, casseroles, a crock pot full of something brown and four two-liter bottles of Coke and Diet Coke. I stood at the top of the stairs, sweating, panting, doing a little “I have to poop” dance, and all eyes turned toward me.

“Hi,” a woman in a brown Vons apron said.

“Hi,” I said back sheepishly.

“Can I help you?”

“Men’s room?”

She said nothing, just pointed to a door to her immediate left.

“Ah,” I said, kind of skipping in that direction. “Thanks.”

As I waddled past the partiers, their eyes followed me, anticipating perhaps that I was about to kill them all with an axe or do a striptease. I guess I looked that crazy.

Finally, I bounded through the men’s room door. As it swung closed behind me, I shouted back, “Merry Christmas. Save me some cake.”

2) To accommodate all of the elderly people who live here, they have adapted all of the crosswalk meters with a countdown clock. When the big red hand appears, a counter appears in red next to it telling you how many seconds must elapse before the meter will change to the little white walking guy.

I was driving to Starbucks this morning, about to turn left on Fred Waring Drive from Monterey Street. I had a green light and there was a dude standing at the corner. The meter told him he had 12 seconds to wait before crossing, but just as I hit the gas on the minivan and started to make the turn, he stepped out into the crosswalk and began to cross.

Were I one of Palm Springs’ typical drivers – picture a 90-year-old man in an olive green Ford Granada, wearing Coke-bottle glasses and barely able to see over the steering wheel – the dude would have been toast. I would have hit him, run over him and skidded out on his writhing carcass without even knowing it. But since I am still moderately fleet of foot and lucid, I slammed on the brakes and spared the kid’s life. Barely.

“Are you fucking crazy, you dumb-ass?” I yelled to him.

He barked something back at me in Spanish – something about Carnitas I think – and made some kind of strange finger gesture that looked like the itsy bitsy spider climbing up the water spout.

If I wasn’t consumed with holiday cheer, I swear to God I would have turned the minivan around and flattened that motherfucker. He’s so incredibly lucky that I’m a righteous Jew and that I was jonesing for my Starbucks fix. Coffee saved that dude’s life. For reals.

3) All of the streets here are named after dead celebrities. Bob Hope Drive. Frank Sinatra Drive. Dinah Shore Drive. Hot Wife and I have therefore initiated a game where we try to guess which blue-haired geezer will die next and have a street in Palm Desert or Rancho Mirage named after him or her.

I took George Burns. Hot Wife has Dean Martin.

4) It’s been a while since our daughter, Barney’s Biggest Fan, has had a developmental breakthrough to get excited about, but last night on the way home from Tony Roma’s she unleashed a doozie.

She sat in her car seat and started talking. She pointed to herself and said, “Me.” Then she pointed at me and said, “Daddy.” Then she pointed at Hot Wife and said, “Mommy.” I was floored.

“Did you hear that, honey?!” I said to Hot Wife. “She pointed to me before she pointed to you!”

What can I say? The child is a genius.


At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a coincidence! Annie has been walking around the house this week calling "dada, daaadeeeee, dada, daaadeeeee" and now she's finally saying mama - it sounds just like this "choppppedddliiiiivvverrrrrrr"

love ya.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Mrs.Strizzay said...

Does your wife smack you on a regular basis, you know, like out of love and stuff?? heh. Have a great hannukka and all that jazz. I am just wondering if the grocery store partiers smelled your funky ass or heard what was going on as they tried to pretend they didn't and eat the nasty brown stuff on the table?

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Daniel Evans said...

Funky ass? Moi?


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