Wednesday, July 18, 2012

People with problems

Alex and Lucien were supposed to leave for their boys-only trip to Quebec Saturday morning.  But they didn't.  Because Friday night, as I packed Lucien's suitcase, I realized Lucien's passport expired six weeks ago.

Seattle Mom and Dad were coming over for dinner and arrived right after the passport realization was made.  Because they are good friends, they sprang into action.  Seattle Dad put the Loosh into his car and took him for a new passport photo.  Seattle Mom prepared the food I was supposed to prepare, freeing Al to freak the eff out and me to punch myself repeatedly in the face in the corner.  We are thankful for our level-headed friends.

What followed was a strange, disjointed night that involved hearing of a friend in hospice and an argument with Contractor God about strippers.  The night was made even more strange when I walked outside to check on the kids and saw two people standing on the sidewalk who asked, "Hey, is that your rabbit?"

I'd never been asked that question before so I had to think a minute before I answered, "Umm...what?"  The couple then pointed to a gray flop-eared bunny sitting in the middle of my yard.  The couple said they'd been following it for six blocks, trying to keep it out of the street, of which it seemed quite fond.

I had a rabbit when I was a kid so I know how to catch the springy little things.  The couple corralled the darting rabbit best they could and I pounced, throwing myself on top of the rabbit as it ran down the sidewalk and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck.  The little sucker didn't like that and attempted to scratch my body to pieces but I hung on, I hung on!

I held him tightly against my chest and walked back into the house.  Everyone looked up and blinked because I'd just walked back into the party carrying a gray flop-eared rabbit.  Then they shrugged and drank their wine because of course I'd just walked back into the party carrying a gray flop-eared rabbit.

Thankfully, another neighbor knew the rabbit's owner.  Soon thereafter the bunny went bye-bye in a cage.  I hope he comes to our next get-together because that rabbit really knew how to party.

We went to the airport the next day to see if we could salvage the boys' Quebec trip.  We debated calling the airline versus going to talk to an agent at the airport.  We decided even though both options were generally useless, we preferred to hate someone in person.

How did airports go from the relatively sane places I remember from my childhood to the absolute pits of hopelessness and despair they are today?  We had to wait in the "people with problems" line which is truly a study in dead-eyed human misery.

We waited for an hour.  Then two.  At one point, the only agent appointed to the "people with problems" line disappeared.  When the angry customer she'd been helping demanded to know where she was, he was told the agent was on her break.

That wasn't a smart thing to tell people standing in a "people with problems" line.  All hell broke loose with a lot of yelling and waving of arms.  People with problems in airports are seriously stressed out people.

An agent finally rebooked the boys for Tuesday and gave us the documentation needed to get an emergency passport on Monday.  Surprisingly, the emergency passport procedure was easy and went off without a hitch, so the boys are finally, happily, in Quebec having a great time.

I'm used to Alex going out of town, happens regularly.  I am not, however, used to seeing my little boy walk away from me dragging his little wheelie suitcase behind him.  I was not prepared for the huge lump in my throat and the hysterical waving and yelling, "BYE LUCIEN BYE LUCIEN BYE BYE."

Al shucking corn in a fedora with a glass of French rosé on our front porch

I talk to Widower Peter nearly every day.  He has a lot to say so it's a real investment of my time when I choose to join him at the gate.  The other day he wanted to talk about "relationships these days."  He's fed up hearing about all these "men who spend their time in bars" and "women who run off to the Bingo parlor on Saturday nights."

Bingo parlor.  Right.  That's where we go.

Speaking of Saturday nights, here was mine --


 photos by the fabulous Christina Mallet

No Bingo in sight.  Gosh, don't tell our fellas.

And Seattle Mom only pretended to do that shot -- she actually dumped it on my foot under the table.  Busted.

That your rabbit?


  1. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr look at that gorgeous creature with the green scarf!;)

    First the prodigual schnauzer, now the rabbit... this is not Bannister Abbey, it's Noah's ark!:)

    Doesn't Lucien also have Canadian citizenship? (Mind you, the days when Canadians and Americans could travel back and forth between the two countries with just a birth certificate are long gone... but I think Canadians can still go to Mexico and the Dominican Republic without a passport...)
    Is he willling to speak French with his Québécois family?:)

    1. Rawr! Hey there, Duchesse! Our house is pretty much always zoo-like, seems fitting there are finally some animals in it.

      Lucien does have Canadian citizenship but not a Canadian passport. For airline travel, one must have a damn passport. For driving across the border, his Canadian citizenship card would have sufficed. Believe me, we had lots of creative ideas such as flying the boys to Maine and them driving across to Quebec, etc. etc. We were all crazy up in here.

      The Loosh is refusing to speak the Frenchie talk but still understands everything. At this point, everyone is speaking to him in French and he's answering in English, and all is well.

      We're not sure how to force the kid to speak French now that he no longer cares to speak French. Suggestions?

      Bye, D!

  2. Love. Love. Love. The new "do". Given Frnchies proclivity to enjoy a succulent Lapin...that little bunny is lucky you aren't a better cook. Mmmm. Bunny. ;-) I hope you and little C are enjoying the sanity with those men folk out of the way. Cheers!

    1. Dang, C, I hadn't considered cooking the rabbit until you chimed in. Good thing Glen Close didn't show up, either.

      Missed you Saturday. Hope to see you soon. Until then, keep kicking ass and taking names on the tennis court.

  3. MJ...looking gooood.

    too funny about the passport...and the Duchesse is right..long gone are those days...and didnt' you need a letter to prove Al was kidnapping him across the border...parents travelling solo with a kid get the third degree in these parts...

    you are one brave bunny catcher..which beats being a bunny boiler.

    1. Yes, I did need that letter -- it said "This proves my husband is kidnapping my son. Help me, AAAAAAH" or something along those lines.

      (Yep, I wrote a letter to the nice border patrol expressing Alex had the right to take my boy across country lines. Otherwise all hell coulda broken loose, and we didn't need any more of that.)

      Bye, Debs.

    2. Can you imagine being a widow and trying to take kids anywhere??? What would you do? Travel with a death certificate?

  4. A letter to prove that Al WAS kidnapping the Loosh across the border, Debs?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it's finally happened: the "Trenna" heat has made Debs delirious!;)) Stay indoors with the AC on and drink lots of fluids, Darling!;)) It'll be like Rome, only much less picturesque;)

    1. I sure do love having a peanut gallery. Sometimes a blogger just knows who she can count on to show up in her comments. And she also knows who to count on to give other commenters grief -- Duchesse and Debs.

    2. Good was a typo...meant wasn't.....that Duchesse is breaking my balls....:)

      You won't have me to kick around for a couple of weeks to Muskoka...a bien tot!

  5. Darn right airports are no fun anymore. They're full of employees looking to arrest or boss you around. Last year an airline attendant had a nursing mother arrested on terrorism charges because she refused a blanket that he ordered her to cover up with.

    Cheers for the party rabbit. Hope he didn't drink any of the expensive stuff. If the party was a little slow, I'll bet walking in with that, ratcheted it up some. Be careful handling those things. They'll pee all over you. (unless you're into that kind of thing).

    You'll really need to hide that picture of Al shucking corn from any rural, small town, farmer types. If they saw it, I fear he would be the subject of ridiculing laughter and pointing and even casting aspertions of his manhood. They would say things like "Well look at that dandy would you. Better go a little faster or you'll be late for your ballet lessons"

    It's nice to know that if you ever have an hour you need to kill,
    just ask Widower Peter how things are going.

    1. Aaaah.... and there's Bill, right on time, cracking me up as always.

      The peanut gallery, huzzah.

    2. MJ you are a Macadamia Nut amongst goobers. Our blogging shining star.

      Clip of Sara Silvermans shock politics

  6. I've always wondered how to shuck corn with I know. Thanks for sharing a picture of your hunky-husker-shucker with us. ~Melanie

    1. Hunky husker shucker. And I thank you for that, madame.

    2. I have been MIA for months, not writing in my own sad little blog, but even more heinous, I have not been reading your AMAZING blog. I'm sitting here at work laughing like a crazy person catching up on the antics of you and your kin folk. Best way to spend an after noon at work I tell you. Loving the new castle...its even better the Goddamn house!

    3. Hello April, we've been missing you here in these commenter parts. We live in a spectacular house that is going to bankrupt us in spectacular fashion. Huzzah!

      Welcome back, April!

  7. I'm afraid I'm not up to par with your other commentators' wit, so I'll just say that as always, it was a great read.
    Enjoyed and laughed.

    1. Sylvia! Do not sell yourself short! You are a valuable member of the commenter community and I thank you for it.