Saturday, April 28, 2007


Over lunch with Himself, I mentioned my monthly, fast approaching on the first of the month. The first of the month meant social security checks would be deposited in Weeble accounts. They would have access to the funds by the third of the month, and that would mean a trip to Market Basket, the high point of my month.

I mentioned we would have to find someone to repair the brick steps.

“Your dad told me he had the bricks. We’d just have to mix the mortar.”

“You know how to set brick?”

“I can try.”

I tried to block out the picture that came to mind. Horse’s patoot! and a mad dash to Home Depot as Ray’s is too far to travel. I smiled weakly.

“We can go next Sunday as it’s supposed to rain at the beginning of the week. Things should be dried out by next weekend.”

“I’ll give them a call to plan the shopping trip. Maybe let them know we’ll be out next Sunday.”

“No! Don’t do that. They’re like little kids. If something comes up, and we can’t make it, they’ll be disappointed, and there’ll be hell to pay.”

“There’s always hell to pay.”

“Let them be on a need to know basis, that way, there’ll be less.”

I called the Weebles to let them know I had Friday available for shopping. I actually had Wednesday open too, but Wednesday is the third of the month and every weeble for miles around would be at Market Basket. Dad answered the phone and told me his Senior Citizen Glee Club had a performance rehearsal on Friday. He couldn’t miss it, as he’s The Leader of the Band. I tried not to look to the heavens and sigh. Shopping would have to be on Wednesday.

I could feel a pain begin to form behind my left eye so I went to lie down.

The phone rang, and Himself answered. It was Dad. I chuckled as I heard Himself’s end of the conversation.

“Yeah. Un-huh. Yeah.”

Dad replaying the “She Called Me Stupid ” song for some sympathy.

I pulled the quilt over my head and snuggled into the pillow.
“Yeah. Ok. Well, don’t worry about that. I planned on stopping there on Friday, and I’ll mow the lawn. We’ll be there Sunday to take care of the stairs.”

So much for the need to know basis.

“Here, you can talk to Herself about that.”

“Your dad’s on the phone. He has a doctor’s appointment.”

I tried to pull the quilt higher over my head, but Himself managed to wedge the phone in.

“We have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday at 10:30”

“I told you I can’t take you there as I’m having my chipped tooth fixed and I’ve been waiting since December. Can’t one of your friends take you?”

“But, the doctor keeps us waiting and they’d have to wait!”

I rolled my eyes. Like I don’t wait?

“I’ll call the doctor on Monday and have the appointment changed to Wednesday.”

“No, Dad, I’ll have to take Ma to Market Basket on Wednesday. I can’t take you to the doctor too because she takes so freaking long at Market Basket. You won’t be finished in time for me to pick the Young One up from school. I can come back on Friday.”

“No, I have to lead my group.”

“Ok, well, can’t you call The Van to take you?”

“The what?”

“The Van.”

“What’s that?”

I roll my eyes. Dad has been with the Senior Center for close to 20 years. He has advised seniors on the services available to them.

“The Van. You give them 48 hours notice. Tell them where you want to go, and they will come to your house to pick you up. Take you where you need to go, and bring you home. It will cost both of you $2.” I didn’t mention each way as I wanted this to be a very attractive solution. “If you need physical assistance they will help you in and out of the van.”

“Well, I’ll have to check into that.”
You do that.

“I think I’ll call the doctor on Monday, cancel the appointment and reschedule for the following Monday. Can you come out on Monday.”

“Yes, Dad. Monday. Any Monday during the month of May is good. Make the appointment for 10:30 or 11AM.”

I crawled back in bed. Himself sat on the edge and rubbed my back.

“When you’re over there, give them a subliminal message. Peapod, Peapod, Peapod,” Himself whispered in my ear.

“The only way they would understand a subliminal message would be if someone slammed them upside the head with a two by four and yelled PEAPOD. Maybe we should move the two of them into Prissy’s house. She’d love the company.”

“There you go! You’d have all your eggs in one basket.”

“Only it wouldn’t work.”

“Why not?”

“We’d still have to drive 50 miles to do the shopping at Market Basket, and we’d have to take Prissy too”

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pinball Wizard

I was congratulating myself that this Mahket Basket trip would go smoothly and efficiently. I had told my brother about their shopping pattern. He accurately described it as a game of pinball. Not this time! Each Weeble had a list and each Weeble would work half the store. Ma would cover meat and produce, and Dad would take Dairy and the aisles.

Ma and I headed toward produce. Not the most logical way around the store, but at least we were headed in a direction. She spotted a table display of bananas on sale. She wanted bananas. I got to the display, reached to grab a hand of bananas. Suddenly, I’m slammed from behind.

“Get a big one!” she yells.

I’m bent over the banana table. “I did!” I roared “Back up!”

Pinball and the silver ball just tilted.

She backed up and roared around to the tomatoes. Big Boys were at a good price. She ordered me to get 3 pounds of the smallest size I could find. As I placed the tomatoes in the bag, I said a prayer for the Big Boy that lost its life at her hands two weeks before.

She went down her list, shouting the item, and I limped along, offered the item for her blessing or excommunication. Some of the prices went up, and she was not happy.

We hunted produce for a ten pound bag of potatoes. All we found were five pound bags of regular and organic potatoes. A worker was putting out bags of potatoes. She told him she wanted a ten pound bag. He told her they didn’t have any in ten pound bags. We circled produce again looking for ten pound bags. Ma asked the produce worker again for a ten pound bag. She kept telling him the store always carried ten pound bags. He told her to buy two five pound bags. She did not buy any.

We finished produce and blessed the meat. I glanced at my watch, smiled as we were making good time. I had spotted Dad a time or two, but he was no where in sight. I wished I had taken my brother’s advice to tie a balloon to Dad for an easy, inexpensive Joe-jack location device.

Ma began trolling the aisles. I winced at every corner she had to take envisioning Little Debbies cascading to the floor. She cruised at ramming speed and slammed a young man in the coffee can. She moved off, shrugging and making apologies. She reminded me of the late President Reagan, and his famous Ronnie shuffle for avoiding the press.

Dad caught up with us, but announced he needed to get pickles.

“You were over that side of the store an hour ago!”

He smiled sheepishly at me and shrugged his own version of the Ronnie shuffle. I decided it would be faster if I got the pickles. I was admonished to get them only if they were 99 cents. Did I find 99 cent pickles? No, found them for $1.19. Now, if this were my shopping, I would follow the Little Princess Method of Shopping. If I wanted the item, I would buy the item and most likely not glance at the price. I head back to where I left the Weebles, but they are no where to be found! Balloons, it would have been so simple.

The store is not large, but suddenly it was enormous. I needed to put out an APB. I went round and round, up the same aisles and down. I heard the pinball machine pinging crazily as I, the silver ball, banged the bumper. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. At this rate, I was destined for a replay.

Finally found them waiting in line at the deli. The department after dairy where Dad would have started his run. Those Weebles sure play a mean pinball.