This afternoon I had a schedule to stick to, dammit.
Max was giving a presentation on Beethoven at school, Lucy had gymnastics, and then I had to be at work at some point before 6pm.
So I got dressed for work, and got myself and the littlest sidekick into the car, and headed off to school - stop number one of many many stops to be made today. We live in the country - plenty of hairpin turns ("switchbacks") and blind curves and hidden driveways and, oddly, bicyclists. No bike lanes. No sidewalks. No breakdown lanes. Just two narrow lanes with rather high embankments on either side.
So while I do drive fast, I don't drive as fast as I did on the mainland with all of those wide open roads that call to me. But even using caution, even driving defensively, even driving below the speed limit, I was not expecting to come around a bend and find myself staring at the business end of a cow.
I slammed on the brakes and came to a stop. The cow looked over it's shoulder at me as it ambled along. I say "it" because I have no idea if it was a male or a female. I am not good with things like that. Which explains a lot. But anyway. I was busy braking and steering and trying not to scream and wake up my littlest sidekick.
And after I came to a stop, I looked in my rearview mirror to see the person behind me also coming to a screeching halt, all the while looking furious with me, until of course the cow wandered across the center line in front of me and into their line of vision. And then they sat their, the both of them, with their mouths hanging open. I looked back through my windshield to see oncoming traffic swerving and braking and I realized that staying where I was was a very dangerous place to stay. I was either going to end up with a cow flying through my windshield, or a car skidding into my car as they lost control trying to avoid the cow.
In the road.
So when the coast was clear, I passed the cow cautiously. The cow stared at me as I drove by, unconcerned with my beeping horn. I was honking in case someone who lived nearby perhaps was missing a cow. This might alert them to the cow's location. But I didn't see anyone come out of any of the nearby houses. So I picked up the phoe and called 911.
Now, you are absolutely not allowed to talk on a handheld device, and wouldn't it just be the ultimate irony for me to get a ticket for calling 911 while I was driving? Yes, I agree. And the dispatcher was of a similar mind. A very unfortunate turn of events. I will be watching my mailbox for the citation.
But citations aside, the dispatcher did take my emergency call very seriously.
"911 what is your emergency?"
"There's a cow in the road."
"A cow. In the road. Someone is going to hit it."
"In the road?"
"What's it doing?"
(It's doing a fucking irish jig. What the FUCK do you think it's doing?) "Um. Walking."
"Do you know who it belongs to?"
If I knew who it belonged to, you can be sure I would be calling them instead of this dispatcher.
"No, no I don't. Lots of cows around here."
"Can you describe the cow?"
"Can I wh...describe it?????"
"Yes. Can you give me a description."
Well, let's start with 'the only cow in the middle of the road'. Let's just start with that. And no, I don't know if it's a male or female, I couldn't see whether it had balls or not. IS that how you tell? Or is it horns I am supposed to be looking for? I have no idea. It's a fucking cow. That's all. A big cow. In the road.
"Brown. It's a big, brown cow."
"Okay, thank you. Can you spell your last name please?"
Oh for fuck's sake.
Eventually I got off the phone, and got to Max's school. I ran in just in time for his class' performance to begin, and I was greatly relieved.
I sat myself down on a chair with my littlest sidekick, who almost immediately threw up on me.
It was hot. I was already all sweaty and frazzled from the Great Cow Incident of 2010. Now I smelled like baby spit up. I was going to have to change before work. When I was going to have time for that, I had no idea. Sometime. Sometime before work.
I stripped the baby while the kids began their presentations, and stuck her pukey shirt in my purse. She was all sticky and sweaty and rashy, poor little thing. Max was actively sweating. He was mopping his head with a towel while he waited for his turn, wearing a velvet blazer, satin shirt and red pashmina (don't fucking ask, okay? Just don't ask.) I handed the baby to a teacher so I could videotape Max's speech. Then I took the baby back and fed her. And then I burped her and she puked EVERYWHERE. Down my back, all over my arm, the seat of the chair I was sitting in, the floor under the chair. Just......just....... EVERYWHERE. So I cleaned it all up as best I could and loaded everyone in the car and headed home. As much as I needed to change, I really could have benefitted from a shower. A long hot shower. Preferably with a hand-held shower head and a bottle of wine. But I digress. Who has time for that shit. I mean REALLY.
We changed, got ready for gymnastics, and raced to town. As I pulled into the parking lot of the gym, it looked suspiciously empty.
Because there was no gymnastics this week.
So I loaded everyone back into the car and raced back up the hill and I stirred the dinner in the crockpot and turned on the video of Max's speech for my husband to watch. But there was no sound. I was upset. Apparently, I had my thumb over some miniscule microphone or something.
So I stirred dinner in the pot with a little too much enthusiasm ("Fucking. Stupid. Hidden. Microphone. Piece. Of. Shit.") and sprayed sauce all over myself.
And then, right then, is when I reached the end of my rope. I am finding the end of my rope earlier and earlier in the day these days. It's getting a bit frayed and sad looking. A bit of a tassle now, actually. If only I had it earlier, I would have been able to tie up the cow........
I put on my 4th outfit of the day, got back in the car, and drove to the restaurant. And thank god, there was not a cow to be seen. BUT IF THERE HAD BEEN, I had the end of my rope right there.
6 hours ago