Saturday, November 26, 2005

Going Postal

It's the day after the day after Thanksgiving and time to take stock of the situation. Since Wednesday evening, the rdr residence has been just this side of Animal House. In addition to my own off-spring, we took in four strays, male and female, from college and law school and a variety of local under-aged visitors. One hundred ten pound Henry the dog returned from law school as well to make sure that we were all safe every time the door bell rang.

The noise level in the rdr household was somewhere between a herd of seals and a jet engine, and went on that way until the not- so-wee hours. Horrible music emanated from all points as a full range of colorful I-Pods were plugged into every available amplifier. Politics, law and football were argued vociferously by those positioned at odd angles and spread across every available seating surface. Wine flowed freely for those of age (and perhaps others, too, after I had gone to bed) and foods of all sorts were consumed with a vigor that comes from those who haven't made a meal since leaving Mom's house. Henry gained several pounds between 7 p.m. Thursday and 5. a.m. Friday. The driveway was a maze of poorly parked cars with university decals on the windows and there always seemed to be somebody's behind sticking out from the refrigerator door.

Things were quiet Friday morning from 6 until 8 a.m. That's when Henry found where mrs. rdr's cats had been hiding since his arrival and all hell broke loose. I finally made myself some breakfast around 9 after cleaning up the mess the "children" had so kindly left for me and had taken exactly one bite when the doorbell rang, whereupon Henry roused himself and charged for the front door barking and wagging ferociously as all hell broke loose again. It was the littlest rdr's 8 and 9 year old friends looking to play football. The three of them charged upstairs to find him and I returned to the table, whereupon one bite later the doorbell rang and all hell broke loose again. It was three teenage girls coming to wake up daughter #4 (16 y.o.) to go shopping. Needless to say, before I was seated again the doorbell rang and, yes, all hell broke loose. In trudged my wife's friend, and her sister, and their three year-olds, bearing gifts. Much high-pitched hilarity ensued in the kitchen as I tried to eat my now-cold eggs.

Soon I had taken refuge on the front porch to watch the pee-wee footballers tear up the newly seeded lawn. But this peace, such as it was, was not long to be enjoyed. Daughter #4 suddenly rocketed back out of the driveway, and missing the lower half of pavement by a good five feet, plowed backwards into the mailbox post, snapping it off below ground level. The rag-tag football teams cheered, hooting and hollering and thinking it was the funniest thing they had every seen. I went back inside and informed mrs. rdr of the event, and then calmly return to the scene of the accident, whereupon I discover that daughter #4 had spun the wheels into the mulch and soft earth that surrounded the plants that once thrived there, and had buried the small SUV to the axle.

An impromptu neighborhood event was suddenly upon us. People streamed out of their homes to marvel at the sight of a car buried to the axle on my front lawn. "How could she have possibly done that?" they asked incredulously, while introducing several generations of family members come to share the holiday - all of whom mrs. rdr promptly invited in for coffee and pie. All the while I could see their concern behind their smiles. "Jesus," keep the kids inside when this one is driving." Of course, I knew more than I was willing to share. This was daughter # 4's second mailbox victim, and her third interception off a non-moving object when in reverse. The newest dent is going to be there for a while.

After much confabbing, "the men" located sufficient chains, hooks, shovels, implements and four-wheeled drive trucks to pull the stranded vehicle from the deep holes and crushed bushes, whereupon said fourth daughter climbed in and immediately disappeared for the remainder of the day. I trudged off to Home Depot to join the throngs of bargain hunters and secured a new mailbox and post. Meanwhile, the bottomless pits had roused themselves and were making their way through the pantry. Henry threw up on the dining room carpet, prompting mrs. rdr to clean the entire house with the worlds loudest vacuum cleaner. I skipped lunch.

I replaced the mailbox and post, tore out the slaughtered bushes, and rebuilt the stone border surrounding the area, while the homeless students enjoyed hot turkey sandwiches, my beer, and college football on the big screen. Later, more people arrived, including neighbors that I actually like, and we drank wine and port and played word games until midnight, repeatedly interrupted by children of all ages. At last, the clock struck a new day, and in sauntered daughter #4, pretty as you please and an hour past curfew. Grounded for a week.

It was a full day.

Monday is mrs. rdr's birthday, and I've been given permission to buy jewelry.



portia said...

I'm still laughing.
Great story, spd. It's worth the price of a new mailbox AND a trip to Home Depot on Black Friday! What I would have given to see your face as you watched her mow down that post. Brings back memories of some of the priceless moments my father had to "endure" living in a house with three daughters.

Heh. Instead of that debt counter on the right, you should install a clock counting down the hours until you can return to work:) 44 hours, 56 minutes, and 12 seconds, 11 seconds, 10 seconds....

Pile On® said...

But other than that it was a pretty good thanksgiving?

spd rdr said...

Excellent, P.O.
This is my life.
I wouldn't trade it for any other.

portia said...

Good answer, spd; it's worth more than any piece of jewelry...well, almost:)

Enjoy your bounty.

spd rdr said...

Thank you, Portia.
I hope you had a good holiday with your family, too.

portia said...

Happy birthday to Mrs. rdr. I hope it's shiny, and expensive. Very expensive:)

spd rdr said...

But she wants something else.

Cricket said...

Yes, there's no place like home for the holidays.

Sounds like you have the kind of home for your family that I would like to have.

Congrats, spd. Sounded busy and great.

Pooke said...

Classic! Holiday Roooaaaad...

It sound so much like my own it's scary.....