Friday, July 21, 2006
The Jaws of Death and the Running Nun
This morning, I started off my day by playing carseat-shuffling games. Not just for fun, though it sure sounds like a hoot. No, it was because last night my son's carseat tried to kill him. It was a pretty old one, because the latch on his gorgeous expensive Britax one broke and we haven't gotten around to ordering a new latch yet so we just popped the spare, emergency carseat into the minivan. I don't know where we got it from, I don't know how old it was - it met the basic safety requirements, so it was better than nothing. So I thought.

But last night, after a bunch of errands and dinner out, we pulled into the driveway and everyone poured out of the minivan. I went around to get Jacob, and discovered that his carseat had been possessed by demons. It's a model where this rigid, roughly triangular codpiece is attached to the carseat by two straps, one over each shoulder - you pull it over his head and then latch it into a buckle between his knees. The shoulder straps were having that effect that sometimes happens with regular seat belts when you hit the brakes - they would get tighter but not looser. It very quickly it became a case of Jacob whimpering because the codpiece thing was digging into his neck.

I sent Emily into the house for a pair of scissors, and was able to use them, Jaws-of-Death style, to cut through one of the shoulder straps and release my little prisoner. I haven't yet checked to see if my heroism rated a headline in the local paper for it. And I realized that when carseat shopping, I never thought to research whether certain models were known for Satanic possession. Another ignorant consumer enlightened.

So, this morning, I pulled the other (non-Satanic, as far as I know) carseat out of the Jeep and installed it into the minivan. And sprinkled it with holy water and garlic, just in case.

Then I got a free Coolatta! I just love free stuff. I decided to treat myself on payday, so I went through Dunkin Donuts drive-thru and ordered an orange Coolatta and a banana walnut muffin (weight loss efforts? what?). When I got to the payment window, she asked, "One muffin?" And I thought she meant, did I order several or just one? So I nodded, and she handed me the muffin and said the total price, which I completely ignored because I was paying with a debit card and don't even have to sign for it anymore (how dangerous is THAT? "Give me 37 donuts and a chocolate milk, STAT!"). Then she returned my card and I kind of sat there. When she came back to the window, she gave me the patented Dunkin Donuts whaddaya-want-NOW look, and I just pointed at my drink, which was sitting right in front of her. She sort of slapped her forehead and handed it to me, and I drove away.

It wasn't until about a block later that it occured to me to look at my receipt - and turns out, she had only charged me for the muffin, not the Coolatta. So, proof of my basic cash register dishonesty, sure - but how cool is that? "Free" is one of my very favorite words.

Toward the end of my epic 2.7-mile journey to work, I got to experience my daily pause while the running nun crossed the street. Yes, really. There's a large-ish group of children, maybe 15-20 of them, all wearing running clothes and bright orange vests, and a nun, in full light-grey-and-blue habit (black is SO "Sound of Music") with a nice pair of running shoes, running along with them. Sometimes she's on a cell phone. This messes with me greatly, but in a delightfully-befuddled sort of way, not in a the-carseat-ate-my-baby sort of way.