2007: Day 1 & 2
Something happened at our Safeway over the past 10 days. While we were driving up and down the western states, something apocalyptic went on at the Safeway. How else can you explain the scene I faced there today?
I don't know about you, but for me, 2007 began in the pre-dawn Seattle gloom. 10 days of blasting through snow, having dinner at people's houses and introducing our dog to weather conditions unimaginable in his birthplace of Lodi, California brought me to this point. New Year's Eve ended a mere five-and-a-half hours earlier with my carefully placing a wad of gum on the doorknob of the revelers who chose room 325 of the Seattle Homewood Suites (by Hilton) for their New Year's party.
We were in room 323.
The denizens of room 325 got direct revenge on me by enjoying bass-heavy music well into the wee hours. They got indirect revenge -- without ever knowing -- for the entire next day, a 12.5 hour, 812 mile drive which began just after I found myself standing on the sidewalk in the dark, my hand holding one end of a dog leash, with Shack at the other end.
But that is not all. If it were just that I was awake with a few hours of sleep, freezing and charged with using a small blue plastic bag to retrieve whatever came out of my dog, then sitting in a car for 12.5 hours, that would be enough. Always looking to break new ground, S. Bullock and I decided to add a snarling, miserably sleep-deprived Jawa to our New Year's paradigm.
"It's MOMMY'S FAULT that I'm mad!"
Several hours later ... no, I mean several hours. Like an entire day went by and we were in the car the whole time. Like Shack sat, perched on the suitcase holding the snow clothing -- and as a digression, how shocked were we to find that by living in a mild climate we were depriving our pet of his true calling as a snow dog -- staring longingly out the window as first Washington, then Oregon and finally California, went by in a series of blurs. Like any attempt I made to soften the blow of our trip, say, stopping in God's gift to white people, AKA Ashland, Oregon, maybe to take Shack for a walk, get a hot chocolate and break up the trip, was immediately and voraciously shot down by Sandra Bullock with a curious "We have to make time!" refrain.
So. Several hours later, we arrived in San Francisco, paid our new $4 bridge toll, and for that amount we should get at least 2 bands, and pulled up to our house. We had absolutely no food, were forced to wear "second-string" underwear and improvise a 9 p.m. dinner.
Which led me to Safeway today, where something apocalyptic seems to have happened while we were gone.
As I imagine it, when the aliens arrive, when the earthquake and ensuing tidal wave hits, when the economy collapses, people will descend on Safeway, grabbing for whatever is on the shelves. By the time I arrive, the shelves will be mostly bare. There will be a few brown, dotted bananas remaining, no organic milk, and there will be a guy sitting cross-legged in front of the Progresso soup, reaching up to his elbows into the bottom shelf, looking for the last few cans of chicken and dumplings with vegetables.
"Why isn't there any food?" I asked a Safeway worker.
"Holidays," he said sadly.
So it wasn't aliens, but the result was the same. When the guy brought out the one box of new bananas they had left in the back, four women hovered over him, waiting for him to set down the bananas. Once he did, four sets of hands reached violently toward the bananas, ruining his best efforts at creating an attractive, if rudimentary, display.
There will be more food tomorrow. I have been assured of this.
If you're keeping score, so far 2007, to me, has meant the following:
- party goers in room 325 (two of whom strutted out into the 7 a.m. morning as if it were still last night while we were struggling to affix the gigantic Thule bag thing we bought at REI to the top of our car)
- picking up my dog's business in the pre-dawn gloom
- receiving the short end of a verbal beating from my own child
- interminable drive almost the length of the western edge of the U.S.
- weird, post-apocalyptic Safeway experience.
With this, who needs resolutions?