Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sorta Like Thelma & Louise

Sorta. 'Cept without so many cops, and Darla and I are both at work today, not dead at the bottom of a canyon. Also, there were no guns. But what with all the driving, joking, and estrogen, it was almost exactly like those other two hooligans!

It was month-end at work this week. Interesting, isn't it, that month-end always comes at the end of the month? I wonder if that happens at all companies, or just ours? Forgive my redundancy.

It was also arguably one of the busiest paperwork months of our year.

Combine that with the fact that Darla and I each took a vacation somewhere in the middle of it.

It made for a busy, stressful, f-bomb flying kind of week around our office. Do not despair - our good Lord has forgiven Darla for all her cursing and swearing, and I am trying to bring her back to my narrow, righteous path of only exclaiming "Oh My Word!" when things start going wrong. Oh, I kid. Neither one of us said fallappadoozie more than once or twice.

Anyway, because it just didn't seem stressful enough, we also had a company picnic to plan for about 200 people on Friday night. Darla is the spearhead of this fun event, but I am always more than willing to lend emotional support and brute work force to the equation. Because of the busyness (haven't I covered this already?) of the week, only the bare minimum of the planning was accomplished. Everything else was left for Friday. Because, you know, it's a good idea to actually bill out the goods and services rendered during the month so that you still have a job to come back to after the picnic.

When I walked in on Friday morning, I was a bit late. This is a rare, rare occurrence, so Darla knew I must be extra-tired. Thankfully, she had cleared our schedule for the day. We were headed out, for a day of driving, shopping, dining, and planning. Yes, yes, just what I needed.

We headed to "big town" (as Jane calls it), armed with a sketchy list, a guess of the total number of guests, and determination to have a light-hearted day. We hit the Dollar Store first, and loaded up on some cheap supplies like table covers, serving spoons, and serving trays - so that if things walked away from the party, we wouldn't have to stress that they were a manager's priceless heirloom. Yes, this has happened in the past. Maybe not heirloom, but priceless indeed. We learn from our mistakes.

Next, we might have made a bit of a detour to Joe's for camping supplies. We'll call that our morning break.

Then, we called a friend who works in the "big city" branch of our company, and asked her to join us for lunch. She was available, and we had a fantastic lunch at PF Chang's before endeavoring out to the rest of our shopping experience.

Now comes the crux of our adventure. The Cash N Carry.

For both of us, this was our first experience at this fine establishment. Thanks to Darla propositioning the Sno Cone guy (an innocent gentleman obviously purchasing Sno Cone supplies for his thriving flavored-colored-frozen-water shack), that she would trade him a hamburger for a Sno Cone if he'd come to our party, it might be our last.

In the beginning, we both stared off with a "cart" that looked much like this one. They were a bit hard for the novice shopper to maneuver. And that was us--novices. What's it called when all the wheels turn, as opposed to just the front ones? You know, like that truck GMC tried to make, but was completely unsuccessful? Anyway, that's what the carts were like.

And the aisles were very narrow.

And, there were other shoppers in the store that actually wanted to be able to traverse the aisles alongside us.

This leads me to my most sincere apology to the couple in Aisle 1, who are still consoling their darling young son, whom Darla tried to entice into driving her cart for her. She offered him $20. He got that "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers" look in his eyes, and stayed very close to his parents the remainder of their shopping trip. Which is good. Kids should stay close to their parents. We did him a favor in the end. We could have been actual mean people. Apology retracted - you're welcome.

Darla returned her cart after Aisle 2.

It would be up to me from this point forward. It was not an easy load, but one that I was willing to carry for the team.

So, as "we" wheel it up to the cash register, it is holding a record-breaking amount of food:

7 cases of hamburger patties

8 large bags of hamburger buns

4 large bags of hot dog buns

1 massive can of olives

1 equally massive jar of pickles

2 bricks (more like cinder blocks) of sliced cheese

Several bottles of condiments

3 stacks of plates

15-ish bags of chips




The only thing missing was the dessert Darla wouldn't let me buy. And, she had the audacity to complain that I'd gently smooshed a couple packages of buns en route. Like she could've done any better.

By the check out stand, we are both out of control. What started out as giggles in Aisle 1 have turned into all out belly laughs. The checker is not impressed. I think she was jealous of our obvious glee.

We were a little nervous that we had picked the wrong beef patties, and a call on the cell phone to the guy cooking them who had requested this brand did not bolster our confidence, so Darla asked the gal if the ones we picked were good ones. "I hear they are," the gal says. You hear? The box boy (aka cart police) laughs - "She's a vegetarian!" Great, we're getting burger advice from the vegetarian who has no sense of humor. Oughta be a great BBQ.

Although they admired me much for my grocery stacking abilities, they stacked our goods onto two carts when we checked out, and forced Darla to drive one to the Yukon. At that point, the checker gal gives us a piece of advice that should have been handed out on the way in. "Those are way easier to pull instead of push." Thanks, sweetie, that really helps.

It is at this point in our delirium in which Darla propositions the Sno Cone guy. I think she was having a hot flash. It's the only explanation I can think of, because he wasn't even cute. Oh, you're right, she was probably thinking about the kids, and how they would have loved a Sno Cone at the BBQ. That's gotta bit it - she's always all about the kids having fun. Phew - I was still worried about that part, if you want the truth.

We safely load our groceries, and head back to "small town" for our BBQ. But not without a quick? stop at Red Robin for dessert. Let's call this our afternoon break.

The BBQ went off with nary a hitch. It was a great evening, enjoyed by all who decided to attend. The unspoken surfing competition will be a real competition next year (for prizes!), along with a water slide race, bumper tubes on the lazy river, and biggest splash competition off the high dive. It will be more loads of fun. As long as I can drive that cart again next year, I'm all for it!
PS - The burgers were great. Veggie Tale's gal didn't steer us wrong. Thank goodness. That would've been some good vegetarian humor to send us out of there with 210 sub-par beef patties. But, as we previously discussed, that would have meant she had a sense of humor. Sorry. That was mean. I'm sure she was just having an off day. I should know - I had just had four of them in a row. I will be nicer next time. Sorry.

PPS - if you fancy yourself an espresso junkie, Cash N Carry has a whole aisle of stuff that would turn your office into a veritable Starbucks in moments. It was most impressive, and enticing. If my cart hadn't already been really full, we may have stocked up. Maybe next time, I can get Darla to drive a cart, and we'll have twice the purchasing power. The thought will keep me going another year . . .


Cynthia said...

Oh, I can only imagine the laughter you two had! I agree those carts are hard to move. Did everyone like the sno cones? We bought our own full sized sno cone machine after borrowing one for church. We love it and have sno cones almost every night! Gotta love bbq's!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh gee, I can picture this whole thing! I can even hear it. I agree "I think she was jealous of our obvious glee" is exactly what was wrong with checker #1.

Oh, you guys are a crack-up. That flavoring aisle is heaven, isn't it? One year from Christmas I got everyone a different flavor for their socks for Italian sodas. Eww,la,la.

Next time put Darla on the cart and you might have more success :)

Anonymous said...

Loved your Thelma and Louise blog!! I am only just a little confused as I finally have figured out that Darla is not your Mom but a co-worker---whew did that take alot of "thinking power" on my part.

HeatherM said...

**Editor's Note**

My mom's name is Darlene. Easy to confuse with Darla. I can only imagine what Jennifer was thinking as she has continually read about Darla & I's escapades!! Too funny :)