Monday, August 1, 2011

The Umbrella Tab Stuck in the Car Window Incident

So the quote I posted on my Facebook page this morning was by e.e. cummings and had to do with laughter. That the most wasted of all days is one without it. Okay, I’m down with that. I’d far prefer spending my day laughing than spending it in tears.

Well, unless, of course, I’m laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face. Then it’s mostly a good thing. It’s only bad if I’ve forgotten to wear waterproof mascara that day. Then it’s just plain scary.

But, anyway, the past couple days have been a little, um, “trying” – and my emotions could have gone either way. Fortunately, I was able to find the humor in the situations. Well, most of them, anyway.

Take, for instance, late Friday afternoon. I was sitting in my office minding my own business and watching the clock inch ever closer to 5 and pretending to work. My boss, who had run an errand, parked next to me and, when he came into the office, said, “Do you know your car windows are open?”

I said, “Yes” and he said, “Okay.” (Can you tell we’re big talkers in my office?)

Apparently, I should have followed up with a crucial “…why?”

Because not more than 10 minutes later, it was raining so hard that the rain was slanting sideways. I jumped out of my chair, grabbed my keys and the umbrella in my office and dashed outside. I was soaked within seconds, but still determined to get those windows closed.

I splashed my way through the puddles to my car and peered inside. Sure enough, the seats were soaked. I did not want to sit down, but I didn’t have much choice. So I plopped myself onto the very soggy leather seat and managed to get the key in the ignition with my right hand while holding onto the umbrella outside the half open car door with my left hand. Then the wind picked up and the umbrella flipped inside out. Perfect. Nevertheless, I held onto it for dear life as it is currently the only umbrella I own.

Once I was able to engage the ignition, I then twisted my right hand over toward the half open driver’s side door to hold the buttons to raise the windows. It sort of felt like I was playing Twister sitting there in my car with the rain hitting me in the face with my left hand holding onto an inside-out umbrella and my right hand crossed over my body holding onto window buttons. The thought occurred to me that Twister is not usually recommended for people my age and I could potentially suffer a cramp while I was all twisted around that way. And then who knows what could happen? I could fall face down onto the wet pavement and that would absolutely ruin my day.

Yeah, like my day wasn’t already heading down the tubes.

Plus, I never really enjoyed playing Twister.

Anyway, I finally managed to close the windows. I disengaged the engine and pulled the key out of the ignition, pocketed the key and then tried to get out of the car.

Only I couldn’t because the umbrella seemed to be stuck. I yanked at it, but nothing happened. I yanked again and still…nothin’. Finally, my IQ kicked in and I looked at the situation. When I had raised the window, the little tab with the snap on the end that keeps the umbrella closed got shut inside the window. And I couldn’t pull it out without lowering the window because the snap was too large to fit between the window and the door frame.


That meant I had to sit back down on the still-wet driver’s seat, pull the flippin’ key out of my pocket and put it back in the ignition and open the window far enough to pull the tab out. And then, of course, I had to close the window yet again.

Fortunately, I was able to keep the tab clear and close the window and shut the car door without trapping any much-needed appendages. I flipped the umbrella right side out. (Lot of good that did me by this point.) But, most importantly, I was able to get myself back into the office without further complications.

It felt like a steam bath outside because despite the rain, it was still horribly hot and humid. Oh, and the sun was still shining despite the rain. Which, by the way, was the reason I hadn’t worried about my car windows in the first place.)

Once inside, I knew I looked like a drowned rat with dripping hair and dripping clothes and even dripping mascara. Apparently “waterproof” means something different to Maybelline than it does to the rest of us.

I was immediately chilled upon re-entering my office, so I had to turn off the A/C. Figured it would really suck if I developed pneumonia just because I left the windows down in my car on a hot, sunny day.

My other boss came into my office and said, “What’s going on out there?” I narrowed my raccoon-like eyes and replied, “Is that some sort of trick question?!”

He just looked at me, shook his head, smiled, and then walked back to his side of the building. Which was probably a smart move on his part.

Shortly before closing time the boss who’d asked me about my windows in the first place bravely ventured near my office. He stood tentatively outside the doorway and said, “Are you mad at me?”

I looked at him, laughed and said, “No…but here’s a little hint. Next time you think you’re being helpful by telling someone their windows are open, you might also want to inform that person that it looks like rain.”

He laughed, too, but I think it was more out of relief. (Which makes me wonder about my reputation here. Am I that scary?!)

On my drive home, I called my parents and shared my story with my dad and we both got a good laugh out of the debacle. So at least I was able to see the humor in the situation.

And then the A/C went out in our place on Saturday. The temperature outside, just in case you’re not from this neck o’ the woods, was 93 degrees.

But that’s another blog for another day. I’m still working out the humor in that one.

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