The sun was shining in the sky, there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Mr. Blue Sky did it right. Hey, hey hey!
I leapt into the shower, sang Inna Gadda Da Vida until the hot water started to run out then decked myself out in my finest daily wear: tropical shorts, bright Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.
Red-day to par-TAY!
Cruising through the kitchen I filled the coffee maker with a radical, bold mixture of Sumatra and Gold Coast and set it for 8 cups. Gonna get wired today! Look out!
While the coffee was brewing I salsa’d to the front door and saw that the morning paper had arrived. Well, of course it had! Four hours ago, probably. No matter, I thought, I’ll just salsa out there, enjoy the morning sun and pick up that bad boy newspaper. After all, it would take too long to buy and train a dog to do it.
Flinging open the front door I strode purposefully down the walk stopping every few steps to perform a little Tai Chi. Tiger Crane paper fetching. I have found that this sort of behavior keeps the neighbors at bay. I’m trying to cultivate a little je ne sais quoi and I think I’m succeeding.
Suddenly, I froze.
No, I didn’t see a rattlesnake. No, I didn’t realize that I had dreamed getting dressed. No, the neighbors weren’t lined up along the sidewalk videotaping my Tai Chi. No, Paris and Britney had not pulled up to the curb in a low slung sports car.
I froze because it was bloody cold outside! Yikes, who turned off the heat? Although I later found out it was 33 degrees out there, my first thought was “It’s like 33 degrees out there!”
Funny joke, Mr. Blue Skies. Ha ha.
I was seriously underdressed for the weather and turned to dash back into the house faster than you could say “brass monkey” when I paused and glanced back at the paper. I was torn. Newspaper, warm house, newspaper, warm house.
Suddenly, I was overcome by a Texas Moment.
A Texas Moment is when a manly voice sounding a bit like John Wayne comes out of nowhere and tells you the right thing to do. Well, maybe it’s not always the right thing to do but it’s the Texan thing to do. The sort of thing that would lead your surviving family to say
“Well, he warn’t too smart, but he died doing what he loved.”
The voice asked, “What are you? A man or a Jell-O pudding pop?” That was all it took for me to remember my pioneer roots and do the right thing. The Texan thing. I turned and calmly, nay, proudly, walked to the street, in the cold, and picked up my newspaper.
Davy Crockett would have been proud.
Just at that moment I heard a hissing noise. I was surrounded by a hissing noise. Spurting and sputtering the lawn sprinkler system came to life spraying 33-degree water in all directions.
A chill descended on me like being two hours late for an anniversary dinner. Like cluelessly walking into a meeting and being greeted as the keynote speaker. Like checking out a giant cartload of groceries only to find you’ve left your wallet at home. Like getting up for work on a Saturday thinking it’s Friday, then going back to bed only to find out hours later that it really was Friday.
That sort of chill. The cold realization that the sprinkler system will be on for the next 7 minutes and the only way out of the literal chill into the warm house is through the water spray.
What would Davy Crockett do? Why that’s simple, pardner, the voice said. Old Davy would jes stare down those sprinklers like they wuz gophers on a toadstool and old Davy would jes sashay up through the water like it was confetti at a wedding. A wedding of gophers, if ye will.
Yeah, but Davy would be wearing buckskin and boots, not a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops. There was only one thing to do. Make a run for it.
And one other thing.
Scream like a little girl!
Taking giant steps and looking like one of those lizards that can run across water I hopped, skipped and jumped back up the walkway into the house landing on the foyer carpet in a screaming, soggy heap.
So glad we installed a Binford 3000 Super Soaker Yard Sprinkler, I thought, so very, very glad. I dripped into the kitchen, got a towel off the rail, dried off a bit, cranked up the heat and poured myself a cup of coffee.
Sitting down at the kitchen table I opened up the paper and read the headlines:
Arctic Front to Cause Morning Freeze
Sunny but Cold
What do you think, Sandy, I asked the Cat, black or white socks with sandals?