Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ordeal

The ordeal is over. The floors in my box were stripped and waxed Monday morning after I had laboriously taken most of my stuff out of it, including the 1,000,024 books I own, plus a whole bunch of stuff, it turns out, I didn't have to.
I had to disassemble my computer and all of its periphery attachments, always worrying about being able to hook them back together again. I basically had to unplug everything in my box, move it out or place them on one of the five platforms I left in the box (my refrigerator, desk, bed, shelves holding all of my canned goods, and a large, vertical cabinet I use to store all of my fancy clothes) because they were to large and inconvenient to move out into the hall. I figured if they (the maintenance people who would be doing the stripping and waxing) so badly wanted to strip and wax under those items, they could move them themselves. In anticipation of that event, I moved a lot of stuff, mostly books, off of my desk and cabinet, out into the hallway.
They didn't want to move any of that stuff out though, and just stripped and waxed around those items of furniture (much to my relief actually. Moving those shelves of cans, and the cabinet was quite the bitch when they painted), and I had moved out a good deal of things I hadn't needed to. My bed was loaded down with all of the stuff that I deemed too valuable to leave out in the hall, like my computer, slinky, easy to steal DVDs, and devil worshiping paraphernalia.
All in all the process took about two hours of prep, one hour to strip and wax, and two hours to move everything back in.
Now all of my floors look so nice and shiny, which prompted this entry on my Facebook page:

Richard Joyce got his floors stripped and waxed yesterday, and they look so nice and shiny I'm going to sleep on them... naked.

Which prompted these responses:

My Sister Cheryl: Hey Big Brother....ummmm.....this is a family orientated put some soap on that tongue of yours. then send us adults a pic of that you,,your little sister.

Me: No free pictures!

My cousin Shannon: Yeah Cheryl!! Get a membership like the rest of us, would ya?! : p

Cheryl: Umm no...not paying to see my brother in his birthday suit which by the way is next Tuesday....Gotcha Rick!!

Me: But I'm so cute.

My niece Keri: i agree with mom i don't need to see my uncle wearing the b-day suit i good to go on that one still love ya

Shannon: lol, I have a better idea! The 4 of us should strip down to our birthday suits, take pics, and then post them as our profile pic!! Okay, whose first? : p

Cheryl: What sites have the two of you been visiting? You two need help! I'm going to tell Bobbie on the both of you.

Me: Shannon first.

Cheryl: I have pics of of ALL of you in your birthday suits...DONT tempt me!!

Shannon: Okay Cheryl, who's the sick one now, lol?! Birthday suit collector!!

Shannon: Rick first.

Keri: mom u show my b-day suit i will find some pics of u that u don't like so much i still have the key to the house lol

Me: I think you're all crazy.

Of course this entire conversation took place over a period of 24 hours, give or take. Such is the nature of social networks.
While I was waiting for Antonio (my floor stripper and waxer) to show up I left all of my possessions unguarded in the hallway, and made my way to the Garden Club for our weekly meeting.
I was a little early so stopped by their office before heading to the garden. My lovely case manager, Erin, was in there, along with her protege, Paul.
"Hi Rick," she called out.
"Hi Erin. Did you get my message?"
"Yes, I did," she replied.
I had sent her a message the day before explaining why I would not be able to attend the service at her church, because I wasn't feeling very well, and because I was stressed out do to the upcoming ordeal.
I was in the midst of experiencing that ordeal while sitting in her office. Erin didn't care though.
Erin is a master multi-tasker... or at least she is when I'm in the office talking to her. I'll be on the business end of her desk, she'll be in her seat typing away, looking at her computer screen, occasionally glancing in my direction, and making perfunctory statements, like, "Uh huh."
"Yes." "Really? I didn't know that."
How endearing.
As I demonstrated this to her this morning in her office, she instantly recognized it was true, and exclaimed, "But I know you, Rick. I don't have to pay attention."
"Oh, your here for the Garden Club," she wisely observed yesterday morning.
"I'm am."
We all eventually made our way out to the garden. It wasn't hard. It's just down the hallway from her office.
The morning was cool and overcast. No field trip today, just raking up leaves. Jose showed up for his first Garden Club session, and asked me how long it lasted. I told him three hours.
"Three hours! I'm going back to bed," and he so marched back inside not to be seen again until later that afternoon.
We spent 38 minutes with the garden.
Paul shoveled horse shit into the area where we had planted the perennials the week before.
Erin lamented the state of our pumpkin crop, that seemed to be shriveling away to nothing.
"What's those white things?" I asked her.
"What white things? Oh, this? Oh! I don't know. Is it a pumpkin!?"
"Is it a mushroom?" I asked. It kind of looked like a large mushroom cap. There were smaller mushrooms in the bricked off area.
"No, I think it's a pumpkin! There's three of them!"
"What are you going to do with them?"
"I think we should leave them in there, don't you? Maybe they'll turn orange soon."
"Well, congratulations, Erin. You planted pumpkins, and by God, you've got them," I told her, then walked off to help Hardy pick up leaves and place them in a plastic bag.
It wasn't long b before I heard Erin call out, "Rick!"
She confronted me with a small, baby white, perfectly formed pumpkin.
"Look at this stem, Rick! It's been clipped off. You bought these pumpkins Rick!"
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did. I know you."
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did."
"No I didn't. You planted pumpkins and you got pumpkins."
"You bought these... I know it."
On and on.
I think Paul or Hardy probably put those pumpkins out there knowing that she usually gravitated to that particular area of the garden.
Devious bastards.
Now one of those baby white pumpkins sits on her desk... considering her every action silently and without forethought.

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