The evening began with a retirement party for two colleagues. Devoted readers (all five of you) will remember that I'm a teacher, and you may think that there's nothing less exciting than a teacher's retirement party, unless it's TWO teachers' retirement party. Well, you would be SO, SO wrong. We have our issues, oh yes we do, but retirement parties we can do, and do quite well.
There are the requisite tearful moments; after all, we're talking about people who have spent well over twenty years in one career, and one of the afternoon's honorees was my mom's college roomie. She's been teaching nearly as long as I've been alive. But there's also plenty of silliness. This is where I wish I knew how to upload pictures. Then again, maybe not. Our parties could be described as location jokes: you have to be there. One tradition we maintain is our band, "Johnny (insert appropriate last name) and the (insert another name)." This time we were "Johnny Mod and the Hipsters." We have also been "Johnny Pepperoni and the Anchovies," and one day will be "Johnny Flip-Flop and His Bermuda Shorties." I play bass, two friends play guitar, and we can usually rope someone into shaking a tambourine or something. We rewrite classic rock songs for any occasion, working in details of our victim's life/career as we do. Like I said, we may amuse ourselves more than anyone else, but I think you would laugh too. Mostly because, as any good showman knows, the Look is an essential part of the Act. We rely heavily on the local Salvation Army, and this year discovered that our male guitarist wears a lady's size 13 capri pants. Location joke, remember?
A very dear friend who relocated with her husband was able to return for the shindig, and we went out afterwards too. We were always very close when she lived here, and it's been tricky to maintain the closeness. But we realized that it's essential for both of us. She's one of the few people I know who thinks like I do. I don't mean that we agree on everything (although we often do); I mean that her brain works like mine and I don't feel like I have to explain or apologize for myself with her. She just knows. I hope everyone has at least one friend like this.
She almost ended up staying the night at my place, but decided to head for home even though it was midnight before we stopped talking. Turns out it was a good thing she did. When I got back to La Petite Maison du Cat Hair, there was blood on the living room floor. Mitize (contributor of cat hair) was languidly staking out the loveseat. I could hear chirping, but couldn't track it down. I decided to ignore all of this (chalking it up to the excellent Metropolitan I had enjoyed earlier) and put my nightgown on. When I returned from the loo, the blood was still there, as were the cat and the chirping. Damn. Shut the cat in the loo. Damn damn. Get out the flashlight. Damn damn damn. Look under the loveseat.
*****SCREAM****** quietly, because it's after midnight, and I live in an apartment.
There's a bat under the loveseat. I think bats are incredible creatures when they are outside and eating mosquitoes. I am unreasonably afraid of them when they are in my house. What the hell am I going to do? I can't move the loveseat, as I'm quite certain the critter would take flight (and then I would have to find another place to sleep. I'm serious.). There's no way on god's green earth that I would reach under the loveseat and grab it, even with leather work gloves. I have no one to call, especially because it's after midnight.
Think think think. Assemble Official Bat-Under-the-Loveseat Kit: broom, hammer, empty lidded plastic olive container from the grocery store, latex gloves. (I think next time I will add some sort of alcoholic beverage as well.) Take a deep breath. Pin bat down with broom handle and press down with all my might. Whisper repeatedly, "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" as the poor thing chirps and squeals. Release pressure momentarily and nearly wet myself when the poor thing manages to SPREAD ITS WINGS. Press harder. Repeat apology until poor thing stops chirping. Maintain pressure, and pull broom handle out from under loveseat. Grasp hammer. Apply to poor thing's cranium. Repeat apology. Seal poor thing in empty lidded plastic olive container. Cry a little, partly from relief, and partly because I really try to avoid killing things. Clean up the blood, release Mitzie from the loo. IM The Mason Friend (henceforth known as TMF, so remember that) and freak out just a little. Attempt to sleep.
Was it Roseanne Roseannadanna who said, "If it's not one thing, it's another"? I think I may make her the patron saint of my life.*
*I would be happy to make Gilda Radner my patron saint, actually. How many sixth graders you know would dress up as Lisa Loopner for Halloween? I looked good, too.