Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Peace

I did get myself motivated, at 11:00, to catch the bus to Ballard and finish my Christmas shopping. I got the Traditional Socks for my mother, and at a dollar store next door I found the best White Elephant gift ever. Made in China (where all the best White Elephant Gifts are made), it's a plastic statuette of a little girl in a fancy, flowing dress and a jaunty little hat, seated on a triumphantly rearing elephant. At least, I suppose it's supposed to be rearing triumphantly. As it is, the girl is about four times the size of the elephant, and the elephant's belly is smushed down against the base of the figurine, so it looks like it's being horribly squashed by a gigantic, wide-eyed, nose-picking child. I mean I know she's supposed to be placing her finger contemplatively aside her mouth, but it honestly looks like she's going for gold in a nostril. While crushing a baby elephant.

It's awwwwwesome, is what I'm saying. I'll try to get a good picture of it before I gift it.

I bought a toy car racing set at the same dollar store (I never even made it to Archie McPhee, this haul was so perfect), emblazoned with starred suggestions like, "Try My!" and "First Enter!!" Then I boarded the 44 toward home (bus # 4171!), which turned out to have a tiny little despot at the wheel.

It was pouring rain, and about 40 degrees outside, and I'd been waiting in the weather for about ten minutes. After a few minutes on the bus I realized, hey...I'm not getting any warmer. A quick look around revealed the problem: all of the windows on the bus were open. Thinking I could easily remedy this problem on my own, I stood and briskly began closing them.

The driver's voice came over the loudspeaker. "Windows are open for ventilation," he said. "Do not close them."

"Um, I'm freezing, so I'll just close these three near me," I answered. Good as my word, I closed those three and sat back down.

The driver stopped the bus. Yes, really. He came back, reopened all three of the windows, and stood over me. "These are open for ventilation. I don't want fog on the windows. You sit in back if you cold."

I was in the mood to argue, but he seemed the type who'd toss me off the bus for backtalk (I don't really love the explicitly parental role some drivers adopt toward their riders), and I didn't want to stand out in the cold rain any longer. So I meekly shivered my way to the 48--which, I noticed, had all its windows closed and not a trace of a fog problem.

Then I did dishes and laundry and made dinner and wrapped presents and noticed that I had thrice as many hits here today as any other day, EVER, in Heavy Duty Power history. Just in time for me to turn the lights out for three days! I don't know if I'll be able to catch up for Holidailies when I return, though I'll give it my best shot.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, new friends and readers. May the final days of 2007 be full of reassurance and peace for all of you.