When we were in the process of moving from Orange County to Shasta County, we found there was more to do besides sell the house and buy a new one, oh, and pack stuff up into boxes.
We hadn’t moved in almost twenty years. One can amass a lot of cherished treasures in that time.
I had completely forgotten the magnitude of the project.
I went to Home Depot to purchase some bubble wrap. A helpful employee directed me right to it. It was sitting there on the shelf, folded and then rolled into tidy rolls with a paper band/label around each one, displaying the handy bar code. I picked up two, and headed for the checkout stand. No time for looking around at all the wonderful Home Depot stuff today! I was on a mission.
I opted for the self-checkout. Isn’t technology wonderful? I scanned one of my rolls of bubble wrap. The machine genie told me it cost $6.49 and for me to place it in the bagging area. I did so.
Then the computer genie got a bit perturbed with me. She said for me to place my purchase in the bagging area.
“I did!” I said.
Suddenly, she declared that there were unauthorized objects in the bagging area.
I took the bubble wrap off of the bagging area. By now the bubble wrap was not looking so tidy.
“Please place purchase in the bagging area.”
“FINE!” I placed the now unraveling bubble wrap in the bagging area.
“There are unauthorized objects in the bagging area!” she declared.
I removed the unauthorized bubble wrap, which now started to completely explode out of the neat little package it was in. The guy behind me was having trouble suppressing his laughter. I picked up the other roll of bubble wrap from the floor where I had placed it while I tried to figure out what was up. It exploded from its neat little roll, too. I decided to go to a regular checkout stand, so I shuffled over dragging eight feet of bubble wrap behind me.
As the human checkout person stuffed my merchandise into a very big bag, she told me laughingly that the scales find it difficult to register something as light as bubble wrap.
This was the beginning of a moving adventure that started out with,
“Do you want to take this?”
“Duh, YES! I want to take that!”
…and moved on to, “I don’t think we’ll be needing anything in this whole room.”
There were a lot of other chores to do that didn’t involve boxes, bubble wrap and tape.
Richard called the club where he played tennis to end his membership. After learning that one must submit a letter if you aren’t going to be a member anymore, he asked me to write a letter for him explaining what is going on.
I have no idea what they’d do if you didn’t write them a letter. Would they not let you quit? Would they keep sending you calendars and newsletters? Would they force you to come play tennis and golf? I don’t know. It could get sticky.
On the way upstairs to my computer, I got an impish feeling that always seems to overtake me when I am called upon to write a serious letter. These urges must be connected to the same gene that makes me laugh inappropriately.
My teaching partners and I used have occasion to write letters to parents, and we would often write a completely unacceptable letter first. We would laugh ourselves senseless and wet our pants while writing the bogus one. “Your child is being placed in this reading group because he is dumber than a box of rocks and after meeting you, we can see why.” (Hey, don’t judge me. We needed a little diversion now and then.)
Then we would write the one that was diplomatic and correct. “We feel that this plan will be a wonderful opportunity for your child to have more one-on-one time with his teacher.”
So, I wrote this letter for Richard and took it to him to sign.
“Dear Seacliff Country Club,
I am quitting your stupid pretentious country club due to the fact that all the people there are pompous blowhards, who don’t know which end of a tennis racquet to hold. I am sick of looking at all of the spastic moves you make on the tennis court. You are all old and ugly and look like cotton-pickers from spending too much time in the sun.
I will not play any longer with cheaters like you who call my serves out when they are clearly in.
I wrote a proper letter too, but took him the one above.
It was lots of fun.
There is more to this moving story. I might just tell it.
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