Thursday, August 31, 2006
No Good Deed...
Ok, this is long, but until I get acclimated with my new status as college student it's going to be a bit of hit or miss with regularly scheduled postings for a few weeks! Thanks for hanging in there!
Is common sense something we're born with, or is it something that's learned?
Does anybody know? Please please please! I'm dying for that information!!
Our Little Guy at 16 has more common sense than any one person should be allowed to have. He carefully weighs his options and potential consequences before taking action. He's pretty successful at viewing the big picture as a whole.
Big Guy, on the other hand, would run out of the house without his head if it wasn't attached to his body, completely ignoring our cries of "Stop! Wait! You forgot something!"
Then he'd call us later and complain, "How could YOU let me run out of the house without my head? I didn't leave it in my room. Someone must have moved it. Did YOU move my head just to ruin my day? That's bad parenting!"
Of course, when he came home, his head would be sitting in its usual place on his dresser in plain sight.
I used to think it was just Big Guy who was afflicted with a no-common-sense gene. After the last 2 days, I'm not so sure it's an isolated case.
Bear with me. For this story, my Big Guy is named "Moe". It's a little weird and confusing.
And weird. And confusing.
Did I already say that?
Since Moe has decided to stay home and go to college this year, he has hooked up with a couple of friends from military prep school. One of them, "Larry", recently moved to our fair state, and is going to college about 4 1/2 hours Northeast from us. I'm not going to mention the college town, but if you're from Colorado, you'll know what I'm talking about if I tell you that the two main industries in that town are the state college and slaughterhouses. It's one big rough stink-hole, which I'll call "Collegetown".
Larry hooked Moe up with a mutual prep-school buddy named "Curly", who lives in Denver, which is a midpoint between our two burgs.
They all got together last week and Big Guy, aka Moe, spent the night up in Collegetown with them getting reacquainted. Missed his connecting bus home in Denver late at night and had to be rescued by his uncle (thought the "El Paso County" bus was going to El Paso, Texas and didn't get on instead of looking at the number on his ticket), but that's another stupid story.
Anyways, Big Guy (ok I'm going to give up the Moe thing now that I've gone for the Three Stooges effect) had two tickets for a Tool concert in south Denver yesterday. He invited Larry from Collegetown, and since Curly from Denver had a car AND his own ticket, Curly decided to pick Larry up and drive him down and the three would go together.
I got a suite thingy at the Holiday Inn that would sleep 5. The plan was that I would drive Big Guy to south Denver, we'd all meet up at the hotel, the guys would go to the concert, sleep over and Curly would drive Larry and Big Guy back up to Collegetown the next day. They'd all hang out and Big Guy would take the bus back home on Saturday.
Nothing ever goes as planned, and no good deed goes unpunished.
I'm going to skip over the part where Curly and Larry showed up at our house at 1am the night before the concert---2 1/2 hours out of their way---when we had school on Wednesday. And the part where they were tooling around while Big Guy and I were in class in the city and called Hubby for help (up in the mountains) when Curly locked his keys in his car. Oy!
So....Big Guy and I were at the hotel, 3 hours before the concert. Got in touch with Larry and Curly---who had resolved the keys-locked-in-the-car problem and were on their way.
I had planned to take the guys out to dinner before the doors opened at the concert, but when Larry and Curly got there---there was a problem.
Apparently Curly didn't actually HAVE a ticket. The concert had sold out within a day, a friend of his supposedly had an extra ticket and had offered it to him like 3 months before. The "friend" hadn't been taking his calls for a couple of days, and he didn't know if he could get in or not. Yikes!
Since he was the one with the car, he wanted to go to the venue right away to see if his "friend" would show up with his ticket. The other two stooges agreed, so no communal dinner. I told them that if Curly didn't get into the concert and went home to call me and I'd pick them up.
This is how it played out...
I went to Arby's and bought a buttload of roast beef sandwiches and curly fries (5 for 5 bucks!). With extra Horsey sauce. No Arby's up in our mountain town, and a roast beef sandwich slathered in Horsey sauce is my ultimate guilty pleasure.
I must be psychic. Stuck the extras in the mini-fridge and spent the evening napping and working on my schoolwork (since the guys had shown up in the middle of the night the night before, I'd had about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep).
Big Guy had 50 bucks in cash to buy a t-shirt at the concert. The boys used it to buy a scalped ticket so Curly could get in. In return, Larry used his debit card so Big Guy could get his shirt. Somehow, Curly got off without having to pay anything, but I haven't pointed that out to them yet.
After the concert, the guys were starving because they missed dinner. Big Guy had no more cash, Curly was broke (or else he could have bought his own damned scalped ticket), so Larry magnanimously ordered them all dinner at Mickey D's.
His debit card was declined due to lack of funds. His well was dry.
Larry and Big Guy got back to the hotel about 12:30am. Curly decided to sleep at his own home. They were grateful for leftover Arbys.
And oh yeah. Curly couldn't drive them back to Collegetown the next day, because he had to go to work and had already spent their up-front gas money.
There was absolutely NO way I was going to drive 6-7 hours to get Big Kid and Larry up to Collegetown and myself back home. I had appointments and stuff to do, like a pop-essay due to be submitted online that afternoon. I needed to be home when Little Guy got off the school bus at 3pm.
So as soon as I woke up I called the Greyhound Buslines. There was a bus leaving in an hour and a half across Denver (during rush hour traffic), so I rolled the guys out of bed, got packed and kicked their butts to the station. Made it within 6 minutes of bus departure.
I pulled into the loading zone, popped the trunk, threw a handful of cash at them and screamed "Run Forrest, run!"
Ok not exactly that, but close.
They made the bus.
There's a lot more silliness and stupidity surrounding this, but I've abbreviated it because this post is so long.
I swear that I just don't "get" the lack of common sense in all areas. On one hand I'm relieved, because it proves that my son isn't an anomaly.
On the other I'm a little scared, because these boys have had the best prep-school education money can buy and to be frank, a sack full of hair seems to be better prepared to face the world. What the heck?
As a side note...
I waited in the bus loading zone for 30 minutes, just in case the boys missed the bus and came out.
Of course, Larry had forgotten his charger, and his cell phone had no juice. I knew that going in. Son, on the other hand, had his phone turned off, and didn't think to call me to say "We're on the bus!" I called the number about 12 times before hitting the road home.
I got on the highway, fought the traffic, and an hour into my drive home I was more than a little groggy.
It was 10am, and I hadn't had a drop of coffee all morning or a morsel of food.
Plus I had to pee like a racehorse.
I pulled off into a small town with services and limped my way into the 7-11. After sitting in a car for almost 3 hours, everything was stiff.
A handsome young guy breezed past me and got to the bathroom ahead of me. I wondered if I should get my coffee while I was waiting (looking ahead to my day's obligations and speculating if it would cut time) but decided that I didn't want to risk my place in line and really---didn't actually want to find a spot to put the coffee when I was in the can, if there wasn't a convenient shelf.
While I was mulling it over, I heard the toilet flush, and the young guy came out.
I went in, and GAK!
He'd pissed ALL OVER the toilet seat. And even hit the floor in a couple of spots.
So I came out, and caught up with him as he was buying his obligatory pack of smokes at the counter. I had ENOUGH of young-manly nonsense!
I said to the clerk, "Excuse me. I need to use the bathroom, and this young man (pointed in his face) pissed all over the toilet seat. Could someone clean it up or give ME some cleaning supplies, because I really need to use the facilities."
Then I turned to him (he was beet-red) and added, "Didn't your mother ever teach you to lift the seat or clean up after yourself? You should be ashamed of yourself!!"
He bolted out of there.
Turns out that this 7-11 was a mom and pop and daughter operation. They laughed their butts off.
And gave me a free coffee.
Made my day.