My Latest

Forty Dead Men
About this book

Reviews
Order

More in the Alafair Tucker Mystery Series

Forty Shades of Weird

August 16th, 2009

Yesterday, August 15, was one of the strangest days I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t catch sight of a white rabbit dressed in a suit, but there was still an odd feeling of unreality in the air.

Let me back up a little and catch you up, Dear Reader. On the 13th, Don saw Zippy the Urologist for a follow-up after the removal of one of his nephostomy tubes. Everything looks good, so the doc said he’d make arrangements for the removal of the other external tube ASAP, which in our experience, isn’t really very S, since his minions have to get all the insurance approvals, then the hospital calls and sets up the appointment for the outpatient procedure. Previous tube manipulations have usually taken about two weeks from the doc’s go-ahead until the actual event.

So, we were having a nice relaxed Saturday at home. I put a load of laundry in the washer, which I do every Saturday morning. But for some odd reason, I’m thinking as I’m loading, “everything is finally going well. I hope nothing else goes wrong for a while, like this washer breaking, because I’m tired of ‘handling’ things right now.”

I started the washer and went to the store, leaving Don at home to make the switch to the dryer when the time comes. I had a lot of shopping to do, so I was gone quite a while, and when I came back, very hot and tired, Don greets me with the news that the washer filled and agitated. but it won’t drain no matter what he tries, and the laundry is currently sitting there in the soapy water.

I fear I didn’t take the news too well. It took me a few minutes to calm down, but after I regained my usual calm demeanor, I fished the towels out of the water, hauled them into the bathroom and rinsed them in the bathtub, then wrung each towel and washcloth out by hand and put the load into the dryer. I spent an hour on my knees swishing, rinsing, and wringing and having flashbacks to a former life when I used to squat down on the banks of the Irawaddi River and pound my laundry on a rock. Don argued with me about doing it himself, but I told him that after all this, if he strained or busted something wrestling with that heavy laundry, I’d kill him.

The only problem with the bathtub method was that, despite my wringing, the towels were so heavy with water that the dryer wouldn’t tumble, so I had to haul half the towels out and hang them over a rack to air dry while the rest tumbled. Then I bailed out the soapy water from the washer by the bucket load and poured it over plants and down the sink, and swabbed out the washer with some old towels. It’s the weekend, of course, so we’ll have to wait until Monday to call out the repair squad.

Now, things just happen, and I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything that my washer (which has never once given me a bit of trouble since the day we bought it in 2002) quit working fifteen minutes after I thought that it would suck if it did. But I have to admit that it crossed my mind to wonder – do I have power? Is my very loss of confidence that everything will be all right causing unhappy things to occur? Surely not. Don suggests that if I have power, it is the power of prognostication, so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In any event, we handled it. But dealing with the Great Laundry Crisis put me behind, and we were late getting ourselves off for an author event I wanted to attend at Poisoned Pen Bookstore. So we rushed around, prettied ourselves up enough that we wouldn’t frighten anyone, and jumped in the car for the ten mile trip from my house in Tempe to the bookstore in Scottsdale.

The route we take is over the Salt River bridge. The river is one of the flight paths for the final approach into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, so planes often come in low over that road. We were sitting on the bridge, stopped by a light, when I pointed out a very large, blue and white plane coming in over us. It passed practically right in front of our windshield, seemingly so close that it was rather alarming, and I remarked casually to Don, “That looks kind of like Air Force One.”

“It is Air Force One,” he replied. “Obama is supposed to come into Phoenix right about now.”

I didn’t see any little girl faces plastered up against the windows, but I swear it was only because they must have been looking out the other side.

The end of the story is that we got to the bookstore only about five minutes late and I got to hear Christopher Reich, Sean Doolittle, and Michael Koryta give a really interesting program. I also met up with fellow PPP author Ann Parker, who was in the middle of an Arizona with authors Juliet Blackwell and Sophie Littlefield.

Here’s what I learned:
1. My superpower is that I can break inanimate objects with my mind.
2. Just when you least expect it, the President of the United States may fly over your head.
3. Attending an author event always puts me in a better mood.

Leave a Reply