Sunday, March 04, 2007

Riding in Cars With Boy Toys--Seattle Adventures Part I

So, I'm back. I always love going to Seattle, but hate to leave. What can I say, the city, its people, the light, the energy and all the wonderful old folks I know there are such a rich part of my life.

Take Harry, for instance. Eighty-nine years old, he's Ginny's boy toy. Ginny is eighty-seven, and one of my mother's dearest friends. Harry was an engineer for Boeing. He started there in 1964, just in time to work on "thrust" issues for the majestic Saturn V rocket of Apollo and Out of This World fame. In order to get Saturn V out of this world, Harry had to figure out how many pounds of thrust (2 million? Harry wasn't sure. Neither was I) were needed to push against air (which becomes a solid surface) and for how long. He told me that after 50,000 feet, the rocket could basically "coast" into outer space. I nodded like I understood.

Then there's Bill, my mother's eighty-nine year-old boy toy. He was my navigator for the week as I ferried us around in our mini-van rental. Here's how most of our rides went:

Bill: Stay in the left lane. No not that left lane. The center left lane.

Me: This one?

Bill: Right.

Me: The right lane?

Bill: No. This lane. This lane.

Me: So I'm turning left.

Bill: No, you're turning right. Right!

Mom: Watch out for pedestrians!

Me: Where's the pedestrian?

Mom: There wasn't one. But you have to watch out for them.

Bill: Right lane! Right lane! Oh God. NO!

Mom: Pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Me: There's a car in the right lane. I couldn't get over.

Bill: Oh God.

Mom: Well, all she has to do is turn left at the next light.

Bill: That's true.

Me: So I make the next left?

Bill: No. No! The street turns one-way at the bottom of the hill. We need to go right on Harrison.

Mom: Queen Anne is only one-way.

Me: But it was two ways a block ago.

Mom: I know.

Minutes tick by...

Bill: This should be Broad St. Is it Broad Street?

Me: Yes. It's Broad Street.

Bill: Make a right on Wall St. It should be two streets up.

We sail past Wall St.

Bill: Ok. Make a right here, another right, and go back to Wall St. Then make a left on Elliot and a right onto the Viaduct.

Mom: She can also make a right here, another right, a left on Western which turns into Elliot and then a right on the Viaduct.

Me: Can you just give me one direction at a time?

Bill: Get over to the right. To the right! Noooooo. Stay left. Oh God.

I still don't know how to get anywhere. Did I mention I have right/left dyslexia? By day-two I was humming the Three Stooges theme wherever we went. Bill mentioned that between him and my mother, they only had one good eye. "Yes," I added. "And two big mouths."

By contrast, and perhaps to prove that sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree, Bill's son John took a turn navigating and spoke to me in such soothing, positive tones I felt like a frightened wild animal he was trying to coaxe into friendship. Or a trap--John can be that way sometimes.

In a couple of days, FabDame should get some pics to me *hint hint* and ya'll can see what mischief a passel of octogenarian, drunken boy toys can get into. After that, a reunion with George: Mythical Family Figure and Procurer of Advertising Displays.



Anonymous Unk said...

Laughing my ass off here...


March 05, 2007 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Jane/FabDame said...

I wish I could say you embellished this story, but you actually told a somewhat milder version. I have to catch up on Work, Work and laundry - then it'll be picture time - never fear. Loves - Jane

March 05, 2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Unk, it's payback for all the time you made iced coffee stream outta my nose.

Jane, yeah. I didn't mention alot of this happened in the dark, in the rain, during rush hour. Oh, and how many times you were the Soothing Voice of Reason. Oy.

March 05, 2007 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Kris Starr said...

Oh, that's hysterical, Ann! You need to use something like that in a book sometime... :)


March 05, 2007 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Heather Rae Scott said...

I can totally see this in a book. OMG, I feel for you, I do. LMAO.

It sounds like you had fun though!

March 07, 2007 2:48 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Kris and Rae, the antiques are such great fodder for books, aren't they? Harry is so Arnie grown up. And Bill, well, I love him passionately. We had a blast!

March 08, 2007 9:48 AM  

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