“Rescuing John Grisham”
I HATE losing things and resolve to rid myself of this foolish habit in 2017. I shudder to think of time wasted and frustration caused by my forgetfulness. The following are a few examples of this annoying trait…
Actually, it first reared its ugly head early in life. When I was twelve, I had my mother save Betty Crocker box tops for months in order to redeem them for a “genuine” birth stone ring. Upon receiving it, I never took it off my finger until one day I noticed it gone. Schoolroom and school grounds were searched along with my bedroom and house. No ring. Several days later, Mother found it inside a head of lettuce in the refrigerator. It was chilled but otherwise unharmed.
How many times have I lost my car keys?? Only once did they remain lost so long that Freemon had to have a new set made. The following Spring I found the old set atop a package of MIRACLE GRO in the garage. Just early last fall, I lost my treasured (real) gold bracelet left me by a great aunt. I wear it often and it is one of my treasured pieces of jewelry. Where did I find it, you ask? In a sack of charcoal on the lower deck the next time I bar-be-qued.
Over the years, God has allowed me to commit many absurd acts–possibly because He knew someday I’d become a humor (??) columnist…
Years ago we vacationed in Colorado and I took my library book to read, the latest thriller by John Grisham.
On the morning of departure, I was in a huge rush. An unexpected snow storm was on the way threatening to close I 70 near the Eisenhower Tunnel by noon. I’d packed everything except what we’d be wearing the night before. After breakfast I did all the last minute cleaning of the condo. Grabbing my purse and tote, I realized I didn’t have my book. I made a last thorough search, looking under bed, beneath furniture and inside packed luggage–no John Grisham in sight. A $30 library book! Observing my intensity, Freemon uttered the INANE words,
“Where did you have it last? Look there.”
I crossed my eyes as I responded in a measured flat tone, “IF I KNEW WHERE I HAD IT LAST, IT WOULDN’T BE LOST!!
Seeing the smoke emerge from my ears, Freemon retired to the couch.
Hating to concede, I then remembered a week’s stack of THE DENVER POST scattered on the couch along with my book. Earlier, I’d gathered all garbage, including papers, and taken the sack to the trash bin. Coatless, I rushed out the door while shouting behind me, “Be right back!”
Dumpsters were discretely placed at the rear of the large complex. Barely able to peer over the top, I spied my white sack because its red strings were tied in a bow (my fanciful nature–OK?) I was too short to reach it, regardless how far I stretched. I noted the “obtrusions” on the side of the dumpster (connectors for the garbage truck to lift and empty?) Stepping on the lower one, I was still too low. The one above got me to the top but I still had to stretch. Almost there…then I fell INSIDE the thing. I tore open the sack and threw “John” safely over the side so I’d have both hands free for my escape. I piled up five or six sacks at the corner and tried to climb atop in order to hoist my right leg. But the more I moved around the deeper the sacks sank. Hence, no leverage.
Here’s the pitiful scenario: Coatless, I’m freezing to death in 30 degree weather…it’s only 7 a.m. and still dark…no one knows where I am and I have no cell phone. I begin to scream. Minutes go by. Nothing happens. I scream louder, “SECURITY! POLICE!!” Suddenly, I see lights come on inside two units! Relieved, I wait for a tenant to emerge. And it was THEN that I heard it…a large diesel engine. A garbage truck stops at the corner and turns to back up sounding its BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! alarm. I scream louder! Mercifully, my hands and face are visible and the “helper”spies me and jumps out, halting the truck.
This large man rushes over and lifts me out! Once on solid ground, I thank him through my tears, as he speaks,
“Ma’am, c’n I ask why you wuz in that trash?”
“I was trying to find John Grisham.”
“Y’mean there a MAN in there, TOO??” he asks.
“No, I threw him out before you came,” pointing to the pavement, “don’t run over him!” I hurriedly retrieve the book and run for the condo, leaving Kind Man scratching his head.
Less than ten minutes later, we drive out of the complex just as a police car pulls in…lights flashing but no siren. I could imagine what might have been the next day’s headline: “TEXAS WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SCAVENGING AND HELD ON CHARGE OF STUPIDITY”
Brenda Miles is an award-winning columnist and author residing in Hot Springs Village. She welcomes your comment on this and other columns at [email protected]