Smashing Weekend


On Saturday night/Sunday morning, as I was breezing through my usual weekend routine of clubbing and fending off admiring, handsome men falling over themselves to buy me dri...

Okay, okay! So now you KNOW that I'm lying.

So let's try again... Take 2: On Saturday night/Sunday morning, as I was engrossed in my usual weekend routine of sitting at home in my coffee- and chocolate-stained pajamas and head-to-toe anti-wrinkle cream and watching middle of the night infomercials all by myself (hold me now and let's weep together over the state of my utterly pitiful, anti-social life!), I thought I heard a crash.

Since it was three a.m. and since I wasn't REALLY watching an infomercial but - thanks to unusually benevolent network television fall offerings for insomniacs without cable or satellite t.v. - a rather terrifying episode of (cue scary music) The Twilight Zone, I reacted in my usual brave manner.

That's right! As soon as I heard the crash, I dove under the covers and cowered.

Before you hand over that Purple Heart for Bravery (which, if it's not too much trouble, I'd rather swap for a valid Green Card, if I may!), here's what I did next.

My curiosity eventually got the better of me and I ACTUALLY GOT OUT OF BED AND - as if that fact alone isn't remarkable enough - I descended the dark stairs to check if everything was okay.

As I was inching down the steps, trembling, I cursed myself for not being more sporty. And not just because I was wheezing from the exertion of actually being out of bed AND climbing stairs, but because at that moment, I really could've used the security that comes from wielding a baseball bat or a tennis raquet.

Finally, after about 45 minutes, I successfully made it down the stairs and into the dark living room. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I made out the shape of the invader crouching in the shadows... I wanted to scream, but couldn't, so instead, I stood there, rooted to the spot by fear and helplessly waiting for what I was sure would be the end of me. So I simply closed my eyes and waited...

And waited...

And, so at last, when I was sure that I was indeed still alive and nothing had happened, I finally dared to open my eyes.

It took only a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I braced myself and turned my head to face my savage, would-be attacker. I had every intention of asking him what on earth was taking him so long, or if he liked toying with his victims like this by dragging things out.

I was just about to locate my voice and start giving my little (but very brave) speech, when I lay eyes on the intruder again.

It was...

the lamp.

But it was the bigger lamp! And it was on the table, so in the dark it really looked like a crouching human, I swear! (And yes, I'm sure that watching The Twilight Zone all alone in the middle of the night played some small part in the tricks my eyes played on me.)

I chuckled at my own stupidity and went back to bed and the end of The Twilight Zone.

I dozed off shortly after and had a disturbing dream in which the lamp on the living room table had unplugged itself and was smashing its light bulbs by banging on the front door.

The next morning, I sheepishly confided to the boy about hearing the crash (which, in daylight and retrospect, seemed a lot like a figment of my imagination due to watching a scary show alone at night) and about going downstairs and confronting the "intruder", about realising my little mistake and then coming back to bed and having nightmares about the lamp banging on the door.

He laughed (but just enough so as not to further humiliate me, bless him).

Until later, when he went outside and spoke to the neighbour!

Right in front of our next door neighbour's house, another street t-junctions into our street. In other words, when our neighbour stands on her porch, she looks right up the length of another street. And 'up' is right, because it slopes a bit, so during winter, she always gets a bit nervous about drivers on that street losing control of their cars and possibly sliding straight into her car, which is parallel-parked right in front of her house. (Our houses are uphill a bit, so it's not too much of a concern that people will actually drive into the house!)

Anyway, turns out that her worst nightmare had indeed come true! And wasn't even snowing or even raining when it happened!

That's right... the crash I'd heard? It was very much real! Turns out a car full of drunk kids had come speeding down that hill and smashed right into her car! They then immediately backed out and sped away from the scene, which is why I didn't see anything when I glanced out the window (after my little encounter with the "intruder").

Luckily for my neighbour - and unlucky for another vehicle owner one street over - the police were already in the vicinity after getting a call of another hit and run committed by the same kid. So the police were responding to that call when they actually saw the guy backing out of our neighbour's car!

He was sooo drunk, but apparently he still tried outrunning the cops when they started pursuing him. All his friends had bailed out of the car after the second crash, so he was alone when they finally nabbed him.

Oh, and the knocking I had dreamed about? It was the neighbours to the other side of her who had also heard the impact. They knocked on her door, because her bedroom is at the back of her house and so she wake up from it, but they did.

Fortunately she has insurance. We suspect that the boy hasn't, though, because his car had stolen plates on it (!!!) - the car does belong to him, though - and apparently it's not the first time he has done something like this!

They arrested him and took him to jail, but apparently he was out again the next day, because this is Baltimore (or, Bodymore, if you wish to call it by the more macabre nick-name apparently given to it by the media in Alabama, which is where the boy's mom lives) and here the cops have bigger fish to fry than dealing with drunk teen drivers mowing down parked cars in their own neighbourhoods in the middle of the night on Saturday.

Thank goodness nobody was hurt, because there are so many ways in which this could've turned out so much worse than it did!

So how's THAT for a smashing weekend?

P.S. This actually happened LAST weekend, but due to a very temperamental computer (damn you, Afri-flu!), I'm only able to tell you about it now. Hey, you have to agree that hearing about an event in my life nine days after the fact ain't bad, even by my usual standards! This past weekend was eventful too, but for now, you'll just have to do what you normally do around here, which is wait... and wait... and wait...

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


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