Seriously. Thatâ€™s how it all started.
I was minding my own business, blissfully enjoying the summer sunshine and occasionally writing goofy off-topic stuff for a blog that isnâ€™t even mine.
Sure, I had plans. Big plans. I had planned to apply for unemployment benefits just as soon as summer ended.
But before then I was going to be on the road, lapping up low tides, making pickles and hitting all the plays in Ashland.
I had mapped out my summer weeks ago and it didnâ€™t involve getting a new job. No resume to fill out. No cover letter to write. No strategic plan whatsoever that didnâ€™t involve swimming or hunting for agates.
But then the weirdest little chain of events started â€“ events that were so perfect in their orderliness and happenstance that it was as if every tumbler in a vault lock had magically clicked into place.
How weird? Remember that post about Alvin and the Chipmunks?
But someone named Jane made this comment: â€œFirst, Iâ€™d like to nominate Laura Grimes for president.â€
Mr. Scatter and I briefly considered this exciting possibility. We imagined lining up push-polls and flying all over the country. We imagined using political party money to buy whole new wardrobes.
Whatâ€™s not to like?
We imagined Art Scatter as the Mouthpiece of America to get the Good Word out about how art is, like, a really great thing, you know? We would stump on the Cultah Platform and hone sharp talking points using clever mottoes like:
Make art, not war.
As Mr. Scatter reached for his BlackBerry to call the League of Tough-Guy Arts Observers for a recommendation about a campaign manager, a hairy head poked around the corner and said, â€œWhatâ€™s for dinner?â€ Followed closely by, â€œWeâ€™re outta milk.â€
Mr. Scatter and I looked at each other and suddenly realized we had a slight liability. Two, actually.
And letâ€™s just come straight out with it and say theyâ€™re really not very slight. Because theyâ€™re Large. And Smelly. And they happen to be our Boys.
When Mr. Scatter said months ago that he didnâ€™t mind if the boys shagged out for the summer, I said, â€œPlease tell me youâ€™re talking about their hair.â€ Fortunately, he was. I wasnâ€™t keen on the idea, but, alas, I consented. The boys now look like total mopheads. How were we to know they might have to be paraded before the adoring American public?
But then I realized that chauffeured limousines and a security detail would mean our sons wouldnâ€™t need driverâ€™s licenses for several years, and I immediately picked up my BlackBerry and punched in â€œbarberâ€ as my brain started running through which significant cultural site would make the best photo op to make the big announcement. The Portland Center for the Performing Arts? The Armory? Portlandia? That really nifty sculpture of Three Groins in a Fountain in front of the Standard Insurance building?
My index finger was poised to hit SEND when I realized we had even bigger trouble on our hands. It wasnâ€™t just the hair. It wasnâ€™t just because the Large Smelly Boys occasionally need reminders to brush their teeth and shampoo their hair.
Our high hopes for the White House were dashed when I realized that not one, but both of our sons have the great misfortune of not being pregnant.
But the real clincher? The one that made us put aside our BlackBerries and rethink our dreams of sticking an Eames chair in the Lincoln Bedroom? We could not imagine the Large Smelly Boys standing on stage at the inauguration wearing adorable coats from J. Crew.
Colorful ribbons in their hair? Matching socks that havenâ€™t been shredded? Not gonna happen.
Mr. Scatter and I sighed. I got up to rummage in the cheese bin in the fridge to figure out a dinner plan while Mr. Scatter picked up his car keys to go buy milk. As he opened the front door, I called after him, â€œWhoâ€™s this Jane person?â€
He hollered back, â€œI dunno. Beats me. How many gallons should I buy? Three or four?â€
TO BE CONTINUED â€¦
Next time: The weird happenstances and who is this mysterious Jane?
— Laura Grimes