Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Slack-Jawed Gawkers

The other day a friend called and asked if I wanted to go pick apricots on her in-laws' farm. I told her no, I don't really care for apricots. Fresh fruit just doesn't really appeal to me. Nor the act of harvesting it myself on a radiant morning, off of beautiful trees, on a real-life farm, right here in my small town. Nope. Count me out. That is just not my cup of tea. Satisfied that I had delivered sufficient sarcasm, I then cried "Would I?! WOULD I!" I can't photographically prove it (I forgot my camera--the searing regret is painful!), but it was a morning to treasure. The apricots were tender, abundant, and blushing on the sun- kissed side. Bug's little feet navigated across the rocky mini-orchard, her shoes caked with sticky clay soil, her blond head shining and bobbing with delight. We all picked 'cots and enjoyed idle chat. Then my friend's gracious mother-in-law took us for a tour of the chicken coop and the sheep and cow enclosures. Buggy's face lit up at the sound of the crowing rooster and 4 eggs found in a hen's nesting box (which we were generously given to take home and fry up for lunch. Tasty!) But today's story isn't really about picking apricots (nor is it about slack-jawed gawkers. I mean, they show up later on, but they really don't have a main part in the story. I just liked the way it sounded. Slack-jawed gawkers.) (I'd like to take a second to tell you that my spellchecker wants me to change "gawkers" to "gawkies". Um. Really?) So anyway, the point of all this is to tell you one thing: While apricot picking, I wore my running shoes. They, too, got caked with the muck. So when we got home, I slapped them together a few times, gave them what-for with a pounding on the concrete patio, then gave up and left them to sit outside. I'd clean them up some other time. I don't generally like to leave things like shoes outside for any length of time. I'm all too aware of the creepy crawlies that creep and crawl around here. But that day, my shoes were left outside overnight, forgotten. The next evening, I was going for a run so I went outside to get my shoes. I gave them another good whomp on the concrete just to dislodge any spiders that may have been camping out in there. The arachnid community in this town has been known to launch occasional all-out assaults on me. They come in to my house and surprise me in the most wicked of ways. I don't know why they single me out sometimes. My motto is live and let live...just not in my shower, not between my recipe books, and not under the laundry room sink. Oh, and don't be crawling in my mouth while I sleep! (Someone please tell me that's just an urban legend so I can sleep peacefully once again. I don't even care if you're lying. Just tell me convincingly that that ridiculous statistic that says you will eat 8 spiders in your lifetime while you sleep is complete rubbish.) My shoes appeared to be spider free. I slipped them on and started my run. Not two minutes later I was running by the park near my house. Some boys were playing b-ball on the half court. I started to feel a twitching sensation under my toes with each pace. Immediately I knew. I stopped short in a a panic. A piercing shriek escaped me. I yanked off my shoe one-legged stork-style, and hurled it a few feet down the sidewalk. I cautiously crept forward, chest heaving. I peered into the shoe, knowing full well the intruder's sole intent was to seek and destroy. Yes, seek me out and destroy me with it's vicious fangs. In a display of uncommon bravery I gingerly lifted the shoe by the shoelace. Nothing attacked. I held it up by the toe and gave it a violent flick. To my utter disgust and horror, out flew the black, furry, menacing, eight-eyed.... twig. It was just a twig. Yeah, so I guess I was exaggerating (or just plain lying for effect) when I said it was black and furry. It didn't have octa-vision either. It was just your run-of-the-mill, garden variety twig. At this point, the adrenaline was wearing off and it finally occurred to me to look over at the b-ball boys. The three of them were standing slack-jawed, staring at me. Such was their confusion at my behavior that they didn't even attempt to avert their eyes, like the looky-loos that gawk with morbid fascination at a wreck on the highway. That's what I had become. A morbidly fascinating one-shoed wreck. I suppose slack-jawed gawking is better than pointing and laughing. It's always good to see the silver lining in every unfortunate situation. I sheepishly shoed myself and went about my run, which was uneventful thereafter. As a side note, I'd like to leave you with a thought to ponder: If infant formula was carpet shampoo, I'd have the cleanest carpets in North America.

12 comments:

Flat Creek Farm said...

OMGoodness.. you're killin' me!! Funniest post I've read in a long time.. anywhere. Thanks for the laugh... slack-jawed gawkers = hilarious! Love it! -Tammy

Meghan said...

Baaahhahhahahaahahahaa!! :D

Dawn (dandy) said...

Bwahaha! That is too funny. I always check my running shoes. Who am I kidding... I don't run.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the good laugh!!!!!!! LOL

monica said...

Oh that is funny post. Sorry I am not being mean and laughing (an dpointing ) at you, just laughing with you!! Great since of humor you have. And no YOU will not eat 8 spiders while sleeping in your lifetime just other people might eat that many sleeping. Stopping in from Mom's of Multiples to say Hi! Meeting new friends!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Too funny! I have jumped at a piece of fuzz on the floor, just knowing for sure it was a tarantula!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your kids are such cutie pies. Being that I'm an identical twin, I'm here to tell ya that you are in for the wildest ride of your life! LOL

I love being a twin and we're getting ready to turn 46 (gasp) on Friday.

Dana said...

HaHaHaHa! You make me laugh! Love you!

This Country Girl said...

Hi!

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments on our yard! I had to laugh at you asking me advice on gardening! Really, this just did well on it's own! We did baby it a little when we first planted it...keeping it watered. Now we really don't even do that unless we go without rain for awhile! Our's faces south too, but the wind and elements are blocked somewhat by our home. Of course, I don't show people all of those plants or bushes that I kill! lol! But thanks for your kind words!

I could really picture that whole twig thing happening to me! But oh my, I had never heard that about eating spiders in my sleep! That's not a pleasant thought!

Oh, and your kids are adorable! The video of the twins was so cute! My daughter and I just watched it. I think my daughter, Joy, is following your blog too (Doodlebug).

Have a great evening Elle,
Tammy

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Oh my! I really thought I was the only one who shook out my shoes before putting them on. I refuse to keep my sneakers in the garage where I MAKE EVERYONE ELSE KEEP THEIRS. God forbid I were to find a spider or something else, maybe a mouse, in my sneaker. Very funny! Thanks for the comments. I'm going to follow yours and see if it works. Haven't heard anyone having any problems. So if you see me on your list, you'll know it worked!! Enjoy your night!

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Wouldn't let me follow either. I'll be back tomorrow!

Rural Revival said...

Very funny, I love your sense of humour! Thanks for dropping by my blog. The clapping dude is VERY cute..yes you are lucky and blessed!
Be well~Andrea~
PS. I wish I could sew too!

Mr. M said...

lol...I have been known to violently fight one of my six daughter's long hairs that had worked it's way into one of my shirt collars and gained life from a ceiling fan.

You are too funny...thanks for the laugh.