Sunday, March 25, 2007

If Sanjaya Won American Idol - That Would Be Worse, Honeymoon Part Deux

I find myself violently ill on my honeymoon!

It is Honeymoon Day Eight, which also happens to be my birthday. The previous evening, I had prepared my second-favorite birthday dessert, a cake involving vast quantities of heavy cream. It was an excellent idea, except for the faux-pas involving how long after "Sell By" dates may diary products still be "Used By."*

Despite this, the DNB, god-bless-him, has forgotten entirely the vast significance of the day. He doesn't remember until my phone beeps with a well-wishing text message from a good friend who actually remembers these things, without even being married to me.

"Oops," he says sheepishly. And then more grandly, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!"

I am optimistic about this birthday. Not to "sidebar," as one of the gunners in my class puts it (annoying, isn't it?), but some of you may know about my Age Thing. Not unlike how I don't drink beverages that are lukewarm or hotter, I don't like being odd-numbered ages. We'll see how this plays out when I'm 29, but for now, I am much more at ease with 26 than with 25.

Let the celebrations begin! We have a big day planned, with a matinee in a nearby town followed by a long massage (the lack of snow has complicated our skiing/snow mobiling/dog sledding plans,** so the spa has seen a windfall). We eat lunch at a restaurant where we are fashionably ignored for 7-10 minutes before being seated. This is odd because the restaurant is decidedly unfashionable, a dark and dingy diner that wants to be a pub. We press on to the theater. I am shocked and disappointed to learn that no films are shown on Mondays! And this is the town's only theater! It has a monopoly on the lack of Monday movies!

Undeterred, we drive to our next Birthday Activity. Not far from the spa, I receive a phone call. It is the spa, and my masseuse has gone home sick. There are no other masseuses available today, would I like to reschedule? Tomorrow they are closed. The movie theaters have Mondays, so the spas must take Tuesdays. That way the ticket-takers can have their facials and the estheticians can catch a flick. Obviously.

I resolve that the only thing that can make this day better is a birthday cake made up of at least mostly ingredients that are not yet past their expiration date. My third-favorite birthday dessert is the kind of ice cream cake with the little crunchy chocolate bits in it. So we rent a movie from Blockbuster and buy an ice cream cake, toss them in the back seat and drive toward Hubbardton in the gathering darkness.

The long country road that takes us back to where we're staying has a curious bright yellow barn directly beside it. I notice in the fading light three people standing inside the barn doorway. Just as we drive past it, we hear a loud BOOMing sound behind us. I slow the car, and notice that a snowball had been thrown at my car and has spattered all over the back windshield. Backwoods hooligans!

I drive a little ways further, until the DNB and I realize, at the same moment, an awful truth. There is no snow. I pull to the side of the road, in what appears to be a common precursor to disaster on this trip, and the DNB gets out. He walks to the back of the car just in time to watch the entire back windshield shatter! Now the backwoods hooligans have really done it!

He jumps back in and I floor it back to the barn. I get out, to begin my Very Important Legal Career with a lawyerly unofficial deposition of the eyewitnesses. Except, oddly enough, none of them have seen what happened.

"Maybe another car kicked up a rock?" the Shifty Farm Hand suggests helpfully. The two others, younger kids, skulk around silently. It is difficult to tell if they are ashamed of their guilt or merely teenagers.

"But you were standing right here - there were no other cars!" I argue.

"Maybe you kicked up a rock yourself?" he offers, less helpfully.

At this point, the DNB interjects in a manly display of physics knowledge. "It would be very unusual for a car to kick up a rock that could destroy its own back windshield," he points out.

"Well, then I don't know." The Shifty Farm Hand is unwilling to implicate his friends.

Back at the house, I call the East Hubbardton Police Department. The officer is willing to make an "Informational Report," but must hurry because he has "real emergencies" to deal with. I am offended that information about possible gangs of vagrant youths roaming the countryside and destroying personal property does not warrant an official investigation, but the officer hangs up on me before I can finish telling him so. My insurance company is more helpful,*** and tomorrow I will have a new windshield.

I sit down at last. The DNB waits warily to deliver one final piece of bad news. There is glass in my birthday cake, he tells me.

* Not as long as one might think.

** I.e. Rendered them impossible.

*** Special thanks to all the customer service representatives at USAA who never act like my questions are as dumb as we both know that they are.

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