I’m not a fan of paying attention all the time. I can see the merit in it but not the ROI (return on investment). It does drive ML crazy and from time to time it can lead to times when I have no clue what is happening, what happened and what my role might be or have been. MLs plans for New Year’s Eve and the grandkids probably would have worked out better if I had exercised my need to know with my caring to know.
We had to go to Sudbury early on New Year’s Eve to be probed for covids prior to flying back to our boat, truck, and travel trailer in Fort Myers. We had been tested in Florida at one of the omnipresent CVS locations. We arrived at the drive-through window and the body-less head passed stuff out through the sliding drawer thing with instructions about self-probing. Others had been eager to recount their experience with probing regaling with stories of 9-foot probes and Captain Ahab like probers… Here I was at the CVS self-probing. My story would be limited to the vicious probing of me. The tests were ultimately negative, and we were able to return to Canada.
In Sudbury, the prober lady had on a traffic vest, work boots, hat and gloves that looked like the ones Dr. Tipper wore when pulling calves. I couldn’t see clearly what was happening up ahead at the end of the line where the probing was underway. I wondered at one speed I would have to drive the car at the prober and the probe to get the depth I understood was required. Visions of sugar plums had long since left my head. In my youth I had my nose broken on many occasions and in University I had surgery to straighten things out and open windows into my sinuses. I wondered if these windows would come into play at the probing station.
Where was I? Oh ya, then, we went to the party store out on the Kingsway to get some hats, horns and bangles for the New Years’ party ML had envisaged for the grandkids, Harrison, Alex, and Oakley. Now comes the part when paying attention, listening, or caring might have paid dividends. She came out with a clump of balloons. There were 9 balloons and three weights to hold them on earth. Ultimately two of Oakley’s three balloons flew off, but I digress.
Leave them in the car ML said. I heard that clearly. I can pay attention when the direction is to do nothing and that is what is wanted. ML said we will have a ball drop at 7:00 for the kids, they will love it. I made the mistake of asking “what ball”? “I don’t know” she offered and “Oh” I replied. Not wanting to participate in ruining the kid’s festivities I said “why don’t we drop the balloons”. She said ok and it was up to me to come up with the how.
Helium won’t drop, at least not on its own. Luckily these balloons were already attached to these 3 or 4-pound weights, three of them. I stuffed all the balloons into a large garbage/trash bag leaving the weights hanging out on the copious amount of ribbon the party store lady had attached. I thought it’s simple, I will hold the top of the bag open to the bottom, release the weights and my balloon ball drop would occur. What could go wrong I should have asked?
Finally, after the kids were gathered anticipating what Pop Pop would do from up in the treehouse with a trussed-up bag of garbage. They’ve been around me and know if things go well, it can be fun but more fun is available when things go bad and they would. Finally, the countdown began. My part was easy in my mind. Did I mention that there were Christmas lights strings crisscrossed all over the wooded area we were gathered in? They would play a role. In my mind, they were the cause but on with the story.
At 1 in the count, I tossed the weights out to where there were not moving, writhing, flopping and screaming children. The weight went straight as directed. The balloons did not. The bag slipped out of my hands. On the way to the earth, the weights went south of a string of Christmas lights and like bolo balls, took their ribbons and balloons north and then hither and yon… H being the older helper ran and jumped on the bag to release the still captured balloons. Time seemed to slow as the weights, ribbons and balloons made it their mission to capture the string of Christmas lights.
The part I should have known was that the balloons were three bouquets, one each for the grandkids. That idea was lost as the new balloon lump was one bunch of balloons and the weight accomplices. We did manage to cut, untangle and release the balloons from the ribbon and light clump. All the while kids screamed, cried and yelled. Happy New Year I thought…