Last week several of my worst fears came true when the tornado sirens went off twice and both times I found myself far from acceptable shelter.
On Monday I was enjoying some fried chicken covered in sugar syrup sauce disguised as Chinese food while gossiping with my friend Angie when her sister texted her to tell her that the world was going to end in 9 minutes. We threw some money on the table and ran to our cars because God only knows what lurks in the basement of a Chinese restaurant.
We sprinted out the door, but not before Angie forced me to waste valuable time opening my fortune cookie to see what my future holds.
Apparently I’m a joy to be around. Which doesn’t mean a hill of beans if I’m about to be eaten by a twister.
We raced to my house where we sat glued to the TV so that we could pinpoint our exact time of death. Why weren’t we in the basement, you ask? Well, my friend, last week I also discovered that I have a new phobia which slightly edges out a twister. Waking two sleeping babies up and dragging them, confused and screaming, down to a creature-infested damp cellar for thirty minutes while I try to distract them from stepping on a black widow or eating paint thinner by singing nursery rhymes and doing shots of malt liquor.
Of course I held vigil in a westward facing window where if I were to see a twister I would at least have time to save myself by running to the basement. I figured their cribs could provide them some sort of shelter from a majority of head trauma.
Then Friday night I was browsing the diaper aisle on my nightly sanity outing without the girls when I heard the sirens begin to wail. I grabbed the first package I saw, and sprinted to the checkout stopping only to grab some Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles for the car ride home to at least make my last meal enjoyable.
I reached in my purse, threw what I thought was money on the counter and the cashier yelled, “Ma’am you can’t pay for chips with a dry cleaning receipt and a condom!” and I yelled back, “Keep the change!” as I covered my head and ran out the door.
I squealed onto our street, fully expecting to see our splintered house in ruins and had already mentally begun spending Nick’s life insurance settlement when I rounded the corner and saw everything was still standing. As with Monday, I held vigil in our westward facing window looking for suspicious twister activity, poised and ready to make a solo break for the basement.
Fortunately, everyone made it through unscathed so on Saturday we were able to drive to cow town for Easter and my nephew’s baptism.
Nick and I were the God parents, as we were with my sister’s first son. You see, pickins are slim in their neck of the woods for spiritual guidance and besides, why mess with perfection?
Her church is one of those country churches that you see on the side of a deserted gravel road that has more headstones in the back than actual members. It’s quite the departure from our fancy schmancy gold chalice toting place of worship that I’m pretty sure Jesus himself sits in the front row of every Sunday, giving our priest a big grin and the thumbs up sign.
The service started with the usual call for birthdays, with members of the congregation yelling up to the pastor, the pastor making some off-color joke about their age, then everyone standing up and singing happy birthday.
The service ended with communion, where I found out that in the country Jesus’ blood tastes like date rape and has a side effect of blindness. Mid-way through the ceremony one of the ushers passing the wine (wearing plaid shorts and a hoodie) yelled across the pew: “Hey Vernon! Looks like we may run out of wine but we can just pass the bottle!” with the congregation laughing and cheering.
Again, quite different than our church where if you show up without a suit jacket or panty hose everyone looks at you like you just farted in the potato salad.
As always, a good time was had by all on our weekend at the farm. Really the main difference between the city and the country is that in the country you get to develop a nice relationship with your dinner before you eat it.
However, perhaps the most valuable lesson learned this weekend was that Nick and I discovered that Quick Trip corn dogs make really good pacifiers. Information which will come in handy on our 13-hour drive to Florida this summer. If the girls don’t have hypertension yet, they will soon.