Friday, August 12, 2005

The Funky Lime

Last night Sweetie beat me home. No surprise there. He has regular hours, and when the big hand on the clock gets to a certain spot, they get up and leave where he's employed. That doesn't happen in my world. I could easily work from 6 in the morning until 9 at night every day, including weekends, and still have stuff to do.

Anyhow, the point is he beat me home. So he calls me, and I happen to be just getting on the freeway. Here is how our conversation goes:

Sweetie: Did you leave a fruit of some kind on the fence?
Me: A fruit? On the fence? What?
Sweetie: Yeah, a fruit. On the gate. Right where the latch is. Some sort of funky lime or something.
Me: No. I didn't. Limes don't grow in Michigan. Don't touch it. I'll be right home.

Now let me interject here by saying that even though we are both very much city people, Sweetie is more of a city person that anyone. He understands concrete, asphalt, Kentucky Bluegrass, Hostas, and Impatiens. Okay, he also knows maple and oak trees, and where the little green "airplane" things are for that fall off the maple trees. But that's about it. (Not that I'm a whole lot better.)

So I get home and jump out of the car. Head for the gate. Sure enough, there is a small, roundish, green object sitting on the latch. It's a walnut. I have sudden flashbacks of my childhood, when we used to go visit some family friends out in Almont, Michigan, who had some serious land. Willow tries with branches perfect to swing on, and a tiny river you could swing across on the willow branches. Gardner snakes. Mowed grass stretching further than you could run without getting tired. And, walnut trees. Green out-of-round baseballs with brown spots that smelled sort of green and spicy and good.

I walk inside, and there is Sweetie at the sink.

Sweetie: Did you see it?
Me: What? The "funky lime?"
Sweetie: Yeah, what is it?
Me: It's a walnut.
Sweetie: No, it can't be. Really?
Me: Yep. That's how walnuts grow. On trees. I'll show you later.
Sweetie: (stands silent and perplexed.)

So we head out the door to take my Grandparents out for dinner and then to help my dad with something he and I had arranged to do.

We get back home at about 11 or 11:30 at night. I cut into the walnut, and worked away enough of the green outer peel to show the nut inside. Then I went and showed Sweetie. He was very interested. Clearly had no idea how walnuts grew.

Now I mentioned it was late. When I was done cutting into the nut, I threw it and all the bits of peel in the trash, rinsed my knife, rinsed my hands, and headed right to bed.

The next morning, I woke up, had a shower, got clothes on, and stopped to brush my teeth when I noticed my hands were BROWN. Seriously stained brown. Dark brown. It looked sort of like a very bad experience with a self tanning lotion, except much more brown than the orangey color the tanner would have been, and it was not on my palms - only on my fingers, both palm side and opposite. I looked like a leper of sorts. It was bad. I tried everything that was in front of me to get it off, including Soft Scrub with bleach. Nothing worked. I had to get out the door. I missed my 8 am meeting because I was working on this stain.

So I get to work, rebound a little from the shock and horror of my hands, and try to get something done. The second e-mail I open tells me I'm supposed to be at a customer meeting at 1 pm. The third e-mail is about taking some customers to lunch in that same area just before the meeting.

Gah! I have brown hands. And the meeting is at least an hour away driving time. It's just after 9 am at this point. And... There's no way I can leave work at that moment because there were some other things that had to get done.

So I took some deep breaths and conjured up a plan. Cancel lunch. Get the stuff done asap, then head out and stop home before heading out to the customer's site. At home, I will try every chemical concoction available to get my hands white again. Or whatever fleashy peachy color they are normally.

This plan is orchestrated. I get home, run in the house, and immediately start trying everything. Turpentine. Lighter Fluid. Gasoline? Nope, didn't find any. Vanilla Sugar Salt Scrub from Bath & Body Works. More Soft Scrub. A Brillo Pad.

By now my hands are looking reddish below the brown stain. And they are so dry they hurt.

In the midst of all this, I got lighter fluid on my shirt, and would have surely smelled like it for the remainder of the day. So I had to change. The shirt came off and I ran around shirtless for the second two-thirds of this fiasco. Then on a run between the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen sink, I tripped on the cat and went flying. Then I had carpet burn on my wretchedly dried out, stained hands too. Would this never end?

The chemicals did nothing. The salt scrub did lighten the stain considerably.

Nothing at all helped my fingernails. Did I mention they were brown too? They were possibly the worst part of all. Ugly.

So I got a big ring to put on, and hoped it would draw attention away from the brownness. But I had to do something about my nails. I grabbed some dark red polish and headed out the door.

I used the stop sign at the end of my street and two stop lights to do my make-up. (My make-up never got applied after the toothbrushing that morning, since I was side tracked with the hand phenomenon.) After that second stop light, it was all freeway. So there I was, trying to figure out how to paint my nails, get something to eat, and have the nails dry in time to be at this meeting at 1. So I got off three exits early and found a parking lot. Sweetie called. I told him I was in the midst of a crisis and had to go. He kept me on the phone for three minutes anyhow, cuz that's just his way. I got my nails painted. Turned on the air conditioning full blast, and got ready to drive away, alternating hands in front of the blower. The phone rang. Dammit. I couldn't not answer it because it might have been the customer I was going to meet with. So I gingerly grabbed at it and wiggled it from where it was in the mess of crap on the front passenger's seat. I wrecked only two nails in this process. It was Sweetie. God Dammit. I told him to go away so I could finish pulling off a miracle cure for a very bad situation. Fixed the nails, and drove off toward the freeway. Found a Wendy's. Went through the drivethru for fries. Great for my diet, eh? Made it to the customer's building with 6 minutes to spare, perfect make-up, and dry nails.

The moral of the story is, don't touch a funky lime that appears on your gate latch. You'll be sorry you did.


Post a Comment

<< Home