You may think that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has it made. That she whiles away her retired days on the couch, eating bonbons, watching reruns of That 70s Show all day, waiting for her Sweet Baboo to get home and fan her with yucca fronds, and feed her grapes. Only one of those activities is correct. Life is hard for retired Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
Last week, for instance...
It was evening. Farmer H had forsaken me for the auction. I was just settling down in my dark basement lair with my second wave of 44 oz Diet Coke. In the evening, I add bottled Diet Coke, and ice. This ice comes from FRIG II, is collected in a Styrofoam bowl for transport, and is added a cube at a time to my magical elixer, so as not to cause undue foaming.
One of the ice cubes slipped out of my hand, bounced off my lap, hit the tiled floor, and skittered to the back corner under my countertop v-shaped work surface. Back by the electrical outlet, near the nest of 10-15 wires that power New Delly's electronic accoutrements. Let the record show that when The Pony was still stabled here, this would not have been a problem. The Pony would trot in when called, and crawl under the countertop desk and nab this frozen escapee. Alas. The Pony is 9 hours away in Norman, Oklahoma. I was on my own.
No way was I getting down on hands and knees. The knees can't take it. Unlike my former classroom, by dark basement lair does not harbor a hidden meter stick on the top ridge of the whiteboard. I don't have a grabber thingy like the #1 Son had in a Halloween spaceman costume one year. And my vintage red plastic MSTA ruler that says, "Missouri Schools Measure Up" was not long enough.
I extended my left foot in its red Croc. Reached out. Pulled back. Nabbed the cube! I reverse-skated it back towards me. Success! But not. That cube came so far, then stopped. I tried again. What the Not-Heaven! I ducked my head under the desk to evaluate the problem. Huh. That cube was catching on a tiny wire. Like the size of a mouse cord. Play along. I'm sure most of you technology mavens have cordless mice. OR USE A FREAKIN' LAPTOP without a mouse. But Mrs. HM lives in the dark lair ages.
It wasn't a mouse cord, of course. That wouldn't be under my desk. A cord for the extra speakers #1 had souped-up New Delly with, perhaps? Anyhoo...after five attempts, it was clear that I wasn't going to win the Battle of Ice Wire '17. Short of unplugging whatever wire that was from the back of New Delly, and dropping it down to set one end free, I did not see a solution. I kept trying, though. But that darn cube would be flung back at a certain point, as if it were launched from a slingshot.
Wait! I got it! With a herky-jerky Croc motion, I jumped it over the tiny wire. Almost home! Dragging, sliding, come to H. Mom! DANG IT! It hit the edge of the clear chair mat thingy! I persevered, though. After another half-dozen tries, I had it up on the mat, ready for pickup.
It was the BEST kind of ice cube, too! Not a hollow shell. A solid, heavy specimen. The kind that melts slowly. It didn't look like an ice cube, though. It looked like a chicken breast sprinkled with lemon pepper. How as THAT possible? I don't sprinkle lemon pepper under my desk! Oh. It was wayward scratch-off sprinklings. And dirt. I hope that's all. I'm not much for sweeping under my desk in the dark basement lair.
Now what was I going to do with it? To carry it to the sink of the NASCAR bathroom would mean that the sullied cube had to be in contact with my skin for longer than I deemed doable. AHA! I could put it in the 20 oz plastic bottle from the Diet Coke! Of course it was just a little too girthy to drop right in. So I had to force it. Success! Even though a pile of scrapings was left along the spout. I capped that cube tomb and figuratively patted myself on the back. I couldn't do the literal back-pat. I had a residue of lemon pepper on my hand.
Nobody told me retirement would be like this.