Incommunicado in Plain Sight

I had a busy weekend planned last week. Saturday was The Driscoll Christmas party, which is always one of the top 2 parties of the year. The Driscoll St Patrick’s Day Party is the only one that can beat it. Sunday I was visiting with Beelzebro and Mrs X. They just got back from a two-week tour of Central Europe. Monday I belatedly celebrated my friend Margaret’s birthday. Had to get it in before Christmas. You know how people who have birthdays around major holidays wind up getting cheated out of a birthday. Happy birthday to Steve, by the way. His birthday is December 26th. It’s hard getting the crowd enthusiasm back the day after Santa has left the building. Good Luck, Steve.

On Friday I was supposed to go food shopping with my buddy Duane. He’s no longer homeless. He has an apartment in town and a part-time job. Plus he has a car, so we go food shopping together. Anyway, he got busy on Friday and didn’t come over. That was cool by me. I didn’t really want to food shop when I was going away for three days. I’ll food shop when I get back.  I can better use the time by resting up for a busy weekend.

I left the house on Saturday morning and started walking to the Amtrak Station. Two blocks later I realized that I didn’t have my cell phone with me. I looked at my watch and figured that I might miss my train if I went back for the phone. I could make it, but I would have to hustle, and I don’t do the hustle anymore. So I said, “The heck with it.” I’ll be seeing anyone I would normally be calling, anyway. It’s not a smart phone. I can’t use it to read e-mail or anything, so the heck with it.”

So, when my phone rang a few minutes later, I didn’t get the call:

“Earl, this is Duane. Sorry I couldn’t go food shopping yesterday. I’ll take you today. I’ll be there in a couple minutes.”

The weekend turned out great, and I didn’t need my cell phone. When I needed to call my brother to pick me up at the train station, I just went to a liquor store by the train station, bought my brother a bottle of Bourbon, and asked if I could borrow the phone.  Two birds, one stone.  No problem.

Beelzebro and his wife had a bunch of great stories and pictures from their trip. They have a tiny stuffed animal character that they take with them everywhere and try to use in many of their photos. It’s like Where’s Waldo, or the Travelocity Gnome. (Sorry, I can’t tell you who their character is without revealing Beelzebro X’s real name, and he still chooses to remain anonymous.) We also had our first annual Almost-Christmas Meatloaf Dinner.

Then it was off to the party

Marianne and Tres throw the best parties. They’ve got a lot of friends – and family, and they all like to party. Plus, they’ve got Bob on electric piano, Shane on bass, various people on bongos, and anyone who wants to sing, singing. Thanks to my five weeks of physical therapy for my hip, I was even able to jump on the dance floor when a Tush Push broke out.

I already wrote about belatedly celebrating Margaret’s Birthday in Long Beach on Monday, so I’ll jump to when I got home. There was my cell phone, all charged up, and letting me know that I had 11 new voice mails.  That’s a lot for me.  I usually average about none.

First voice message:

“Earl, this is Duane. Sorry I couldn’t go food shopping yesterday. I’ll take you today. I’ll be there in a couple minutes.”

Next voice message:

Earl, this is Duane. I rang your bell. You didn’t answer. Call me.

Next voice message:

Earl, this is Duane. Are you home? I know you’ve got a heart condition. I’m worried about you. Give me a call.

Next voice message:

I just rang your bell again. I knocked on your front window. The lights are out. That’s not like you. Are you okay? Did you go away? Give me a call.

There was a voice mail from John and Margaret asking me if I knew which train I would be on, and a voice mail from Debbie with basically the same question. She wanted to know when I would be back.  Plus there were some more calls from Duane. He was knocking on my door, calling me up, and ready to report me as a missing person/heart attack victim.

The next message was from a Sergeant somebody with the Lancaster Police Department who wanted to know if I was okay and would I call the station to let them know that I’m okay.

The next message was from another Sergeant who was following up, saying that he would be by tomorrow to investigate, unless I called.

I called him immediately, and then I called Duane. He was quite relieved to hear that I was alive. We had a good laugh about it.

So, I managed to get through a weekend without my cellphone, without causing too many problems.

Oh shit. I forgot to call Debbie.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

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