This past weekend my friends Barbara and Jim paid me a visit. They like bowling, Scrabble, Bocci Ball, and shooting pool. There wasn’t enough time for everything, but I tried to plan as much as possible. Normally, I just go to baseball games with my visitors, but the Barnstormer season doesn’t begin until April 26th. I can get seats so close to home plate that the umpire can hear every word we say. That’s my favorite go-to spot, but since it wasn’t available, I had to make other plans. Fortunately, my second favorite local sport, Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby, was available on Saturday night. Jim was a big roller derby fan, back in the day, when big #40, Charlie O’Connell, helped make the San Francisco Bay Bombers the greatest team on skates.
So, we went to see the Dutchland Rollers split a doubleheader on Saturday night. But let me backtrack a little. Jim is currently in the home repairs business. (I wrote about their visit last year when Jim fixed my kitchen plumbing.) Both Barbara and Jim have at one time been in the cleaning business, though, doing both residential and commercial properties. So, I had to clean up my apartment before they arrived. I spent two days trying to make it look like a human being occupied the apartment.
My friend Debbie stopped by on Friday afternoon and thought she was in the wrong apartment. She had never seen my place so clean. We had a few drinks and waited for Barbara and Jim to arrive. As usual, they arrived like they were visiting Ethiopia or some other poor starving country. They had a trunk-load of groceries (in addition to the incredible number of suitcases they brought with them.) I asked them if they were planning on staying the originally agreed upon two days, or were they planning to stay two weeks. When I go to New York, I bring one knapsack. When they travel, it’s like Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey are coming to town. Hannibal crossed the Alps with less luggage.
So, what did we do first? We ate. And ate, and ate, and ate. Then we were ready for some serious Scrabble. Debbie left. The only thing she does seriously is drink. Jim won the first game. Barbara came in second, and I came in last. After Barbara won the next two games it was time to head to bed, couch, and recliner. Naturally, after drinking all night, I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee. There was Barbara cleaning the kitchen. “This needs bleach,” she said. “Where do you keep your bleach?”
“Probably in the laundry room,” I mumbled as I headed to the bathroom.
The next day, as usual, Jim prepared breakfast for a small army. We almost finished eating all of it, too, because it was so good, but it was just too much food to eat. Jim cleaned up afterwards while I went in the backyard for a healthy dose of (non-prescription) medical marijuana. Afterwards, we went back to playing Scrabble and Barbara resumed her winning ways. We had to go to dinner early, because the Roller Derby starts at 6 p.m., and I took them to a new place that opened up on my block, Decades. It’s a bowling alley, arcade for games, a bar, and a restaurant. I thought they might enjoy the sound of tinkling bowling pins while they dined. We all did, and the restaurant section was actually quiet enough for us to carry on a conversation during dinner.
Then, off to the Roller Derby. I had a good time watching my favorite skaters, and they gradually got to understand what was going on, but I’m sure they wished the games were a little shorter. We didn’t go to the after party with the team. We went back to my place for our own after party, and I finally won a game of Scrabble
The next morning Barbara said that I should go in the backyard and just chill out for a while, while she vacuumed and cleaned the house. I protested that I had spent two days cleaning the apartment and that it did not need any more cleaning. I lost that argument, but I had no objection to chilling out in the backyard, so I didn’t mind losing. I entertained myself while listening to the vacuum cleaner go for an hour as Barbara was searching out every speck of dust in every nook and cranny of my apartment.
Then we played Scrabble and Barbara won again. What ever happened to “Root, root, root for the home team?”
As they were leaving, I warned them that when they visit me the next time, I will not spend two days cleaning up my apartment. They will walk into a mess, which I will unashamedly allow them to clean. I will spend the two days before they arrive studying the Scrabble dictionary for all the good Q and Z words, and all those two-letter words that are Hebrew coins or other oddities that no English-speaking person should know.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,