Sunday, July 25, 2010

All Roads Lead to Jeffrey

You guys know I love you, right? That even though it may seem that I am incapable of creating new posts, reading and commenting to your always witty, amazingly-insightful comments here at Inside...Out (laying it on a little thick, you say?? I think not.), and then making my way over to your delightful, always-intriguing places for a lovely read and then making sure to deposit in my wake a little sumthin’-sumthin’…just to let you know I’d dropped by…………………………………….

Clinton Kelly (My favorite IV): “Yikes. You’ve completely lost control with that run-on sentence, haven’t you? And five bucks says you’ve totally forgotten your point.”

Kathryn: “Ha. ‘I’m sorry I’m behind in responding to comments and visiting. I'll do my best to catch up soon.’ Bite me. Pay up.”

Clinton whips a fiver out of jean pocket and slaps it into Kathryn’s outstretched hand.

Kathryn: (Eyes narrow) “You seemed awfully ready to pay up on this bet. Why so fast, Mr. Road Runner?”

CK: “I knew it would get you to your point before everyone dozed off. It’s called being prepared.

K: “I still have a story to tell.”

CK: “I was afraid of that. Am I in it?”

K: “You’re in it now…and if anyone sees a disturbing parallel between you and Nigel then, well…yeah…you’re in it.”

CK: “Nigel is the name you gave your navigational system…is it not? I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Kathryn smiles sweetly.

Connor (13) wanted to go visit his friend, Jeff. I’ve always liked the name Jeff. Da boys and I fell in love with a Puffer-fish at the dentist’s office once. He had a permanent sweet smile on his face and he followed our finger from side to side. We named him Jeffrey.


Then, we made this awesome Halloween character to stand on our doorstep for like, 3 weeks and freaked out all the neighbors and we named him…can you guess?


He was Jeffrey the Kickball-Headed Ghost. If you missed that, you owe me a fiver.

So, I was very excited to meet a Jeff that was actually a live boy.

The house number was on ‘Old Route 72’ and Jeff said it was ‘definitely not the green house’…just for clarification.

I programmed Jeff’s address into Nigel and away we went. Yes, my nav’s name is Nigel (from the David Hyde Pierce character of the same name on Frasier) only my Nigel has a British accent…so every time he directs me, I swoon a little.

We followed Nigel’s directions precisely but when we ‘arrived at our destination’ (with Nigel proudly displaying a car race’s finishing flag on the screen as confirmation), we sat in front of an empty lot.

Connor: “Um. I don’t think so. Nigel, you are such a dork. Now we’re gonna be late.”

Me: “You do realize you’re talking to a machine, right?”

Connor: (Annoyed) “You do it all the time! He’s freakin’ useless.”

Me: “Connor. Mouth. Maybe he’s confused. Maybe there’s more than one Old Route 72. Betcha five bucks.”

Connor’s already yanking his cell out of his pocket and calling Jeff, who informs us that yes indeed, there are two Old Route 72’s. We need to turn around, cross over New Route 72 and look for his mailbox with the house number displayed.

We see a mailbox on the left with the correct number and there’s something resembling a road next to it, so in we go. I’ve got Nigel set on auto-map at this point and he seems to feel we’ve left anything resembling solid ground and he shows the car kind of...floating…nothing below or around us. I found this a tad unsettling.

The ‘road’ was more of a wide trail…and it got more and more rustic the further in we drove. The trees were closing in around us and I found myself blurting out, “This is the scene where the rabid bear flings himself onto the car and they’re never heard from again.” Connor’s squirming a little in his seat and peering at his cell…I’m peering at what’s left of ‘the road’ and slow down as we reach the bottom of a steep hill. I’ve realized if we meet anyone coming the other way, there ain’t room for both of us. I must’ve said it out loud, because the combination of no cell reception and the ominous sound in my voice was enough for Connor to say, “Turn around. It’s not worth it. We’re so freakin’ lost.”

K: “I don’t think I can make it up this hill…but I think we should try. Is that house on the left green? Can you tell? IS IT GREEN??”

C: “I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T CARE ANYMORE! TURN AROUND! WE’LL NEVER MAKE IT!”

K: “I’M GONNA TRY! HANG ON! YA ONLY LIVE ONCE! I LOVE YOU, CONNOR! NIGEL? YOU SUCK.”

…and I gunned it….up the hill…rocks spewing every which way, Connor and I both screaming with a mixture of exhilaration and terror.

When we reached the crest, there in front of us…was the most beautiful log cabin…all by itself…complete with stables and two chestnut horses peacefully grazing. And there stood Jeff and his parents playing with their dogs in the front yard.

Jeff smiled…and his mom said, “Did you have any trouble finding the place?” I considered the standard response of, “No, no problems at all” but opted for a more honest answer:
You know, you live in the middle of freakin’ nowhere…” She laughed. I think we’ll get along just fine.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Do you realize that by the end of this post, you should get at least fifteen bucks?

Haha, talk about subtle ways to earn money.

But you forgot to mention-roller coaster scream or GIANT POISONOUS spider/dangerous bug in your bathroom scream?

Dorn said...

There was a giant puffer fish at this Lebanese steakhouse we used to frequent when I was a kid. He had puppy like features, so happy to follow you around the tank, but we called him Chip.

From employees, coworkers and relatives, I've never met a Jeff(even some Goeffs) that didn't rub me the wrong way.

Pretty sure those statements alone start me off in debt to you. hmmm, hopefully I can balance it out soon.

kathryn said...

Oddyoddyo13: Well, that's why I need you, sweetie. 'Cause you help me to tell the story just right. I swear...it's like you were in the back seat! (Dani? Was that you??)

Dorn: Isn't that always the way? I have a friend who refuses to discuss possible future baby names for her unborn child 'cause there's always someone who's had a less-than-stellar experience w/someone named (insert name here). Anyway, you don't have to love the Jeffs in your life...you just have to like the ones in mine.

Vince said...

Niles woman. NILES.

Runnergirl said...

Our Satnav is called Ken. Just because we picked the Australian voice labelled Ken. But it suits him.

Except at the moment we are having to resort to the old fashioned maps because my cigarette lighter no longer works and so Ken has no life juice flowing through his umbilical (don't ask).

We miss Ken.

Gigi said...

So not only did you Lysol your desk, get all your papers in "neat" piles, drive to the ends of the earth (with the threat of rabid bears) but you also wrote a post yesterday??! Now I'm feeling extremely lazy. Well, at least one of us was productive!

Jen said...

Don't feel bad about not being around to visit. As you can see, I've been out of the loop myself. I've been so involved in that blog challenge that I haven't been seeing all my regular friends in blogland.
Glad you found the house. Like it ends with two horses!

BlackLOG said...

I had a Nafman once that could get lost going around the block. I specialised in taking me into the worst parts of London and would then fake a fit and not work until I had driven us to safety. It once took me off a road drove me around for 10 miles and then deposited me back on the original road about 500 yards further along….I now have a TomTom which is about 98% accurate…..I do miss the adventures I had with Nafman….

Alan W. Davidson said...

Ha, adventures in driving. Bet you're both glad you stuck it out until the final destination. Good one.

Daily Panic said...

K- I have a love hate relationship with my GPS too! When I have to find a place that is off the radar I get "your destination is nearby"
NEARBY??? then after driving around lost in ALL directions... until I've just about given up... There is the destination.

I have felt Conner's frustration almost on a daily basis! He's great!
Thanks for sharing!

Sir Thomas said...

you know its funny the things you can find in the middle of no where...

sometimes...they turn out to be treasures

Tinkerschnitzel said...

There's a reason I don't own a GPS thingy. It's easier for me to find my own way, though it would have been handy during the Christmas Eve disaster drive.

gert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

I had a similar experience once with my former best friend. She too lived in the middle of nowhere. Then on New Years, we were driving through freezing rain and we nearly had to get out of the van to push it up a massive hill. Pft... like that would have happened. Good times... Congrats on making it and speeding up that hill!

Kristy said...

My son has a stuffed animal we named Jefrey. (Do you know the band, The Pixies? If you do, then you'll like this next part even better.) My husband and I shout and sing, "Jefrey!! With one F Jefrey!"

Heather said...

I laughed! It almost mirrors the way to get to our old house. Very complicated and lost of dirt and tree branches that had to be cut back all the time. The only thing that was missing was the gorgeous log cabin!

Great story!

Wendy Blum said...

Maybe I should get a Nigel of my own. I get lost going around my neighborhood. And I've lived in my home town for 38 years!
Glad that you and Connor had such a memorable car journey and that you found Jeff's lovely cabin in time :)
PS. That whole car floating thing would've freaked me out a bit, too.

kathryn said...

Vince: Ya know...I swear....it was like, 3am...and I thought, "Is it Nigel....or Niles?" So, I wonder which would be easier: Trying to re-name my nav or changing the character on the now-cancelled Frasier? I really don't do well w/name changes, dammit...

Runnergirl: Aw. Poor Ken's all tuckered out. Can't you charge him from your computer with that adapter-cord-thingie? You have to go visit my auto-guy so he can tell you your fuse is blown and replace it. Do it....for Ken's sake....

Gigi: Eh. Productive, shmoductive....I get so overwhelmed with crap that I wind up w/neater piles and that's about it! One phone call leads to 3 more....the second I realize I have to call a government agency for info, I figure I'm screwed. The blog post was the most non-confusing thing I did!

kathryn said...

Jen: Of course you'd like the horse part! It was beautiful...just treacherous to get there...I wouldn't want to visit in the dead of winter. I'm frustrated 'cause every time I think I'm "back on track"...I drive right off again. What is that?

BlackLOG: Gee....haven't heard of Nafman...he sounds positively dreamy. My first was a Garmin...this one's a TomTom and we've certainly had our moments. There's nothing more terrifying than seeing the words "Satellite signal was lost XX minutes ago."
(Shivers)

Alan W.Davidson: Thank you....I was very relieved we made it. I just wish there was a button on the nav that you can press to say "I am here...and I'm going to need to get back here later, so freakin' figure out where the hell I am". That would have been nice.

kathryn said...

Daily Panic: I'm glad I'm not the only one with this love/hate relationship. I truly couldn't get around at times without him...but he can just as easily drive me completely INSANE. (Pun totally intended)

Sir Thomas: So very true! It was a huge surprise...(possibly, temporarily) airborne at the crest of that steep hill. Once we stopped screaming, it was really pretty nice.

Tinkerschnitzel: Well, for me it's been more of a blessing than a curse. I didn't need one till we moved to this sprawled-out county. Nothing makes sense...and I'm constantly getting lost. Evidently, I'm driving on water quite a bit, as well....

kathryn said...

Lauren: I felt very brave....and terrified at the same time. Evidently, they always know when someone's coming...all that gravel-spewing causes quite a ruckus!

Kristy: Oh, yeah! Yet another reason to love the name! Love it. So much better than when the kids name things themselves...like "dog" and "splink".

Heather: Ha! Believe me...I was NOT expecting a beautiful log cabin at the end of that road! Just goes to show you...ya just never know. Looks can be deceiving...and home truly is where the heart is!

kathryn said...

Wendy Blum: Yeah, well...I would've been a lot more concerned about the 'car floating' thing if Nigel didn't do it so often. It's really a mixed bag...but I figure even if I just leave it on the 'map' setting, I should be better off than without one. Right? Um. Wrong. I'm HORRIBLE at reading maps...keep turning 'em round and round...

Boonsong said...

Love the Puffer Fish. They're called Blow Fish over here - sensible name, but puts an entire new slant on the way that you see them.

Have a nice day, Boonsong

Alicia said...

Hahaha, great story. I thought you guys were going to end up in some bog slowly sinking down, judging by what Nigel was showing on his screen. I'm glad you didn't give up and found the place cause it sounds like a picture perfect place to visit.

Hey, and don't worry about visiting and commenting when you can't. Please use all your energy simply to write these great posts!

Dreamfarm Girl said...

I don't have a Nigel, but somehow I don't think he would help me. I'm too stubborn and think I know the way. I'm glad you weren't attacked by a rabid bear, for god's sake!

Slamdunk said...

Fun story.

Pufferfish remind me of Finding Nemo--which the kids watched today for the 10 millionth time.

TC said...

Loved the story, don't believe in gps, I can get lost just fine with google earth and mapquest...we have pets named George...the last was a small apricot poodle named George, she was a female.

Jerry said...

My GPS machine always displays the race winning flag exactly three houses away. I think it is trying to embarrass me.

You sucked it in and drove up that hill. My kind of woman!

kathryn said...

Boonsong: Yeah...blow fish. When I Googled 'em for a photo, I saw some not-so-happy Puffer fish. And I think some people eat em...and I'm also remembering them being poisonous? Who could eat little Jeffrey? That's just wrong!

Alicia: Aw...you're a doll, sweetie. I can't seem to stay ahead of the game, no matter how hard I try. I wish I could just do this fulltime...how great would that be?

Dreamfarm Girl: No...no Nigel? How do you find your way to new places? This is inconceivable to me. Maybe because I freak out whenever I get lost. It's so not pretty.

kathryn said...

Slamdunk: I love Nemo. There will never be a clown fish in any tank that won't be called Nemo by some little kid. Nemo times infinity. I'll admit, if I come across the movie on cable, I'll stop and watch it to the end.

TC: You named a female poodle George? Wasn't that a tad...confusing? Did George need any therapy? I'll assume the obvious, but I have to ask: What color is an apricot poodle?

Jerry: Thank you, sir. I do believe I was very brave...and a tad insane. There were lots of rocks and no road and it was narrow and steep and Nigel said I was driving on nothing and I figured my heart could use a little teeny bit of a jolt. I don't know that I could find that house again...

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