Friday, June 14, 2013


I have been trying to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It's a fictional account of the life of Thomas Cromwell who was an advisor to Henry VIII during the time he was trying to ditch his first wife so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. It's slow going, especially because every so often I decide that I need to spend an hour on Wikipedia "researching" things like how many women foolishly agreed to marry Henry VIII (six), whether Anne Boleyn actually had six fingers (probably not), how Oliver Cromwell was related to Thomas Cromwell (great-great-great nephew), and why Elvis Costello wrote a song about Oliver Cromwell (it's about British imperialism). Oh, Wikipedia, why I can't quit you!

One thing I have found interesting in Wolf Hall is how in the Middle Ages, people saw omens in everything. I guess when you don't have a much scientific knowledge, you look for guidance wherever you can find it. Someone catches two big fish: An omen. A dead bird falls in a chimney: An omen. Thomas Cromwell didn't believe in omens, and I'm pretty sure I don't either, but if I did, yesterday was full of them:

1. The date -  June 13th, 2013. I'm not triskaidekaphobic, but that's a couple of thirteens, right there.

2. The Gerbil Cage - Five minutes before we had to leave for the Boy's baseball game, the Boy randomly dumped the entire container of gerbil food over the top of the gerbil cage. Aside: I don't think I've mentioned that we are fostering a gerbil from the Baby's school for the summer. Here he is:

Johnny Cash recorded a little known follow up to, "A Boy Named Sue,"
called "A Male Gerbil Named Ella Cookie." Strangely, it never caught on.
Here is the container of food:

So, the Boy just dumped that entire container on the top of poor Ella Cookie's cage. Poor Ella Cookie, who has a brain the size of a raisin, and had been dead asleep, woke up with a start and began to race around the cage as fast as his tiny little legs could carry him until he forgot why he was running and went back to gnawing on the Yo Kids box. Meanwhile, I was yelling at the Boy, "What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?" So, the Boy started to "clean up" the little nuggets of food, by sweeping them onto the table and the floor. Because "clean up" in little boy language means "hide the mess as quickly as possible."

"Stop, stop, stop!" I quickly sent him to do something less destructive, while I cleaned up the mess. Did I mention that the cleaning people had left our house about ten minutes prior to this incident? Of course they had! Now, instead of smelling fresh and clean, the house smells like gerbil food. BTW, Mrs. Meyers does not make a gerbil food-scented cleaner for a reason.

3. The Matchup - Another omen was staring back at me from the game schedule. Check out the name of the baseball team the Boy's team was playing last night:

I have no idea what a Hobgood is, but I know what a storm is and I'm less afeared of bobcats.

4. The Weather Report - The National Weather Center issued no less than three warnings for game time: a severe thunderstorm watch, a severe thunderstorm warning, and a tornado watch. I guess that's not really an omen, it's a fact. Either way, I ignored the warnings.

5. I Got Lost - As I have mentioned, I have a terrible sense of direction, but managed to outdo myself this time by making it to the park, but getting lost inside the park. Yes, I know. While I drove around, hoping that I'd miraculously run into the baseball field, I rolled past the swimming pool, clubhouse, soccer fields, and tennis courts. I guess that everything is bigger outside the perimeter: parks, houses, children...
When we finally found the field, the 6:00 game was in the fifth inning. It was thundering and lightning fairly regularly, but I guess the umpires get paid by the completed game because they let those little lightning rods keep on playing with their metal bats. Right before the mighty Bobcats were poised to take the field against the Hobgood Storm, the tornado sirens started blasting and the umpires decided (looking slightly irritated) that a tornado warning was serious enough cause to postpone the game. 

Being from the north where the weather is unlikely to kill you, tornados freak me out. I wasn't desensitized to the sound of the tornado siren as a child, so I take that shit seriously. I could tell the K was thinking we'd ride out the storm sitting in the car, but I've seen too many news stories about people being crushed by tree limbs in their cars and I was having nothing of it. 

6. The Clubhouse - Remember when we got lost? Well, that turned out to be a good omen, because if we hadn't gotten lost, I wouldn't have seen the clubhouse. The lovely parks and recreation staff of the City of Roswell took us in and we hunkered down in the racquetball court with about 40 other people and tried to keep ourselves occupied as we waited out the storm:

This was before the power went out. Oh yes, and you know what runs on electricity? Air conditioning. It was getting a wee bit toasty in the racquetball court and we were all happy to leave once the tornado watch expired at 8:00. 

I rarely pat myself on the back for being right (probably because I'm rarely right), but dayamn, it was a good thing we didn't stay in the car. Tree limbs were down everywhere, including in the parking lot where we'd left the minivan. The exit to the park was partially blocked by a downed tree and none of the traffic lights were working. 

Clearly, it would have been wise to heed the omens...or the weather reports...heeding either one would have led to a better result than driving to a thunderstorm to not play a baseball game. 

7. The Rainbow - As I was making my way to the highway, I saw a huge rainbow. Good omen, right? Well, I wasn't exactly sure how to take it:

Sorry it's blurry. That's a Hooters at the end of the rainbow.
Hmmm. I'm pretty sure that Henry VIII would say that was an excellent omen. 

Omens or not, we all arrived home safely, which is the best outcome we could have hoped for. In addition, the Bobcats are still undefeated for the tournament. 

Hope you all have a safe weekend and Happy Father's Day to all my dad readers, especially Dad and the K!

1 comment:

  1. And a happy Funny Friday to you.