After all that excitement, the little guy woke up from his nap, the big guy came home from his job, and we headed out for a big night on the town--one that I had been promising for months and that Andrew had really been looking forward to. We were headed to see Up, which has landed at the cheap theater in town, and which Andrew has wanted to see since before it was released. The movie times were listed in the local paper as 4:30 and 8:05, and knowing 4:30 was out of the question, I made sure my little guy was well-rested and ready for a late night.
We did have one long put-off errand to take care of on the way: my car needed to be dropped off at the garage for diagnosis and repair. Tobye, at The Warrior Pose, recently posted about the brand new Tahoe she got and how happy she was to get rid of her mini-van, and I seethed with jealousy. Because, you see...I drive a 1986 (no, that's NOT a typo) Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Yep, 1986. Really. (This one's not mine, but it looks just like it---only cleaner.)
Anyway, I'm not complaining (much), because it's a good, solid car, and I really don't drive much other than back and forth to school, which is really close. And the car only has 70,000 miles on it, amazingly enough. Oh yeah, and it was FREE, sort of an heirloom passed down to me a couple of years ago. So, I don't bitch about it TOO much. (P.S. to Tobye: I really AM happy for you!)
Anyway, there's a sensor or something that's gone kablooey, and the car sputters and stalls now and then, so it needs something. We loaded up, James driving the crapmobile and Andrew and me in the other family car. All went well...for a while. We got within 2 miles of our mechanical destination, and the car lay down and died in the middle of the street, in a left turn lane at a busy stoplight. Cuss. words. As I nearly died from embarrassment as my husband stood in the middle of the road waving people around us, the "idiot" light on the gas gauge in our car went on. Andrew and I were out of gas, and surely if we sat there helping/supporting him, we'd be stuck too. I'm telling you, I was in near panic attack mode at this point, but with no other choice, Andrew and I deserted James, and left him to fend for himself as he tried to call a tow truck. We gassed up and returned to the intersection to find a state trooper had stopped to help, and he pushed James and the Olds through the intersection to safety with the patrol car. The tow truck finally arrived, and with relief, we realized we had just enough time to grab a bite to eat and make the 8:05 movie.
After a quick bite at the local 50's throwback drive-in...actually, it's not a throwback, because it was actually here in the 50's (picture the Arnold's from Happy Days and you've got it)...we headed to the quaint, ancient downtown theater I love from my childhood, everyone looking forward to popcorn and the movie. Smiles on our faces, we arrived at about 7:50, only to see that the posted times for the movie are 4:30 and 7:05. 7:05. Seven-oh-five. There aren't enough cuss words in the English language to express what I felt at this point, but I optimistically opened the door to double check with the kid working the candy counter and to let him know politely that the #%&*@*&#% newspaper had 8:05 as the start time. His response? "Oh, that happens all the time." Clearly they have not witnessed the heartbreak of an almost 4 year-old who doesn't understand why they won't let him watch the movie I promised him, or they would be more effing careful, because it was brutal for a few minutes.
He got himself back together pretty quickly, and we decided to try the mall theater to see if anything appropriate was playing. The backup plan (which is now in place) was to return tomorrow night at the RIGHT time for the movie. But the big surprise at the mall was that it was National Night Out, and the parking lot was full of rescue vehicles and personnel, all there for the visiting. I think I've mentioned A's obsession with being a fire fighter? Well, there couldn't have been a better consolation prize, as you can see below. It's a shame our local newspaper didn't see fit to publicize that adaquately, either. (By the way, I'm a staunch supporter of the local paper, and hold on to daily deliveries in spite of the fact that I'd like to save the money...but today, they just SUCK.)
I can only watch Andrew climb in and out of so many different fire trucks, but THIS was pretty exciting--two firefighters from a local company simulating drop rescues (I made that up, but it sounds good, doesn't it?) from a crane about ten stories high...into a parking lot. No net. No mat. Scary sh*t, huh?
Long story short, thank you to the state trooper who rescued my husband and my car from the middle of the street. Thank you to the gozillions of EMTs, firefighters, conservation officers, school resource officers, sheriff's deputies, etc., that gave their time tonight just so my little guy could pretend for a few minutes, and that give their time every day and night to protect and serve. Well done, and we appreciate it.