Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Our Night Out

National Night Out was Tuesday night. Here's a description from their website:

National Night Out is a great way to spend a few minutes with the neighbors you ignore 364 days a year. Come stand in the broiling sun, eat tainted potato salad, and engage in shallow yet awkward conversation!

Okay, that wasn't actually from the website.

Gloria, in what I can only imagine was a fit-induced state, volunteered to be an assistant block chairman or something. "I'd like to help out more in the neighborhood," she said, holding a thick stack of fliers that needed pavement pounding distribution.

Thirty minutes later, she returned.

"It's a hundred degrees out there, nobody is home, and I think the address for the block party might even be wrong," she said.

"That's the volunteer spirit," I said.

"Easy for you to say, since you didn't volunteer."

"Exactly," I said.

As the big day approached, Gloria was involved in endless conversations with the Block Captain, a very pleasant lady who (in spite of being very pleasant) could talk for two hours about the intricacies of tar.

Last night, Eli 6.0 and I left the house around 6:30. Gloria, in her management position, had to go earlier to set up tables and snacks. We walked down a block, turned the corner, and saw her, broiling in the sun at the end of the cul-de-sac. Seated beside her were the Block Captain and her husband. Around them, snacks were melting into lava formations.

"What was I thinking?" she whispered to me as we stood next to her car. Eli was happily guzzling his second juice box and investigating an abandoned couch, since this was also our Heavy Item Pickup week. "I'm never getting out of here," she moaned. "This goes on until nine o'clock and there's no way I can leave if nobody shows up."

"No worries," I said, handing her a white t-shirt. "Put this on. Just wear it for a few minutes and I'm sure they'll let you go."

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