Monday, October 20, 2008

Seniors Maintain Law And Order By Way Of A Fluke Discovery

I don't have any photos for this post, but Oh Lord, how I wish I did.

How. I. Wish.

Let me tell you the story...

So, I'm driving in California, talking to my step-father on the phone about politics. He's 87, so I figure having lived through many elections, a depression, being one of five boys born to Italian immigrant parents, having fought in a World War, owned a business, experienced marriage, paid his fair share of taxes, fathered three children but helped to raise five, he might just have some wisdom to impart.

The most I got out of him was that all politicians are liars and crooks, that neither side is right nor do they do anything for the people, it's all about the money, he is both proud and ashamed of certain aspects of America and its history and really overall, had no enlightened view of anything. But that's not the story I want to tell; that's just setting the scene.

OK, so I'm talking to him about all this when I hear my mother's voice in the background interrupting. I'm immediately a little annoyed and tell him to ask her to wait a minute, that we're not done. But then he said, "I have to go. Your mother has to call 911."

I said, "What?? Wait. Why are you calling 911? What happened? Is she okay?"

He said, "No, no, she's okay. I gotta go. She said someone crashed their car in our yard."

What?? He's not making any sense. "OK, well call me back!" I said and hung up the phone.

While waiting for them to call back I phoned my brother who lives just a few miles away and said, "Hey, it's me. Don't get nervous, they're both fine, but I don't know what the deal is. Mommy said someone crashed a car in their yard. Can you go over and see what happened?" He said he would go see what the problem was and then hung up the phone.

It's not that I don't trust my parents to handle the situation on their own, but how can I say this so you'll understand? Um....well...the fact can I put this...hmmm....okay, I guess I'll just say it; I don't trust my parents to handle the situation on their own. If anyone knows my mother, even from reading about her here, you will know that she has a very active imagination and watches WAY too much Law & Order. This car-crashing-in-the-yard incident can very likely become a debacle.

A few minutes later, my phone rang. It was my mother, speaking fast. "There's a lady in the yard in her car. She drove in and went in the ditch, you know the dirt bank where Eddie parks the truck?  She drove right over it. Her car is stuck. When I went out, I saw her car, it's a Lexus, in the ditch with the doors open. I saw a leg. Oh! I have to go, Michael's here. I'll call you back." 

My brother had arrived to assess the situation. Thank God, a cool head on the scene.



Still waiting.

The phone finally rang. It was my mother again. "So what happened??" I said.

"Well, we were in the family room watching a movie and I thought I heard a noise, like a car pulling in and I even said to Frank 'Who's here now??' but since I didn't hear a door slam and no one came to the door, I figured I was just hearing things, so we went back to watching the movie, The Guns of Navarone, such a good movie you know. We just love it. Gregory Peck is so good. Anyway, I must have dozed off during the movie because then you called and woke me up. Well, since you wanted to talk to Frank, I figured I'd go and get the mail, which I never do, Frank always gets the mail. So I'm walking out of the back porch and as I get to the end of the path, I think I see a car. But the car is in the ditch. So I stop and squint, adjusting my eyes a little you know since my eyesight isn't that great, and I'm looking real hard at the car and I'm sure I see a leg. A woman's leg. So I move forward a little and look closer and now I know that I definitely see a leg. In the backseat of the car. And all the doors are open. It's a Lexus and it's in the ditch, and the woman is not moving. That's when I ran back in to call 911."

"So what happened?" I said.

"Well, I called 911 and they said they were sending an officer over and I told them I wasn't going out to the car and they said I shouldn't that I should stay right in the house. Well, that's when Michael pulled in and leave it to you, being hundreds of miles away and taking charge of the situation to call your brother and tell him what was going on. For a minute I wondered how he could possibly know about it because I didn't remember calling him and then I realized I was talking to you and you must have...."

"Yeah, yeah, Mom. I called Michael. I didn't want you two freaking out about the car in your yard, I know how you are, and I figured it would be good for him to be there to talk to the police when they came."

"Well, let me go out and see what's going on now, I see Michael talking to the officer. I'll call you back."

I heard back from my brother first, getting the whole scoop when he called me on his way home. He explained that the woman was stinking drunk. Didn't even know where she was. She had no shoes on, reeked of alcohol and had a bottle of Vodka in the back seat. She didn't know what she was saying to the cop. He asked her what she was doing and she said she was taking her father to the doctor. When the cop asked her where her father was, she slurred, "I don't know." When he asked her where her shoes were, she slurred, "I don't know". When asked if she knew where she was, she slurred, "I don't knoooow." When asked if she lived in the area, she said she didn't know (she actually did live in the area, a few streets away). The cop gave her a breathalyzer test and she blew a 3.8.  The legal limit in Arizona is 0.8 and the officer said his machine only went up to 4. She was totally blitzed.

My brother's concerns were for his children, who often play in my mother's driveway. Her driveway area off the side of the house is quite large (we can get our semi in there) and she's on a cul-de-sac, so the only traffic that's ever in there are the people who live there - only four houses. My first thought was about my step-father.  At 87, his hearing isn't as good as it once was and he barely pays attention to anything but the task he's doing. So if he's on a mission to get the mail, a flying saucer could land in the yard and he probably wouldn't even turn around at the whirring sound of its hover system. He shuffles out to get the mail and comes back in. A drunk careening into our driveway could have easily taken him out.

My mother, on the other hand, had completely different concerns. And this is where watching too much Law & Order comes into play. Her take on the situation was this, as she told it to me:

"Well, when I first saw the car with the woman's leg sticking out, I went right back in the house and told Frank. I figured that since it was a Lexus, someone must have stolen the car, maybe a drug dealer or something, and kidnapped the woman. Then they drove the car here to my house and crashed it in the yard to create a distraction so that when I opened my door to go out and look at what caused the commotion, they could come in and rob the house."

What. The. Fuck???

"OK, Mom, so you're telling me that you think a thief crashed a stranger's car in your yard so he could steal stuff from your house?"

"Well, it could happen," she said.

"OK, so he kidnaps this woman, only because she has a Lexus, and then what?  Gets her drunk? Or is she already drunk when he hijacked her car? Alright, so whatever, he hijacks her car and asks her (the drunk woman) to drive to your house and careen over the dirt bank in your driveway to make it appear to be an accident. Then he takes the woman out of the front seat of the car and puts her in the back seat of the car with her Vodka bottle?

Then, he opens both doors to create a distraction for anyone who might come upon the crash scene, and he lays in wait for you to open the door to come out and see what happened so he could sneak into your house and what, steal your Tupperware collection?

C'mon, Ma. Seriously? I mean, if this were at all true, and he ditched the car on purpose, he essentially has no getaway vehicle. What do you think he plans to do, run through the desert carrying your big screen TV??"

"Well, it could happen," she said again.

"Mom. This does NOT happen."

"Well, she was driving a Lexus," she said.

"Mom. She drove her Lexus into your wash.  I don't think she was planning a speedy getaway. And if you didn't go get the mail, which you usually don't, she could have been there all night."

"Oh, that's so true." my mother said.  "And Michael was angry that I didn't go see if the lady was alright, but when I told Frank that there was a leg sticking out of the car, he said, 'Fuck her. Call 911 and let them figure it out. You don't know if she's crazy or something, or if there is anyone else in the car with her. It could be dangerous.' and so that's what I did. Even the 911 operator said I did the right thing, that you never know what could happen and that I did the right thing going back in the house. I figured if she was dead, she was dead. And if she was hurt, there was nothing I could do to help anyway except to call 911. I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the car. What a fluke that I went out for the mail."

Yes, what a fluke. So the story ends with the woman being carted off to jail and a tow-truck being sent to haul her car out of the driveway. The police asked if my parents wanted to press charges, which they did not, since the only thing the woman did was push some rocks around and dig her tires into the dirt. I mean, no one even stole anything. No sinister plan to run off with the TV, no attempted robbery, no cryptic phone calls from drug cartel associates. How un-Law & Orderish.

Of course I wouldn't want anything like that to ever happen, even though I don't believe it could with all the precautions my suspicious mother (who thinks she's on a CSI task force most of the time) takes. And what the evil-doers do not know (but will now, if they are reading this) is that both my mother and my step-father have a special mixture of end-of-life crazy and real-life-Italian-mafia-stories to reference, that any ruffians would have little chance of getting out of there unscathed, let alone alive.

Next time you hear the "dun dun" of the Law & Order show, pay close attention to the storyline, the ones they rip from the headlines - if it's about a lady who drove her Lexus into a ditch to steal Tupperware, you'll know you heard it here first.

Dun Dun.


Anonymous said... favorite line is, 'what evil-doers do not know is that both my mother and my stepfather have a special mixture of end-of-life crazy and real-life-Italian-mafia-stories to reference'...funny post...MAE

Don Olney said...

I just can't keep up! My parents are so normal??? And nobody got a picture --- not even a bad cell phone one? I want to see that leg!

Paul Daniel Ash said...

Ho. Lee. Crap, Salena, this is a good one. I am SO going to be looking for an opportunity to use "Fuck her. Call 911 and let them figure it out."

I mean, you could have just written the story up and it would have been funny. The commentary took it to a whole 'nother level. Nominating this one for post of the year...

Gil said...

The story is just too much! Your stepfather's take on politicians sounds like a lot of my uncles.

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God.

That is just funny funny stuff!

And I agree with Frank about the politicians and the state of the universe in general. Wow I'm as jaded as an 87-year-old!

I love how right in the middle of telling you what happened to cause the 911 call she has to describe "The Guns of Navarone" that sounds so much like Stace's mom.

Angela said...

*applause* The best story yet! OMG to be a fly on the wall when all of that happened. ha!

Whatta hoot!

I just can't believe the drunk lady blew a 3.8... she probably should have been dead! Holy cow!

Anonymous said...

OMG that was hysterical! LOL, and the way you wrote it was very good, like watching a movie, sorta.

When I first came to your blog I saw the pics, which appear to be AZ. Ahhhhh, Sedona, my one last goal in life (well, I have others, but saying 'last' because that's where I want to retire). BUT>>>>
Now I have to pick somewhere else, you see...stupid John McCain lives in Sedona! Arghhhh I can't get away from that man!

I'm tempted to move in next door and give him a run for his money. Only the economy sucks so I probably will never get out of this house.

Anyhow, going to go poke around and find some more fun stories, very funny blog!

Saretta said...

It's stories like this that make me love reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

WTF - that was so funny! Actually, it was really great writing! i felt like I was there!