It's a Little Late to the Station
Sarcasdad recently took possession of a toy train set. It is the one his Dad set up for Christmas when Sarcasdad and his four brothers were boys. Now not only are those boys grown, but their boys have grown as well. The engineer's cap is being passed to the CP's generation of the Sarcas-family.
The plan was for Sarcasdad to set it all up in time to surprise the CP on Christmas. Besides the train and track there are all kinds of accessories. Plastic houses and places of business. Little people and trees and park benches. Everything carefully stored in the original boxes. To use it all would require space so Sarcasdad decided to set up a platform in the basement.
I think it was the next day we discovered the leak that put into motion the destruction , and consequent reconstruction of, the basement. That was the job that was supposed to be done in a week and in reality took a month. Anyway, that put Sarcasdad a bit behind. As did a major work related project that left him no spare time. That wrapped up right before Christmas and Sarcasdad unpacked the train, only to find it wasn't in working order.
So service was delayed while we upgraded to a more modern system. The engine might be new but it still circles around the old plastic houses and the same plastic people. The shiny new track runs right by the plastic Exxon station where, by the way, gas is advertised at 27.9¢ a gallon, and 32.9¢ for premium.
We are on schedule for a New Years Day inaugural run with the CP at the controls.
The Scenic Route
One Christmas season years ago, I was in the kitchen and I could hear Sarcasmo Jr. having a conversation with someone at the front door. That's going back a bit since she still lived at home. When I asked who she was talking to, she replied "the UPS guy." I asked if she knew him as they were speaking for a bit longer than it takes to "sign here". "Mom", she said,"he's here everyday at 5 o'clock". Even then I preferred online Christmas shopping to hitting the malls.
This year for some reason I am having delivery issues. Right after ThanksgivingI ordered a toy I thought might be hard to get later in the season. I got the last one in stock and it shipped the next day. I waited , and waited. This particular vendor did not give me a tracking number up front. On December 5 I contacted the vendor to see where my package was. They sent me the FedEx tracking information which showed I was not at home one day, (true, but there was no notice left on my door) and the next day the package was supposedly refused. That day I was home all day. Just me and the carpenter. You remember the carpenter, right? Anyway the FedEx man did not come knocking. The toy was already halfway back to California. In the end I located another one to order by mail. Then I saw one at a store and bought it, just to be on the safe side. The one I ordered made it to my door as well. So if anyone is looking for the Transformer Construction Devastator, I have an extra.
I also ordered something from a vendor I have dealt with many times before. They are always prompt in their delivery. It shipped on the 8th. This vendor always supplies a tracking number and I have been watching it like a hawk. That is how I know that so far it has traveled from a town in upstate Pennsylania (A), to Rutherford NJ,(B) to Elkridge Maryland,(C) on it's journey to Philadelphia.(D)
Seems like a lot of extra effort. So far my package has gone 450 miles to make a 145 mile trip. Hopefully there are no more detours.
In a bold move, the CP's parents threw his birthday party in a venue unfamiliar to children of his generation. They had it at home.
No costumed mascots or ticket spewing games. No clowns or magicians. Just Mom and Dad and a couple of parents who stayed to help out.
Space was limited so the guest list was just the CP's very bestest friends instead of his entire preschool class. The parents are all acquainted so they needed no encouragement to drop their kids off and go. In fact, they seemed quite giddy at the prospect.
The party had a super hero theme. The boys decorated their own masks, choosing to use surprising amounts of glitter to express their inner Batmans.
Instead of turning in fistfuls of tickets earned at solo machines for prizes, the boys competed with each other. They played Super Hero Bingo. They were spun around and blindfolded for stick the villain on the Spiderman poster. For safety's sake, more so ours than theirs, they were given stickers to place, not pushpins. Pass the Kryptonite sort of degenerated into something else all together, but the boys were all on board for the pinata. After all, how often does an adult hand you a WMD inside the house and tell you to whack the heck out of something?
In between the boys ate pizza and cupcakes and made their own fun. They weren't on anyone's schedule but their own. They had a great time.
Novel idea. Maybe it will catch on.
Sarcasmom's Top Ten List
Here are the top ten ways you can ensure going home from the market with smooshed bread and broken eggs.*
#10. Watch me bag your entire order and then tell me you want paper and plastic.
#9. Tell me how much cheaper, friendlier, and better stocked a competitor is.( so why aren't you there?)
#8. Tell me how to do my job, since you are obviously an expert.
#7. Interrupt me while I am waiting on the customer who's turn it really is. I may not bag your order, but I have friends on the registers.
#6. Give your kid a balloon or a toy to hold while you shop because you don't know how to say the word "no". Then expect me to wrestle it off them when you get to the checkout.
#5. Subject us all to your screaming child. (see #6.)
#4. Get in line with $50 of groceries and $10 on your debit card. Then remove the least expensive items , one at a time, and ask me for a new total after every single deduction. If I don't squash your bread the guy behind you will.
#3. Realize as your order is being processed that you forgot something and disappear back into the store. For good measure leave behind the screaming child from #5 for me to babysit while you finish your shopping. Refer to #4 to see probable outcome.
#2. Tell me that all the other cashiers take your expired coupons.
And the number one way to ensure smooshed bread and broken eggs is........
#1. Get into line as the store is closing on Christmas Eve and tell me what a shame it is I have to be at work as you throw your multi-cart order up on the belt.
* you know I'm kidding, right? Right?