Friday, October 07, 2005

Calm Before the Storm


Shortly before we evacuated for hurricane Rita, we (me, mom, Bonnie, two aunts, two cousins, Cory, Jamie, four dogs and a partridge in a pear tree) were all sitting around my mother's living room trying to decide what to do and who all was going to do it. The decision was made to evacuate at noon. My mom told me to call my sister Terry and ask when she and her family were coming to the house so we could all leave together.

Sitting on my mom's couch, with everyone within earshot of the conversation, I called Terry.

"Terry," I asked. "When are y'all coming over so we can leave?"

"We aren't going to leave," said Terry.

Terry's response presented me with a dilemma. Everyone was watching my face and, as far as they knew, Terry had said, "We'll be there in ten minutes." I knew that as soon as I said the fateful words "they aren't leaving" a shit-storm would ensue.

I slowly raised my eyes from the carpet, which I had been steadfastly staring at, and looked at my sister Bonnie (I knew better than to look at mom) and said, "They aren't leaving." You know that part in A Christmas Story when Ralphie's mom calls Flick's mom because Ralphie said "fudge" and all you can hear is Flick's mom through the receiver having a shit-fit, "WHAT? WHAT...?" That's what happened in that living room.

Except, I didn't have the luxury of my mom (and sister and aunts and cousins and son and daughter-in-law) being on the other end of the receiver. They were all within about two feet of me and they all started screaming at once, "STUPID!" "DUMB ASSES!" "THEY'LL BE KILLED!" "WE'RE GOING TO GO OVER THERE AND MAKE THEM GO!" "WHAT? WHAT?"

After things settled down a bit, I calmly spoke into the receiver and told Terry, "They said they love you and y'all be careful."

8 comments:

Jen T. (that's me) said...

Bahaha! That's classic! :)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Laurie: Ms. Jo Cool.

Susan in St. Paul said...

Did you covered the mouth piece while they screamed?

That must have been why your mom choose you to make the call.

Aisha said...

You are so funny-- and according to our friend in Silsbee, HE said (after evac'ing sisters etc.) when she suggested maybe they should leave too: HELL NO!!!!

hey did int he end, and a good job too: tree ccrashing into den ...

Terry made it I gather...

Abby Taylor said...

Very well written. I could see the scene as I read it. Good stuff, Laurie.

Laurie said...

Jen - It was about normal for my family.

Old Horsetail - That's me.

Susan - Oh, no. There was no time to hold the mouthpiece. Terry heard it all.

Aisha - Terry and her family ended up evacuating the next day. They did fine. I'm sorry about your friend's house in Silsbee.

Abby - Aren't you nice! Thanks.

Ed Abbey said...

If I had one movie to keep and watch on a deserted island, it would probably be that one. I watch it every year.

Laurie said...

Ed - I still remember the first time I saw that movie. It was the mid-80's and I was home alone and kept looking around the room for someone, anyone, so I could say, "Oh my, God! This is hilarious!" I told everyone I knew about it for weeks.