Monday, February 11, 2008

Chain Reaction

They say that the merest flutter of a butterfly's wing against the tropical breezes can have an effect which, upon multiplying, will cause a hurricane of epic proportions a continent away.  My addled, little pea-brain can't really ponder the chain of causality that would create that kind of situation.  But, I do kind of get how one thing can lead to another.

This morning's metaphorical flutter did not come from a butterfly.  But, it was still a very small sort of thing and it demonstrated the ability to knock down the first domino in a complex pattern of events.  My butterfly was a travel mug.

It all started and ended with this relatively small piece of mass produced plastic ware.  It was my Alpha and Omega.  Things played out thusly:

 Friday:  As is my habit, I lugged my mug full of coffee out to the car and enjoyed sipping upon its caffeinated contents on the commute to work.  As is also my custom, I left it in the car that afternoon upon arriving home.  It was Friday and I had been carrying it up and down the stairs for a full week.  I am not built for such heavy lifting, what with being a fragile flower and all.  I do this every week and bring it back into the house again on Sunday after I do the grocery shopping.  It's the first step towards accepting that the work week shall soon begin anew.

Saturday:  Filled with dread at the possibility of frozen precipitation, I did the weekly marketing a day earlier than is usual.  I did it early in the morning just in case anyone else had a similarly brilliant idea.  I was a paragon of organizational virtue, if not a fully awake one.  I even remembered to bring my list with me this time.  I also visited the gas station.  I arrived home and parked the truck safely out of the path of any snowplows that might decide to visit during the snow event.  I couldn't have been more proud.  There was a great deal of back-patting and congratulations delivered from me to me.

Sunday:  All errands were successfully completed and there was no way that the management company could complain about my having failed to move my vehicle.  Although the winter storm wasn't quite at a level that one might call, "epic," it was still awfully nice to not have to go outside in the chilly air.  I blissfully spent the day crocheting baby sweaters, knitting socks and even did a little spinning in the evening, by gum!  A very, very pleasant day...

Monday, 5:15 a.m.:  I awoke with that sense of sadness that comes with having to face the start of the week.  But, there was no getting around it:  I had to get up and go to work.  And I needed to get in early today to take care of some paperwork so it was going to be in my best interest to get a move on.  Extra time was going to be needed for clearing the ice and snow away from the windshield, after all!  Reluctantly, I headed out to the kitchen to start the coffee that I would need to make the commute bearable.

5:20 a.m.:  I searched in vain for my travel mug.  It was nowhere to be found.  And then it hit me.  The change of routine must have thrown me off more than I thought.  I'd left it in the truck all weekend.  

5:22 a.m.:  I next realized that I'd parked the truck very far away and never moved it back just in case a plow happened to take pity on me and clear our lot.  Thinking myself something of a genius, I decided to just put the coffee in the "Other" travel mug, the one that doesn't fit in the cup holder, then just pour the coffee into the "Usual" mug once I was in the truck.  

6:15 a.m.:  "Other" travel mug in hand, I traversed the parking lot.  It was coated in what used to be slush before the plows didn't come and it froze.  By this morning, it was a treacherous sheet of slippery ice and a broken hip just waiting to happen.  It was cold last night.  Very cold.  And remained cold well into the morning.

6:20 a.m.:  After tugging on the door handle of my truck for what seemed like an age, I was finally able to get the ice coated door open on the passenger side.  I crawled in, grabbed the ice scraper, rested the "Other" travel mug carefully on the floor and set to work chipping away at the ice.

6:30 a.m.:  I took a break from the ice chipping to rest, warm myself and do the planned coffee transfer.  I shouldn't have been surprised to find that my travel mug had frozen shut.  But, I was.  And the "Other" mug still didn't fit in the cup holder.

6:40 a.m.:  I was now ten minutes past the last possible departure time that would allow for a timely arrival at work, the ice was mostly removed from my truck, but was still clinging like grim death in the coffee mug.  I couldn't make the trip without that sweet, sweet nectar nor did I see myself as being talented enough to drive one-handed while I held the "Other," non-cup-holder-fitting mug.  I was becoming desperate.  In a last, frustration-fueled burst of energy, I was able to get the "Usual" travel mug open by using my keys to pry the lid away from the cup.  This took a while.  Grumpily, I dumped the coffee from the "Other" mug into its proper place.

6:41 a.m.:  Apparently, I did not finish my coffee last Friday.  There was still some in there, frozen solid.  It did a lovely job of cooling down my piping hot morning beverage.  That wasn't exactly what I needed this morning.  But, it's good to know that it can be done so quickly and efficiently.

I had allowed time for chipping off the truck.  But not for opening my travel mug.  I was late to work.  I was also out of sorts and not really carrying enough of a caffeine load, since cold coffee wasn't all that appealing on this chilly morning.  And it all went back to a simple sort of decision like leaving the travel mug in the car instead of just bringing it inside like a responsible person.

If I think about this long enough, I can probably figure out a way to blame my failing to attend Harvard or my inability to to knit lace on not eating my carrot sticks at lunch that time in third grade...

SA




17 comments:

Jeanne said...

I'm just relieved that the coffee stayed in the mug—I was envisioning travel mug caps flying off mid-travel causing all sorts of havoc.

Is it ironic that my verification word is "phlfill"?

kmkat said...

Sheepie, you are an artist with the words and the imagination. Not even Dave Barry could get 1,000 hilarious words out of forgetting to carry his coffee mug into the house. I salute you!

Julie said...

Please tell me there was coffee in the teachers' lounge!

Beth said...

Old coffee + cold coffee = Yuck! Poor SA. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Emma said...

Hee! I can totally picture it.

Ronni said...

Poor Sheepie! I hate it when the universe gangs up on me like that. I hope the rest of the week goes well and you are able to be fully caffeinated. (ps What kmkat said)

knitseashore said...

When you said Broken Hip waiting to happen, you really had me worried for a minute. Though old/cold coffee mixed together is nothing small on a Monday morning, either.

TheAmpuT said...

Sorry for your misfortune.
Now...*bwahahaha!*.
*ahem* sorry.
(but thanks for the story, it was grand)

Mia said...

coffee.. yeah, that's what I need.. coffee. Wish I had MY travel mug.. but it's out in the car. Frozen. I feel your pain.

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

oh man! what a morning. ugh.

trek said...

Bleh - luke warm caffeine drink - big bleh.

Since you were able to locate the coffee mug, I am naming you an "expert finder". Would you please come down here and locate Neatnik's lunchbox? It didn't make it home with her and Number Guy last night.

There's no snow here!!!!

Alwen said...

Brrr, nothing like a frozen coffee cube to chill down your morning!

sweetpea said...

Almost makes you want to rethink the caffeine addiction. Almost....

Army_Wifey08 said...

I think everyone should just relocate out to California, where it freezes but twice a year (which is a catastrophic event...cities shut down. I've seen it) and when it does snow it's pretty to watch fall from the sky and then melts the minute it hits the ground. Voila! no messy snowy stuff.

Yarnhog said...

I was expecting something along the lines of a hot coffee bath, so the image of three-day-old frozen coffee in the bottom of the mug is not quite as nasty as I would usually find it. But it's still pretty bad. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid my mother would have called a story like that a life lesson. Sorry Monday was well, a real Monday.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

The Purloined Letter said...

Only you could make this into such a perfect post! (And I can assure you that even Harvard alums who knit lace have trouble keeping up with their coffee mugs. Must be the carrots after all.)