Misadventures at Midnight

Lying in bed last night, drifting off to sleep a little after midnight, I didn’t expect that eight minutes later I’d be outside, laughing, searching in a dark alley for keys that were currently resting safely on the shelf by the front door. Ah, life is nothing if not unpredictable.

My misadventure started the moment the thought popped into my head in bed: I forgot to move Craig’s truck! Craig, the guy I’m renting a room from, is in Arizona for the week. His truck was parked out front on the side of the street that is swept at four o’clock every Friday morning. I had told Craig I’d move his truck on Thursday night so he wouldn’t get a ticket or get towed. My choices were clear: Either stay in bed and hope for the best or get up, get dressed and move the truck. It was no contest. I knew that if I stayed in bed, I’d feel too guilty to sleep. So I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes and headed outside.

From the moment I sat down in his truck, I knew I had to be careful. It was dark, I was groggy and my valiant effort to turn the lights on succeeded only in activating the windshield wipers. It was so dark I couldn’t even tell if I was in neutral or drive. My first plan was to park the truck in the spaces set aside for residents in the alley on the side of the complex. Craig never parks there because his truck is too long for the short space provided, but for one night it would have to do. However, as I pulled into the alley I saw that there was a car parked on either side of Craig’s space. Hmmm . . . dark, groggy, big truck, small space. Two words came to mind: Epic Fail. Just as I decided to abort that plan, I crashed into two big garbage bins on the other side of the alley, knocking them over.

Courageously, I continued on down the alley, took a right onto the street as soon as I could, then took another right to bring me back onto the street in front of our house. I could park the truck on the left side of the street because that side is swept on Monday mornings, so as carefully as I could, I pulled a U-turn in the middle of the street and parked across from our building. Victory was mine!

Except I still had to attend to the garbage bins. I walked into the alley and, with the keys still in my hand, I struggled to hoist the first big bin upright. On my first attempt, my hand slipped off because of the dew on the bin, sending the car keys flying off into the darkness. I just laughed. I felt like I was watching a Keystone Cops movie, except I was the star! I managed to get both bins upright, then ducked back into the house to grab the flashlight off the shelf by the front door. As I walked back into the alley, I was hoping that the keys hadn’t flown over the neighbor’s fence. I wasn’t about to try to scale a fence at that point (Epic Fail—Part Deux) and just hoped that the neighbor’s dog wouldn’t find and eat the keys the next morning. That would make Operation: Key Retrieval a tad more difficult . . . no, let’s not even go there. Fortunately, I found the keys resting just a few feet away. Quite pleased with myself for accomplishing such a harrowing mission, I managed to walk back in the house and get back into bed without knocking over a lamp or stubbing my toe.

You can have your skydiving and rock climbing. I get a thrill just making it through another day without hurting myself!

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