Saturday, December 02, 2006

I am Mom

Da Kid was up and gone long before the sun rose this morning. The note he'd left next to the coffee pot was simple. If I wasn't doing anything later, maybe I'd like to meet him at the ballfield next to his Volunteer Fire Department's main station for a hotdog lunch.

Today was the town's "Second Annual Christmas Parade and Festival." (They used to do it every year, stopped for some reason, and only started again last year which is why it's the "Second Annual.") Once the parading was done and the trucks put up, members of the VFD were heading over to the ballfield for the Festival ("Games! Live Music! Arts and Crafts! Food!) to run a fund-raising Hot Dog and Sausage Dog Booth.

I called Da Kid to find out where (the hell) the main station is. I know where three of their stations are, but not what they're known as or even if the "main station" is one of them. Turned out it is, but almost as soon as I hung up he called back.

Would I do him a favor. A BIG favor. Since I was heading out that way for lunch, anyway, would I mind stopping at a grocery store and picking up some baked beans for them.

No problem. How many cans?



Maybe he meant two of the big (Number 10?) industrial-sized cans? No, he said. Two regular ones. Well, maybe four. Uh, maybe three big cans . . . "I don't know."

In my former life (I'm retired now.) I've helped cook and / or coordinated "feedings" at a homeless shelter several times. That's three hundred to five hundred plates of food for a single meal. I know Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves of bread to feed a multitude, but, I ain't "JC" and neither are any of them. Three dinky cans of baked beans won't feed many people at a booth selling hot dogs and sausage dogs.

How many portions did they figure, I asked.

Ten. Maybe . . . 15. Might be 20.

The baked beans weren't for the public, but for the volunteers at the booth. So, I made a quick stop at Winn Dixie before heading to their booth at the Festival . . .

("Thank's, Mom. You're awesome.")

. . . where it's raining. Hard. And, it had been raining like that on and off most of the morning and was going to stay that way for the rest of the day.

While many of the other booths seemed empty, the people running them hiding under their tents trying to stay dry, the VFD's booth had had and still had a fairly steady stream of people coming and going all morning not for hot dogs, but because their vehicles had gotten stuck in the mud. By now, though, just about every one has been dragged out and there weren't many people left at the Festival.

Which was good, since from the start the VFD had been having a problem with their electric hot dog grill. It wouldn't stay on because the generator powering it kept "crapping out." They had enough cooked for them and the sausages on the gas grill that hadn't sold, plus the cans of baked beans I brought.

I took the opportunity when the rain let up about 45 minutes later, to go back to my car and head home. I had a $9* hot dog and learned an important lesson: Do not assume.

Just because they know hoses and couplings and really technical stuff involved in fighting fires, and while some are EMTs and Paramedics with amazing knowledge and expertise far beyond what normal folk like you and I have . . . that doesn't mean ONE of them realized until they all began scrambling around looking, that not one had thought about the need for a can opener, a pot to heat the beans in, or any utensils to eat the baked beans with.


* $6 (cans of not-on-sale baked beans) + $3 ("Mom, all I have is my debit card . . . funnel cake, next booth over.) = $9.


Anonymous Bou said...

I ran a spaghetti dinner for years. The first year I took it over, the guy who tends bar for it said to me, "Don't worry. I'll have everything."

And he did. Except for the cork screw to open the wine bottles. (Spaghetti dinners at the Catholic church have lots of red wine!)

The next year I showed up with three. ;-)

I bet next year every guy brings a pot, utensils and a can opener!!!

5:56 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

The bartender at a Church-sponsored function showed up without the cork screw, and he wasn't excommunicated?

I don't know what the ultimate outcome was because when the rain broke, I headed for my car. But, with the first can of beans the lack of a can opener was rectified by use a big "pocket knife" to butcher it open. Its paper label removed to keep the can from catching fire, placed on the sausage grill. When the contents of the can began to bubble and having nothing to remove the can with, because of the urgent circumstance "The Kids" temporarily appropriated the metal salad tongs from the empty (drowned-out) booth next to them.

As I was leaving "Soggy Santa" (their Chief, who is closer to my age or perhaps even a few years older than I am.) said to me "I love these kids. They're insane, but I love them anyway."

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Bou said...

You do know that sounds like a great time. All of it. The improvisation is GREAT. Memories... :)

yeah, he forgot the corkscrew. go figure. I don't know what they did, but I do know there was improvisation involved... probably dealing with a 'pocket knife'. Heh!

10:46 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

Or, a coat hanger. Hubby used one a couple-three times at <polite cough> spirit-filled gatherings when no one could remember what had happened TO the cork screw.

As usual with the VFD, I had a good time not that some of them are quite sure what to make of me.

For those who recognize me in any way, most often it's simply as Da Kid's mother. I discovered Saturday that a few made that connection only after recalling "Witch-arella," the non-stop frowning, hammer and roaring Black&Decker drill toting HAG at the donation table at their Halloween Haunted House.

Full face make-up and my hair (colored black . . . mostly, except where I missed) stuck straight up with a spray it took me three washings to get out, BANG-BANG on the table with the hammer, ZZZZZZZZZZZZ with the drill every time someone stuck money in the box, and a loud growl: "THANK YOU! DONATIONS MAKE ME HAPPY!"

And since Florida-Georgia was the next day, every time I saw someone on line wearing a Gator shirt I banged on the table and yelled, "Go Gators! Beat them Dawgs!"

"Soggy Santa" said I fit in, and hopes I'm available again next year.

6:49 PM  

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