Friday, January 04, 2008

Momrat's Tragic Crisis

Momrat and Dadrat have, of late, taken up ballroom dancing (or have tried to, at least), in the way that empty nesting rats are known to do. They have a Wednesday night dance class with their Austrian instructor, Tony, which results in frequent minor injuries and major indignities. Yet they persevere.

This Wednesday night, Dadrat drove into the driveway just in time to pick up Momrat for their lesson. Wednesday was bitterly cold in Ratville, so Dadrat didn't bother disembarking and Momrat truckled up to the car.

Momrat, who has never been, shall we say, mechanically inclined, was unable to open her door. She pulled and banged and slapped peevishly on the window (it was pretty cold). Dadrat tried the automatic lock a couple of times, but no go. "I think the door's frozen shut!!" he shouted over the rumbling engine.

Momrat, feeling cold and a little cross, flapped her arms and scooted to the other side of the car. She tried to open the door behind the driver's seat. She pushed and pulled etc, and Dadrat tried the automatic locks etc, but no go. Finally, Dadrat got out of the car to help her try to open the door. Together they pushed and pulled etc. Dadrat decided the door was definitely locked. He went to open the driver's door again and try the automatic lock when he realized he had locked himself out of the car.

With the engine running.

Dadrat began to fumble around for the spare keys. But Momrat, with her ever-observant rodent eye, spied them on the floor of the backseat of said car.

AAA was called to come and decompress the situation, but since Ratville is a strange, far-removed place sheltered from the world by trees and bears and other things of that nature, it took them more than an hour to get there. At least Ma & Pa were at home, so they could sit on the couch in the living room and watch the car chug itself out of gas in the driveway. But the dance lesson was squarely missed.

The funniest part of this whole story? (I know you've been waiting for the punchline.)

It's not the first time this happened. The first time was back in 1978, when Dadrat was bringing Momrat, his new fiancee, home to meet his parents. Dadrat and his mother drove to the airport in heat-stricken July in the southern California desert to pick my mother up. After they collected her baggage, they made their way out to the parking lot. As they approached the car, Momrat recollects thinking, "What's that noise? It sounds like an engine is running." Dadrat (and his normally very level-headed mother) were apparently so excited to be fetching my mother that they abandoned the car--locked, of course--with the keys in the ignition and the engine puttering away.

Umm. "Awwww," or something.


Jaye Wells said...

I've done that. Note to all: If you lock your keys in your running car because you're so distracted blatantly checking out a group of men, make sure they are firemen.

Anissa said...

At least they had keys to get back inside.

"Umm. 'Awwww,' or something." *snort* you crack me up!

Cakespy said...

This is so funny. I am kind of in love with the idea of your empty nester Parentrats taking up ballroom dancing, I must say.

cyn said...

haha! i love how you describe your parents' ratiness. they sound so cute. did you actually grow up in the rat home of the wilderness??? *gulp*

Colorado Writer said...

How sweetly frustrating.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm midway between a chuckle and a wince here. I've locked myself out of my car once, but at least it wasn't running.

Tory said...

Happy New Year, Moonrat!
Too funny, you really painted the picture perfectly in my mind.
Visit me!
Take care

Chumplet said...

I locked my keys in the car when my daughter was a wee baby. I had escaped for a blissful hour with my mom to shop for food, leaving wee baby under the care of the husband who shall not be mentioned.

Husband who shall not be mentioned showed up with the keys, but no baby.

"Where's the baby?"

"Oh, she was sleeping so peacefully I left her to nap on the couch."


"It's okay, I shoved the coffee table up to it -- she won't fall"

I was frantic during the five minute drive to the house. I could hear her screaming from the driveway. I rushed into the house and she was lying on the couch, her cloth diaper soaking wet. The wee baby was quite pissed off.

So was I.

Lana Gramlich said...

Since I worked in security for 14 years I never forget my keys anywhere anymore!
Years ago my ex locked his keys in his car while it was running. Problem was, the radiator fan wasn't working, so if you weren't actively driving, it was just actively overheating slowly. I think he managed to save it by taking a cab home for the spare key.

homeinkabul said...

Umm, i've done that twice. One on a Friday and yes, the next time the very next day. ay.

Church Lady said...

You have cute parental units!

(Do they know you blog about them? heh heh!)


Anonymous said...

this story RULED. my parents once took a ballroom dancing class but after one, they decided they need their personal space too much to do such things. ~aparna!

Anonymous said...

i meant needed, i meant needed. i'm sorry i'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Nicely told, Moonratlet.

It is what we all love. A good story well told.


moonrat said...

i did, cyn, in fact grow up in a rat home in the wilderness. i was what they call a "country mouse" but i think after 7 1/2 years now i am what they call a "city mouse" (which some people will also point out is a "rat" which is the cousin of a "moonrat" so it turns out i'm related to myself. all very complicated.).

Maria said...

I think it is great that they didn't start fighting. The one time this happened to Bing and me we began yelling at each other about whose fault this all was.

It was HERS, of course. It always is.

writtenwyrdd said...

I think it is an amusing story, having done it myself. The reason that, in winter, when I warm up the car before getting in to leave, I keep a spare set of car keys with me. Nothing like one's car overheating from idling to make one's day!

Glad it all turned out well. I love the sound of mom and dad rats out dancing. :)

Ello said...

My dad has done this many a time! Hee hee.