A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Fridge
by Mark Jordan ©2020 All rights reserved
A funny thing happened to me this morning – something that I would assume most people might not easily understand. Nevertheless, for me, it was significant…meaningful. And on the outside chance that others might be able to relate, like yourself, I think it’s worth the risk of sharing. However, before I dive right in, I thought a bit of background perspective might be in order.
For starters, I’d like to begin with an illustration of an event that happened to me a few years back while commuting to work in Tustin.
After waiting interminably at the daily morning red light on Irvine Boulevard, only a chip-shot from my favorite parking spot in front of my studio, the signal flashed green and I proceeded to cross. Unfortunately, a fellow motorist approaching the intersection from the right failed to notice the light had changed to red. The inattentive operator broadsided me.
Neither of us was injured.
While exchanging contact information, it didn’t take all but a few seconds to catch a potent waft of alcohol emanating from the twenty-something female’s garbled diction. An officer arrived on the scene and quickly established that the accident was due to a DWI. We’re talking plastered. That’s right, an early morning drunk – 9:20 to be exact.
As it turned out, Ms. Drunkette had been partying all night and was just getting around to zig-zagging her way home. Unfortunately for my new 300M, in her inebriated state, the glittering gold paint appeared to her as a beacon, like moth to flame.
Fast forward a couple of hours – the sobbing carouser had been taken away in handcuffs, the roadway swept, the hoopla had faded, and the tow truck was now within moments of completing its job of dragging my car up onto its long flatbed. Suddenly, quickly approaching us from behind us, the shriek of squealing tires raised the hair on the nape of our necks. We turned to look. A gray-haired man in a large silver Mercedes was grappling with his steering wheel, struggling to navigate the turn into the parking lot – his efforts failed.
Leaping for our lives, the oncoming blur of metal plowed sidelong into my car – the flawless side. The inept driver hit my maimed car with such an impact that it knocked it right off the tow truck onto its open wounds, making a thunderous crunch onto the pavement as it landed.
Yes, you guessed it – yet another plastered motorist.
A week later, I was asked to drop by the Tustin Police Station to manage a few perfunctory legalities. Upon hearing that I was in the lobby waiting for my paperwork, more than a dozen officers and staff came out to greet me. Why? They wanted to meet the man whose car was not only shellacked on both sides, by two separate accidents, both caused by drunk drivers, and in the span of a few hours but also where the mayhem all occurred before lunch!
While everyone stood in line to shake my hand and rub the top of my head (for good luck), a senior officer told me he had done his research and that he could not find anything like my incident in the history of crashdom. His anecdote answered the question in my head as to why I was being treated so very kindly, but in a curious, circus-like Fellini fashion.
Would you want to hear more? Sure you do – this is the nature of train-wrecks and rubbernecking. However, this is a blog post, not a biography!
So then, suffice it to say, this little story is emblematic of far too many experiences in my life – mundane events taking on seemingly grotesque proportions.
More to the point, it appears that I have unwittingly mastered the art in the fourth law of thermodynamics – Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will.
Does this relate to anyone else? I am so sorry.
Regarding my incident this morning, and the motivation for my post, something happened so remarkably bizarre, so wonderfully askew, and so completely out-of-the-norm, I could not let it transpire without recounting its significance. It was so extraordinary that I simply stood there in absolute amazement as if the constraints of time no longer applied to me.
Now, before I reveal the particulars of this anomaly, I want to caution you that the probability of you thinking I am off my rocker is likely – almost guaranteed. I can hear you now: “You mean I invested a chunk of my time just to read about this! This is the last time I’m going to waste my time reading this looney blog.” And you just might be justified for thinking so.
Regardless, here it goes.
My breakfast typically consists of a cup of Island Coconut coffee and possibly a slice of toast with light butter and a dab of strawberry jam. This morning, as I groped around in the back of the refrigerator for my coconut cream, I was not thinking of the precarious state I had arranged my leftovers.
I had supped at Flame Broiler last night, and as usual, it was too much to eat in one sitting. So, I wrapped it up to enjoy today for lunch. Once at home, I put my Flame Broiler bowl in the fridge and temporarily balanced upon its plastic lid a couple small containers of teriyaki sauce.
If you have “dined” at the Flame Broiler before, I’m sure you are familiar with their miniature, transparent ramekins. You know, the pygmy size pee cups that come with the tight-fitting lids, which take up about 1/8 of the fill space. So, if you are not careful when filling up teriyaki, the sauce will leak over the rim, oozing onto your hands and the counter. And if you are anything like me, you forget about this mishap every time.
Then, to matters worse, when you reach for a napkin, you discover the holder is empty. And just as you are about to ask the lady behind the register, she disappears to climb Mount Everest. When she returns, she goes to locate more but has a baby along the way. When her now teenager returns with the napkins, you realize you also need water to remove the petrified teriyaki crust. As you step toward the deserted soda/water dispenser, the line abruptly burgeons, resembling the formation outside the lady’s restroom during an intermission for Hamilton. While finally wetting your napkin, you inadvertently trigger the Lemonade clip, splattering your hand, sleeves, belly, belt buckle, zipper, iPhone, and shoes. You then return to the spill scene only to discover the lady’s teenager kid (her granddaughter) has already cleaned up your debris and tossed your neatly stacked teriyaki cups.
This scenario will repeat itself until your teriyaki-bowl is given to someone else by mistake while you’re busy in the bathroom removing the lemonade…
But I digress – so sorry.
Okay, to the point.
Now, where was I? Oh, that’s right, groping for the coconut creme.
I found it.
However, as I retrieved the creme from the back right corner, the dangling cloth of my guitar-patterned robe caught the rippled lip of the teriyaki lids. You can only imagine what happened next, right? Splash! All over the floor!!
That’s what I thought too. And it should have. At least, this is what I have grown accustomed to.
Yet when I looked down, expecting to see teriyaki sauce spattered pell-mell, to my utter astonishment, they were resting comfortably at my feet, wholly intact!
There they were, two flawless cups, filled with their gooey, sugary contents – no mayhem all – not even a mess.
What was even more peculiar is that in mid-prep for my morning elliptical ride, I had put on my favorite pair of pristine, red Nikes. Yet the ramekin lids remained sound.
The sticky-staining teriyaki did not etch the travertine.
The newly refinished cupboards were not covered in ooze.
Our two freshly manicured Schnoodles survived untouched.
And my red shoes? They remained their spotless cherry red!
Amazingly enough, even Kari’s wedding dress, which is safely sealed in our storage unit three miles from our home, was also left unscathed! Don’t ask me how her dress would have otherwise been destroyed, but this is the life-pattern I have come to expect, believe me. Simply astounding!
So then, “What do ramekins of teriyaki, fallen on travertine have to do with anything that could possibly be of interest to me?” you ask. Good question. And to be frank, I haven’t the foggiest. However, I do know that it would appear that I have inexplicably entered into another realm – a new portal or dimension of sorts.
So, on the outside chance, should you find yourself coming across an old DVD of Tron and recognize my face instead of Bruce Boxleitner’s, you’ll know precisely what has happened to me.
And to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I would mind just one bit.
In the meantime, and as always, should you have questions regarding any aspect of professional headshots or our A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Fridge , no concern is too small.