I rolled over and tried to focus on the clock. Pretty sure it said seven, I grabbed my glasses. “Ack!” I sputtered, and jumped from my comfy bed. I had half an hour before I had to leave for work. Hero, my hard-of-hearing dog, lay sprawled out beside my bed, and hadn’t gotten the message I was up yet; not until I tripped over him anyway. He yelped and nipped. I yelped right back but refrained from nipping. In an unplanned, un-acrobatic move, I skipped/jumped and slid into the bathroom. Good thing the door was open. I swear, Hero looked at me as though saying, “Safe!” Woman’s best friend. Says. No one. Ever.
The knees creaked as I picked myself up. Fifty-year-old widowed grandmothers aren’t allowed to have that much activity, but thankfully, I was no worse for the wear…that is, until I looked in the mirror. “Ack!” I screamed. It appeared as though a horde of roly poly bugs had made a nest in my head. Now down to twenty minutes, I voted against a shower and wet my hair in the sink instead. I was horrified to watch the bugs morph into snakes. “Ack ack!” Hair-5…Me-0. Whipped, I took a shower. Alas, time refused to stand still.
Down to fifteen minutes, I dressed in a flash, and then I stood, just for a menopausal second, to catch my breath…
and then waddled my way to the kitchen to make my coffee and toast.
Ten minutes and counting…Back to the bathroom to dry my hair – good use of my time. Let the coffee and toast do its thing while I did mine.
Roly poly’s gone, I smiled at my reflection. “Looking good for 50!” I complemented myself with thumbs up, and then…dropped the mirror. Bent over to pick up glass shards, I heard…rip! “Ack!”
Hero didn’t anticipate me coming back to change my clothes. I tripped…again…and landed right into bed. Hero yelped and nipped. This time, I yelped and nipped a bit too. A week later, I was still pulling out dog hairs. It was just instinct. Give me a break!
Hero settled himself again and fell fast asleep. He is an old dog.
I’m an old person.
T-minus five and counting. “Ack!”
I hauled myself out of bed, again, and hit the floor running.
I hear some people learn from their mistakes. Not me!
The aerial flip to the bathroom.
The hard get-up from the floor.
Total chaos reflected in the mirror.
Then the smoke alarm blared. I ran to the kitchen and retrieved my toast from its fiery fate. Resigned to my own fate, I left the house. I was done. Overly done. And I was late. Officially. Late.
Head pressed to my boss’ door, I ran through my morning muddle before he called me in. He would never understand my excuse for being late. My goodness, I didn’t even believe it!
He buzzed me in.
I stood at attention and began my recitation:
“Well, you see, the lack of sun made me oversleep. A hero tripped me up but I came in safe at home. While there, I found an infestation of roly poly bugs, otherwise known as Armadillidiidae. I tried several ways to get rid of them but only a shower helped. There was ripping, breakage, yelping, nipping, smoke alarms, trippage, and a whole lot of ‘Acking!’, if you know what I mean.”
‘The Boss’, with his jaw wide open, clearly did not know what I meant. “Acking, you say? Roly poly bugs? Trippage? Is that a word? Smoke? Did you have a fire? A hero tripped you but also saved you? I’m afraid I don’t understand. Is this just another lame excuse why you’re late for work again?”
Indignant, I assured him everything I said was true, although a teensy bit embellished.
“Mrs. Lamkin, please, just the truth from now on.”
I brushed at some run-away tears and wiped sweat that poured down my head. My day started way worse than bad; chased me in circles; and had the nerve to follow me to work.
But then something happened. ‘The Man’ giggled. And he all-out guffawed. “Mrs. Lamkin,” he snorted, “I think I believe you now.”
Dumbfounded, I asked why.
Trying to stifle giggles, he handed me a mirror.
The roly polies were back. “Ack!”
“Miss Lamkin, if you will, check out your backside next.”
The bad just got badder. I had no more words, except this one…”Ack!”
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