I was stuck behind an old people shuttle bus today. On the back it said "Dept. of Aging." We have a Department of Aging? Since when? And why does my Coke taste like eggnog? It's disturbing.
Anyway. Have I ever mentioned that I hate Annapolis? I have? Have I ever told you exactly how much I hate Annapolis? I have? Have I told you lately? No? Then allow me to update you: I FRICKING HATE ANNAPOLIS AND THE WHOLE CITY CAN GO TO HELL. OH WAIT, IT ALREADY IS HELL. NEVERMIND. Consider yourselves appropriately caught up.
Several months ago a friend mentioned some Christmasy show for kids that some kid-based theatrical company puts on every year and it's so cute, yada yada yada. I figured Peawhistle would get a kick out of it, plus it included breakfast, so I signed us up. I noted well at the time that it was in Annapolis--and mind you, not the good part of Annapolis, the part you can actually escape from, but the really bad part that won't let you out. The heart of the evil if you will. I assumed that over the course of three months I could come up with some scheme that would allow me to avoid getting myself stuck in there alone. I tried everything, which is to say I emailed another woman who was going and tried to con her into carpooling, but she would have none of it. Foiled! So I printed off as many directions and maps as I possibly could before trekking into our virtual perpetual graves. I bid a loving final farewell to the Husband and Peanut; PW and I made our way out the door to our demise.
As soon as I approached The Evil's epicenter, I could sense something was wrong. My map showed two roundabouts (a traffic device with which the state of Maryland has a special love affair if you recall) near and around the capitol building--one of which would lead me to my destination, and the other to my doom. It's like I was living a storybook maze. I missed the turnoff to the roundabout that I actually wanted (why? Because Annapolis doesn't believe in properly marking its streets, remember?) and headed for the Hateful Roundabout instead. I began to swear profusely and did not cease doing so for the better part of an hour. We circled the capitol hoping to come upon the exit we needed, never once seeing it. We went up streets and down streets, not having any clue which led where. We got back on the roundabout (SAME DANG ROUNDABOUT MIND YOU) only to discover that some of the streets had changed, while others had not. I came to realize that there were not two roundabouts as promised by Mapquest, but only one mystical and possessed roundabout that constantly shifted depending upon the city's cursed whims.
The street I wanted, which I could see clearly from Lucifer's Roundabout, I could not access as it only led into the roundabout but not from it. I kept trying to drive onto various streets near to it, hoping to find a sidestreet (all of them one way streets) that would allow me to head in its direction, only to find that upon finally finding one that led the correct way it led me no where near it. I finally drove around long enough that I found my sidestreet, parked nearly right next to the Roundabout From Hell, and ran as fast as I could while dragging a four-year-old the entire length of this road to get to this breakfast fiasco. And we made it 15 minutes before they stopped serving breakfast (it having started 45 minutes before) and before they started their idiotic program, what with the kicking and the dancing and the gyrating and the Christmas Bear (?) and Christmas elves and Christmas Rat (?) and whatever.
Tangent Time. I fell asleep watching TV the other night only to waken at 4am to a standup comic talking about how much white people suck at dancing. I started gaining consciousness right around the time he said it's not so much that white people can't dance, it's just that they confuse various dancing moves and put them all together. He then proceeded with an imitation of White People Dancing (I'm assuming anyway; my eyes were still closed). Then he said, "There is one song that no white person can resist dancing to. They hear it and they immediately get up and begin dancing to it; they just can't help it." In my half-awake state I said, "YMCA." And then he said, "YMCA." (Speaking of the Village People, when the Husband was in the Navy lo these many years ago, he had a ship's captain who insisted on departing for every six-month deployment to the tune of the Village People's "In the Navy." That is, until someone told him what it was actually about. He stopped requesting it after that.) Indeed, we do love our "YMCA." Probably because you have to be a total moron to screw it up. [Fun fact: the Village People never spelled YMCA with their arms in their video. Musta been some white kid who couldn't dance who did it.] For the record, I can resist dancing to any song you care to play. Any song at all. Try it and watch me sit with my arms folded as I stare at you.
Back to our story. They had open dance time halfway through the show in which the kids could come down to the performace floor and get down and boogie with it. They played several Christmas songs. Finally they ran out of those and pulled out the non-Christmas songs. Guess which song they played first? And guess which song every fricking person in the place went wild over? And guess which song PW and I both managed to resist dancing to? And guess which song the only black guy in the entire room walked out on?
So the Christmas Show nightmare finally ended and they unchained the doors, unbarred the windows, and allowed us to finally leave. Freedom never tasted so sweet. Until I remembered we still had to get out of the city. We got in the car and headed very quietly (I think PW could instictually sense the need for silence. Especially after I threatened her if she made a sound) towards the Roundabout of Death, so as to sneak up on it and not alarm it as to our approach. We proceeded cautiously, but purposefully, through and out the other side where it told us we should go (remember, following the signs it gives you to follow are its first trick against you). But then we pulled a fast one on it and took a left shortly thereafter leading us straight to the highway! Mind you, the fact that you must turn down this street to escape is never once advertised anywhere in the city. If you were to believe its signs, you would have proceeded down the first street and immediately found yourself in The Parking Lot of Despair. You remember The Parking Lot of Despair, don't you? Of course you do.
As we were leaving with the city of horror well in our rearview mirror, a fire engine roared past us and into the heart of the city. Poor sucker, I thought. Someone finally got desperate and crashed their car just to escape. May he find himself without the confines of the Ninth Circle of Hell very soon.
Just try and resist it.