I’m going back to Cali. Part 5. The attack of the toilet.


Day number four of our very last full day of our vacation, and I woke up in Becky’s house with Mini Me perky as ever and me feeling slightly hung over and seriously sleep deprived. It was my day to get up with Mini Me so all I could do was look at Poptart sleeping soundly and silently shoot invisible pretend daggers at him.

Mini Me and I made our way out to the living room when she looked up at me and said, “BobBobGoldpants.” Of course she wants to watch Spongebob. Is there anything else? I just stood there staring at Becky’s giant television and advanced sound system and wished it were Poptart’s day to get up with Mini Me. Poptart eats advanced technology for breakfast. Me, I just figured out how to use call waiting and I still manage to hang up on people. This was not good.
“BobBob,” Mini Me repeated.
“I’m working on it,” I told her. Still stuck in the exact same spot as I was minutes before, staring at the television like it was the eighth wonder of the world.
“Mommy, I want Bob Bob Goldpants!”
“I know, I know. Just give me a second,” I said, trying to clear the cobwebs off my now alcohol shrunken brain. “Just let me think.” I grabbed the remotes and started pushing buttons. Push. Nope, not it. Push. Not it either. Push. Damn it! I may have to wake up Poptart.
“Bob…Bob…”
“I know, sweetie.” Push. But unlike the other times the power came on. Ooookay, we have power. We are well on our way. I was able to locate the guide button, and while I wasn’t able to get BobBob, I did find Phineas and Ferb, which was an acceptable second.

“Are you hungry?” I asked Mini Me and she nodded so I poured her a bowl of the Cinnamon Toast crunch we brought with us while I raided Becky’s pantry and put away a good portion of her Frosted Shredded Wheat. She may be pregnant but when you’re hung over it’s every woman for herself. Just then my pregnant hero came downstairs and offered to make me some decaf. I love her. I’m not allowed to drink regular coffee anymore. If I do have caffeine, I tend to grab my neck, check my pulse, and beg the nearest person to take me to the emergency room because I will be almost 100% confident that I am having a heart attack. I’m not. It’s just that caffeine tends to send me into some gnarly panic attacks, and it can feel like I’m dying. I hate it, it sucks, oh well. Sometimes Starbucks likes to play jokes on me and gives me regular instead of decaf when I least expect it. I think they have hidden cameras in the cups and then all the employees sit back and laugh their asses off while I’m pulled over on the side of the road hyperventilating and trying to breathe into a bag just so I can drive the 5 miles to pick my daughter up at her school. Caffeine equals bad Stacy. Decaf equals good Stacy. That’s pretty much all you need to know about me.

As I’m happily drinking my decaf and enjoying my friend’s company, Poptart woke up and made his way out into the living room.
“Beck, is there a Starbucks near here?”
“You don’t have to go to Starbucks,” she told him. “We have coffee. I’ll just make you some.” So she ground up some fresh coffee for him and I refilled my cup with the decaf she already made me. I told Becky to take a seat, and that I would brew the new pot. Because my name is Stacy and I’m helpful. I dumped the old coffee grounds and washed out the filter because it’s one of those advanced coffee makers that doesn’t use paper filters. I filled the machine up with coffee and water and then stood there staring at the machine like an idiot. Oh come on, how hard can it be? I thought to myself. I pushed the button that most resembled a button you would push to brew coffee, and I walked away. Done and done. I went back into our bedroom, got dressed, got Mini Me dressed, and then packed up our stuff. I also deflated both beds with the help of Mini Me. Rolled them up into nice, neat little rolls and folded up all of the sheets. I eventually emerged from the bedroom and Poptart was still sitting on the couch without his coffee. “Do you think the coffee’s done?” he asks Becky.
“I still hear it brewing but it’s taking a really long time,” she said. By this time I’d worked my way over to the side of the kitchen and had started to pack up all of Mini Me’s drinkable yogurts and sippy cups. Becky got up and came into the kitchen to check on Poptart’s coffee.
“Huh,” she said.
“Huh?” Poptart asked.
“Wha…” I said.
We were all right.
The coffee was not percolating into the coffee pot. It had somehow missed the coffee pot all together and was spreading across her kitchen counter like the BP oil spill. It looked as if there was no hope of stopping it.
“I wonder what happened?” Becky mused. I know exactly what happened. Your advanced coffee maker was too high tech for the likes of me. But did I ask for help? No, I thought I could do it by myself. Great. As Becky began to reach for a towel to wipe it up I looked at her and said, “No, It’s my mess. Let me do it. Sorry Beck.” She just laughed as usual.

After I cleaned the kitchen up Becky offered to make Poptart another pot but Poptart politely declined out of fear of another coffee spill. We packed the car and all I had to do was pee before we headed out. I couldn’t wait just a couple more minutes until Poptart stopped at Starbucks. Nooooooo. It had to be me. I flushed the toilet and sure enough the water started rising to the top. Oh God, Please don’t do this. Not right now. Why does this always happen to me? Why couldn’t it have been Poptart or even Mini me. Or why couldn’t it have happened yesterday to someone else? Why me. I already flooded her kitchen with coffee and now I’m going to flood her bathroom with… I stood over the toilet and prayed to the toilet Gods to please stop the water before it overflowed. They must have heard my prayers because the water stopped right at the rim. I hung my head in shame, opened the bathroom, and broke the news to one of my best friends that my plumbing luck had followed me from Houston.
“I’m so sorry,” I told her.
“It’s no big deal. That toilet does it all the time. We think the pipe outside is broken.” It’s so nice of her to lie to me like that.
“I have the number of a really great plumber,” I told her shaking my head back and forth completely embarrassed. She just laughed. Again.

As we made our way out, Becky walked us to our car. We said our goodbyes knowing it would probably be a while before we get another chance to see one another. Thank God they’re leaving. I have to get Stacy out of here before my swimming pool explodes. This is what I’m pretty sure Becky was thinking. As we drove away I already missed my friend. I missed her hugs. I missed her laugh and I missed all the fun times I had with my other friends as well. It brought back a lot of good memories. Memories I will always hold dear and some very embarrassing moments I’m sure we all wish each other would forget.

It didn’t take us too long to get back to the beach and back to my dad’s and he was happy to see us. It was a beautiful day so we decided to go for a boat ride. My dad used to have a powerboat that said “Card” then had a shark behind it. But now that he’s gotten older he’s settled for an electric boat. Don’t get the idea my dad’s an old man. He can dance his ass off with his granddaughter to 70’s disco when the opportunity arises and he still rides bikes along the strand. But having a speedboat doesn’t have the same comfort level you get with the electric boat. The electric boat has a lot of seats, a canopy with windows you can shut or pull up depending on the weather and even cup holders. It’s a much nicer ride and perfect for our three year old.

We went all over the harbor and Mini me even got to see a seal. We took out our sour cream and onion potato chips and tried to tempt some fish to the surface of the water with a salty snack but they weren’t having it. And as we rode around I put my hand in the water and felt the ocean run through my fingers. I knew I had to go home tomorrow and that this was my last day but I wanted to feel the salt water hit my body at least once before I left.

Later that evening we decided to be bad and eat In and Out burgers. Animal style. Possibly the very best burgers known to man. I had just gotten off a very long vegetarian haul and decided if I was going to eat some meat I was going to go out like this. I have to tell you, it was worth every single bite. We watched the Celtics beat the Lakers in game two which was awesome considering I had grown up with my Celtic loving dad. He even had a Parrot named Larry Bird. I’m not going to lie. That was the meanest damn parrot that ever lived. He only liked my dad and trust me the feeling was mutual. When the bird finally died my dad was heartbroken while my step mom and I were secretly high fiving each other. I’m pretty sure if the real Larry Bird had met this parrot he would not have been flattered. Then we played cars with mini me until it was time for bed. Tomorrow we were going back to reality. But first, we were going to have to brave LAX.

To be continued…

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