You know how sometimes on your way home from work you see a stranded mariachi band on the side of the freeway, and they always look so forlorn in their ruffled shirts and pencil-thin mustaches? And how they're lined up in the setting sun next to a piebald Ford Windstar with a flat tire, and one them is holding a trumpet in his hand like he's about to kick off a sweet number right there on the shoulder, with the traffic shooting by and hamburger wrappers and left socks swirling in little eddies around his feet?
And you know how you think to yourself, I'd like to help, really I would, but I'm in a hurry, and besides, there's no room in this car for a stand-up bass and eight sombreros?
So you stay in the fast lane, avoiding mariachi eye contact, and then you spend the next two weeks daydreaming about how cool it would have been to have a whole band in your car, the backseat ringing with grateful "AY YA YAY YA!" s and rhythmic guitar?
Only it's too late now, so add another regret to your pile?
I know. I've been there. I learned this one the hard way a couple of weeks ago. I don't normally pick up people off the side of the road, but murders committed by mariachi bands are statistically insignificant, and I think this time I missed out on a chance for true philanthropic joy. It's a decision I'm going to have to live with.
Also today I let down an entire Japanese restaurant. I was getting out of my car, and all the waitresses inside, suburban white girls in red satin kimonos and wooden sandals with athletic socks (authentic!), spotted me through the plate glass window and reached simultaneously for a stack of menus before I even reached the sidewalk. Only I was actually going next door to buy a trumpet (which should have been some kind of sign, now that I think about it) so then they all put the menus back sadly, their gaze following me down the sidewalk. When I came out from next door they perked up until they saw it was me, and then went back to standing in the empty restaurant, their eyes scanning, scanning the horizon for someone who wanted their dumplings.
I could see the desperation, but I just wasn't hungry. It wasn't them, it was me. I almost went in to explain, but it seemed like leading them on.
I'm not sure where I'm really going with all this, but it probably has something to do with the candy corn self-medicating I've been doing all day, or the fact that tomorrow in my birthday, and that's always a time for reflection, and also candy corn, if your birthday happens to be in October.
Another regret I have is leaving you, my valiant readers, with a three-month old cliffhanger while I was out ignoring wedding singers on the interstate . Probably you've been a little bit tortured with the need to know how my neighbor boy's hair was stolen and if you suffered any insomnia or restless leg syndrome, I apologize.
The truth is, it's a mystery about the hair. One day the neighbor boy came over with a big shaved spot on his head about the size of a grapefruit.
"What happened to your hair?" I asked.
"Someone stole it," he said. "I just woke up this morning and it was ga-hn."
"You're kidding! Do you have any idea who would, um, steal your hair?"
"Nope," he said. " I'm kind of hungry right now. Do you got a cheese sandwich?"
So that's pretty much all I know.
My son whittled me a three-inch canoe as a birthday gift and it's very, very pointy, so there's that, and also the dog just strolled by wearing something foul he rolled in in the yard, which is a perfect opportunity to have some canine-bathing bonding time and also launch my canoe on its maiden voyage.
Next time I'll try to remember to tell you about the lawn flamingo thieves that have been stalking our neighborhood. But if I forget, at least you have the consolation of knowing it could be worse; I could have left you stranded on the freeway in your huaraches and shiny pants. You're welcome.