A rogue wave is something that happens when regular waves get on the same wavelength and combine into a freakishly huge wave that crashes down on happy little boats. What makes them even more sinister is the fact that the waves may be travelling just right to cancel one another until that split second where they don’t. Boom. Rogue waves pop out of nowhere and vanish into nothing with only the eyewitness account of the survivors to tell the tale.
About a week ago we decided to get rid of our piano. A few hours on Facebook and someone had laid claim to the giant wooden music box. To be picked up Sunday at 7:00. Sweet. Little did I know, at 7:30, I would be standing in my living room wondering what story the survivors would tell to the rest of the world.
Per Underdaddy standard house cleaning policy: visiting people requires at least three of the rooms to appear clean. We spent some solid prep time getting our mess shoveled into other parts of the house. We folded up Toby’s play pen and set it in the corner of the room while Toby’s sleeping bag hung from the gate between the living room and the kitchen. We also decided that it would make the pickup easier to have the piano scooted out into the middle of the living room.
I don’t know what exactly happens in a child’s brain when their habitat is rearranged but it appears that they lose their freaking minds. They ran in circles in the very spot where the piano had been sitting. It was like the blank space on the floor was a dear friend that had moved away but came back to visit. It is 6:00 and the kids are playing themselves stupid over the rearranged floor space.
The Diapered Dog is whining about something. She whines constantly. Food, water, pee, thought she heard something, wanting to go to bed, nervous that the kids are screaming. Who knows? I just treat her like a newborn and feed her then change her diaper. Given our schedule of 7:00 I do the same for Toby. I realize that I have more animals in diapers than children. It is a strange moment. No time to ponder it because it is 6:30 and the grandparents show up with lasagna.
As they walk in the house I notice gathering clouds on the horizon. This is what we call in the industry “foreshadowing”. The radar on weather.com confirms a popup shower over our part of town. The brave men who are picking up the piano assure me that the rain is no concern. 6:45.
The children eat lasagna and drink Sprite which may not have caffeine but somehow still works like cocaine. All four kids are strung out with marinara stains around their mouths running like hyper zombies at a brain eating festival. Running circles around the piano. Squealing like scared piglets. I’m exhausted just writing about them.
7:00 – the music movers arrive and come into the house to assess the heavy lifting. In my living room are five grown men, two grown women, four small girls, a dog, and a wallaby hanging in a bag. I should mention that the dog is twelve years old. She has a history of a medical condition called “old floppy dog vagina” where she leaks pee in spurts but she also evacuates her body when she is very nervous.
She is very nervous at 7:05. Time to play moral decision… It is raining outside and her diaper is about to erupt into the floor. We have put lots of time and effort into a façade of a clean house. We pull the diaper off the dog and push her out the back door into the rain. See peers at me through her cataracts and the drizzling rain as I shut the door. I turn around and feel the weight of my rogue wave crashing all around us. Dirty lasagna plates, soggy diapers, and the blank stares of confused adults who are unable to hear themselves think.
7:10 and finally the piano is out on the front door stoop. The menfolk are outside the house and I close the door behind us. Beautiful silence. This is where the difference between men and women becomes well defined. The four of us are all fathers to what adds up to about eleven or twelve girls. Men don’t count our exact number of kids we just know one, two, or several. Nothing is mentioned about the madness we all emerged from five seconds beforehand. The biggest discussion is about how we will load the piano and if there are enough straps. Thank you gentlemen for your quiet understanding.
I have no doubt they all got back in the truck and thought out loud, “Holy shit. What was that maelstrom?” There were probably some “Thank God that isn’t my house” thoughts or “Why doesn’t he drink more vodka?” Good question. I have been looking for a new hobby and I have some spare potatoes. Vodka it is!
If you ever try to put together a good show for people and your stage crumbles beneath you, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.