Okay, well, here’s how today went so far. Got up and drove to Mt. Vernon and then Pataskala for work reasons, then came home and deal with a Level Five Vomit Situation (that’s the bad kind, prolific and projectile) in the Honda CRV. As the Parent Who Can’t Smell, vomit is usually my department.
So that’s a box of baking soda and then a half a roll of paper towels and then a trip to the gas station to stink up their industrial shop vac for a buck twenty-five. I felt a little bad about it, since the reason I wasn’t using my own was that I figured it would then smell like vomit forever, so I went to BP and used theirs. I figure any time anyone on the planet needs to unload some vomit, BP’s got it coming.
I’m going to try not to dwell on the vomit, but I need you to understand, this took an hour and a trip to the store for an additional box of baking soda, and God knows if I got the smell out of there.
Then a series of normal Dad errands – back to the store for a bag of salt, spread it on the sidewalks. Back through Giant Eagle for some Pizza hut cards and Fuel Perks. Gas in both vehicles and dogs walked. Bark at the children – shocking news, I don’t like it when you all lounge around on top of piles of garbage in the living room, so up, up, up. Clean, clean, clean.
Pretty soon it’s four o’clock and the Tiny Girl’s 13th birthday is today, so of all the places she could have picked for dinner, she’s chosen Pizza Hut. Fine, but if I’m going to Pizza Hut with six 13-year-old girls, then the blogosphere’s coming with me. I would tell you to stay quiet but it doesn’t matter. We sound like a truckload of howler monkeys crashed through the wall of the place.
Not very busy, either. Just an old Angry Couple in one booth, and then a table full of twentysomething who for some reason look annoyed that a bunch of kids are coming to Pizza Hut. Let me tell you something you little hipsters when I was your age I wasn’t hanging out at freaking Pizza Hut on a Saturday night so maybe look inward, you know?
But to be fair, we are even irritating me. The sounds that a group of 13-year-old girls makes kind of reminds me of watching bacteria multiply in a petri dish. First some tentative jokes and then some giggling and then some louder jokes and then some cackling and then Dueling jokes and then donkey sounds and boat horns and explosions. Eventually I tell them all to keep it down and they looked shocked and then the mystic cycle begins again.
Now the Angry Couple keeps looking at us – Pizza Hut’s apparently for old people and hipsters but not kids. I can think of one table that needs to go down to the Short North and one table that needs to head over to the Cracker Barrel.
The waiter doesn’t like to talk. That’s about the bottom rung, as far as waiting jobs go, so you kind of expect that at Pizza Hut. I try to think of him as an intern and I nod at him a lot and use encouraging facial expressions.
It turns out he’s crapping himself because the Angry Couple keeps complaining about everything. Now they just sent their pizza back and they’re arguing with the manager about whether or not there’s anything wrong with it. The manager really, earnestly thinks that the problem is, they ordered the wrong kind.
Ooops now the Angry Wife just caught me listening and staring. She practically flips me off. Yikes, that looks absolutely miserable.
Now another couple comes in and they sit almost directly across from us despite the ten other available tables, and then start glancing over at the strangely loud and chattery table full of girls. I shoot them with my finger and click my cheek and get nothing – nothing!
You’ll be proud to know that I do NOT order a beer. God knows I want one. But let’s do a little parenting here, shall we? I also will enjoy one of these Soda Pops you speak of.
All right now they’re all stuffing their faces, that makes a little bit of quiet. I go ahead and try the wings, which are best described as crispy and creepy. Do I get them in my belly, though? You bet your ass I do.
Suddenly I get informed that we’re supposed to stop by Giant Eagle and buy an enormous cookie bigger than any of our heads and that they have someone there who will write Happy Birthday Ellen on it. I start loading little girls into the car like sacks of mulch, then slap down my Pizza Hut cards and pay for everything, then we’re off.
The lady who writes on cookies doesn’t seem to like it very much. She asks me how to spell Ellen and then tries to get away with putting one balloon on there. Whoa, I tell her. Get that icing gun out and load that thing up with icing balloons before the seven of us bust this place up for real. I’m not even kidding, we’ll burn this joint right to the ground and don’t think we won’t.
Yes, she most certainly does agree to put more balloons on it. I don’t blame her, either.