Monday, October 7, 2013

Moving, zombies and the unfortunate raspberry sorbet incident

            Zombies invaded Portland last October. I witnessed it--and survived.

I'll tell you a little secret: Zombies scare me spitless.

Are you with me on this? Or are you one of those people who is not creeped out by zombies?

You know that supposedly hilarious British zombie movie, "Shaun of the Dead?" To most people, it's a classic zombie comedy. To me, "zombie comedy" is an oxymoron. When the zombie action got too intense, I ran around breathing heavily. I screamed. Multiple times. Zombies are seriously scary.

Moving is scary too. And it's hard, hard labor. I ought to know. I'm the maven of moving. The diva of downsizing. The cheerleader for change. I get Frequent Mover Miles from U-Haul.

Recently my landlord raised my rent, pricing me out of the rental he refused to maintain or upgrade. So I moved rather than live through another stifling summer in that sauna. Thankfully, I had the help of many friends, my daughter, and this time--professional movers--to accomplish the move on a sweltering summer day.

The day after moving day, cleanup day, was even hotter. With my security deposit at stake, my dear friend, Holly, and I spent hours scrubbing in that hot-as-Hades duplex. As a treat, I'd bought a pint of raspberry sorbet to eat when we finished. I'd scrubbed the fridge and stuck the sorbet in the freezer. The unplugged freezer. And forgot about it.

I was wearing my Moving Pants, light khaki cargo pants with big pockets, and plenty of them. Moving Pants are essential on both moving day and cleanup day for keeping track of all the last-minute stuff I ran across: the key to the new apartment. The hardware to assemble my bed. The missing knob from a dresser. By the end of the day, the pockets of my Moving Pants were stuffed with essential odds and ends I'd need at the new place.

With much shoving and prodding, I crammed into my Subaru the last load: vacuum cleaner, broom, mop, bucket and household stuff, a strawberry pot and yard stuff that was left. It didn't all fit. Dear Holly took a load in her van. I'd pick it up later. 

Then I remembered my raspberry sorbet. I retrieved it from the unplugged freezer. It was liquid sorbet. I didn't have a garbage bag and the garbage to the dump already had been picked up. I'd have to take it with me. Holding the melted sorbet in one hand, I gingerly climbed into the packed car and looked for a secure place for it. I set it down next to me, atop a stack of stuff. Dumb, I know.

I started the car, rounded the first corner, and SPLAT! The sorbet container tipped, and melted sorbet cascaded onto my khaki pants, spreading a dark red stain, much like blood.

Arriving at my new place, Wisteria Cottage, in a very nice suburban neighborhood, I got out of the car. My tan Moving Pants were soaked in what appeared to be blood. I must have been a sight for the well-heeled neighbors, who undoubtedly were watching from behind their curtains, aghast that an unkempt murderess was moving into the neighborhood.

A few nights later, I was eating dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend, who live next door to the cottage. I was just beginning to know the tempo of life at Wisteria Cottage, which had no bathroom. I had to brave the elements, even in the dark of night, to use the facilities next door in my daughter's house.

"Do you like zombie movies?" Casey asked me, popping a movie into the DVD player.

"Not really," I said. "Zombies are scary."

"No, this is 'Zombieland,' a funny zombie movie," he said.

"Uh-huh. Right."

It started. I tensed up. I flinched. And it was only the opening credits. I bravely watched seven minutes of the movie until I could take no more and excused myself from the scary zombie comedy, and walked briskly to Wisteria Cottage.

That night, when nature called, I willed myself NOT to think about zombies. Zombies in the dark yard, just waiting for a middle-aged maven of moving on a midnight pilgrimage to the bathroom to wander unsuspecting into bloodthirsty zombies.I ran to the bathroom that night. If any zombies were lurking about the yard, they couldn't catch me.

But I made a vow that moonless night: No more zombie movies for me.

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