One night, when we were having dinner at Lori and Joe’s house, Lori told us this little story that almost made us pee our pants. It’s a classic Lori story — it shows both how insanely naive she is about the world and how much charming ability she has to poke fun at herself. Lori told us that she and Joe had been out driving somewhere and they observed a man walking by the side of the road carrying a shovel. The shovel wasn’t empty. The man was carrying a cat in the shovel. And Lori, who has the kind of disposition that didn’t let her even consider the fact that maybe the cat had been hit by a car and was dead, said to Joe, “Oh look, he’s giving that cat a shovel ride!”
Those are the two funniest words in our house now: shovel ride. They never fail to make us laugh.
Yesterday, Andy drove to Spokane so he could surprise his dad with an unannounced visit. Andy’s dad, Alden, turns 80 tomorrow, so we cooked up a plan that allowed Andy to get out of town for a couple of days and surprise his dad with his presence (my presents were books, of course).
Alden lives in a condo building that has a video camera in the lobby and one of those buzzer intercom things so you can contact the resident and then get buzzed into the elevator area. Andy wanted to keep his identity a secret until he saw Alden face to face so Lily suggested that he pretend that he was delivering a package and hope that Alden didn’t check the video image when Andy rang the intercom buzzer from the lobby. Just to be safe, Andy covered the video camera lens with his hand when he called his dad and used a funny accent to say, “Hello, this is UPS. I have a package for you!” Alden was suspicious and said, “I can’t see you. It looks like something is blocking the camera.” Andy stayed in character and said, “Oh, is there a camera? I don’t see a camera! I have this package for you!” Alden went ahead and buzzed Andy in. When Andy got off the elevator on his dad’s floor, he saw him standing down the hallway. Andy and Alden haven’t seen each other in months. But here’s the first thing Alden said, in all seriousness, “Hey, did you see a guy down there trying to deliver a package?”
Lily and I both had a good laugh over this story when Andy told it to us over the phone last night. We talked about it one more time before Lily went to bed. Then Lily said, “Yeah, that’s a funny story, but it’s no shovel ride.”