My Week 21 – New Worst Case Scenarios, I Bond With A Chair

Wednesday: I think of new worst case scenarios

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I always plan for worst case scenarios. In fact, if you’ll remember, in an earlier blog I talked about buying T a book called The Little Book of Worst Case Scenarios so that even he, as a young child, could start to plan for disasters. After years of careful consideration and planning, I felt ready for almost anything, even escaping from a burning bus. For example, I have a hammer in the cupboard in my bathroom, which prompted Ken to ask, “Why do you have a hammer in the bathroom?” Answer: in case there’s a fire and I have to smash the bathroom window, crawl out onto the porch roof and smash T’s window from the outside to help him escape (don’t worry about Ken—in this scenario, he’s helping rescue the dog and cat, and will make it out safely with them. And maybe even the fish, if he has time). Here’s another example–there’s a wheelbarrow over the pond so that Titus doesn’t fall through the snow into the frigid water. This happened to our previous dog, prompting a very heated argument which had followed this earlier argument:

Ken: I’m going to dig a 3-foot deep pond.
Me: Don’t be ridiculous. Someone will fall in and drown.
Ken: No one is going to fall in. You’re worrying for no reason. It needs to be deep so the fish can survive the winter.
Me: I’m serious. Please, I’m begging you, don’t make it so deep.
Ken: I’m totally disregarding your emotions and I’m going to do what I want. Screw you. (OK, he didn’t actually say any of THAT, but by continuing to dig a 3 foot deep pond despite my objections, it seemed like that was what he was telling me).

6 months later, we let the dogs out into the back yard. The pond was covered by a healthy layer of snow, and about ten minutes later, we realized that we couldn’t see one of the dogs, the really old one with bad arthritis. Yes, she had fallen into the pond, and it was too deep for her to climb out. Ken rushed outside and rescued her, prompting this heated argument, which I will sum up in one sentence:

Me: OMFG!! I TOLD you this would happen!! And the fish are all DEAD!!

Hence the wheel barrow which straddles the pond all winter. I also have a baseball bat under my side of the bed. This is the scenario for the baseball bat: we wake up in the middle of the night to strange noises coming from downstairs. Ken offers to investigate. He puts on his housecoat and goes down with the dog, who is clearly agitated. I wait, wracked with fear. There are shouts, commotion, then nothing. The intruder has tied both Ken and the dog up, and is taunting them as he steals our stuff. I quietly get the baseball bat out from under the bed and sneak downstairs. The intruder has his back to me. Ken sees me, but luckily, he’s gagged so he can’t do what he would normally do and say something like, “Why do you have a baseball bat?!” At this point, I swing, connect with the intruder’s head, and down he goes. I free Ken, and Titus, we tie up and gag the intruder, and then we call the police. Ta dah! T, of course, has slept through the whole thing, which is why he doesn’t appear in this scenario.

So you see, I have everything carefully planned. Until now. Just when I thought I finally had it all figured out, I started living in a high rise building on the 27th floor during the week, which has led to a whole new set of worst case scenarios. For example, I now have a balcony. Everyone was like, Awesome, you have a balcony—I’ll bet you can’t wait until it’s nice enough to sit out there. Are you f-ing kidding me? Do you think there’s ANY way I will EVER sit out on a precipice that is over 300 feet from the ground? And here’s why. It occurred to me that the balcony figures prominently in several worst case scenarios, which I am slowly working my way through. Here’s the one I solved on Wednesday night, as I lay awake listening to the baby next door screaming like it was being throttled (it wasn’t, of course; when I politely enquired after its health in the morning, the mother told me they were “sleep training” him, and he was very unhappy about it. Oh yeah? I’ll bet he wasn’t as unhappy as me.) Anyway, I suddenly had this horrible thought that, say, I did take someone’s advice and try to grow pots of basil on the balcony. I go out there to water my plants, and somehow the door closes and locks behind me. I don’t know how that would actually happen, but say that it did. What now? I’m stuck on a 27th floor balcony, wearing only pajamas (because that’s what I was wearing when I started trying to solve this problem). Option A: Scream for help. No, because I’m 27 floors up. No one on the ground can hear me, and the neighbours’ eardrums have been damaged by their ‘unhappy’ child. Option B: Take off an article of clothing to wave around and attract attention. Well, I’m only wearing pajama bottoms and a T-shirt—which one do I use? I guess I have to decide HOW MUCH attention I actually want. But who will see me that high up anyway? Option C: Start tossing the basil pots down to the ground until someone looks up and sees me (either topless or pantless) and calls the cops. This solution is unlikely because my experience with Torontonians so far is that most of them are completely self-absorbed and oblivious to the world around them (we’ll get to that later). No, the only sure thing is Option D: Keep an extra hammer out on the balcony. Then I can smash the glass in the patio door and get back into my condo. The hammer people must love me. Not only do I have several scattered around my house, now I’ll have to buy some for Toronto as well. I should probably put one in my desk drawer at work too, just in case. Next up, how do I survive having a giant crane smash into my building? I saw this on an episode of ‘House’—it COULD happen in real life, and it’s always better to have a plan, am I right? *

Thursday: I buy a chair, Toronto style

On Wednesday, I decided that I needed a comfy chair for my condo. I have a loveseat and two kitchen chairs, but people come over and they need somewhere soft to sit too (which is not to say I’m a bad hostess and hog the loveseat—I always say, “There’s room on here for two”, but most people want their own space). I went to Marshall’s and saw something that was decent, but I didn’t know how to get it back to my condo. I decided on Thursday though, to go back and find out what their delivery policy was. It was a brutally cold day, so I went through the labyrinth of indoor and underground malls that can take you from where I live almost to the Eaton Centre. There just happened to be a Brick in the first building, and I thought, what the heck, let’s see what they have. Well, weren’t they having a fantastic sale?! I found a chair that I really liked and the best part was that it was a clearance floor model—half the price of the one at Marshall’s. So I said to the sales guy, an East Indian man in his late 50s, “I really like this chair, but I don’t know how to get it back to my condo.” He asked me where I lived, and when I told him, “About 300 feet down the street and around the corner”, he said, “No problem-I can call you a taxi van.” I was like What? But he assured me that this was all perfectly acceptable. He called a cab company, told them we needed a van to move some ‘cargo’ and they said they’d be there in 15 minutes, but that it would be a $10 charge. I was like “Hells, yeah.” So in about ten minutes, his phone rings—it’s the cab driver calling to say that the side of the street in front of the Brick in closed for repairs so he’ll have to park on the other side of the street. The sales guy says sure, then looks at me and says, and I kid you not, “We have to take the chair across the street. It’s not heavy but it’s a bit awkward so I need you to help me carry it.” So we get it down a flight of stairs, out the door, and the next thing I know, I am racing across 4 lanes of traffic, me and the sales guy holding this chair aloft to keep it out of the slush. When I realize that I’m less than 200 feet from the back door of my building, he says, “Too bad we called the taxi—we could have just carried it there ourselves.” But then the taxi came, and he and the driver loaded it in. We shook hands, and he thanked me for my business. I love this guy and would totally buy more furniture from him. But then I got to my building, and I realized that not everyone is as nice as the sales guy from the Brick. The taxi driver helped me get it through the door into the lobby, where I said to the concierge, “Is it OK if I take this into the elevator without having it booked first? He said no problem, then went back to his newspaper. So there I was, in my lobby, by myself, with a big-ass chair. I looked around—there were two people sitting in the lobby chairs waiting for rides. No one looked up. I started to drag the chair across the lobby. No one looked up. The concierge kept reading his newspaper. I opened the security door and tried to hold it open while I struggled to get the chair through. No one looked up, not even the woman sitting right next to the door who I ‘accidentally’ whacked with my purse. I finally got the chair through the door and dragged it onto the elevator. When I got up to my floor, thank god there was carpeting so it was easier to drag it down the hall. I put it in place, stood back and admired it, and the fact that I had gotten it up there all by myself. And if my building ever WAS hit by a giant crane, I would make sure that the chair escaped with me. We’ve been through too much together for me to leave it behind.

*Congratulations to my cousin, who just had a baby. And after talking to my aunt a few minutes ago, I think I need a plan in case someone has a baby in my car, because that almost happened to them on Thursday—they got to the hospital with 22 minutes to spare. I’m thinking blankets, a blow-up mattress, a container of wet wipes—yeah, I better do some research.

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