Take Me To Church, Lady

I’m getting frustrated with my car phone lady. The voice recognition system has no trouble with very complex names like Donna-Louise Martin, Suzanne Work, or Jeff Goldblum (yes, sometimes he texts me, and it’s really him, it really is), but when I say ‘Ken’, this inevitably happens:

Car Phone Lady: Ready.
Me: Call.
Car Phone Lady: Please say the name or number to call.
Me: Ken.
Car Phone Lady: Did you say ‘Karen’?
Me: No.
Car Phone Lady: Did you say ‘Joe’?
Me: NO! Ken. Call Ken!
Car Phone Lady: OK. Calling ‘Maria’.

So I edited my contact so that Ken’s name shows up as ‘Kenneth’, thinking that it was the one-syllable thing that was confounding her, but it made no difference. Every single goddamn time, it’s “Did you say ‘Kenneth’?” until I’m yelling “OBVIOUSLY, YOU ROBOTIC WENCH! IT’S ALWAYS KENNETH!!”

Aside from that, the only thing that happened last week was that last Tuesday, around two o’clock in the morning, Atlas woke up and started losing his sh*t, barking out the window. Ken and I woke up and Ken rushed to the window overlooking the church across the street that was recently sold and is being renovated:

Ken: It looks like someone’s trying to tip over the porta-potty from the construction site across the street!
Me: Tipping it over?! At this time of night? Are they drunk?!
Ken: I think they’re actually trying to steal it! They just loaded it onto their flatbed!
Me: Should we call the police? Wait—did you say ‘flatbed’? What kind of people drive around with a flatbed looking for porta-potties to steal?
Ken: They’re…driving it around the corner and unloading it. I think they’re just moving it.
Me: I should call the police on them just for being a-holes. Two o’clock in the morning—seriously?

Of course, the next day, I saw the guy who’s renovating the church, a very nice man, and he was shocked to learn that the company he’d hired to bring the potty, and who had already put it in the wrong spot a few days prior, had chosen the wee hours to relocate it. But this wasn’t the first time there have been shenanigans at the church across the street.

We live kitty-corner to two churches—I call them the “Platform Diving Jesus Church” and “The Other Church”. As you may guess, I don’t attend either of them. I got their names from the fact that a few years ago, the doors of the church directly across from us were painted with an angel on one side, and Jesus on the cross on the other, both in gold paint. It looks very nice up close, but from far away, it looks like Jesus is about to dive off a cliff or whatnot.

Am I right?

Anyway, from my bathroom window, I could see five men standing around a piano which was sitting on a flat cart on the church walkway. It looked like they had just unloaded it from a rather small mini-van—a feat unto itself, I would imagine. I could hear yelling, so I opened my balcony door. The men had surrounded the piano and were having a very loud discussion in what sounded like German. Were they an angry yet musical Saxon mob intent on a good sacking? After a few minutes though, it seemed like their intention was to put the piano INSIDE the church. And I say ‘seemed’ because they kept just wandering around the piano, staring at it dubiously, and talking a lot. I had nothing better to do, and it was a beautiful sunny morning, so I went out onto the balcony to watch.

After a lot more Germanic discussion, the youngest-looking guy ran over to the mini-van and brought out a long strap, which he looped around the piano. ‘Here we go,’ I thought. Nope. They all just stood back and stared at the piano again. I wanted to yell, “Just push the damn thing, for Christ’s sake!” which seemed appropriately church-y, but then the guy ran back to the mini-van. He reappeared with what looked like a gas can and at first I thought maybe they were going to set the piano on fire and claim an angel spoke to them from within it, like a ‘burning bush-type scenario’, so that they could blame God for not getting it inside the church. However, it was only a toolkit. The young guy took out a hammer and started hammering at something while the rest just stood around. One of the other men put his hood up, like he didn’t want to be recognized, and frankly I don’t blame him because I was at the point where I just wanted to march over and push the piano through the doors myself. Then the one with the hammer ran back to the mini-van and grabbed what I thought was a blanket of some kind, but it was just his coat, which he randomly donned, then he looped a harness around his shoulders and waist.

‘Aha!’ I thought. ‘He’s going to hook himself to the piano and pull it in like a team of oxen’ but again, I was disappointed. And then I was really confused because they started pushing the piano down the walkway and I had a moment where I thought they were going to take a run at the door with it, but again, NOPE. They wheeled it back towards the mini-van and I was like “What? Don’t give up Hans, Karl, Kristoff, Otto, and Gunther!” (which is what I had affectionately started to call them in my head), but then they wheeled it PAST the mini-van and kept going. Down the street. I watched until they were out of sight, then I quickly got dressed and hopped in the car to see where they went, but they, and the piano, had disappeared like some kind of biblical miracle. But then I had a terrible thought–what if I had just witnessed a crack German heist squad, not unlike the villains in Die Hard, actually ROBBING the church?! So I tried dialing 9-1-1, and the Car Phone Lady asked, “Did you say ‘Kenneth?”

37 thoughts on “Take Me To Church, Lady

  1. The Port-a-Potty thing hit home because this weekend, our one working restroom at work decided to flood. When I pulled into the lot Friday night, there were a whole row of Port-a-Pottys outside the store, and all I could think about was going back home and calling in (cough, hack) sick! The restroom was already “fixed,” though…. in quotes, because by quitting time it had started flooding again! So yesterday, for a good part of the day, all of the employees and customers at my big, huge retail store I work at were left with no place to go but the row of portable toilets lined up in front of the building! This has been the store remodel from HELL. Maybe I should pray to Platform Diving Jesus to deliver me from this evil…

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  2. Literally holy moly church heists! You see? You lead such an interesting life, you get stuff happening right in your front yard. Like German thieves stealing a church piano and a porta-potty. Now let me get this straight, your car phone lady is being a bitch and won’t recognize “‘Ken” but will recognize Jeff Goldblum? Like my autocorrect that kept changing Goldblum to Goldberg, stupid autocorrect 🤨.

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  3. I’m so glad you wrote this Suzanne! I woke up in pain this morning…long story I won’t go into…BUT, I didn’t want to take any more pain meds and I did need relief…and reading this made me laugh out loud! And, voila, no pain! I think a miracle has been performed! Church of the Diving Platform Jesus, indeed! Now you just need a small miracle for Car Phone Lady…but I think she’s just screwing with you! Mona

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  4. Thank you so much Suzanne. I have been having a weepy morning and reading your post had me clutching my stomach howling with laughter. I want to know what happened to the piano? Were you witness to a different era? Were they dressed in today’s clothing or of a time passed? You made my morning. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • They, and the piano, were never seen again! I drove up and down the streets here and not a sign of them–it took them so long to get it off the church property that there’s no way they could have gotten it into a house. All I can think is that they were musically inclined ghosts! Sorry you were weepy–sending you hugs:-)

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  5. I’m assuming they decided on a back-door heist, Suzanne. What wonderful entertainment at all hours of the day and night. And car phone lady is just as impossible over here. It would be hysterical if it wasn’t so irritating! Have a great Sunday and thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Car phone ladies are so weird. My wife’s can’t recognize the word “Mother” for instance. She says “Call Mother” and it says “Did you mean to call Carol?” Or “Multiple names were found” and none of them are her mother. I can’t figure it out since we can get phones to do so much now. Mine calls me “Spunky the Wonder Squid”. Okay, I asked it to do that but it just accepted it without any problem. I don’t understand why your car phone lady won’t just accept that you want to call Ken if you ask it “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

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    • At least it’s a step up from Ken’s vehicle, which won’t recognize any names at all–you have to say the number, which is okay if you know it, but a pain in the butt if you don’t and you’re driving! Even my Rogers remote understands me when I ask it to play the Spunky The Wonder Squid show!

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  7. Oh, no! Our car phone lady just yells the directions, which is unnerving–right in the middle of a huge traffic jam–once she wanted us to a do a U-turn in the middle of rush-hour traffic. We don’t trust her. We just don’t trust her at all.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This reminds me of my mom, who got a GPS when they first came out. My dad said he was riding with her, and the GPS was giving her directions, but Mom knew where she was going and took a different route, so the GPS was trying to correct her and she began telling GPS to “shut up, she knew where she was going.” That must have been close to 15 years ago since Mom has been gone for 11 years. Seems like technology should have improved since then

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  9. I think your car phone lady – CPL, which, yes, is corporal, so I guess that’s what we should call her – has the hots for Ken. And corporal is trying to gaslight you and turn you crazy. Once you’re locked up and outta the way, she’ll approach Ken and start wooing him. Cheers

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  10. The piano adventure reminded me of the old Laurel & Hardy short where they try to move a piano up that long flight of stairs in LA.

    I love the epic photo of the men pushing the piano on the road. They did so much prep work (e.g. a heavy enough rope and a cart that’s the right size) and then not have a game plan once the piano has been transported? Sounds a Laurel & Hardy sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

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