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April 13, 2006

Have you heard the good news?

My current knitting project is really Angelica Houston. Ya'll know. Where you sometimes think it's perfect and unusual and gorgeous, and then you look at it later and you think, "Then again... maybe not."

I'm calling it the Paris Scarf, even though all the materials for said scarf were purchased here in the Valley, and all the knitting was done right here, and there is frankly nothing Parisian about it, except that when we were in France I saw all these women walking around wearing wide scarves, and I started this scarf -- a wide Paris-inspired scarf -- the Saturday we got back from a bazillion hour flight because I was unable to get back to sleep after what can only be described as The Time I Probably Made The Emissaries Of God Real Mad At Me.

But ya'll, I was tired. And jet-lagged. And just discovered I owed taxes, and the finances, it's stressful. So the Friday night after we got back, I had myself a beer or three, and took a Tylenol PM and zonked out on my pillow with a cat on my head. The next day was Saturday, and I could sleep in, and be rested and happy and right with the world.

Knock knock.

At first I tuned it out. Then I tried to open one crusty eyelid, glued stuck with mascara from the day before because I was hateful tired and no, I did not properly remove my mascara (Whatever Happened To Baby Jane!) and I dragged myself out of bed to peer through the window for signs of the intruder. When I wake up I'm completely blind without my contacts, and no amount of squinting or sighing makes things clearer.

Knock. Knock knock.

I thought it might be my neighbor Tommy. Tommy lives right next door and he's very nice, I like him a lot. He and his wife are tolerant of my loud dinner parties and slightly parched front lawn. Every now and then he'll decide that 6 a.m. is the appropriate time to knock on my door to deliver misaddressed mail or to ask me if I noticed a possum in the neighborhood. I used to answer the door, because I assumed it must be an emergency ... nobody knocks on the door before 10 a.m. unless the sky is falling! Now I know better. (Of course, Tommy goes to bed at 8 p.m. So, from time to time, I'll find myself having to knock on his door at 11 p.m. to ask about, um, possum eating habits or something truly pressing.) (Ya'll know.)

But on this particular Saturday morning there were two people on the doorstep, and neither of them was Tommy, unless Tommy had started wearing a flowered dress and navy blue pumps. My visitors did not appear to be leaving anytime soon, so me and my Baby Jane mascara answered the door.

"Hi," said Cheerful Lady #1. "Have you heard the good news?"

"No," I said. "There's good news?"

I began to perk up a little. Because, good news! Maybe some distant, unknown relative has left me ten million dollars! Or maybe Oscar de la Hoya has moved in next door and we'll start borrowing sugar from one another and before you know it I'll be wearing a white dress and picking out china patterns! Or maybe, just maybe, the city of Los Angeles has finally decided to re-pave the street I live on! (There is a greater chance that I will become a multi-millionaire and marry Oscar de la Hoya than getting the street re-surfaced. But I am a dreamer, and also I am delusional. And tired.)

Good news! Why, that's a reason to wake up!

"Right on," I said. "Good news. So what is it?"

"Well," said Cheerful Lady #2, "Jesus Christ died on the cross so that you may live eternal life!"

"You're kidding me?" I said.

"Oh no," said Cheerful #1. "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave his life for you."

"So there's no suprise inheritance?"

The fog of sleep hadn't cleared yet. Surely she wasn't waking me up at my house on a Saturday morning before 9 a.m. and this is her good news? I've read the papers, ya'll, and Jesus died a while back. I mean, I'm Catholic, I'm pretty aware that JC isn't running a taco shop on 7th Street. This is not news, people. You do not need to go around waking up strangers to state the obvious. I'm not going to show up at their house next Tuesday evening at midnight to announce that Paris Hilton is still tacky. You know?

Nobody said anything for a minute. So I asked them again. "There's no million dollars?"

"Um..." Cheerful #1 looked confused.

"There's no Oscar de la Hoya?" I asked.

"No...." she said.

"There's no sugar and white dress and little rosebud bouquet?"

They looked at me. "Well..." "Ahm..."

"And you mean to tell me that no one is paving my street today?" I was having trouble with this one. This was not what my tiny sleep-addled possibly hung-over jetlagged mind could compute.

"Um, no, honey, maybe we'll just come back at a better time when you're..ahm.. more... " said Cheerful #2.

"... yes, yes, when you're more, prepared..." chimed in Cheerful #1. Who, by the way, wasn't looking quite as cheerful as she had upon arrival.

But I was awake by now. I was! "It's the potholes, really..." I said, "I mean, I would put forth some prayer on that subject, if ya'll drove here and all you should have seen 'em, and so maybe ya'll could ask JC about it? Because multiple calls to the city have produced zero results and ya'll I do believe in reviving Valley Seccession if... hey. Wait a sec, where ya'll going? I mean we should talk about this...."

They left so fast they were practically running, with their flowered dresses flapping and their navy blue pumps clopping off on the sidewalk.

"That wasn't good news," I announced to their rapidly shrinking backs. "That wasn't good news at all!"

And I was awake, so I made some coffee, and I started knitting Angelica Houston. I'll put up some pictures when I'm done. And, in case you're wondering, we still have potholes on my street that could swallow a small child. That is not good news at all!

Posted by laurie at April 13, 2006 9:50 AM