When we were in the process of moving, I told Collin about another move I'd made just out of college. A friend and I had an apartment that had been nothing but trouble from the get-go. An example of how bad this place was: one day, the toilet overflowed. In the kitchen, directly below the offending toilet, the ceiling began to bulge like a Jiffy Pop pan on a hot burner. I called maintenance. They sent a guy who walked into the kitchen, looked at the bulge--and punctured it. Toilet water, all over the kitchen.
We moved out almost immediately.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. My mother was assembling the merchandise for a big yard sale. Among the more interesting items were two catsuits, one red and one purple, and two faux fur coats, one brown and one purple. They were the ugliest things I'd ever seen--but my former roomie and I decided to try them on, promising to launder them before The Big Day.
"We look like a couple of cheap streetwalkers," she decided.
I disagreed. "I wouldn't be caught dead on the street in this crap."
It was at that moment that we remembered we had to get the few remaining items out of the old apartment to avoid having to pay any more rent. "There's no traffic," she said. "We should go now."
"Let me go change," I said.
"We don't need to change," she argued. "It's late, nobody's going to see us."
Famous last words.
At first, everything was fine. We arrived at the apartment, loaded everything into the trunk of her car, and headed for home. No traffic, no problem. Or so we thought.
"What was that?" I asked.
"Probably just a bump in the road," she said. (Actually, we were losing stuff from the overloaded trunk.)
I looked up. "Have you looked in the rear view mirror lately?"
There was a police car right behind us, lights flashing. "So what do we do?" she asked.
"Pull over or try to outrun him," I suggested.
"There's no way this heap's gonna outrun him. I'd better pull over."
"Remember what I said about not being caught dead in this fashion disaster?" I asked.
"Dead would have been a whole lot less embarrassing."
We stopped in the parking lot of a service station, the police car right behind us. "I'm not getting out of this car," I said.
"We may not have a choice."
"You go see what he wants."
"It's your car, idiot."
So, as my father was asking my mother where "Lucy and Ethel" had gone, Lucy and Ethel were getting busted.
"Ethel" got out of the car and went back to the police cruiser in her purple catsuit and fur. "You ever had a ticket?" the officer asked.
"Well, you've got one now."
You'd think seeing her in that ridiculous getup would have prompted him to show just a little sympathy, wouldn't you?