M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, March 05, 2003  

Scarf Down

My younger sister, the one who lives in New Jersey, gave me the coolest scarf in the world for Christmas. It was a good twelve feet long. I could wrap it loosely around my neck and still have the ends dangle down below my waist. If the cold got too severe—and it has—I could wrap a length around the lower part of my face and prevent my saliva from freezing inside my mouth. And it’s got multicolored stripes in yellow, purple, blue, and green so it looks like I got shot head-first through a circus tent. It was awesome.

No, I’m not confusing my tenses. Let me explain.

Monday morning is when the garbage and recycling trucks come through our neighborhood. Thus we like to have the bins out by the curb on Sunday night, because we have enough panicked haring around the house to do on Monday morning without carting the week’s refuse around on top of it.

This past Sunday night, I was in the process of gathering the trash from various receptacles around the house. We’d just gotten home from my mom’s birthday dinner and I still had my coat and scarf on. I figured I might as well get it done and finish up all of my outside-going for the evening as quickly as possible because although March did indeed come in like a lamb here in Minnesota, it came in like a seriously pissed-off lamb with a freeze-ray. So, like I said, I was making my way around the house and emptying the wastebaskets. The one in the bathroom is a bit tricky, as it’s a small container that we wedge between the toilet and the wall. I dumped it into a plastic bag without spilling too much of it on the floor, then wrestled it back into its niche.

At this point, I happened to glance down. My scarf was doing something it’s not supposed to do. It was dripping. Yes, in the course of bending over, I had dipped the ends of my beautiful scarf into the shitbowl.

Okay, it could have been worse. We don’t operate on the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow,” philosophy, and it hadn’t been that long since the toilet had seen a healthy shot of cleaning goo and a brush. But there are some dried liquids you don’t want hanging from your neck when you walk around in public, and toilet water—even clean toilet water—easily makes my top fifty.

So, off to the washing machine. I checked the little label on the scarf for instructions. Because that’s what I do. I read labels when I do laundry, because having my favorite shirt shrink to Trash-size once in my life was quite enough, thank you. But all I saw on the scarf’s label was a collection of cryptic icons with “X”es drawn through them. I examined them seriously: “Do not put in a blender. Check. Do not wear inside a teepee. Check. No parking. What? Do not iron. Yeah, as if.” Maybe I should have just brought it to the dry cleaners the next day, but living for two or three days without my scarf seemed only slightly preferable to wearing it while it was all toilet-y. And so, satisfied that cold water and the gentle cycle couldn’t do too much damage, I dropped it in and let ‘er rip.

After the spin cycle, it looked a little weird. The edges were kind of curly and there were these little woofies hanging off of it. That was new. I hoped that some time in the dryer on “delicate” mode would take care of that. I went to work on Monday with no scarf at all, and the minute I got home I went downstairs to see how it had fared in the dryer.

Well, it was dry, at least. But it was wrong, somehow. I gingerly took it out, draped it over my neck—

It reached my waist. Without the neck wrap. My twelve-foot scarf had shrunk to barely seven feet. And once you’ve had twelve, you can never go back to seven. As many former porn stars will agree.

In a state of considerable consternation, I showed it to Trash and told her what had happened. She looked at me as if to say, “you poor, dumb bastard.” “Fix it,” I begged, tugging on the abbreviated ends of my unnaturally abridged scarf.

I sent an e-mail to my sister, the text of which consisted primarily of “Aaaaaaaaaah! Aaaaaaaaaah! Aaaah!” I explained the situation and asked if she could get me another one, since she’s in New Jersey and I’m not. I mean, yeah, I’m going to be on the East Coast myself in a couple of weeks, but that’s a couple of weeks too late. I need it now.

Her response said she got it in Toronto. I’m not going to be in Toronto until May, if at all, and that does me almost no good whatsoever. I was already thinking, “Hmm, whom do I know in Toronto?” when I got to the part about how my sister got it at a store that has outlets here in the Twin Cities. Hooray!

But here’s the thing. I haven’t been able to make it to said store yet. And its website is so slow it recalls the days when I connected to AOL via a 1400-baud modem. I haven’t called the store either. I’m kind of afraid to. I mean, they sold my sister that scarf at least eleven weeks ago. If I call and say, “Hey, do you have any freakishly long scarves with Yellow Submarine color schemes?” and the slacker-drone on the other end says no, I’m going to be inconsolable. If I go there and can’t find a replacement, I’m going to be inconsolable. And I’m going to have a very cold neck until Easter. Right now I’m in this state of limbo where I can still get my scarf back, at least in my head. But I can’t protract that limbo for very long, or it’ll end for sure.

Oh, and apparently the world is on the brink of war or something, but whatever. I’ve got my own problems, you know.

UPDATE: The store had the scarf. Now they have one less. Yay!

posted by M. Giant 3:47 PM 0 comments


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