M. Giant's
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Monday, February 07, 2005  

Sibling Revelry

So I may have mentioned recently that our niece Deniece and her parents are moving back up to the Twin Cities later this year. It'll actually be at the end of this month. They've succeeded in selling their house, and they spent this weekend looking for a house to rent for the next year or so (Deniece was back in Iowa, staying with her grandma, so sadly she didn't get to give her input, which is probably good considering that her only criterion probably would have been a fireman's pole). Last night they knocked on our door to let us know that they'd found a place, and to tell us exactly how much closer to us they were going to be living now.

I won't pretend that we weren't disappointed when they named a northern outer-ring exurb that's about half the distance from our house that their current home in suburban Des Moines is. We did manage to conceal our disappointment from them when they gave us the news. By which I mean that we didn't immediately shout, "you IDIOTS!"

Instead we set right in on mocking about how they'd need to get a Camaro with a mismatched door, and how Brother-In-Law's daily commute would involve a bush pilot, and how they'd be trading for goods and services using livestock. To their credit, they seemed kind of embarrassed about it, but we kept pushing until Sister-In-Law asked if we'd prefer they lived, like, four blocks away or something.

"YES!" Trash and I shouted in unison.

BIL said, "So you'd like it if we were living at—" and then he rattled off an address four blocks away. Trash got it much faster than I did. She figured out that they are moving to a house four blocks away from us while I was still going, "Wait, what? Duh?"

So now Deniece is going to be living across the street from a park and four blocks from her cousin (whom she adores and sends presents to) and, better yet, us, so we get to see her all the time and she won't forget about us while we're anchored at home by a new baby during this, her formative fourth year in her life. I hope she'll be as excited about this as we are.

So to celebrate (and also because none of us had eaten anything for going on eight hours), we decided to order some Chinese food to be delivered. We'd never ordered from this particular restaurant before, although we had been to it in person a time or two. The staff there tended to make us feel about as welcome as the Japanese army, but we figured that delivery would be okay.

Trash made the call, and then we all tried not to laugh too loud as she cringed and held the phone away from her head, allowing us all to hear the high-volume, rapid-fire Miss Othmar wah-wah-wah-ing noise coming through the receiver. Trash finally got the order in and gave our credit card number. Before hanging up, the lady at the other end screamed, loud enough for everyone in the room to understand (including M. Tiny), TIP THE DRIVER IN CASH!!!

While all of our ears were still ringing, we left M. Tiny with SIL for a few minutes while BIL drove us past what would be their house in a few weeks. We also did drive-bys at a few other houses in the immediate neighborhood, but the Chinese food arrived faster than we expected because by the time we got back onto our block the delivery car was idling in front of our house and the driver was headed for our door.

I think Trash, BIL, and I all had the same idea at the same time. We pulled into the driveway, and when Deniece's mom answered the doorbell to accept the food, BIL hollered out his window, "TIP HIM IN CASH!" The driver looked at us in surprise. SIL tipped him and the driver waved it happily at us.

And then we drove away.

Actually we just went around the block, knowing the driver would be gone when we returned. Although we did consider following him to the next house and doing the same thing. And then, outside the restaurant, we'd shake him down for our "commission."

But we prefer to think of him considering us his "tip angels," showing up in a rented pickup with out-of-state plates, acting as enforcers, and vanishing into the night. We know he told someone about it when he got back, and he may well wonder about it for the rest of his life. Maybe it'll even become some kind of urban legend among delivery drivers, like the naked housewife or whatever.

In any case, we're looking forward to having Trash's brother and his family in the neighborhood. I'm sure that together we can figure out lots of other ways to mess with the heads of hardworking local businesspeople.

Today's best search phrase: "Product you put on your car it has to beep before you can." I think you can find that right next to the Turtle Wax.

posted by M. Giant 8:19 PM 1 comments


4 blocks away! Just think! You can go on Trading Spaces now. ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 8, 2005 at 10:07 PM  

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