Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bite Me, Jack Bauer!

We returned from Nebraska with two zombies -- one moaning from strep throat (Thing 1) and another moaning every three seconds for another hit of Super Mario Brothers from his Nintendo DS (Thing 2).

jack bauer on cellphoneThe sickly state of our house, not to mention an unwieldy stack of unfinished Christmas cards on the kitchen counter, made My Love unusually eager to escape onto another plane, this time to fly overseas on business. However, for such a detail-oriented person, haste brings out her worst, exhibited by the following call home about an hour after the car service had whisked her to JFK International:

"I left my laptop at work. I can't be in London for a week without a computer. You need to drive to my office, get it from under my desk, and drive it here to the airport. Now."

This looks like a job for … uh, yeah, me.

With Thing 1's strep, Thing 2's sudden development of a headache (most likely DS DTs) and me needing to white-knuckle the Minivan of Manliness for 40 miles, I wrangled one of my neighbors to look after the kids, who by 8 p.m. were already passed out upstairs.

"Want me to turn the TV on before I leave?" I said, adjusting my cape and tights.

"No, no. I brought a book. Unless, you've got a good porn channel."

"Satellite pay-per-view gives you that magical option. However, given your house is just on the other side of that picture window note this," I said, "your wife will have almost as good view of the show as you."

"I brought a book."

Within 20 minutes, I'm at My Love's office building, circumnavigating the company's high-tech security system with a MacGyver-like trick I call "Swiping Your Wife's Card Key from Her Car's Change Tray." Once inside, however, I promptly get lost.

I ring her. "Dammit -- is your office in Building 16 or 17?"

"It's Building 18! Where are you?"

"Building 18? Who are you working for? Wait, just tell me -- do the buildings connect?!?"

"Yes. Stay along the perimeter of the floor until you see a brown door. It opens into a hallway leading to Building 18."

I'm hustling serpentine down the hallway, trying to avoid suspicious glances from the cleaning crew. If stopped and questioned, I'll confuse them with my rudimentary grasp of high school Spanish ("Donde es la oficina de la bossy blonde senorita? Necesito su computadora mother-humpinando!").

"Found it!" I yell into my cell phone.

"Good. My laptop is under the desk."

"It's wired! Tell me how to disengage it from the dock, dammit!!!"

"Run your left hand along the side. You'll feel a lever. Pull it and release."

"Got it!!!"

"Now, there should also be a yellow shopping bag there with running shoes. Take the shoes out and put the computer in the bag. Now, go! Go!"

"On my way," I said, "once take a leak."

A good shake later, I'm zipping along in the Minivan of Manliness. Traffic is oddly light in the 'burbs and boroughs. The GPS is fired up, news radio blasts weather and road updates on the 8s. I'm thinking to myself, "Man, I hope my neighbor was kidding about the porn channel."

I call My Love. "I'm entering the airport. Where am I meeting you?"

"Terminal 8. Departures. I'm on the way there. Hurry, Uncool, hurry!"

There she is, standing with a stack of luggage by the curb. She opens the passenger door, grabs the yellow bag with the laptop off the seat.

"You're my hero!" she says. "Love you!"

She tosses onto the passenger seat a different plastic bag, a white one, slams the door and disappears into the fluorescent airport haze.

I look at the white bag.

A reward for a job well done, perhaps?

Duty-free gin?

Upper-rack, shrink-wrapped gentlemen's mags from the Hudson News?

The snowy plastic crinkles under my fingertips. I reach in and pull out … another assignment.

It's the Christmas cards, dammit!

Looks like a job for Humor-Blogs.com.


  1. Did you include the power chord? Would the power chord have worked across the pond? Next time will you consider going rogue?

  2. Did she complete them, and address them while she was waiting for you? If she did - she is my hero.

    If she left them for you, make sure you don't pull a George and get the 'bad' envelopes.

  3. Well Jack...after that mission...seems you could find some unsuspecting sole to pawn the new mission off on.

    Loved the post...Jack is my man though.

  4. Is the minivan of manliness as cool as it sounds? I'm picturing manly booster seats and a dvd player with some Disney shit playing over and over. Manly.

  5. I do not know what I loved most about this. The neighbor's wife viewing the porn had me laughing.

    My husband is a pain in the ass to travel with. And we're doing it soon. I haven't figured out what to distract him with yet.

  6. i was humming the mission impossible song the WHOLE TIME! Did you hear me???

  7. All I needed was that little beep-beep and the clock ticking to feel like you really are Jack Bauer!

    Your pseudo-Spanish (especially the hyphenated last word) cracked me up.


  8. I'm wondering how you were able to McGyver your way into her office building without a badge.

  9. Another job well done.

    That Spanish would work fine here in Phoenix.

    Did the neighbor watch the pay-for-view?

  10. Not a good way to relax after just returning from a trip, huh? You did good though - and your spanish is awesome.

  11. This is my first time reading your blog and I have to say...you may always be at home, but I'm going with you're very, very cool!

  12. Do you do any consulting work? My husband totally needs to take a lesson from the master...

  13. oh good god man. i have gone on similar missions. it's best to blow your cover. consider that next time.

  14. aw, you poor thing. Christmas cards? After such an IMPOSSIBLE MISSION?

    You deserve a medal (insert sarcastic tone here).

    J/K - good job Daddy Bond

  15. Christmas cards. Did you remember to sign them all nice and pretty?

  16. Very funny. Am diggin' the minivan of manliness. :-)


    p.s. Your grasp of Spanish would work on the bus!

  17. I will be over later to drop off my Christmas cards. Just make sure the highlighted people get the non-denominational ones, k?

  18. I'm glad you didn't have to twist and turn yourself through the laser security system in your black catsuit like Catherine Zeta-Jones. That should only be for private viewing.


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