Monday, April 14, 2008

Life as Usual

I'm back from the photo expedition to Yarnover and had a splendid time. It was a chance to reconnect with my buddy Tim from St. Paul, who extended his hospitality and hoisted my bags; to meet the wonderful people from The Yarnery and a whole lotta terrific knitters; and to add a further 73 people to the 1,000 Knitters Project–sneak previews to come.

However, as Dolores and Harry decided they wanted to come along, you know that's not the whole story.

Those of you who tune in regularly will be not at all surprised to know that shortly after I landed in the Twin Cities on Friday, I got a frantic telephone call from Harry. He was jabbering a mile a minute and sounded oddly muffled, as though he were calling from inside a suitcase.

Which, in fact, he was.

"Slow down and speak up," I said. "I can't help you if I can't hear you. Now, what did you say?"

Emergency Call

"It's terrible," he whimpered. "I was really having fun because I went to the cafĂ© car to get a soda pop and I met this guy from Fargo and he said do you like Scrabble and I said sure and he said me and my sister brought our Travel Scrabble so why don't you come play with us and I said okay I have to go tell my friend first but when I got back to our seats Dolores was up in the luggage rack and three conductors were trying to pull her down again and she was screaming and yelling bad words and then she bit the one guy's hand–"

"She bit a conductor?"

"Yeah I guess while I was gone she started handing out campaign flyers and the man got all mad and said you can't do that in here lady and she got mad back at him and threw her purse and it hit this other lady in the head and knocked her glasses off and people started running around and I climbed in here to get out of the way and now I can't even find my soda pop and it's dark and I'm scared. What do I do?"

I sometimes wonder if Harry thinks I possess a little book entitled How to Handle Any Emergency that includes entries like "Train Travel: Trapped in Suitcase Due to Sheep/Conductor Fracas."

Before I could offer any advice, I heard a zip and a scream and Harry was gone. There followed a tense hour while I waited for news. Amtrak customer service, helpful as ever, hung up when I called to say I'd received word from a ball of sock yarn about a fight taking place on the Empire Builder between three conductors and the sheep who lives in my apartment.

Finally, my phone chimed: CALL FROM VANHOOFEN, D.

"If this is your one call," I said, "you've dialed the wrong number."

"Oh thank you, thank you so very much for your support," she grumbled.

"Where are you?"

"We're not sure. Somewhere in Minnesota. It's snowy and I see cows."

"It sounds awfully quiet. Is the train delayed?"

"We're not on the train."

"You're not? Well, what's the name of the station?"

"We're not at a station."


Dolores En Route

"We're in a field next to the tracks somewhere or other. They slowed down and pitched us off the back of the caboose. If any of my hats are crushed, I'm going to sue."

I heard Harry scream.

"Harry!" shouted Dolores. "Just shut up! That cow is more afraid of you than you are of her! Smile and make friends!"

Harry screamed again. Louder.

"Whoa," said Dolores. "Gotta go."

There's more to tell, but duty calls. The rest of the report to follow soon.


Sharon Rose said...

Poor Harry... it's a wonder he isn't frayed beyond recognition. He really needs a new play partner!

PS - Franklin - email or call me if ya want a free acupuncture / bodywork session while you're here next weekend. I'll come to you! It's the least I can do to repay you for all the laughs. And tell Miss D I do free smoking cessation tx, although she'd probably throw a martini in my face for suggesting it.

Rooie said...

I really think Harry needs to come and live with me. I think he needs a Quiet Place for a while and god knows, my place is quiet. And I'm not a rabid sock knitter but I do own a lot of sock yarn, so he could make lots of new friends.

Of course, if I have to take Dolores too, I'm afraid I'll have to take back the invitation...

Anna-Liza said...

I agree, poor Harry! And you, sir, are a tease.

Karen B said...

Poor Harry and Dolores! They could be close to me here by St. Cloud ... I'll keep a lookout for them.

MollyBeees said...

OMGosh! A little coffee came out of my nose! I needed this pick me up! Thanks Franklin!

Rudee said...

All is fair in love and politics. Poor Ms. V. I'm sure she's doing the best she can with her limited campaign budget. I think she is misunderstood.

Tim in SP said...

My home now seems so empty absent The Presence. It sure was good to see you again.

kmkat said...

I'll keep a sharp eye out whilst driving near the tracks. Perhaps Dolores needs a lift? Sounds like Harry does, for sure, yah.

Megan said...

Oh No!! Poor Harry. Perhaps you should just give him that book. You know, the one about the emergency situations. Of course, then we wouldn't get to hear all these crazy adventures, because likely he'd be sworn (threatened?) to secrecy by a certain diva sheep and you'd never hear about it.

Eric said...

Loved meeting you at our men's knit night and at Yarnover. Can't wait for the book!

Cheri said...

Poor poor Harry.

Amy said...

I can really identify with Harry on this one. I came across a herd of cattle late one night while hiking, and while they were behind a fence, it didn't look too sturdy. They had horns, I didn't. I was definitely more afraid of them than they were of me. Especially considering that they started following me.

Kristen said...

You know, I'm dating Harry. Really. My BF was in Boston this weekend for a conference. Early Saturday morning he called me to ask me to Google the MIT bookstore and tell him how to get there. Did I mention that he's staying at a fancy hotel with a concierge and he knows I am suffering a wicked cold and can hardly think? Anyway, my sympathies. Poor little confused Harry! (Oh, and yes I did it. No, I did not complain. To him.)

Sean said...

Oh, like that, I hope they don't get moths...

Can't wait for the next installment.

Erica said...

OH NO! Harry and Delores lost in the wilds of Minnesota? They did get out didn't they??? I can't possibly spend what's left of my birthday worrying about Harry! (I love ya Delores, but I know perfectly well no one EVER needs to worry about you! Kisses!)

Tell Harry that I can't wait to meet him...hopefully he's coming to Kennett Square this weekend! Meeting you all is my birthday present...and can Delores be bribed into a photo op with any particular brand of Scotch?!

QuietdanMN said...

It was great to see you at the Men's Knit Night on Friday and at Yarnover on Saturday.

You keep us all laughing and smiling. Keep up the great work!

halfasheep said...

Poor Harry!
Poor Franklin!
Don't worry about bringing Dolores to Austin...she should fit right in!

Beth in MN said...

This time of year, I'd LOVE to know where they found cows in a field; we had snow coming down as they were trying to get to you! LOL!

Anonymous said...

You know, there are days when I forget that ....

Surely somewhere in an alternate universe Harry is happy and Dolores is ... Dolores.

As long as they exist in my universe, I'm happy.

Captain said...

Thank goodness Dolores and Harry are both dressed for the weather.

dale-harriet said...

Dear Franklin: Please, when Dolores calls back, tell her my contract doesn't include explaining my candidate BITING CONDUCTORS! I'm doing my best here, still working on the telephone tree (I even wear my Fibertarian button at the Museum) and we have a grocery-cart brigade all arranged for election day. But you know, Dolores isn't making it easy on us campaign workers here. She should save all that stuff for when she's in OFFICE, that's the time for shenanigans and, you know, stuff like that.

muoriska said...

Lol, you guys, it seems that there hardly is a dull moment at your lifes.. Dolores does take care of it.

Bronchitkat said...

Oh Franklin, your blog really brightens my day. Even when the sun is already shining.

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