I am writing this blog post as the events unfold, not certain whether I should laugh or cry or shake my head in incredulity at the truly 'unique' events that characterise my life.
First off, my crew at work had this fabulous idea of a pre-Christmas dinner - a potluck sort of thing. It was awesome. And I bought into it TOTALLY.
Second, I was assigned to do the potato salad - not a challenging task in comparison to certainly more awesome feats of the roast beef and ham and baked chicken and candied yams and gungo rice and peas that my coworkers were attempting...
Third, yesterday, I worked the late shift, which meant that I was here until 11:30. When I got home, it was after 12:00 going to 1:00. Instead of rushing off to sleep (which my mind and body were begging me to do), I decided to push past the boundaries of human fatigue and make my coworkers a fabulous feast of a potato salad.
Now, there are about fifteen of us in this little pot luck. That meant that I was peeling, dicing, boiling and straining a whole lot of potatoes - not to mention the vegetables to be boiled and the eggs and the mayonnaise and whatever else that needed to be procured. But at last, after four this morning, going to five, I completed the task, set up my utensils, and went to bed.
Then this morning ...
After going to bed so very near to sunrise, naturally, I woke up late. Bad start. I ended up rushing to finish my salad. The eggs, while boiled, had not been shelled. I made the rookie mistake of leaving them in the same water they were boiled in overnight - so the damn things chipped and cracked in my hands and only one or two of the twelve came out perfectly round. Eventually, I finished the task and managed to leave home with about fifteen minutes to get to work. I tried calling a taxi service, but they told me that it would take at least fifteen minutes to get to me. I couldn't wait. I'd be late. So I headed on to the road and got a regular 'robot' cab to take me to work. That's $1,000. But I was desperate.
He drove off, and we were on our way. Lo and behold, the pre-Christmas traffic was a headache, backache, heartache, and would have made for quite a hoarse throat if I had followed the basic instinct to yell at every passing motor vehicle (I did not). It took me one hour to get to work - one long hour!! When we got there, I was so late and harried that I quickly paid the driver, dashed out of the cab, into the lobby, into the elevator and up to my floor to start what promised to be a very full day's work.
Then I remembered ... the potato salad. I left it in the car of a complete stranger with no way of contacting him and no time to go back for it. This, I thought, was the start of a perfect day.
It only got better. I called home to see if someone at home could go to the bus stop to check if the taxi driver was there, only to be told that the person was "tied up" in housework and could not leave home to walk the two to three minutes it would take to go to the bus stop and check for me.
It is now 6 p.m. I still have no idea where my potato salad is, or if I will ever get it back. I've been at work all day. We had our little dinner. It was great. There was so much food there that I don't think anyone really missed the salad, except maybe me. I can't readily forget the huge unopened jar of mayonnaise, my three plastic cover dishes, the tin of mixed veggies, my foil, my Ziploc bags, my cling film, my dishtowel, my one sharp knife, or the gym bag that contained them all. But more than those, I can't forget those potatoes ... I spent so much time peeling and dicing and boiling and straining ...
It's Christmas. It ought to be a happy time of year. Ah well. I ate. I drank. I might as well be merry. Even if I wasted all that time, all those resources, all that energy ...
Merry Christmas everybody. I'll whisper a prayer for you all. Tomorrow is another day. And soon, this too shall pass and fade into obscure memory.
I can't wait.