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25 November 2005 @ 01:18 am
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I went in to the office on Wednesday, as usual, and spent most of the day there. I mentioned a few times that I would be on call that evening, as I had volunteered to take the shift from someone who didn't want it. I wanted the money. Late in the day, since my brother and his wife were due in town at some point, I got permission to go home and finish the day from home.

When I got in the house, I noticed that the clocks were blinking. This meant the power had gone out at some point. The alarm clock always resets to midnight when the power comes back, so judging by its display, the power had been back for about five hours. As it happened, it was near to 5pm when I noticed this.

My brother and his wife did get into town and I led him the rest of the way from a gas station. We talked and I got them settled in. Eventually, they headed for bed, and I decided to do the same.

I looked at my phone and thought about turning it off, since the cell phone service company insists that powering down the phone occasionally helps its reception. I've been worried about being available, since I don't have a land line anymore, but my parents had gotten to their new place and my brother had finally arrived, so I didn't need the phone on. I turned it off.

I went up to set the alarm clock. I saw that the time flashing was 11:55, and it was about 11:47pm, so I decided that was close enough. I added a minute to get it to stop flashing, set the alarm for 8am, and headed to bed. It was a bit early for me, but I had arranged to be at my friends' place for Thanskgiving at 11am.

The female cat, as usual, woke me at about 7:30 for food. I fed her and crawled back into bed, since the male cat was content to stay on my bed rather than going to eat her food.

The next thing I knew, the male cat was jumping onto the bed and trying to wake me. He never does this, and my first thought was that he had in fact gone to eat the female's food. I called him a bad cat as I wondered why it felt so late; after all, the alarm hadn't gone off yet.

So I checked the clock ... which said 10:43.

PM.

I always do this. I always forget that the clock resets to midnight, as in 12AM. So I always set it wrong.

I went to get the phone to call my friends and explain that I would be late, with many apologies. When I turned on the phone, it had a text message, which I never receive. That message just said to call a certain number that I didn't recognize. I closed the message, and the phone beeped oddly to indicate that I had voicemail. I thought it strange that my mother would have called so early, but she was the only person I could think of. I checked the voicemail system, which said I had five new messages.

That made no sense at all, unless there had been some emergency. I hastily proceeded to the first message.

Which was work, trying to get hold of me for my on-call shift.

Which I had forgotten.

Which meant all calls had eventually gone to my boss.

I immediately hung up to go look up my boss's number. He was amazingly nice about it, all things considered. (It's just as well I hadn't yet listened to the voicemail he had left, since he was in a far worse mood in that message.) I apologized profusely and was just generally feeling remarkably stupid as I next called my friends.

Eventually I got over there and had quite a nice day. They have small children, who can be quite taxing, but I am quite fond of them so it was worthwhile. The food was excellent. In fact, they sent me home with the vegetarian gravy and half of a corn-bean-polenta casserole.

I got home shortly before midnight. It was 30 degrees outside, so I didn't want to make multiple trips between the house and car. I therefore tried to get everything at once. To be careful, I put a few loose things in the bag I was carrying and looped my coat over my arm. I reached down for the GladWare gravy container, which slipped away ... and leaked. I considered this, decided I didn't care, and moved it aside to get the casserole container first.

That container's aluminum bottom, unable to bear the weight of the food, immediately folded around my hand, dumping the full contents onto my floormats.

Since I would have to come back to clean that up, I left one or two things and just headed for the house. As I stood on the porch, starting to realize that my dress had no pockets and the keys were therefore somewhere in the coat over my arm, the aluminum casserole bottom and its plastic top started to shift in my hands because of the stiff wind. The container wasn't perfectly empty until that point; a splat of polenta landed on one of the steps. I tried to get a better grip, which instead improved the exposure of the plastic lid to the wind. The lid promptly sailed out into the pitch-black yard.

I snarled at it and decided it could stay there. As I then considered how to get the keys, the gravy decided it couldn't bear to be without its buddy. Its container slipped from my hands, fell to the stoop, popped off its top while also splitting its side, and festooned both the front stoop and my boots with gravy.

In the end I had to ring the doorbell to get into the house.

I'm hoping this was some Thanksgiving-related anomaly, or that there's some mystical process in which I had to have a lot of bad luck today because I'm about to win the lottery or something. Because otherwise, I've just about exhibited a perfect storm of stupidity. I really don't want to believe that this could be a *normal* day for me.