Fourth in a series by Madame Chaos, resident expert in keeping life interesting.
Yesterday I discovered the astonishing fact that there is a higher authority than my mom, and I’m absolutely giddy to convey such extraordinary news. If you would like to test my theory that one needn’t be older than two to humiliate one’s parental unit(s) in the eyes of the law, simply follow these directions:
First, use impeccable timing: In my house, timing cannot be underestimated, because the measures used to facilitate control over my freedom and creativity can be draconian; in this case, my parents have installed those infernal doorknob covers on all outside-access doors. While I have no doubt that I will soon find a way to render them useless, in the meantime I can occasionally circumvent them by my vigilance and a bit of luck. In this case, I noted that Mom was both making sundaes for nine kids AND participating in a phone survey for the CDC; I needed merely to lurk by the back door until one of our naive guest children opened it and allowed me outside.
Second, use the real estate adage of location, location, location: I’ve held an enduring fascination with the road that runs in front of our house because I discovered early on that if I run straight for it, I’ll get everyone’s attention. It is a rural, dead-end road and cars are rare, but my presence on or near it is charged with irresistable excitement. I hesitate to give the precise nature of my activities near the road yesterday because my Mom doesn’t know the details, but suffice it to say that I was not disappointed with what followed. So if you’re going to try this at home, sufficient proximity to any road will do.
Finally, wait for the magic: As I was conducting my business above, a black-and-white car with pretty lights on top stopped and two men in brown suits and hats with shiny accessories got out and ushered me to the front door. Knock knock. My sister opened the door to reveal a house full of kids in swimming suits, and I stepped in while one of the men said, “Is your mom or dad home?” Sis fetched Mom in the kitchen, who came to the door with the phone in one hand and a jar of fudge sauce in the other. This is what followed:
Hat man: Ma’am, we had been responding to a call up the street aways and saw your daughter alone by the road and thought we’d better stop.
Mom: We have those doorknob thingies on all the doors . . . . (looking around and seeing the back door ajar), but I see that one of the doors is open.
Hat man: An escape artist, huh?
Mom: Yes, but usually she’s naked, too.
Hat man (gesturing to my shirt pulled down so the neck is around my waist and the sleeves are flapping jauntily by my hips): Well, she’s halfway there. So you’ve taken some precautions then?
Mom: Well, those doorknob thingies don’t help if the door is left open . . . we’ve got extra kids today playing in the water in the backyard and I didn’t notice what had happened. Thank you for bringing her in.
Hat man: Have a good day.