so today . . . my driveway was blocked by an ambulance. my driveway. out of all the driveways AND empty spaces on the street, my driveway was blocked. totally. by an ambulance.
my sunday mornings are hectic. sunday is a busy day around here--it starts early and moves like a locomotive for several hours. and i am always tired, because i always stay up late on saturday night, because it is the last night of my weekend. so when my alarm goes off at 7:30 (which is REALLY 7:30 on sunday morning, because i use the alarm on my phone--NOT the one on my clock, which as you know is set at least 13 minutes fast,) i do not leap out of bed. actually, i don't think i have ever lept out of bed in the morning . . . although rollie tries to trick me into it once in a while by telling me the time it says on my clock, which again, is at least 13 minutes fast! and depending on how deeply asleep i am, i might or might not fall for his evil trick. you see, if rollie is the one telling me the time, one part of my brain says it has to be the right time, because he would never play my time game--just like he would never say the word "mcmuffin" or "cini-minis" when ordering breakfast. but there is another part of my brain that knows he is trying to help me get up, so maybe he would tell me the incorrect time just to jolt me awake and get my adrenaline moving.
but i digress.
so, at almost the last possible minute that i could leave the house and get to church for band rehearsal on time, i set the alarm, throw milk bones at the dogs, dash into the garage and hit the garage door button . . . only to see my driveway blocked by an ambulance. totally blocked.
i look around and see no one. i do see a fire engine parked on the other side of our neighbor's house. this leads me to believe that perhaps that is where they are. but there is no sign of a fireman or ambulance person anywhere.
now i am not completely insensitive to the fact that one of my neighbors is in distress and apparently needs help. i am just perplexed as to why the ambulance chose to park at the end of MY driveway. they didn't park in front of my neighbor's house--and there was a perfectly good spot there. they didn't park in front of my neighbor's driveway--which would have put them as close as possible to their front door. and they didn't park in any one of the other empty spaces on the street. they parked at the end of my driveway.
there wasn't a lot i could do. i was going to be late, and it isn't good for me to be late when i am trying to teach teenaged boys that it is disrespectful to make other people wait on you. so i whipped out my cellphone and texted james (who was already at church, i am sure, setting up sound equipment,) "there is an ambulance blocking my driveway. completely. so i am kind of stuck here until they come." he immediately replied, "what? are you ok?"
yes, i am ok. we are fine. we rarely have medical emergencies, but i fear that our recent bout with hospitalization has led some of you to think of us as fragile. but we're not--we are actually healthier than a lot of people we know. (i know that is hard for some of you to believe, especially considering my copious consumption of brownies . . .) just because we mention hospitals or ambulances, it probably isn't because we are the sick ones. so don't worry!
but i digress again.
so i am standing in my driveway wondering what to do. should i go back inside and wait for them to leave? no, i can't see them from inside my house. and since they came without sirens, they will probably leave without them. should i pull out into the driveway and wait for them to come? no, who knows how long they will be! and then i realize that the engine is running in the ambulance . . . which means that the keys are in the ignition . . . and there is a perfectly good empty spot in front of the neighbor's house just a car length away . . . and a plan begins to take shape in evil julie's mind--no wait, not evil julie--good julie, who doesn't want to be late!
i look around. no one is outside. the neighborhood is deserted, which is unusual because usually the neighbors all come out to see who is being hauled away by ambulance. i mentally move a little closer to the ambulance. of course, all the while i am picturing my evil plan, a voice in my head is screaming, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!?!" but the clock is ticking . . . i text james and say,"the engine is running in the ambulance," and he says, "drive it here (to church.)"
ok, james is the one i am calling to bail me out of jail!
and then the firemen come out of the house next door. they glance my way, get on their truck and try to leave the neighborhood. i say try, because it took them a long time to find their way out. i would insert an evil laugh here, but i hold no grudge against the firemen--they are not the ones blocking my driveway! but they did sort of look at me like, "stop gawking and go back inside." and then i am kind of insulted and annoyed, so yes! let's just insert an evil laugh here--bwahahahaha!! there! just try and find your way out of this neighborhood!
but the moment has passed. it would now be too risky to even contemplate moving the ambulance myself, but i think the ambulance guys will probably be coming out soon anyway. and they do. with an empty guerney. i guess this is good news for my neighbor. but then the ambulance people give me the same look as the firefighters! now i am really annoyed, because after all, they are the ones parked illegally! they are the ones wasting gas and putting unnecessary pollutants into the air! they are the ones making me late! and i am not gawking! i just want to get out of my driveway!!!!
the rational part of my brain knows that i will never see these people again. but the irrational side does not want them to think that i am the kind of person who would come outside my house and wait to see what was going on! the rational part of my brain knows that they don't care what i am doing standing in my driveway at 9:00 on a sunday morning. but the irrational side is imagining the conversation they will be having about people who have nothing better to do on a sunday morning than chase ambulances. the rational part of my brain says i should just stay out of their way. but the irrational side wins again, and so i jump in my car and back out into my driveway before they can leave--just so they know i was waiting for them to move, and not to see what was going on.
they go one direction down our street and i go the other. shoot! i think to myself. i should have gone the same way they were going so they would see i needed to leave. but it is too late. as i sit at the exit to our housing development waiting to turn right, guess who pulls up beside me? yup! the fire engine, followed by the ambulance. i don't know what route they took, but it was not the shortest one. and yet i am pleased, because not only did i beat them to the exit, we all had to sit and wait for traffic. so now they know i had someplace to go. i am not an ambulance chaser or disaster gawker.
i'm just late . . .