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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring Your Moose To Work Day

"YaaYaa" and I

I questioned myself more than once that day, and I couldn't honestly vouch for myself. What was I thinking? What had ever brought me to this point? I glanced over at the gigantic stuffed moose buckled into the passenger seat of my Toyota 4-Runner. I wondered if the Border Patrol agent that I was driving by could get a good glimpse of him. He waved - not the moose - the agent. He had an odd look on his face. I was pretty sure that the moose had been spotted. A sick feeling entered my stomach. What had I done? Oh God, What had I done?

That morning, I was planning my 24 hour marathon, or so I called it. All my kids were packed up to spend a day and night in Bonners Ferry. Art Dog was scheduled to spend the day testing for 2 sections of GED. The kids and I were going to the REC center in Canada to swim with our friends The Moseses. Then I was intercepting Art Dog, driving back to the Moseses and leaving all my kids there for the night while I worked a 12 hour night shift. Only young mothers and speed addicts would consider such a plight, but the lure of water was too much for me and I craved swimming laps more than I craved sleep or the ability to rationally function.

All of it seemed to be pulling off with slick satisfaction. I got my fix of lap swimming, I lounged in the hot tub. I played with the kids and visited with my girlfriend Yaayaa. We had a grand ol' time. Of course I would have to embarrass myself SOMEHOW and so I succeeded with that when I dove off the diving board, swam over to Yaayaa and she informed me that my nipple was sticking out of my swim get up. I looked down. Sure enough, my nipple was, indeed, hanging out there catching some prime daylight in the Canadian public eye.

I glanced over at my moose. We were nearing the hospital. He informed me that it would be impolite to leave him in the car all night. He said he might like to come in and visit. My stomach lurched.......

After the pool, I was feeling tuckered. It was also the first day of my moon cycle and I was feeling a bit lunar not to mention, tuckered. I once heard a wise woman say never to shop when it is the first day of your moon cycle, but that wisdom was clouded in my exhaustion and drive to run a million errands. Art dog was standing on a tall rock outside of the college office waving his arms to and fro. I slammed on the breaks and turned around. He proudly displayed a curled and used looking windshield scraper. He told me "women just don't know what to look for at thrift stores." I rolled my eyes secretly glad that most of the time men didn't come with me thrift shopping.

We had to take something back to another thrift store before we could head back to Moseses. Art Dog dawdled looking at stuff and so I browsed around until I had a large pile of items to try on. At long last we were leaving when I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was near the door, and seemed to be calling out to me. He was the most gigantic moose I had ever seen. Big, Brown, Fluffy and with a cute brown gingham bow. I HAD to ask. The elderly lady smiled at me and said "He just got here. How about five bucks?". I said "I'll take him!!" i was so thrilled until I picked him up. He was uh, bigger than me. Well he had to be worth a fortune, what a deal!! Art Dog glanced over at me. "What are you going to do with him? He asked rather gingerly. I said "I don't know". That thought never occurred to me when I was buying him. Now I wondered "WHAT WOULD I DO WITH HIM?" I wondered. Art Dog reminded me that we live in a very small home and that Dad might not much want to share it with a very large moose. That thought hadn't occurred to me either. I told him that and he started laughing. "What were you thinking?" He asked me. I really don't know what I was thinking. He was just cute and big and seemed worth more than five bucks. I suggested I sell him at the next gun show. He said "nope, no room". I thought maybe I could keep him in my 4-Runner as a permanent passenger, but even as I thought it, I knew that wouldn't work with my dog and kids needing priority. Soon all kinds of crazy scenarios were unfolding in my mind and panic was over taking me. What had I done?

At the Moseses House, I carefully did not draw attention to my purchase. I snuck into their home quietly and ate a large portion of Yaayaa's "gooolosh". Yaayaa is from Czech Republic and she knows her gooolosh. I ate lumberjack proportions and flopped over on her couch in a gooolosh coma. When I came to, it was time to head to work. The kids were all playing and nobody cared at all that I was leaving. Yaayaa walked me out to my car and said very surprised "What is that?!?!" She had spotted my moose. It was kind of hard not to spot him. She asked me why I bought him. I told her "I don't know". She laughed and called her husband over. He asked me what I thought my husband would think. I told him "I don't know". We all knew my husband would not be impressed. They asked me where he would go. I didn't know that either. Super Catman, hearing the commotion ran up to the car. "What is that?!?! He asked horrified. Art Dog was laughing too. We all wondered what I would do with the mammoth moose.......

The monstrous moose and I had a conversation all the way to work. Mostly, I was regretting his purchase and not having gotten much rest. I apologized to him, but told him that i didn't think things were going to work out for us. He seemed hurt. I replayed all possible moose scenarios in my head and none of them looked to be turning out well. I felt stupid and embarrassed that I was such a waster of funds. My poor husband is at home slaving away in his shop while I am gallivanting around buying stuffed animals I have no use for.

The still small voice told me to bring him into work. I balked. I knew I had to do it. I also knew that when the moment was right, I would need to let go of my new oversized toy. I hefted him up. He looked to be taller and wider than me, so it looked like a giant stuffed animal was walking into the hospital. He attracted a lot of attention. Many employees gathered around me and asked me what was going on. I told them in a very confident and convincing manner "Didn't you know? Its bring your moose to work day!" Everyone was really excited. They whispered back and forth "Did you know that it is bring your moose to work day?!" Several of them took out cameras and began snapping shots. Employees were talking and laughing and pandemonium was beginning to break out. I placed the mammoth moose in an office chair and positioned my coffee cup near him. All evening, employees were taking selfies with him, bringing him in to see the patients and asking me endless questions about him. I became an instant celebrity. Soon the moose had his own facebook album. I went from feeling really stupid to quite clever. We all decided he was worth an untold fortune but I informed them I was accepting offers. Now I didn't want to give him up at all, but deep down I knew I needed to. He had really livened up an otherwise mundane shift. In the end, a new grandmother offered me a good bit more than I'd paid for him and I waved a bitter sweet goodbye.

In the morning, Art Dog drove us all home. He was very proud of me and that made it all worthwhile. "Mom" he said "I won't question you next time you think something is valuable." Both boys were very impressed with my profit. Still, I missed my moose, but their pride made me feel a bit better. Buying and selling and making good investments are a big deal to them. After all, thats what they pride themselves with doing gunshows. Nobody could wait to get home and tell Dad about all the adventures, and of course Mom's crazy moose.

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