30 October 2009

Friday

light at the beginning of the tunnel
Completely unrelated random photograph

Recently I left a comment anecdote rather longwinded story on Grace's blog when she showed a picture of an insanely adorable little sausage dog wearing a red coat, appliqued onto a baby tee-shirt. Grace, who is as gracious as her name suggests, replied to my comment to tell me that she loved my little story and that it should be released to the world. So here it is. (Leslie might like it also, or at least Baxter might).

I am part of a carpool that operates between three families, a high school and a primary school. Thus, three mornings a week I have several grade four and two children in my car for a twenty minute journey. (Yes, I hear all sorts of things - good, bad and sad. But I digress).

During the journey the children always play some sort of hilarious game like inventing ludicrous translations for the acronyms of other cars' number plates, or counting car competitions etc. At the moment it's Hard Rubbish collection around our area and they are constantly badgering me to stop so they can pick up that "awesome" computer monitor/broken office chair/old bookcase/miscellaneous junk off the footpath and take it to their doting teacher or home to their longsuffering parents (I decline, usually).

Anyway, the most enduring game, and one that is generally played every single day even if other games are going on simultaneously, is Spot the Lucky Items. This game has evolved organically over the months and involves the spotting of a number of things that we regularly or semi-regularly see on our morning commute, and the gauging of how good the day is going to be according to the percentage of items crossed off the list. These items include, in order of appearance as we travel from east to west, a shiny yellow VW beetle (circa 2005) in the swimming pool carpark, a red Hummer (for heaven's sakes) pulling out of a particular side street, a rusty yellow VW beetle (circa 1976) parked in the railway station carpark, the 8.51am train (double points if it's going over the bridge as we pass underneath), the meeting of a bus on the one-lane bridge (double points if we have to reverse off the bridge), a vintage brown car parked outside its house, and the little girl walking to school accompanied by her mother who always wears head to toe purple (except for the days she's wearing head to toe red, or orange - is she a closet Hari Krishna I ponder to myself?).

By now, those of you who live near my way, and I know there are a couple of you, may be recognising things from this list.

However, by far the most exciting and important thing to spot is the Little Brown Dachschund in the Red Coat, being walked by his adult male owner and an assorted bunch of children, one or more of whom may or may not be on a Razor scooter. (For a while there in winter the Little Brown Dachschund sported a snazzy brown drizabone sheepskin-lined coat, which while understandable given the winter temperatures at 8.43am, was just not the same. Luckily now spring has sprung the red coat has returned). The Little Brown Dachschund is extra special because we only see him occasionally, perhaps only once a fortnight, and the children get so excited now that they've started winding down the windows and calling out. At first his owners were a bit startled and I suspect thought the children were being cheeky, but now they smile and graciously acknowledge the adoring cheers.

Everyone is agreed; it doesn't matter how few other items are spotted on a Dachschund Day, it is most definitely going to A Most Excellent Day.

PS. A Most Excellent Day to a gaggle of eight and ten year olds = double sport, gardening, library, free drawing and the eurythmy teacher's absence due to illness.

PPS. I promise I didn't leave a comment quite this long in someone's commentbox. Honest.

24 comments:

the nest said...

Sounds like a great way to start the day! What is it about eurythmy and its direct correlation to a good day at school?! ;-)

Eleanor said...

Best story ever!

(even though I'm going to have to look up eurythmy in my dictionary after I post this comment)

Next time I visit I want to time it so I can go in the car with the kids.

Eleanor said...

OK, I googled it.

I was the type of kid who would have LOVED eurythmy. Sigh.

Rose Red said...

Hmmm, I'm going to have to look up eurythmy too!

Great story though - glad you shared it!!

Gina said...

Fantastic story!

kmkat said...

Another eurhythmy-ignorant commenter here.

I LOVE your 8- and 10-year-olds! Driving them to school sounds like such fun. I used to drive my boys to school every morning because it meant we could all sleep an hour later than if they rode the school bus. Those morning drives are a precious memory.

Jen said...

HONK at the eurythmy out sick! Every time we get together with the IL's I try to get LB and his siblings to do a demonstration for me, and they always refuse.

willowcaroline said...

Amazing how universal things can be. If you were to come to our rural NC home, you would find the same sorts of games during car rides...punch buggy goes in and out of favor, which I am sure is a universal favorite...but mostly, if you asked my boys what kind of day that had and they said great.. you know that a) they had double games block, or b) the eurythmy teacher was out, hence the double games block, or c)or it was gardening/cooking day. At 9,13 and 16, those are still the things that make a great day.

pebbledash said...

Oh, great story!

And it reminds me of a dachschund story from my family....

Many years ago my grandmother had a rather grumpy dachschund called William. He would often bite or snap (even my grandmother, who fed him and adored him)and was generally unpleasant. My grandmother used to knit him little jackets and coats for the colder weather. One evening when we were staying she got William ready for his late night walk round the block, a chore given to my father on this occasion. Now my father does not have a way with animals....anyway, off they go, William all dressed up in his jacket. I might add that he never wanted to go on these late night walks, and was very slow and reluctant on the outbound bit, usually picking up speed as he made the turn for home. However, on this occasion he was slow going out, and just as slow coming home. My father really didn't take much notice of William, and just dragged him along on the usual route. It wasn't until he got back to the house and was in the light of the hall, that he bent down to take William's lead off, and remove his jacket. It was at this point that my father realized my grandmother had failed to pull William's front legs through the 'sleeves' of his jacket, and thus he had done the entire walk on his chin, with only his back legs to propel him along as his front legs were securely flattened against his undercarriage, inside his jacket.

Poor William! I have to say we were helpless with laughter....

And now I've left an extremely long comment! Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I love the original story and I'm afraid I laughed outloud at Pebbledash's comment. I needed cheering up - thank you both!
Bella

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Eurythmics ? If that's what I think it is , how very time-warpy !
We did Music and Movement at that age ....and looked like waterbuffalo . Their teacher may be discouraged rather than ill !
A dachshund in a red coat would guarantee a humdinger of a day almost anywhere .

alice c said...

Your post reminded me that of our school run which passed a solemn statue of a bemedalled Victorian soldier. We would greet him every morning "Good Morning Albert" and we always felt that he winked back at us.

librarygirl said...

How I love stories like this!
I can see every bit of it through your words.

Stomper Girl said...

Clearly VW's have extra lucky powers.

gis said...

Two great stories and a lot of laughter! Suse, please, continue with these posts, they are starting so many things with your readers and commenters. Thank you to all!!! Unfortunately no dachschund stories by me...

Meggie said...

Priceless story about poor William.

Grace said...

1. Suse, thank you for being so sweet.

2. It is a *fantastic* story.

3. My daughter LOVES eurythmy. I mean, loves, loves, loves it. I wonder what that says about her? ;)

4. I failed to mention that we have a dachsund who lives directly across the street from us. No great stories about him so far, though. This may be because he doesn't wear a coat.

5. Me, oh, my, pebbledash, what a story! So hilarious!

6. Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

One day while my daughter and I were walking home from her preschool, we saw a tiny little dog on a leash, wearing a shiny pink rain coat and four white shiny rain boots. The little thing was prancing along like a show pony. We only saw the dog that one time, but my daughter still remembers this 5 years later, and we still laugh about the dog in boots.

Kate said...

Oh, poor William! I am laughing so hard, does that make me a bad person?

One time I saw a family walking three ferrets and a very long suffering golden retriever at the beach. That was a good day.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, what a fabulous story about the little dachshund and his red coat. And as for Pebbledash's story - well, not much makes me laugh out loud when I'm in the house alone but that story sure did - wonderful.

Rae said...

I love this story so, so much. I kind of wish I was in your carpool.

eurolush said...

I'm with Rae.

Isn't it wonderful how kids can make games out of anything...even carpool rides to and from school?

Adults should do that more often. We'd all probably have a lot more fun.

Great story, Suse.

jamsandwich said...

Unfortunately we have never seen a dachshund in a red coat, what a joyous day that would be! We too play the numberplate game and also the first one in the car to spot the RACV has to shout 'we're there for you' (that is a long running game and we still love it) We do see a suited man on his way to work every morning who looks so sad that we have to devise an explanation for his sadness . Hopefuly one morning we will see him smile.

leslie said...

oh i like it, yes, i do : )