Wanna know the first thing I did when I walked in the door of my house, after the power was restored, and after thanking the heavens above?
I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom.
Before I unpacked.
Before I took a shower.
Before I ate any food.
Before I even updated my Facebook Status.
Cleaning has always been cathartic for me, especially when I feel totally out of control, or when I am in super-high-strung-panic-mode. And if there was ever a time I truly needed to clean, this was it.
After unpacking, finishing the laundry, and making all things sparkly fresh, my son and I began the hunt for food. Obviously everything in our refrigerator had expired. And after living on frozen Pizza and Halloween candy, for six days in a row, we were pretty desperate for a solid meal.
However, finding something to eat proved to be a lot more difficult than I expected.
As we drove down the highway, it was unsettling to see so many houses and businesses still blacked out. Some traffic lights were still totally non-functional, others had been knocked down to the ground, and the rest just blinked yellow. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see a Red traffic light, upright, working properly.
We tried several different restaurants, only to find they were closed, or still without power. Police officers patrolled the parking lots for potential looters. And I was beginning to feel as though this is what life would be like after the Zombie Apocalypse.
I didn’t want spend too much time driving around in the car in light of the gas situation. And by “situation” I mean the gas supply New Jersey is very limited. And the little amount that is available is being rationed out via some numerical odd/even system that I don’t really understand, because my plate ends with a letter, and mostly because I don’t understand anything mathematical, whatsoever.
And who the hell wants to wait on this line?
We were just about to give up, when we decided to make a left, instead of a right onto another highway. And much to our surprise everything was lit up like Las Vegas.
“Oh, hell yes!” My son shouted. “Lights! People! Cars!”
“Eureka!” I yelled back while making an illegal turn because I couldn’t pull into the strip-mall fast enough. “There has to be food in here!”
Of course, it took ten minutes for us to find the only vacant parking space. But once we parked the car we hauled ass into the Chinese restaurant.
“Can we get a table for two?”
“Can we at least see a menu?”
“No beef. Only chicken.”
“Um, how about eggrolls.”
“No. Just noodles.”
With our stomach rumbling we ordered the only option on the menu and then I handed her my Visa card.
“Cash only. No machine.”
“Oh.” It hadn’t occurred to me that debit/credit card machines wouldn’t work, even though the power was back. And I usually don’t carry any cash. “Um… What’s the total?”
I looked in my wallet but I only had $10.00.
I turned to my son and suggested we try going to Walmart because maybe they would accept credit cards and maybe they would have some food that we could cook back home. And I was dressed appropriately. And by appropriately, I mean in my pajamas.
“Wait!” My son checked his back pocket, “I have ten bucks too!”
As we walked back to the car with a bag full of Chinese greasiness I grabbed my son’s hand, “Dude, this is like real life Survivor, yo.”
He replied with perfect comedic timing and a rap song, “Cash rules everything around me. C.R.E.A.M get the money.”
“Dolla dolla bill y’all.”
Dolla dolla bill, indeed.
We decided we would still go to Walmart because it was right across the street. And it probably wouldn’t be packed because it was so late. And we should pick up a few things to have in the house so we wouldn’t have to play ‘Scavenger Hunt’ in the morning for breakfast.
Now, anyone who’s ever shopped at Walmart on a GOOD DAY knows it’s a lot like ‘Night Of The Living Dead.’
And this was no exception.
But at least Walmart accepted debit/credit cards.
We grabbed a cart fully prepared to clean out the store. But I didn’t Hula Hoop, like the last time I was there, because we were on a serious mission.
We went up and down every single aisle, in search of necessary staples.
Bacon? No way.
90% of the shelves were completely empty.
Fortunately, they did have some frozen foods.
[*insert maniacal laughter*]
We bought that.
And one package of Toaster Strudel®
On the way to the register, we grabbed a few toiletries, like shampoo and deodorant so we wouldn’t smell like dirty mokeys. And I was smart enough choose “cash back” – because I had just learned a valuable lesson about always having paper money on my person.
When we arrived home, we stuffed our faces and our bellies with Chicken Lo Mein, until we passed out under MSG induced comas.
And speaking of comas…
The next day, after my parents came home from my Uncle Ricks house, and after socializing with my friends for a few hours at my favorite club, commonly referred to as KHCC, and after ingesting the greatest Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger of all time….
I slept, and slept, and slept, and slept. I slept as if I had mononucleosis. Like for 20 hours. I didn’t even smoke a cigarette, much less read any blogs.
It’s safe to say, that I am feeling a MILLION times better. In fact, I almost feel new. And I am 100% ready and willing and able to dive back into NaNoBloPo & NaNoWriMo.
And I still haven’t missed a single day!
PS: Since we’re still pretending I am George Lucas, by posting my story about Hurricane Sandy, in reverse order, like Star Wars, I am happy to announce that Part One, Two, and Three will be shared next. And in that order.
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