laptop, she wrote

We’ll go dancing, set fires
Tag buildings, slash tires
Drive go-karts like shriners
Just hang out at Fred Meyers
— the prophet glen phillips

And that was the day our lives became a Hallmark Mystery Movie. We can only hope no “Full House” stars snag leading roles.

It started out innocently enough. I was working, which meant I had to have perfect silence because I am Precious. Mo, who is much too thoughtful to be living with the likes of me, retreated to the bedroom closet to talk with her mom on the phone.

And then my shift ended and I came out to share the rest of the ice cream with the cat before Mo noticed. In my defense, it was mostly the cat’s plan. And then we faded to commercial.

When we came back to the movie, Mo was walking into the living room, carrying a bag. It was a reusable bag for Fred Myers, a grocery store chain we’ve never used. We’ve never even lived in a city that had a Fred Myers. The closest we’ve come to a Fred Myers was listening to Glen Phillips perform a Fred Myers song after he was a Wet Sprocket but before John Mayer was a member of the Grateful Dead. That’s a different movie.

Mo held out the bag. “Did you lose a computer?” she asked.

This struck me as an odd question. I have owned maybe five computers in my life, six if you count those early pocket football games. I wish she had found my early pocket game. I responded the only way I knew how: “No.”

She reached in the bag and pulled out a Gateway laptop. It was shiny and seemingly in mint condition, ensconced in its own little travel bag. It appeared to be somewhat expensive, and glaringly red. I am fine with laptops being any color imaginable, as long as those colors are either black or silver. This one was neither.

She had come across this bag while sitting on the floor of the closet, a place where we never go because it just contains clothes and stuff, and we’ve developed a system where we keep all the clothes we actually wear on the floor of the bedroom. Genius, I know.

This was weird. And then it got weirder. Fade to commercial.

When the show came back, she was pulling more stuff out of the Bag of Mystery. There was a long unused length of nylon rope, a roll of duct tape, an old dress, and a plastic clothes bag from a hospital. Huh?

Mo thinks the dress might have come from her artist’s studio in Texas, a keepsake from Tim Pona, who enjoyed dressing as Bugs Bunny in drag on slow weekends. Assuming the bag was stuff from when we were moving here, the tape and rope would make sense as moving accessories. The Fred Myers bag might have come from a visit to Seattle. BUT HOW THE HECK DID WE ACQUIRE A COMPUTER?

At this point our impossibly attractive Black neighbor dropped by with cookies. Actually, he did not, but it’s now essential in Hallmark movies to feature a minority in a quasi-important speaking role for no obvious reason. And then it was back to the plot.

The laptop came with a power cord, but seems to be quite dead. The screen shows nothing, possibly because of Hallmark’s contract with Apple computers. “Doesn’t work? Should have bought an Apple,” the elderly gent who may or may not be Santa would have said were this a proper Hallmark movie.

As I looked it over, a clue. It’s got a label on it identifying it as a company computer for a company we’ve never heard of. So now we’re corporate thieves. But at least we have rope and duct tape.

And so, here we are. As it turns out, it wasn’t a Hallmark movie at all, but one of those annoying mini-series, so we have no idea how this turns out. I just binged out on “The Good Place” over the weekend, so I’m tired of TV. Maybe I’ll wait for the book to come out instead.

Only three things I know for sure:

■ We are harboring a computer we know absolutely nothing about. This is weird.

■ If needed, I’ll totally turn state’s witness on Mo. She looks great in horizontal stripes, and the cat and I will have more ice cream.

■ This is quite a Hallmark extravaganza. I hope we can get Glen Phillips to score the soundtrack. But no “Full House” stars unless we can lure an Olsen twin out of retirement.

Fade to “to be continued” …


About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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