Optimist Club

The Club exists, mostly isolated to the southern states. I portrayed Help and a Donkey at a meeting recently. Betty asked me to bring some current issues for the Club's brunch.  A self-starter would have mailed them, saving both a dry cleaning bill and a reputation. I packed two oversized bags, each with 50 issues, totaling 50 lbs of weight.  The weather teased me that day as I dressed in preparation for sleet, it was really muggy with the humidity just high enough to call for pit stains. I was breathless looking at the driveway, both for myself and the help who got their mail, mentally noting that Optimist Brunch really equals Moving Day.

My arrival coincided with some Elderly members, limiting my next movements to "looking for the phantom time sensitive item" in my car, or acting out my Donkey role, sans rehearsal, with an audience. In hindsight, I should have rolled down my window and given them a gentle reminder about their 4pm supper date to get them going, as the time I used searching for my phantom item only alloted them time enough to stretch their legs to prep for the walk uphill.

I pushed through, knowing as Clarkson had recently taught me that "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." My Donkey role was not young and hip, I resembled an aged Donkey instead, abandoned in the field to graze when the real work began. I was panting by step two and at the halfway point, I almost fainted. Stopping to catch my breath was not an option, this wasn't a home workout video, this was a driveway. I reached the peak wheezing, feeling much like Rocky without the flag, but unlike him, could still not celebrate. Elderly members were trailing me and my mission wasn't complete. At this point, their being Elderly was my only defense, so I silently prayed for a hip fracture, but only for one of them, knowing just one fracture would stop them all from trying.

Owner had upholstered the house from floor to ceiling, and not with the material I used in my home, this fabric looked like it wasn't made in China. Two young, vulnerable bartenders were on duty as I cussed the humidity, knowing it would be nearly impossible to Cougar Coral them while panting. I dropped the bags and purse, and began layout duty.

I placed the issues strategically, moved a few times for good measure, and tabbed the stories the Club members would wallow in. This took just enough time for the water bottle in my purse to empty on the Owner's floor, directly in the midst of her party, laughing at her prep and flower arrangements, mocking her carbonated water and designer cupcakes. I made the bad decision of a 4-star leaker that day, minimal time to drain equals greatest damage. My runner's high had left me negligent in placing the 4-star leaker horizontally in my bag. I saw the puddle before I knew it was mine, thinking possibly Owner's Expensive Untrained Dog had an accident? The spill was directly in route of the bar, a sure bet someone, possibly an Elderly, was going to slip. With my runner's high still making decisions, I ran to the kitchen to fetch a towel, changing my role to Help, only noticing my wake upon my return, following me around whispering to be cleaned. It would have been better to wake up from a Highschool Naked Dream to find out it was not only real, but graduation day and they were calling my name to accept my diploma in the buff. The sweat was pooling on the back of my legs as I kneeled, clandestinely to play my role of Help, but really praying the Owner would be too consumed with her crown molding to notice that it was, in fact, my bag peeing on her floor. Betty stood over me, questioning the water's origin. I knew at this point, what I neglected to say it aloud, thinking if I withheld from saying so, I would wake up and the water would be gone.  As Owner's presence became more dominant, I hurried, begging the paper towels to work just as the commercial says. I glanced back and forth to Betty, mentally telling her not to reveal the source of the leak if she uncovered the mystery. Instead, Betty said aloud what I was silently erasing, "it's coming from your purse, do you have water in your purse?" As if I were Expensive Untrained Dog, who had just pooed on the new rug, I peaked at Owner, head lowered shamefully, with the room was still, while I was on the floor sweating with dry women standing around me. Red-face, drenched, with my purse tinkling, I stood with as much dignity as I could muster and said, "I always carry water in my purse....I make bad decisions when I don't have it." I backed out of the room to the kitchen where the two Cougar escapees were stationed. Their compassion was overwhelming, clearly one of them had leaked water from their purse in a previous life.

On my descent, I passed several Club members walking up the mountain. As odd as it may seem, I swear although they were walking to the meeting, I saw their spirits running for the booze.