You know how I told you I'm writing the Memoirs of a Dummy? Well I decided it might be easier if I skip straight to the movie version of my life.
And it would be even easier if I ask Jared and Jerusha Hess to write the screenplay because I pretty much worship the ground they walk on, (and their Napoleon Dynamite cartoon is pretty much my new favorite series) and I pretty much suck as a writer right now.
(Maybe they can title my movie Crash Test Dummy Dynamite.)
I tried to write the screenplay myself, but it started off with a driving scene, ended with a driving scene, and there were a lot of driving scenes in between.
(Driving Miss Dummy, maybe?)
When I wasn't driving off into the sunset, there were several scenes of me as a child moving my bedroom furniture around.
(Did you know women who move their furniture around are unhappily married and much more likely to have an affair than women who don't? I learned this in my first college literature class. But since I was only 10 years old when I began pushing my bed from wall to wall I was probably just unhappily unmarried.)
At first I thought my movie might appeal to a broad audience--people who enjoy driving away from Provo, for example. Or people who receive comfort from taking control of their bedroom furniture before it takes control of them. There must be a medical term for that--something that infers a rare psychological disorder. Runorexia, maybe?
I was a runner, not a fighter. I mean that figuratively, of course because when I actually ran cross country in high school it didn't take me long to figure out I'd rather run from pain than with pain.
That's where planes, trains and automobiles came in handy.
But that movie has already been made, right?
In the early years my vehicle of choice for getting outta dodge was my Papa and Gigi's brand new Subaru. Every summer they filled up the hatchback with Instant Breakfast, Shasta Cola and enough hand-me-downs from Value Village to get seven children through the Great Depression. It took exactly 12 hours from their pink house on Maine street in Long Beach, California to get to our little brick house in Provo. This I know because I sat at the front window with a stop watch.
After they finished unloading their Subaru and doing our dishes, Gigi and Papa sat in the front room to giggle and gab, while I did cartwheels and sent up secret prayers that my daddy's boa constrictor wouldn't crawl out of the heating vent behind Gigi's head like last time.
So much depended upon that darn Boa Constrictor.
Several days later my Papa would load up the car. "Who's coming home with us this year?" he would say, but it was just a formality. I was already handcuffed to the back seat waiting for them to drive me to the promised land, where the air always swayed like movie stars and smelled like lemon drops.
There was no need to take control of the bedroom furniture in the promise land. The only thing I took control of was Gigi's recliner and the ceramic cookie jar full of Oreos. Plus I had so many friends in the promised land that I didn't have time to run--Jed Clampett, H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and his Sea Monsters, Underdog, Jeanie, Samantha, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, George Jetson, Max Smart--the list was endless.
But it wasn't about the destination, as much as it was about the journey. The drive. The 12 hours of perpetual motion in the away direction. Away, away, away we drove, over the desert and through the woods . . .
At then at 16 I discovered the Greyhound. It stopped in Vegas for breakfast. At 18 I discovered that airplanes took me farther faster--New York, Boston, London, Paris, Tel Aviv. Trains cost less and doubled as lodging on my way to Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland . . .
On and on and on she goes, where she stops nobody knows.
Then I crashed. On an island far, far, away. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by sand and sea for 17 years.
I was a castaway.
But then that movie's already been done too!
So yesterday I got discouraged about my memoirs. "I can't do this," I thought. "Even Jared and Jerusha can't do this."
So I went on a road trip. To the grocery store. I bought a drinkable yogurt and a box of candy hearts. On the way home my dog, Lulu rode shotgun and extended her paw to me. We held hands for a few blocks while I threw down some candy hearts. "You want one?" I said to Lulu at the light on 100 East. She nodded and I poured three hearts into the palm of my hand.
"These three hearts are messages from the Universe," I declared.
I picked up the first one and read it out loud. "Puppy Love" it read.
"Ain't that the truth," I told Lulu as she ate it from my hand.
Then I picked up the next heart. "U can do it" it read. I paused before popping it into my mouth and picking up the last heart.
"I said, U. CAN. DO. IT!" it read.
One "U can do it" is coincidence. But two? Now that's destiny.
Happy Valentines Day, peeps! LY!