Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday in The Jerz

This past Saturday, Kevin, Franny and I bravely ventured beyond the friendly confines of Manhattan to the exotic and far off land called…New Jersey.

Our lovely friends, Greg and Jess Thomases, recently had their second child. And since we had just signed up for Zipcar, we couldn’t think of a better excuse to use it than to visit baby Jax and his family.

We started the day off getting dragged to the parking spot for the Zipcar by Little Miss Fran. She must have spidey-sensed that she was on her way to greener pastures. Too bad she had to ride in a car to get there. Poor girl was shivering and shaking in fear for the entire car ride. And she was doing that dog thing where they breathe with their tongues hanging out of the side of their mouths (I think it’s the canine equivalent to the human expression of “shitting your pants”).

Driver Kevin gracefully endured my usual unnecessary wincing and obnoxious backseat driving, and got us there safe and sound as always. And as soon as we pulled up to Greg & Jess’ house, I opened the car door and Fran jumped out faster than Kobayashi can eat one single hot dog.

It was 75 degrees and sunny, and we spent most of the afternoon in their awesome backyard eating lunch, chit-chatting and watching our dogs gnaw on firewood. We had negotiations with Emma (their 2.5 year old cutie) regarding her lunch menu that would have made the UN proud. We also helped continually press her Dora The Explorer Band-Aid on her hand after she got a boo-boo from falling on the concrete.
We sat in the sun while Baby Jax napped his two-week old ass off. We skyped with The Benjamins (and yes, they get a capital T as well as a capital B). And we ended the day with an unplanned (!!!) trip to Target. Kev and Fran waited in the car while I ran through the store as if I were on Supermarket Sweep. It was a fantastic day. Until the drive home, that is.

For those who are unfamiliar with Zipcar, you have a very strict start and end time. If you don’t return the car on time, you have to pay big hourly fines, most importantly because someone else could have the car reserved directly after you. So while sitting in asinine late Saturday afternoon Holland Tunnel traffic, reservation time left on our Zipcar rental ticking away, we notice a bunch of cars zoom past us on the right-hand shoulder. Simultaneously, the lightbulbs go off in each of our heads.

After about one-third of one-half of a second of not wanting to be one of “those assholes”, Driver Kev hightails it over to the shoulder with me egging him on. We go flying past everybody, skirting at least an hour’s worth of traffic. I mean, people understand, right? We have a huge sign on the car that says “ZIPCAR!!!!! WE ONLY HAVE THE CAR RESERVED FOR A CERTAIN TIME PERIOD OR ELSE WE HAVE TO PAY A BIG FINE!!!! MOVE OUT OF OUR WAY PLEASE, PLEASE?!!!!!”

After a few people shouting expletives and only one near-miss driver-side mirror swipe, we made it back to the parking spot at 4:59:59. Whew.

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