Hilarity of Wyoming ballet-lovers who lose their auto after attending Swan Lake.
|Dear City Slicker Friend,
I thought I'd send you something to smile about today. I decided to get some culture, after a week of branding and vaccinations at the ranch. It was good to get the grit out of my ponytail and manicure my nails. My girl-buddy MaryAnn and I decided on a "chick's night out", because Slim and Red are out on a long haul. After dinner at Perkins, we saw Swan Lake (yes, ballet) at the WYO Theater in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Those girls were mighty stringy, but strong enough to kick a goat over. The Handsome Prince prancers turned out to be more like calf-throwers than dancers. It was mighty educational, but we fell asleep after the intermission. Dratted classical music doesn't have any twang to keep a soul alert.
Anyway, we left the ballet after 10:30 to drive back to Buffalo. But, MaryAnn's car wasn't parked around the corner from the WYO. We double-checked both sides of the street, then walked another block both ways. A tow away zone sign was near where we had parked. We deduced her Toyota SUV had been impounded for improper parking. By now, it was nearly midnight and the sidewalks had been rolled up.
Stranded on the dark street, we walked blocks to find a lighted business. The Beaver Creek Saloon was just closing. A group of inebriated, geriatric deer hunters harassed us from the front steps, so we crossed Main Street to find safety. On the flip side, the "youth" attending a Rave at the tattoo parlor approached us with raucous innuendos. We re-crossed Main Street. Flattered, however, that at an average age of 48 1/2 we still attract men of all ages -- and imparities of judgment.
The only other place open was the infamous Rainbow Bar, where all "Strangers are Welcome." Dressed in our ballet finery, we tiptoed to the nearest stool to order two ginger-ales and one 911 call. A gruff bartender dialed the police, while casually stating, "they know where we are, alright". For an endless hour, the homeless, the seriously intoxicated and two prim ballet-lovers silently perched on gritty barstools while scruffy ranch hands played pool in the back room.
An officer finally arrived to confirm our car wasn't where we "claimed to have parked." We sputtered indignantly about double-checking our parking place upon leaving the car. But, MaryAnn did admit she doesn't lock doors. I suddenly recalled spare keys on her console, just the day before. Drawing identical three-way conclusions, we rode to Police HQ to report a stolen car.
MaryAnn, as the crime victim, claimed the front seat of the marked police car. I was locked into the bulletproof backseat usually reserved for suspects. Pulling into the PD with a screech, both front seat occupants slammed doors on exiting to race to the front doors. Imprisoned in the back seat, I sweated in embarrassed silence until the forgetful officer returned to release his prisoner.
Immediately after filing her report, a squad car located MaryAnn's SUV in a darkened restaurant parking lot. Our officer chauffeured us to the squad car-choked alley. All spotlights were focused on the recovered car. A half dozen Sherlock Holmeses were on duty. One pulled a dead pigeon from the ski rack, observing that rigor-mortis hadn't set in. He concluded the car hadn't been abandoned very long. Another looked at wet tire tread and declared the car had only recently been parked. If she parked in the loading zone of Gizmo's Rentals at 7 p.m. and it was now past one a.m., the evidence was fresh. Ah, a mystery in Sheridan: they were enjoying it immensely!
As an apologetic officer finally released me from back seat lockup, Mary Ann casually leaned over to pinch me, while urgently hissing in my ear. What MaryAnn whispered was, "Don't you DARE say a WORD!" THE CAR WAS EXACTLY WHERE SHE PARKED IT. We forgot about driving out of the tow away zone in our haste to be seated before the curtain rose. Did we have to confess? Not if we didn't talk at all!!
We silently examined the seemingly untouched interior by the glare of the officers' MagLights. We quietly complied to each suggestion and inventoried our belongings. Mary Ann finally agreed that dusting for prints would make a mess that was nearly impossible to clean up. Her car was undamaged, thank God!
One officer speculated that we had been victimized by a prankster-friend who knew MaryAnn's habits well enough to use her spare keys. Another advocated for sharp-eyed joy riders with a conscience, who returned the SUV under cover of darkness. We nodded gravely at all suggestions. Finally, MaryAnn was lectured for not locking doors and leaving spare keys in the open snack tray. I hung my head in shame for not being a more responsible friend. We drove away guiltily having told no lies, except those of omission.
The snickering started almost immediately. Soon, we suffered from laughter-induced blindness. We pulled into the Wal-Mart Super Center to soothe ourselves with chocolate. Sufficiently sedated by a large box of Junior Mints, we drove home a little calmer.
I'm keeping my blood oath to MaryAnn that "I won't ever tell Red about tonight's misadventure". But, I had to tell someone, or burst. Have a good laugh on my account. Every word of this tale is embarrassingly true. I have many police officers' testimony to confirm what they probably already suspect.
Love, tons and tons,
Marcia (alias:"Lucy" of "Lucy and Ethel" or "Shirley" of "Laverne and Shirley"
PS- Finding the car where we parked it leaves a freshly killed pigeon, wet tires and relocated spare keys unexplained. That must be someone else's story to tell.