So as my father honked and yelled at me to get in the car and I squished my way through a lawn growing moderately saturated under what would prove to be something between a half and a whole inch of rain in about a half day he swung the door open and repeated my assertion that I should get in. (I should mention, part of my feeling of calm was that my mother was a registered nurse for quite a few years and was quite able to call 911 if she thought she was in serious jeopardy; in fact, back in 2006 she did.) He told me that my mother had called from the Friendly's parking lot and that I should call her to let her know we were on the way. He gave me his cell phone and I did as specified, calling and reporting that we were on the way up.
There was also the matter of getting straight exactly where she was, since while I can think of two Friendly's north of us, one of them is in a shopping mall and no one would sensibly speak of the Friendly's parking lot in that context, and the next is in Troy, New York, or at least was as recently as 2003. I know of at least two Friendly's restaurants south of us, but my mother does not go south except for summer holidays to the Outer Banks. There had been a Friendly's north of us, but it was torn down early last year to become a bank which I expect will soon be torn down to become a Friendly's again. It turns out someone had miscommunicated: she was in the parking lot of a TGI Friday's, which I could certainly locate. My father knows very well how to navigate based on restaurants as landmarks and the only tricky part here is we'd have to manage a U-turn around the intersection of two major highways.
That done, my father told me to call my sister-in-law. Her husband would be a better contact person and general factotum for keeping organized everything that needed organizing, except that while he is generally very good about planning and organization he is completely incapable of supervising anything even vaguely medical. He once, and I am neither exaggerating nor making this up in the slightest, passed out for twenty minutes because our brother-in-law was chatting about having his blood pressure taken. And they were chatting over Instant Messenger. When someone falls sick he is not the person to tell.
But he answered my sister-in-law's phone anyway. She was in the shower. She had also just been called minutes earlier, by my father, to be warned that we were going to be leaving in minutes, and it was very hard to see how the tiny bit of news that we had actually left the house could be worth a breaking update. I attempted to fill in a bit of chatter about things in general to cover the awkward and goofy timing of this, but my father insisted we had to keep the phone clear in case my mother called. Right.
Trivia: The Titanic's radio call sign was ``MGY''. Source: Signor Marconi's Magic Box, Gavin Weightman.
Currently Reading: Decline And Fall, Otto Friedrich. Aaaaand on to the harebrained scheme to save the day while putting off useful things like charging subscribers something on the same order of magnitude of what it costs to produce the magazine and hope that the right magic merger will save everything. Are failing/flailing businesses required to follow the same script?