>To establish the setting:
Where I work there is an employee parking lot approximately 200 feet from the employee entrance, affectionately known as “the pit”. It is a gravelly, pothole-laden patch of land which is not adequately sized to accommodate the whole of the staff. Hence, there is another parking lot across the street which is a kind of “overflow” lot for when valet is full but employees are able to park there as well.
I’m driving to work and on my way I happen to notice that there is snow atop the mountains that punctuate the skyline where I live. I was tickled. I love winter, and this was the first time I saw any indication that winter was well on its way.
As I crossed the bridge and prepared to enter “the pit”, I was prevented from pulling into the narrow inlet by a police car with lights ablaze. Knowing my co-workers the way I do, I suspected one of them had foolishly sped down the 30-mph zone in an effort to be on time.
However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that not only was the officer out of the car, but he was also standing with hands outstretched in front of him, gun in hand.
In front of him knelt a young man in a plaid shirt and jeans with his hands on his head.
Keep in mind I work and live out in “the sticks”, where people get pulled over for going 2 mph over the speed limit because the local cops are so bored.
Criminal activity is not necessarily our thing.
So, I was forced to park in the valet overflow lot. As I made my way to the employee entrance, I noticed a second car pull up. Backup.
I got to work, giddy with the news that “somebody is gettin’ busted in the pit!”, blah blah blah.
It was at this point that one of the chefs flicked the switch to turn on the warmers on the hot line.
An explosion to rival the 4th of July ensued, complete with blue flames and firecracker pops.
Lights flickered for a moment, a body part inventory was taken, and all but the hot line seemed to be functioning within normal parameters.
Not just yet.
About 20 minutes after the “flaming hot line” incident, a resounding crash echoed throughout the kitchen. Only the noise wasn’t coming from the kitchen. It came from the dining room.
Trepidatiously, we tiptoed around the corner, peeking around the wall like heads on a totem pole.
One of the shades on the hanging ceiling lamps had somehow wrenched itself free from the fixture and came crashing down on the table. Casualties included 2 crystal water glasses, 2 champagne flutes, 2 Rosenthall coffee cups, saucers and bread plates, and a lead-crystal vase containing rocks and rosemary stems.
The cherry on this metaphoric triple-poofy-parfait of a day was a near-accident in the roundabout-style valet parking area involving a Lincoln Town Car and a runaway daushund whose owners were either ignorant of or ignoring the rule regarding dogs on the property.
I’m going to go watch Rome now.
Today is fini.