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Monday, November 2, 2009

As the Zombie Turns

The phone woke me up.

“Mom! Are you sober?”

Huh? What kind of question is that? Oh, wait. It’s Halloween night, and it’s 2:00 a.m. Contrary to every intention, I was not only sober, but I had been asleep for almost 45 minutes. I was no longer in costume, although I cannot say the same for the make-up.

“Yeah, I’m sober. And I’m asleep. What’s up?”

“Sweets and I are downtown and I’ve been calling for a taxi for over an hour but all I get is a busy tone. We’re standing outside the Orpheum. Will you come pick us up?”

Ack. Why does this guy continue to make demands of me?

Oh, yes. Because he’s my son. And because I would do the same for any friend who called with the same request.


I pull on my wig and reapply my lipstick.

“I’m on my way.”

I shoulda known I was in trouble when I passed an embryonically-young couple scantily dressed as American Indians just as I crossed the Mississippi into the city. The young man was on the phone, the young woman was huddled on a bus bench, sobbing in the cold.

Four blocks away from my destination, the police are redirecting traffic, there are hundreds and hundreds of costumed people in the streets, some of whom look moments away from declaring Martial Law.

Around the block, down another three blocks, and I’m back on Hennepin. The scene is crazy – people, everywhere, trying to get out of Minneapolis. The bars closed at 1:00. Everyone is waiting for a taxi, everyone is cold.

Stopped at a light less than a block from The Boy and Sweets, I am the only car within at least a two-block radius. A young man approaches my car, tries a door. It’s locked. He hits my trunk with his fist: THUNK.

He’s kidding, right?

I put the car in reverse, back up to the point where he and I are eye to eye. I open the passenger window. “HEY,” I bark. “What’s your problem?!”

Surprisingly, he steps back on to the sidewalk, acting as if he didn’t hear me, while it is obvious through the looks on their faces that his friends have.

“Stay on the sidewalk, honey,” I shout at him. “You’re going to get yourself hurt by someone you won’t be able to identify later.”

The lights change, and moments later a Zombie Doctor and a Ballerina climb into the car. Sweets is shivering as the Zombie opens the back door for her, then climbs into the front seat.

“Oh, man. I owe you, Mom; I really owe you.”

That’s all I need to hear.

“I’ll add it to your tab,” I say.


powdergirl said...

Jeez, Pearl, you slept in that lipstick?
I'd hate to see your pillow cases that next AM!

Sounds like my burg after a concert, never a damn cab when you need one, so, can I call you next time I'm sitting in the cold with my ears still ringing form the concert?

Cute pic : )

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Well, it was nice to know they weren't driving but some taxi company had their head up their patootie for missing this opportunity. Don't you love when they call and they are grateful for your help? I even get called Mommy then. hee, hee.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I love the way you grabbed your wig!! LOL!

Menopausal New Mom said...

What a great mom you are to do battle through the streets on Halloween night at that hour! Hope they make it up to you! BTW, love the costume! Is that you??

Pearl said...

powdergirl, I actually refreshed my lipstick for the drive to town. A girl likes to look her best, you know. :-) And can you call me? Yes. But it might be a while!!!

Happy Hour, that's exactly what I thought!

Lee, I'm glad you liked that. :-) I thought, why not?!

MNM (Eminem?!), thank you -- I got it from my father, who would do the same. And yes, that's me. :-) What? Doesn't it LOOK like me?! :-)

CatLadyLarew said...

The joys of parenthood just keep on comin'...

Oh, and nice look you got goin' on there!

Suzyhayze said...

Oh yes. The Tab. I call it the therapy jar.

Daffy said...

..."I pulled on my wig...."

SNORTING! That's such a classic line

mapstew said...

We WILL do anything for our babies won't we?

Good Mom!


Christine Gram said...

Oh you're such a good Mom! I had no idea Minneapolis was such a lively city.

@eloh said...

Those big RED lips were the costume. I think I would have really layered it on. You look great.


Pearl said...

CatLady, why thank you! I call it "she looked great at midnight but this is what you've woken up to". :-) It's a special kind of scary. :-)

Suzy, that's very funny -- I wish i'd said it!

Daffy, the more I think about it, the more I think you're right!
I really should keep a wig next to the bed more often...

Mapstew, how could I let a zombie and a ballerina walk home?! Granted, it can't be more than three miles, tops...

Christine, it's one of the cooler things about Minneapolis, that it has a nightlife. I've seen some cities that are actually kind of uninhabited after the work day is over, but we've got people who live downtown, lovely restaurants, lots of theaters, music, art galleries, parks, punks on corners asking for your change. Yeah. We got it all. :-)

Pearl said...

eloh, actually the pictures looks a little better than the reality. :-) I had shaded heavily under my eyes, the creases in my forehead, my temples, all in gray. My skin tone had been made very white, the lipstick was smeared, applied, smeared, applied... In person, I looked really messed up. :-) The picture doesn't truly do it justice.

Jayne Martin said...

Love that you shouted at the asshole that pounded on your car. Bet he thinks twice before doing that again.

Douglas said...

I suppose you are the kind of mom that actually shows up to pay bail too.

I was so deprived!

My mother would say, "I'll be right there." but my dad would say, "What, you broke both your legs?"

KaLynn said...

i love it! you're a terrific mom! love the picture too! Awesome!!

avalanche said...


I think you, me and my co-worker, Salsa Lady were the only 3 sober people downtown on Saturday. (I'm a Minneapolite too.) We walked out of Solera, where we are both servers, at 2 am and it was chaos. I've never seen anything quite like it. I actually had to stop for a second. I felt dizzy. I think my exact quote was, "We gotta get the hell outta here. Fast. The drunks have taken over the city."

Here's to our survival! I don't know about you, but I'm having a drink.

Pearl said...

Jayne, let's hope the little reprobate even remembers it!!

Douglas, bail?! I don't know about that one. 1. I don't have that kind of money and 2. Wby?!!! WHAT DID YOU DO?! So far, neither I nor The Boy have attracted the attention of the police. Let's hope life continues in this fashion!

KaLyn, pretty scary, huh?! :-)

avalanche, I probably drove right past you! Solera's a great place. And it WAS crazy, wasn't it?! I was so surprised. I live in Northeast, so it's not much of a drive downtown (picked them up at the Orpheum) so it's probably less than five miles, round trip, yet it took me 40 minutes! Good thing it was so cold -- a warmer group of drunks might've rioted!

lisleman said...

it great that he called vs. driving or getting into a another car driven by someone not capable of driving.

Pearl said...

lisleman, The Boy's really quite good about that. He sometimes takes a cab, sometimes stays at a friend's house. (I should stop calling him "The Boy" -- he's 25. I hope no one thinks he's a kid or something!)

Matty said...

The things we do for our kids. And what a tab they're running up.

Linda said...

It didn't happen often, but my kids were lucky that I worked nights- I was home and awake when I got those calls. Once their father is asleep, the phone does not wake him up.

You're an A1 mom.

Anonymous said...

"Embryonically young" I just love that. Fabulous getup. Oh, and you're an awfully nice and generous person.

justsomethoughts... said...

you look fantabulous.
and i wonder what the tab looks like at this pioint.

Not The Rockefellers said...


you are awesome
even undead :)

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing, you're a good mom, you take care of them!

tattytiara said...

Hot lips and a cool attitude - I won't be disrespecting your ride anytime soon, babe.

Jeanne said...

"...you'll get hurt by someone you won't be able to identify later...."

Unless he's one of your followers, of course.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ha! "Grabbed your wig!" Pearl, you never cease to crack me up.

And you are a very nice Mom for going out so late!


Oh My Goddess said...

You are a good mom! Sober at 2:00am I mean.

Lynn said...

Mom points!
Sadly they aren't redeemable.

SweetPeaSurry said...

LMAO ... fabu story ... I'm happy they got home safe!

Gaston Studio said...

Yep, a terrific mom and a terrific son for knowing you'd rescue him.

The Retired One said...

You are one HOT MAMA in so many ways.
He is one lucky son.

Oh, and I am sure you got lessons from the Octamom on the lipstick job.
Great costume.
That WAS a costume, right?????

Deborah said...

Please to make your acquaintance. Thank you for stopping by my little world. That was quite a story! I guess life is a bit more quiet here in the desert. Nice to get those Moments in Mothering every once in the while. **happy smiles** Deborah

Jocelyn said...

I have a strong memory of wandering around Hennepin at 2 a.m. (back in the day) in the rain after The Saloon closed or something...or after having one of those drinks in the big Buddha glass at The Nankin...trying to catch a cab...unable...wearing a cute pencil skirt...having a large African-American man tell me "You better get out of the rain, 'cause sugar like you melts!"...until I found a pay phone and called everyone I could think of, until someone I had met once when she hosted a party at her house came and got me. She worked at Bally's Fitness, by the way.

Which is all to say: great story. As always.