Monday, October 03, 2005

some enchanted evening

There are bad decisions. Like deciding to try your hand at Salmonella Roulette with precariously pink pork. Like jumping in the ocean after reading the sign that says, "Warning: Box Jellyfish!" Like leaving the perming solution on for 45 minutes instead of 10 so that you can have really curly Molly Ringwald hair. Aside from a minor case of the runs and several small chemical burns to my neck and scalp, I managed to emerge from these bad decisions relatively unscathed.

Then there are Really Bad Decisions.

Like when I was a junior in college and making frequent evening trips between voice practice at the music building and my dorm, which was clear across campus. Like any other young girl walking unaccompanied at night, I felt vulnerable and often feared for my safety. The campus was poorly lit, and rumors abounded about attackers lurking in dark corners, preying upon defenseless victims. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of living my life in fear, but I'll admit that I was all too willing when my friend offered to sell me a black market can of Mace for extra security. At barely 2 inches high, the canister was so diminutive and unassuming. I held it in my hand with a mixture of both trepidation and relief, knowing that if the need ever arose, I could rest assured that I could protect myself. Just to be sure, I studied the trigger mechanism, and it seemed to operate like any other aerosol device. Having had a lot of experience with hairspray after the Molly Ringwald fiasco, I felt fairly confident about my ability to execute the index finger-pump action. Reassured, I set off on my trek back to my dorm.

But doubt is as doubt does, and paranoia started to set in on that chilly, breezy evening. Distant trees began to look like looming rapists, and I nervously stroked the canister in my jacket pocket for reassurance.

And then I made a Really Bad Decision.

On that fateful, breezy evening, I decided to test the pump to make sure it really worked. I depressed the trigger without a hitch and was congratulating myself on my foresight to ensure that everything was in proper working condition...when the Mace blew directly back in my face. The sequence of events subsequent to this I do not recall with any real certainty, as my faculties were otherwise paralyzed by mind-blowing pain after I Maced myself. I do, however, remember writhing on the ground like a Raid-sprayed dying roach for the better part of 15 minutes, clutching my eyes and yelling some incoherent mix of primal scream and profanity, laced with reference to mothers, copulation and defecation. There may have even been some mention of genitalia and random orifices, though I cannot be entirely sure. I am fairly certain, however, that my display warded off any would-be attackers, who apparently are more discriminating than one might guess.

Although my current Really Bad Decision was nowhere near as painful, it did garner as many expletives. I got Stocki-Cocky on my SNB Under-the-Hoodie. Stockinette-cocky, that is. I was confident I could get the front of this hoodie done over the weekend, and I was feeling very comfortable with the pattern. So much so that I decided not to re-read the instructions for the pocket, and proceeded to knit ALL 43 ROWS in pure stockinette, instead of with the 5 stitch border pattern called for in the instructions. Which I realized only as I was completing the 3 needle bind-off for the pocket. AAAARGH!!! 8 INCHES!!! That's a whole skein of yarn and a whole night of knitting!! I was forced to rip back and re-do the pocket, so my progress now seems rather abysmal as I don't have much to show beyond the pocket. I guess that's my Stocki-Cocky-Bachi (which is Japanese for karmic crap, usually with connotated overtones of "Good for you, you got what you deserved," with a slight nuance of "Told you so").

So yeah, the Molly Ringwald do was a don't, I ran with the runs and I'm still slightly aerosol can-phobic, but I'll probably continue to push my luck with Really Bad Decisions. After all, I'm 1 for 4: I've never gotten stung by box jellyfish!


Stricken madchen said...

I can totally see myself having the same mace experience. Ouch! The hoodie looks great now. I think I'm going to go check out that pattern again.

Acornbud said...

I'm glad you survived the mace, salmonella, night prowling at UH and perm to tell the tales! As a responsible mom, I know you will avoid those jellyfish!
Considering the rework on the hoodie, it's really coming along and looking amazing.

Jen said...

Thanks for the hearty laugh. Ooh, that sounded bad. I'm not really laughing at your pain, I'm just laughing because it sounds exactly like something I would do in a DF moment. And I don't mean "dear fiancee" moment.

Despite the frogging, the hoody front is looking quite cute! Is it pink and red?

keohinani said...

omg. you know, starfish is really protective. he gave me half a case of pepper spray--the small sized 4-inch tall kind. then he gave me a large can that's about 6.5 inch tall to keep in my desk at work. he bought this all off of ebay, and it's probably the strongest stuff you could buy legally. it's strong enough to ward off bears. after reading your story, any thought of "testing" to see if any of those cans work has been dispelled from my mind. i'll just have to pray that any time i have to use it, i'll point it in the right direction.
nice work on the hoody, despite having to go back and redo some of it. :) i'm sure your persistence will be very rewarding.

Karen said...

Ouch!!!! Why can I see me doing that too? How many times have you squirted hairspray directly into your eye? (I've lost track myself . . .but not blind yet!!) The hoodie is fab, despite the ribbit.

myra said...

Oh my goodness! I can totally relate. Bad decisions? That's my middle name. I suppose that's why the hubby refused to buy me a can a couple of years back.

Sorry to hear about Hoodie! It will all be worth it in the end.

knittinmom said...

Oh, you are too funny. I needed that laugh! I can just see it... Remember when your mom told you not to spit into the wind? There was a good reason for that...

Do they have box jellies in Hawaii? They were lurking in the water when I was in Australia, but I didn't know they had them in this hemisphere.

keohinani said...

after reviewing the stitch markers your sister made, i'm afraid my tutorial is quite elementary in comparison. oh well.
the nice thing about stitch markers is that once you get the general idea of how to make it and the materials needed, you can pretty much do anything with it--similar to knitting once you learn how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. the only trouble is that the beading thing opens up a whole new pandora's box of stuff you'll be doing instead of say, oh idk, keeping sister stinky from falling asleep in her mac and cheese? haha.
knitting is sometimes a stepping stone / enabler for other hobbies. "ooh, stitch markers! that's a clever idea! i think i'll make some!" next thing you know, you've got beads everywhere, stitch markers you won't all be using at any given time, and a DH wondering what the heck do you do with a stitch marker!? but don't let it sound like i'm discouraging you. i'm just trying to make a disclaimer to exempt me from any liability should the above hypothetical scenario actually be realized. :D