In breathless anticipation I opened the summons to serve. It is something I have wanted to do for 35 years. In the past, I have been either un-needed, or found unworthy. Realistically, I knew it would be a long shot—especially since the lottery number I drew was the highest I have ever drawn; however, masquerading as a cockeyed-optimistic-Pollyanna, I hoped this time would be different.
During the intervening three weeks, I prepared myself. The first week, I had a long overdue mani-pedi. The second week, I scoped out the new location—it has changed since the last time my number was drawn. The third week I planned what I would wear. I didn’t like the plan. So I bought something new. I picked out a book to read during the mind-numbing wait I know I will endure prior to the final selection process. I practiced my “bored look” so I won’t appear to be too eager. I alerted my colleagues and rearranged my schedule to accommodate my service. I was ready—ahead of time. Way ahead…and I still didn’t know if I would be needed. I would not find out until after the close of business Friday. Finally, after an eternity of waiting, it was “after five.” To be exact, it was 5:01 p.m.
Trembling I dialed the number as instructed. The phone rang. I held my breath, hopeful this would be my time to serve. The phone rang again. I worried a hangnail—this really needs to be my time—I want to serve. I have to serve. I yearn to serve. The third time it rang, I gnawed a fingernail—ruining my perfectly good three week old manicure—and the snotty voice inside my head wondered, ‘did they forget to leave the recording on?’ It had happened to me before.
The first time, was also my first experience being summoned. I was fresh out of High School and living in Crestview Florida. I called the number, but there was no answer. I continued to call all weekend; but there was never an answer; never an outgoing message. 'I must be needed,' I reasoned, and I was elated. However, Fate is sometimes cruel. I, along with numerous others, arrived on Monday and we were met with looks normally bestowed on those claiming to see aliens flying in the sky, and rude comments, “Why didn’t you call? You are not needed! Go away!” The elation I had been riding quickly crashed and burned. My only consolation was the prorated service check for five dollars and change—nothing of consequence—the price of a tank of ‘70s gas for my VW Bug. However, multiplied by several hundred people, they soon discovered not airing the message was a costly mistake. And now, thirty-five years later, I feared it had happened again.
The phone rang a fourth time...Nothing. I pulled the phone away from my ear, looked at it, and spoke to it incredulously, “it’s not like anyone has to move or reach to pick you up! Surely, the outgoing message will kick in soon—don’t all answering machine recorders kick in by the fourth ring?” Mockingly, it rang a fifth time. A sigh escaped my lips. I was still a contender, but I would have to wait until Monday to learn my fate. My eyes glazed over like the lifeless eyes of a hopeless worker in a dead end job. I let the phone ring one more time. Just in case. Finally, after the sixth ring, the automated voice answered.
I paced the room like a caged lion as I listened half-heartedly to the regular outgoing announcements instructing listeners, “If you want thus-and-such, do this. If you are thus-and-so, go here. If you need to speak with so-and-so, call this number.” Finally, the flat and emotionless automated voice intoned the message I had been waiting three long weeks to hear, “Numbers 1-600 are required to report.”
I sucked in all the air in the room and froze in my tracks. Had my ears deceived me? “Required to Report”—that phrase was as sweet as early morning birdsong—yes, although I am not a morning person, I have had occasion to actually hear early morning birds—I may have been on my way to sleep—but technically it was EMBS.
Against the odds, I will have an opportunity to serve my community. I have made the First Cut. I am in. I am required to report. I may have to play these lucky numbers in another “lottery” today. I am prospective Juror #548.
Welcome to the BOMB.
The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...
- My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my ten year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”
Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)
- Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
- Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
- Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
- Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
- The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)