I was putting on the finishing touches of blue eyeliner and pink lipstick when I see my phone vibrating on the bathroom counter.
Annie, it’s JD. We are running a little bit late. Do you mind unlocking the youth room and turning on the lights? Oh, and can you plug in your computer and play 80s music until we get there? We’ll be right there.
Um sure, no problem. See you in a bit.
I hang up the phone and quickly throw up a side pony with plenty of hairspray, grab the office keys, and dash out the door with my newly puffy-painted flats. One volunteer has shown up already so we get the room ready together, waiting for Sean and JD to show up with the BBQ. Again, my phone rings.
Annie, it’s me again. The car’s on fire.
Yeah, we saw a lot of smoke and then when we opened the hood there were actual flames. We don’t have a fire extinguisher so the fire truck is on its way.
Wait, what?! Really?! No way!
(slight chuckle), Yeah. We’ll be there soon. Do you hear the fire sirens?
Yes!!! Ok see you soon...
I hung up the phone and had a minor laughing fit as I relived the conversation with the rest of our volunteer staff. Our car was due any moment to turn into flames. We couldn’t drive 3 miles without the hood smoking, regardless of how much fluid we put into the car. After seeing a mechanic, we were told that our car was the equivalent to an 80 year old man and would require a lot of TLC until it finally died. Well, driving it was like driving Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride so we affectionately called the truck “Grandpa Toad.” Apparently, Grandpa Toad croaked tonight…
The rest of the evening was spent listening to 80s jams, eating BBQ, and playing Tetris with our high school kids… All the while listening to Sean and JD retell their version of seeing Grandpa Toad catch on fire and calling the fire department, only to have the fire naturally go out before the fire truck actually arrived.
Upper left: Jess and I in the kitchen
Upper right: Becca and Jessica in 80s attire
Mid left: Pete and Jeff rocking the air hockey
Mid right: Sean and JD sporting mustaches and heinous 80s get up
Bottom left: Me, JD, Sean, and Jess – youth staff and friends