I’ve decided one thing about Americans. Or at least Seattle-ites (is that the right term?).

They sure know how to have fun. Good, clean, wholesome, silly, who-cares-if-you-look-crazy-as-long-as-you’re-proud-of-it, fun, that doesn’t really cost any money.

Yesterday, as some of you may know, was supposed to be a Mom’s Night Out at movies at the Park (keep the ‘supposed’ in mind for now). They were showing Napoleon Dynamite, this true-blue American classic, like oh I don’t know, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly perhaps. It’s a story about one of the many time-honoured American archetypes, The Nerd.

Held at the Marymoor Park which is just five minutes drive from my house, these movies are sponsored by a financial institution and are totally free of charge for general public consumption. You bring your blankets, your pillows, deck chairs (someone even brought his living room couch!) and snacks before it gets dark and find a good spot to settle down before the show begins.

Movies at the park are held mostly in the summer because of the warm weather. But here in Seattle, dusk notoriously brings with it evening light showers or at the very least, freezing winds from the North and the surrounding lake(s), no matter how hot it’s been in the day. So even if it’s summer, you will probably need a thick jacket or at least a parka, when you venture out after dinner.

Of course, this is all good sense in hindsight. Good sense that totally eluded me yesterday. In fact, it was such a lack of good sense, coupled with my usual brand of classic Jenn klutziness, that it caused me to nonchalantly say, “Ah, whatever,” when I realised I’d left my mobile phone – and coat – at home.

Which resulted in me, sitting on my increasingly soaked beach blanket in the dark, with only a thin denim jacket and a broken umbrella, breathing in what smells like dog poop reacting to the light rain, watching a great American classic, with no way of alerting the other moms as to where I’d be sitting.

Or be alerted that because of the horrid weather, they’d decided to stay warm indoors at a cosy little restaurant, very possibly eating cake.

Yes, it can only happen to me.

Not unlike the sad fellow on the screen who’s dancing to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat (big fan here), I was so out of my element  that the only way to go was to continue to lose myself in my stupidity, and in the (surprisingly) still-swelling crowds despite the rain. And it was worth it. There was Bingo (a game I will never understand – what the fuck does “B, Raiders of the Lost Ark!!!” mean?). There was a Napoleon Dynamite dancing competition (little kids and women in their 40s getting down in the famous “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts), which was quite entertaining what with the immense amount of talent present. And the kids narrating the script of the movie line for line behind me? Hilarious.

And then, of course, there was the movie itself, although I could only last until the part Uncle Ricco was introduced because Grandma had a motorbike accident. The ‘light shower’ became a little too aggressive after a while and since my broken brolly could only shield my eyebrows, I simply surrendered to the cold and retreated to my minivan. I’ll just have to rent the DVD and see what happens when Pedro tries to give a cake to the girl he likes.

Upon reaching home, a hysterical half-naked fat man assaulted me in my garage.


“What, what??!” I answered.

“You forgot your phone. Did you know that? Your friends have been trying to call you!” said fat man in shorts, handing me my phone.

Of course I know I don’t have my phone. Oh good, Karli called. I hit to dial, and was promptly met with screams.


“WHERE ARE YOU ALL???!!!” was my equally loud response.

So long story short, as mentioned, the other moms decided to hide from the weather in a restaurant while I, the One Who Still Thinks Forgetting to Bring My Mobile Phone Wherever I go is Not a Crime, sat in the freezing cold watching a bunch of old women boogy down. These sweet ladies (the moms I was supposed to be out with, not the dancing old ladies) were just about to go look for their clueless friend in the wet, pitch black darkness using only the light of their handphones when said clueless friend called. I almost cried from the sentiment and the absurdity of the situation.

And as if that was not enough, just 15 minutes after the phone call, Karli and Tracey came over with this:

Not cake, but still so great. And there were hugs and giggles too. Totally worth getting soaked through for! You girls are just so, so sweet :~).

Someone once commented how full of drama my life is. I will take that as a compliment. For wasn’t it Hitchcock who said What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out? Thanks to my inherent clumsiness and defeatist attitude towards mobile phones, mine needs absolutely no editing whatsoever.

And why go so far? Just do what Jay Kay says:

All these bad times I’m going through, just dance!