Known Johnson

August 23, 2005

Walkabout, or “The Reluctant Johnson”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:51 pm

The stork has two days left to appear on the radar screen before we officially declare his flight late. Unfortunately, we’re not even sure he’s left Stork International Airport with his precious cargo – there’s not even a sign of any impending births happening. So we wait, hoping that maybe the stork simply got held up by weather. Failing that, Alissa’s doctor scheduled her for induction Sunday night at 11pm, four days after her due date, a disappointing prospect simply for the fact that things just don’t seem to be progressing. The important thing, of course, is that the baby appears to be perfectly healthy. The baby just happens to take on his or her parents’ most annoying traits: laziness and procrastination.

And if you’re wondering “Why 11pm on Sunday?” it’s because induction takes about six hours, with three rounds of a gel being applied to Alissa’s cervix that will hopefully get that thing opened up the way it should be. They like to schedule these things over night because it helps prevent families from hanging out at the hospital for no reason, for far too long. If, at 5 am or thereabouts, things seem to be moving along, then it’s time to give the families a call and let them know. Otherwise, it’s not just us that’s in for a very, very long day, and there’s simply no point in that.

So we’ve been walking at night when we can, one of the methods people suggest for helping to get labor started. We’ve actually willingly gone to the mall for absolutely no other reason than it’s someplace air conditioned and it’s big enough that you won’t feel foolish doing laps around the place. If you know us, you know that malls and us do not a pleasant mix make. That we willingly, and actually happily, choose to go stroll around the mall indicates the level of desperation we’ve reached.

However, the mall can actually educate. In walking the mall, I noticed something pretty clever: there’s a fresh-pretzel shop on the lower level, and if you go upstairs, there’s a competing fresh-pretzel shop right off the escalator. Initially, I thought that this must just kill business for one of the two, but then I realized how very clever the placement really was, and how beneficial it was to each business. See, you may pass the one pretzel shop, smell the delicious fresh-baked scent waft out from the one, but not decide you want a pretzel until you’ve already gone to the other level. You’ll immediately see that pretzel shop and decide to grab a pretzel. It works both ways, upstairs or downstairs. You may be thinking to yourself, “Damn, that smelled good! It’s PretzelTime,” but you probably won’t balk at stopping at Wetzel’s – or vice versa. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

We may have to come up with a new location to do our walking, if the Unknown remains so reluctant. There’s only so many times you can walk the mall before you need a change of scenery. However, tonight, besides the great pretzel-shop revelation, I was entertained for free by a clearly out of shape guy wearing a way too snug Athlete’s Den t-shirt. Unintentional irony is one of the better entertainment values to be had.

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