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Plywood Plane

After arriving at Guide Dog Aunt's place and going through the formalities of seeing the dogs, being barked at by the dogs, hauling in groceries and saving them from the dogs, and shooing the dogs the hell outside, Guide Dog Aunt proposed some light entertainment: go to Home Depot and pick up supplies for making a Doggy Wall (a barrier to keep Bad Doggies on one side of, and Good Doggies on the other, to be jammed in a corridor baby-gate style) for her workplace!

After about half an hour in the garage looking at the prototype and deciding what needed to happen in the production Doggy Wall, it was time to head out. So we did. And we spent a cheerful while gossiping, hefting plywood to load it on the cart, selecting only the finest 2x4s, and enlisting the help of a bemused salesman to find the inexactly-described hardware needed, for something that I have every faith will be a "pest project" in the fine tradition of Mama's pest projects. (Dad calls them "pest projects" instead of "pet projects", because he finds it more accurate and also more amusing.) Mama's philosophy is to measure once or so, and then cut, and then maybe trim a little if needed. Mama is not destined to be one of the world's carpentry greats.

Guide Dog Aunt had brought a length of rope and a lot of enthusiasm to get the plywood tied to the SUV. First we situated the 2x4s, which was relatively easy, even though she'd brought three left gloves and only one right. (But Clan Fayoumis does not need gloves!) Then we got the plywood up on top, which was a little less easy but a lot more straightforward (only one way to put it, and that's up, versus the number of angles tried with the 2x4s), albeit punctuated by my scanty and potentially inaccurate knowledge of Arabic, which is limited to what is possibly the word for "screwdriver", which is what I said as the cart with the one remaining sheet of plywood tried to run away across the hilly parking lot into some other cars. (I caught it.)

Guide Dog Aunt then tied the plywood to the roof rack, which was a more involved process than it sounds, given that she didn't remember how it was properly done, and fussed around with it for a while before I reminded her what time it was (there was a thing she needed to go to with one of the dogs) and she tied it on fast and sloppy and hoped for the best.

Flat things on moving vehicles provide a certain amount of lift. "Can you watch it to make sure it doesn't fly off?" she asked, and opened up the sun roof. In the way these things happen, I found myself with my left arm twisted up and out through the sun roof, clinging to the sketchily tied-down plywood as my aunt glared at the navigation system and told it that she wasn't taking any freeways, thanks. A glove joined my efforts. A stoplight or two later, my brain kicked in, and I unrolled the actual window, and stuck my right arm out to grasp the plywood. I switched arms every now and then, much to everyone's amusement.

Some guy pulled up alongside us in the right turn lane and cheerfully advised me that by the time I got home, I would be strong enough to hold up the entire house, based on my grab on the plywood. My aunt and I cracked up laughing. By this time, she'd retrieved gloves enough for us all, and was holding down her side of the plywood out her own window with her left hand, making for one-handed driving on her part. I told her the cautionary tale of Mr. Out and his cellphone; she did not attempt to drive with her knees.

At least two police cars were going the other direction, close enough to home. I started laughing harder. We didn't get pulled over, although we'd been attracting all kinds of funny looks from our fellow motorists.

Unloading was a breeze compared to loading. Guide Dog Aunt just had to untie all the knots she'd tied. She wondered why the rope was so dirty; I pointed out she'd been grubbing it around on that dirty parking lot. Guide Dog Uncle made an appearance, and was not visibly impressed by his wife's explanation of either the materials or the project.

She did get to the dog event reasonably on time, so all went well there. We have yet to construct the thing, as I was dead tired from only three hours of sleep. I imagine that will also provide hours of entertainment.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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