The House of Tatterdemalion


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Aloo fibers smell like goat.

June 7th, 2008 by tatterdemalion

I am sure you were all in desperate need of that astounding fact. It is true. I’m messing around with some Aloo fiber (it’s a thistle that grows in the Himalayas–oops. I mean nettle. I looked it up. I know the difference between nettle and thistle, really I do!) right now, and I can’t stop thinking “Good gravy! This smells like goat!!” And I know what goats smell like.

Did you wonder where I’d gone? Did you pine for me? Did you suppose I had given it all up in favor of dancing the polka and curling my hair? Nope! First of all, I don’t know how to dance the polka. And my hair is already curly, so traditionally, I ought to be struggling desperately to uncurl.

Nor did I die, or fall of the face of the earth, though I suppose if you wanted to be dreadfully theatrical, you could say I nearly did both. Once a week, I go up to my grandparents to watch over them and houseclean while my brother (he stays with them 24/7, as neither of them is capable of taking care of themselves) does the grocery shopping. The short-cut from back-roads-the-middle-of-nowhere to the-interstate-which-can get-you-anywhere is a very steep hill, chock full of hair-pin turns. Going up this hill, if you look to the right, you can see for a million miles all around as it overlooks valleys and hills. On the right, it’s an open empty field. On the left, it’s a boulder-strewn gully filled with trees.

So I take this road once a week, and I made it all through the WHOLE winter with it’s snow and ice and wind without incident. Even though I drove a midget little Geo Prisim which cried every time it attempt that hill, and liked to floated on slushy roads. And then we get this one very last freak snow, hardly worth mentioning. But of course it is windy (and did you know that Geo’s are kissing cousins to kites?) and a dusting of snow blows over a chilly patch in the road. Despite the fact that the vehicle is barely moving (this is a Geo, remember, and it is trying to climb a hill. A steep hill), I of course loose control of the vehicle.

I am happy to report that when I went airborne, I was facing the open field, not the gully.

If you have never been in any sort of accident like that, allow me to inform you that it is a very weird experience. No, really. You would think it would be terrifying, but you kind of don’t have enough time for it all to sink it—it all goes so fast. You can’t take in all the facts of the physical happenings around you, much less pause for philosophical and emotional ponderings.

And after it—well, it’s over. The lady in the SUV behind me was far more upset than I was. Although, she herself said it was far more upsetting to watch than to be in one—between her and her husband, they’ve wiped out on that road 3 different times. She was so upset she was nearly crying; I could only think about three things.

(1) Whoa, major adrenaline rush. I feel really, really weird. It’s going to take a while to flush all this from my system.

(2) Crap, I just totaled my Dad’s car.

(3) I am going to be soooo late.

It’s odd, but when you can get up and walk away, you can never quite grasp how close you may have come—to what? Broken bones? Months of coma? Dying? Who knows? You can’t. You don’t even know what just happen. For instance, the couple in the SUV didn’t want to believe me when I said I was alright; I couldn’t understand the concern until they explained I had been getting thrown around in the car. This was very difficult for me to believe, but the resulting case of whiplash the next day convinced me. Who knows how close I came to disaster? I suppose the couple behind me in the SUV. I suppose it does all make sense that she was more upset watching me than wrecking herself.

Certainly, I think, she will remember it for quite some time. 10 years from now, she’s going to sit up in bed in the middle of the night and say, “Honey, remember when we were driving up that hill behind that girl, and she went flying through the air, and we let her borrow our cell phone to call home, and when she was talking to her Mom she was all like “I’m fine, but Geo is no longer functional, so someone will have to pick me up.” ‘The Geo is no longer functional,’ can you believe that?!!”

She had a hard time not cracking up at phrasing at the time, and I suppose in retrospect I can sort of see why. I suppose such matter of fact statements aren’t exactly expected after one emerges from a crash landing. But at the time I could only stare at her blankly and wonder on earth I was supposed to say. I was fine; the Geo wasn’t functional, and someone did have to pick me up. That covers all the important points, yes?

Actually, the Geo was functional. Sort of. A pick-up truck was dispatched from home, and in the time it took themsleves to pull themselves together and drive the five miles out, a total and complete stranger had pulled up and checked to make sure I was all right, and then left to get a pick up; shortly thereafter another total and complete stranger pulled up in the pick up truck; pick-up truck man and SUV behind me man got the car unembedded; and it was discovered that car could still run. Technically. The headlights dragged on the ground and the doors wouldn’t close right, and it was quite rattley and bang-y, but there were no leaking liquids. They dutifully followed me to the bottom of the hill, where I sat waiting for a few moments before the pick-up truck from home arrived. (Seeing me properly centered on the road and the vehicle appearing only a bit battered, they couldn’t help but wonder why I had called for help. I had to inform them they were simply slow on the draw. Actually, it wasn’t so much that they were slow is that everyone else was so fast. I can’t help but wonder how many times per winter that guy pulls people out without a second thought. He is certainly not paid and probably not even thanked, considering the speed of which he completes the project and leaves.)

But it is toast. The frame is bent. Alas and alack and all that.

And what else? Let me s. . . I accidentally chopped off a bit of my finger with a carving knife. That counts as a near death experience, right?


And I got a splinter jammed way down underneath my fingernail, and I’m pretty sure that counts.


And I had the flu, which made me feeling like I was dying, but only because I like to complain and mope. I don’t have any pictures for that. . .My Dad is probably going to hate me for posting those pictures of my finger. He can never bear to look. I do believe it upsets him more when my finger is dripping blood than to know I wrecked his car. I mean, OK, I get it that your own flesh-and-blood is far more important than a mechanical pile of metal (and less replacable, too). But it was a teeny eeny weeny winey cut, and it healed up promptly, like I knew it would. (This is the same bleeding finger only 1 week later. You can’t even tell, any more, of course.)

And the car is still. . .dead. Twisted. Worthless. Etc. (I think he’s just squimish about blood.)

Anyway, I haven’t been writing, but I have been sewing. And knitting. Both quite a bit, actually. If I ever get off my lazy bum and take/post pictures of it all, you will all get to see that I’m exactly like every body else—I go on endlessly about the stuff I’ve made, regardless of whether it’s worth comment.

Until then, just for the record, I’d like to state that I’m not dead. And that Aloo fibers smell like goat.

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