Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Big Trucks and Little Crosses

As I sat in the car line, waiting listlessly to pick up my eldest from school, my eyes rested on a little bungalow across the street. As I again, for the 100th time, agreed with my toddler's backseat announcements about seeing "a big truck", I could feel my mind drift...or maybe continue to go numb from lack of use. "Yes, yes. There's another big truck. That one is blue," I droned as I stared out the window.
And then it happened.
My interior dialog or self-speak (or schizophrenia - whatever you want to call it) kicked in all by itself. Before I could fully register what I was seeing or make sense of it, I said aloud, "Huh. Wonder who went and died all over their yard?" For there, in the grass where I had rested my blank gaze, was a whole little graveyard of crosses. It was the perfect catalyst for a wandering brain.
Surely I would have heard about a group of school kids being plowed over in someone's yard across the street from the school. So that can't be it.
Maybe they've made a pet cemetery and had a recent outbreak of something? But no...most people who need to bury 15 animals and make white-cross grave-markers would do that in the backyard, right? Unless, perhaps they have a surviving dog they keep in the backyard and they worry he might dig up the bodies and eat them? Maybe they have an evil dog that killed the other animals.

"No, Honey. No spit in the car. Yes, yes, that's a white truck. Here, do you want a sucker?"

"Who died all over their yard." So there would be a silent, black and white cowboy movie, and a scene with an over-zealous graveyard-marker maker, and one of those cowboys that staggers around and keeps getting shot but keeps getting back up. That's how you would go about dying all over someone's yard. Every time the cowboy looks like he's down for good, the cross-maker pounds one into the ground. But then the cowboy staggers back up for another shot and falls a few feet to the left. After the 10th time or so, the grave-marker guy runs out of crosses, so he has to shoot the cowboy himself. "The End Finally!", the old screen caption would say.

"Yes, yes. There's another-one big truck. That's a big, red one."

Only then did it occur to me that all the little white crosses must be decorations for Halloween...though it's not even October yet. And it's 85 degrees outside. That's maybe a scosh more probable than a bus crashing right across the street from the school, an evil puppy that killed all his litter mates, or a remake of an old movie.
What is with people who need to jump from one holiday to the next? And what lack of true death experience, or shelter from personal loss, would prompt someone to want to look at a yard full of little crosses for a month? How did little human skulls become a cute print for children's clothing all year round?

"Oh my! She has her father's bright blue eyes! You know what would look just darling on her? This dress covered with dead people craniums!"
"I don't know, those skulls are pink. Her father and I want to raise a child in a gender-neutral environment."
"OH! Yes, I see. Well, they just came out with these cute little T-shirts with these adorable rotting zombies  chewing out the brains of the living. Nothing says "gender-neutral" like walking dead cannibalism."
"Perfect! I'll take one! Take THAT pink-princess building blocks at Target!"

To each their own, I agree. Do whatever makes you happy. I'm the last person to call you out for being a little "off". If you want to celebrate death, go right ahead. I appreciate you for giving me something to contemplate between truck sightings in the car line, that's for sure!