Monday, August 10, 2009

Circus Logistics.

It's day two of Mount La-La by the sea summer camp. Most of the weekend guests headed back last night and new ones are returning today. Our head count is back down to 10 and the other house is sitting at 12. We have 3 more coming any moment.

That's 22 between two houses with 7 cars and 22 cell phones. If you mapped all the cell connections it would look something like facebook connections as no one knows all 21 cell numbers. You know the 6 around you who know the 6 around them etc. Each house has a land line too so that makes more telephone numbers than people.

Just because there are 22 phones doesn't mean people answer them. Some are more vigilant phone carriers than others and you quickly learn who to call and who not to. Do not call my wife, it will ring off the hook before anyone notices.

Last night we had 10 cars and that makes for interesting parking arrangements. Each house has two official parking spots, one in the garage and one in the driveway in front of the garage. This First In Last Out stack arrangement makes one car per house the "alert 5 bird", used for an ice run or picking kids up. The other remains in storage in the garage waiting to be popped off the stack. All keys remain at the house for the cars in the FILO. In a pinch at third car can be squeezed on to the stack.

The rest have to fend for themselves on the mean streets of OC. We have deck overlooking the parking and because people need to have a function and purpose in life, the deck folks also tend to be parking spot spies. Once in a while you see them dash off in pairs as one holds the newly opened spot by standing in it and the other retrieves a car parked in Strathmere. As things settle, all of the cars associated with our traveling circus have premier spots in front of the house and those cars are never to be moved again. If you need to go somewhere, take a bike or the "alert 5".

The deck perch also means watching people parallel park for sport. You can tell in an instant if someone knows what they are doing. The spectators on the deck say things like "he's too steep" or "cut it to the right" like they were Dick Button at a skating competition. (He'll never make the triple jump now). All we need those numbered signs that they have skating competitions.

"And here are the scores, 9.5, 9, 8.5, 9 and the Russian judge with a 6".

I've also discovered that the parallel parking force runs in my family. I have it, my father has it and my sister has it. (You can almost hear Darth Vader saying ssssssssssssister). My sister had to rescue my niece after an aborted curb bumping attempt. She was as smooth as Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time".

Later we were talking and determined our abilities come from visiting Grandmom in South Philly. You had to learn how to parallel park in much tighter spots with a harsher audience. It was the minor leagues of parallel parking and no one was coming out to help you.

The other aspect to having this many cars coming and going is that someone is always headed back to Mount La-La. If you miss this ride back for work, there are 2 more tonight or tomorrow but it makes for strange pairings of friends that normally would not ride to together like some 18 Year Old's girfriend and a 48 Year old Father. I wonder what they talk about for an hour and half. (After "So how's school?" it's kind of awkward).

Today looks like a hot one and so we are headed to the beach soon with a giant group wave runner 1/2 hour later in the day.

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