No, it wasn't just strange because kittens took over my in-box and made things hectic in the office.
My writing group was meeting soon, and it was my work they were planning to discuss. I realized suddenly that I needed to get copies of the manuscripts in question to their houses so that they'd have time to read them before our meeting.
When I tried to print the copies, however, my printer simply died. If it had possessed a tongue, it would have unfurled it in a last panting gasp, the way the horses do in westerns when they fall onto their sides and expire. Panicked, I ran out to Office Max and picked the cheapest printer they had; I brought it home and realized it had to be installed with a different cable than the one which had breathed life into the old printer. Of course. A trip to Radio Shack was in order.
When I got back,my husband kindly dealt with the installation software. Meanwhile I worried that the writers would grumble; when I finally sat down in front of the sleek new printer, I realized that--I kid you not--I was out of paper. I had only some really neon stuff and some Christmas stationary. So I printed out the chapters needed on neon pink, neon yellow, and Christmas tree. One lucky writer ended up with a page of manuscript printed on a big piece of cardboard that had been at the end of the Christmas paper pack. It had miraculously gone through the printer and been delivered with all of the other mismatched paper.
But wait, there's more. I had two different stories for them to read. My sons are my delivery boys, so we drove from house to house, and I said, "One of each to each address."
This worked fine at Elizabeth's house; my elder son marched the papers up to the door and slid them through her mailbox. At the next house my smaller son made the delivery. At the third house I said, "Okay, who's going in now?"
We all looked at each other blankly. The boys looked at their hands and at the seat between them. No manuscripts were left.
It turned out that Graham had delivered all of the remaining copies to the second house on our list; later we found that Ian had delivered the first ones to the wrong house, and the neighbor of Elizabeth had to approach her and say, "Are you in some kind of writing group?"
This unknown woman had been shocked to find odd Christmas-tree manuscripts in her box, especially because one was titled "Hate."
I'd like to say that normally my life is far better organized than this, and in many ways it is. But I also have to admit that goofy things like this just tend to happen to me.
The good news is that last night when the group finally met, they gave me high marks for the quality of the writing, despite its odd presentation.
But thank God next month it will be someone else's turn . . . .