No Letting Go

So you are probably familiar with the famous method of trapping a raccoon with a tin can and some nails? Also works on spider monkeys, I understand. Also works without the can - for instance, you can use a small hole in the side of a hollow log.

Anyway - you secure the can to the ground and hammer the nails into the opening so they are angled down toward the bottom of the can. Then drop either an irresistible morsel of food or something curiously shiny, along comes the raccoon (or the monkey), he sticks his little hand down into the opening, wraps his little fist around the irresistible morsel or curiously shiny item, and tries to pull it out.

But alas! He cannot pull his hand out, because the nails poke into his wrist and the opening is now too small for his grasping little fist. But he refuses to let go, because he is that determined to examine the shiny-ness and/or eat the deliciousness. So he sits with his hand stuck until the trapper comes, at which time he is goners.

Brilliant and sad at the same time.

You might also be familiar with the analogous morals of the raccoon trap story - things we need to let go of in order to be free, yada yada yada. I like those, too, but that's too heavy for my state of mind at the moment.

All I want to tell you is that the little grocery store across the street from us has such a raccoon trap. Only it is for pregnant women.

Perhaps some splendid clandestine photography will help me illustrate the situation:

You see in the corner and against the window, the ice cream case. It holds Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, strawberry shortcake ice cream, Phish Food, and these fabulous Magnum ice cream bars on sticks. We're talking the real goods. The door handle of the ice cream part is on the far right as you face the case and swings open (rather than sliding) on a left hand hinge.

But you will notice that just across from the ice cream case is a little lottery ticket stand/desk next to a railing and it takes up a bit of space between the ice cream case and the railing that is along the wheelchair entrance ramp. The base of the lottery thing is heavily weighted, but the top is lighter and a little tippy, alhtough fairly firmly attached to the base. When the door to the ice cream case is open, there is maybe 1 inch between the edge of the door and the lottery thing.

So, after some trial and error, I figured out that I can easily maneuver myself beyond the lottery desk, squish up a bit against the window, wedge myself fairly comfortably behind the lottery thing for a second and open the ice cream case. Once the door is open, I can pretty easily make my selections - grab with the right hand, line them up on my belly in the crook of my left arm.

But then...I am trapped. Because with my left arm and top of belly holding ice cream, I cannot get beyond the edge of the left-side opening door or reach out to hold it open a bit farther while I get out. If I turn to hold it open with my back side, I bam my (ouchy) belly button against the lottery thing. Somehow, I cannot squish up against the window enough (the way I got in) with ice cream in arms and if I back up even a bit, the lottery thing again goes tipping slightly but precariously over the top of the railing, and there I am, knocking the store over like a bull in a china shop.

But it's just me, a pregnant lady in a grocery store.

And I'm not leaving without my Haagen Daas, dagnabbit.

It's happened a couple of times now - the first time I almost went into a hysterical trapped raccoon bark, thinking that I was going to have to give up the ice cream if I wanted to go home. Now I mostly just feel an affinity with the raccoon or the spider monkey (on a much grander scale, of course), aside from the mild feeling of panic I have just thinking about buying a couple pints of ice cream.

In fact, I'm not entirely sure how I do finally escape and manage to bring home the ice cream for me, the baby in utero, and a couple of bites for the boys, but I do. I think I block all that as a way of coping with traumatic stress. I do know the trap happens each time, but at least I've gotten away with my Chunky Monkey and I'm not quite goners yet.

Here's the thing, though: Being the resourceful and ice cream deprived pregnant woman I am (the first eight months of my pregnancy in Ukraine were sadly deficient in the creamy cold goodness), and being a little more evolved than the raccoon or the spider monkey, the next time I go for ice cream, I'm going to take a spoon along.

That way I'll just enjoy my Cherry Garcia right there, between the lottery desk, the window and the open ice cream case. Then I'll just toss the empty container(s) under the door into the exit aisle, roll out quarterback style from behind the glass, let it swing shut, set the lottery thing straight, wipe my lips with the back of my hand, pick up the empty evidence of my splurge, and pay for what I consumed at the till.

Now that's a plan. Mwaaa haaa haaa. TescoExpress can't get me!


Lei said...

That is awesome. Just awesome. You know, if I had access to Magnum bars, I'd do whatever I could to get to them too.

Jenny P. said...

the mental images this post created are oh so very funny. And the fact that you line icecream up on your belly. I don't think I've ever done that.

I have however, used my pregnant belly as an ice cream table... that's just a given though, right?

I love Phish food.But, I've never had a magnum bar. Am I missing something great?

Real said...

You're all about the food lately. Ice cream is also Heaven in a Big Bowl, no? My favorite is classic choc chip cookie dough and chubby hubby.

NOBODY said...

As Erica is my witness, this post made me laugh out loud all over the place. You are HILARIOUS. And I'm with MommyJ, the imagery you created is priceless. I double dog dare you to take a spoon in to that store.
So. Funny.

Superstahr Mom said...

I think I would be willing to send a little person in to get the ice-cream for me... with the Promise that they could have at least one bite if they handed over the goods without me getting stuck... at least that way you wouldn't have to worry about not getting out of the ice-cream machine. the imagery is, however, wonderful. I have been known to use my baby's head as a table when eating pizza - I just put a little napkin on his cute little noggin (can't lick his head to get the crumbs off after I'm done, and who know's what I'm going to drop...) and proceed with my eating!

Haven't mailed the box yet - but it will be gone from my house before the end of next week.

megachick said...

how dare they construct such obstacles between a pregnant woman and ice cream!?!

what exactly is in a magnum bar?