Last night I started sorting through a giant box of high school photos. Hundreds of snapshots and notes and random sets of chop sticks (no doubt taken from a restaurant in a nearby town on a stealthy don't-tell-the-parents-we're-going-out-of-county trip). But the vast majority, nearly all of the pictures had my best friend Carrie in them.
Carrie currently lives on the other side of town. I count myself incredibly lucky to have her nearby (even though between my chaotic life and her super successful pharmacist job our 'girl days' are few and far between). I was born with two sisters... but when I met Carrie I'm convinced God gave me a third.
There is no limit the insane, hair-raising, our-mothers-would-still-spank us stories that Carrie and I amassed over our fourteen year friendship. One night in particular kept playing over and over in my brain as I chuckled and sorted through the box of memories last night... so I thought I'd share it with you.
I had just finished my night shift at the local Pizza Hut. If you've ever worked in a pizza place, you never ever forget that smell. The smell of cardboard, old pizza, burned peperoni and smeared ranch dressing. It is not pleasant, and every time I got off work I could smell it in my hair, on my hands, my clothes, everywhere. Pew.
Carrie picked me up around 11:30 after work. Our plan was to go back to her house, take showers (she worked in a catfish restaurant... you can imagine our combined perfumes in the car), and go back to 'town.' You see, in our hometown there is no movie theatre or coffee house or club or anything of that nature. There is Main Street. And on Friday and Saturday night Main Street became a long, exciting hub of teenage activity. Everyone 'cruised' and yelled out their windows and sat on parking lots until the police broke up the party. The center of town became a veritable melting pot of rednecks, loud mufflers, preps in their sleek cars, and the average kids like Carrie and me, cruising proudly in her 1993 red Geo Prism.
So as I said, Carrie picked me up and we drove to her house, just outside city limits. We were singing to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw... changing the lyrics from "It's Your Love" to "It's Your Fudge," which is an entirely different story.
Me: "Did we just hit a dog?"
Carrie: "Oh CRAP! We should go back."
Me: "Turn around!!! Maybe it's still alive!"
Carrie: "OK, wait a minute..."
Me: "Hey. What's that smell?"
And then it dawned on us. A great beacon of understanding shone down from Carrie's dome light as the toxic stench of skunk filtered through the open windows and air vents. No longer were we concerned about the smell of old pizza and catfish. We had new fears. Most particularly; the skunk we had pulverized beneath Carrie's tires.
I began to scream. Carrie began to scream. We both began to gag. We shot through the darkness toward her house, heaving and holding our heads out the windows. When we screeched into her driveway, Carrie pulled the car directly into the garage. We no sooner turned the car off and jumped out than her father (who was principle of the high school, we never caught any breaks), runs into the garage yelling, "HOLY HELL GIRLS! BACK THE CAR OUT OR WE'LL NEVER GET THE SMELL OUT OF THE HOUSE."
It was absolute pandemonium. A night of permanent olfactory damage and tomato juice and bits of skunk fur on Carrie's tires. We never made it back to 'town.' We cried a little and ate ice cream directly from the carton (even though everything that passed under our noses carried an aroma a la skunk).
I've never looked at Chocolate Mint Ice cream quite the same way again.