Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Does everyone know what a snafu is? A chaotic situation? A problematic occurrence? A disordered circumstance? Yes, it can mean all of these things. But it is actually an acronym from WWII used to describe a particularly confounding, yet familiar occurrence.

Situation Normal All Fucked Up.

This is how I usually describe an outing with my family. There is an inevitable snafu that is destined to occur. And so it was tonight. We decided to go to the Cub Scout Pack's family night out at the local bowling alley. Bowling and dinner for the whole family for $24, what could be better?

I told the younger ones to eat a snack because we weren't going until 7:00, which is about an hour or so later than we normally eat dinner. No problem, they grab a granola bar and happily have an extra snack. So far so good. The older two kids are rounded up and everyone piles in the car. "This is a Cub Scout thing?" My 13 year old daughter chimes in as we are pulling out of the garage. "Yes, you knew that" I replied. "No, I thought this was a family thing." She says in the way only a thirteen year old can. "A Cub Scout family outing." I patiently said. "That stinks!" Twelve year old son pipes in at this point. "Okay, guys let's make the best of it. We can still have a good time as a family, even with the Cub Scouts." Grumbling is audible from the back of the van. *Sigh*

We get there and start bowling and everything seem to be going pretty well. The lady who coordinated the event came around and asked us if we wanted pizza or a hot dog for dinner. Everyone chose pizza. At around 7:30 the kids started complaining that they were STARVING. I explained that I was not in charge of food, so they were barking up the wrong tree complaining to me. At 8:00 just about the time they were ready to start gnawing off their own arms, the dinner arrives, if you can call it that. One very small piece of pizza, a thimble full of soda and a cookie that could better have been used as a hockey puck. My kids are now in full whine/disappointment mode and I really can't say as I blame them at this point. "Go play some arcade games" I say as I shove a few quarters at them. Maybe the night can still be salvaged. They skip off to waste quarters.

It was about time to go (meaning I had run out of quarters), so I decided to be nice and throw away some cups off the table. I picked up two cups and started toward the trash can. I just about made it too. I was only about three feet in front of my goal when the toe of my left shoe met with some resistance on the carpet and kerswoosh!! I went down like a lead balloon. I had a cup in each hand (with no lids on them, ice flying out in all directions) so I couldn't even get my hands out to break my fall fast enough. My face it the carpet just as I heard someone yell "Oh, my goodness!” This was not my shining hour, to say the least. At least I was dressed in blue and gray. So appropriate for the beached whale that I most assuredly looked like at that moment!

My husband rushed over and helped me up, got me some napkins for my bloody nose and fat lip. My daughter went and got her brothers and amid all the questions "Are you okay?" Uh...not really. "What did you trip on?" My own feet, thank-you-very-much. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Once I got to the car I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was just another typical night out for my family. Snafu -- such an appropriate acronym.