"Quick, Mike, get your sister and brother up, it's past 7. Nicky's got Little League at 9:00 and Dione's got ballet at 10:00. Give Max his heartworm pill! (We're out of them, Ma, remember?) Your father picked a great weekend to go fishing. Here, let me give you 10 bucks and go get more pills at the vet's. My God, that's right, Hank needed gas money and left me broke. There's an ATM over by Kmart, and if I go there I can take that stupid toilet seat back and get the right one."
"I guess I'd better make a list. ..."
It's another Pleasant Valley Saturday, and thirty-odd million suburban homemakers sit down with a pencil and pad at the kitchen table to try to make sense of a morning that would kill and pickle any lesser being. In her mind, she thinks of the dependencies and traces the route:
Drop Nicky at Rand Park, go back to Dempster and it's about 10 minutes to Golf Mill Mall. Do I have gas? I'd better check first—if not, stop at Del's Shell or I won't make it to Milwaukee Avenue. Milk the ATM at Golf Mill, then cross the parking lot to Kmart to return the toilet seat that Hank bought last weekend without checking what shape it was. Gotta remember to throw the toilet seat in the back of the van—write that at the top of the list.
By then it'll be half past, maybe later. Ballet is all the way down Greenwood in Park Ridge. No left turn from Milwaukee—but there's the sneak path around behind ...