As you may know, the Fam took a road trip this past Friday to visit the Husband's fam for a mini-vaca in Myrtle Beach (or, more technically, Pawley's Island, SC). I had wanted to return our last Redbox rental before we got on the road but didn't have the chance, so I figured I'd give that whole "return it to any location" thing a try. Yup, I crossed state lines with a Redbox rental. And, when I say cross state lines I mean 7 states and a district. So, today was our first full day with the Mom and Dad at the Ancestral Homestead (to borrow a Thisbe-ism) in Marietta. A fun day was had by all and after Miss B. hit the sack the Dad and I decided to catch a flick. We headed over to the local multiplex to see the 10:45 showing of The Hangover. The Dad and I hot-rodded it over to the theater in his fancy-schmancy Chevy SSR convertible pick-up. Can I take a moment here to mention how much the Dad takes care of this vehicle? For instance, it's under a car-cover (a special, SSR specific, form-fitted car-cover)when it's in the garage. It's been waxed so much it's actually slippery to the touch and the leather interior has been armor-alled to within an inch of its life so you actually have to take care not to just slip out of the seat, as if you were covered in PAM. Point being: this is one well-maintained automobile. It's show quality.
SO. After the flick we were on a mission to finally return my out-of-state Redbox. The Dad has informed me that the Redbox kiosks are located in the lobbies of all of the Wal-Marts. First Wal-Mart? Closed. So we head over to the Wal-Mart on Highway 92 in Woodstock. It's Huge. It's more than a superstore, it's a football field of savings. It's a grocery store and a shopping mall all under one roof and at 1:15am it's got about 12 people inside. We parked and I was a bit surprised that the Dad left the convertible top down.
We go in and the Redbox was actually re-booting. I don't know when they actually stock the machines with the Tuesday new releases but I will say that we were certainly the first people to have access. Then we did some browsing. We picked up a Mr. Potato Head for Miss B., got a giant bag of dum dums. We were being leisurely. We looked for Nantucket Nectars and Tasty-Kake products. We bought a bag of ice. We got stuck in line behind a woman buying cigarettes for her children (sure, they were teenagers, but still).
Then we headed out to the car, loaded our goodies in the covered pick-up bed and the Dad went around to get in to the driver's side. As I'm walking to get into my side, he says to me: "Don't get in the car. There's a Creature in the car."
WHAT? (For some reason, the first thing I thought was tarantula. I have no idea why).
The Dad comes around to my side and opens my door. There we find:
A baby lamb in the passenger seat. (All I could think of was the tiger in the back of that mercedes in The Hangover). I was just waiting for either hoof prints on the pristine leather seats, or god forbid on the paintjob.
Yup. It was about 1:30am. We're in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. There's a cloven-hooved animal in the passenger seat of our car. I guess I really am back in Georgia.
So, now what? The Dad tried to coax it out of the car but Lambchop was perfectly contended to stay where she was. Apparently, she wasn't bothered by the leather seats. There's nobody in the parking lot, the Dad doesn't want to try and move the lamb, lest we scare her and really even if we did get it out of the car, we can't just leave her in the parking lot.
Thus the police were called. I dialed 911 and asked for the non-emergency number. The dispatcher said he could try and help and asked what the problem was. Have you ever had to convince someone that you're neither drunk nor crazy and that yes, indeed, there is a displaced farm animal in your car? I just tried to remain calm and acknowledge that the situation sounded odd and emphasize that the car is a convertible and the top was down (clearly making it an attractive nuisance for lamb-depositors).
A little while later two police cruisers showed up. Both officers admitted that they'd never been out on a call like this before. (To be honest, I'm sure they were glad it really was just a stray lamb and not a hold-up at the Wal-Mart). One officer just bent down and scooped up Lambchop nice as could be and proceeded to hold on to her while the other radioed for someone at animal control to come and take her away. We had seen three college-age guys coming out of the store (I say they looked suspicious) and a couple who were parked next to us came out of the store while the officers were there and they said that they didn't notice anything in the car when they parked, but that they also noticed the college guys.
Random prank? Abandoned pet? Does a baby lamb in a pick-up truck at a Wal-Mart after midnight have some sort of cosmic or religious significance? You decide. But the one thing I'm sure of is that I doubt this would have happened if I was in New Jersey.