Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Emergency Unicorn

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
They come under many guises. The eleventh hour when your child wanders out of bed for a glass of water, and mentions his science project is due in the morning. Who dashes out to the 24-hour superstore for Styrofoam balls and planet colored paint? The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who. Your Father-in-law is visiting. He absolutely cannot function without Maxwell House coffee. Dear Hubby is working late and had asked you yesterday to please, please get some coffee for his Dad since you were going for groceries. You remembered to pick up pre-in-law binge eating ice-cream, but you forgot the coffee. Who now rushes out to the all night supermarket for that can of Maxwell House coffee?  The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who. (Though that is the last time you ever do it, because you save the empty can after that, and when he comes to visit you just pour whatever coffee you use into the blue can, and put it by the coffee pot for him. So ha. It works beautifully until your son rats you out ten years in.)

Emergency Unicorn hunting happens at work too. There are customers in, and your boss is schmoozing for the big contract. She runs her pantyhose. Who sneaks out to Macy’s for the Control-Top, Sheer Toe, Opaque, Support, Queen-Size Fishnet Stockings?  The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who. In charge of office supplies?  All the mechanical pencils are for size 0.5mm lead, but all the refills are size 0.7mm. Who gets to Staples only to find out they close at 7:00 p.m.?  The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who. So who hits Staples on-line and orders a year’s worth of copy paper just so she spent enough and can have that lead delivered overnight for tomorrow morning?  You got it. The Emergency Unicorn hunter is good at what she does.
Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
A loved one in the hospital is forced to eat hospital food for weeks. After mentioning how he’s been dreaming about chicken pot pies at night, who races to the drive-by chicken joint ten minutes before it closes, and pleads for someone to make just one more chicken pot pie?  Yes, tonight, please – I’ll trade you some free movie passes?  The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who. (And sadly she’s not above bribery at times.)  Unfortunately Emergency Unicorns often involve shopping, but not always. Your son is in his room, we think. There is an obscene pile of Legos in his room and a voice comes from under them, “Mom?  I need another piece that looks like this one.”  A little arm pops out of the pile. It is clutching the smallest Lego piece ever made. Who knows there is another bit just like that one, in the mudroom, inside Dad’s shoe?  The Emergency Unicorn Hunter that’s who. Your daughter is growing into a fine Emergency Unicorn hunter herself. “Mom, when I was in Indian Guides I had a vest with feathers on it. I need one of those blue feathers right now.”  It’s been over ten years and at least three moves since Indian Guides. Who knows exactly where that old leather vest is?  The Emergency Unicorn Hunter that’s who.
Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
It was a bit of a thrill to be sent questing after an actual unicorn recently. Have you seen people greeting loved ones at airports with balloons or flowers?  It was a last minute decision that our loved one needed to be met with a large stuffed unicorn. In the middle of my work day, after four hours of staring at the blinking cursor, I accepted the quest and dashed away. Scored the unicorn and arrived at the airport on time. Oddly enough it turned out to be one of those days where you run into everyone you know. You know people from church, your other job, and engineering conferences?  And guess who got to stand in public, faking normalcy and holding that emergency unicorn?  The Emergency Unicorn hunter that’s who.

Are you an Emergency Unicorn hunter?  I know I’m not the only one, and I know people who excel at it. How about sharing one of your stories with me?  Usually I share Epic Slinky Dogs based on random drawings and blog followers. How about if we change it up today?  Share your most pathetic or humorous Emergency Unicorn hunt with me. If it is particularly touching, I’ll send a Slinky Dog your way. At least until I finish off this open box of them.

Please follow my blog, if you haven’t already. Right over there ---à where it says “Join this site” (or Networked Blogs). And be sure to leave a comment below, for a chance at your very own Slinky Dog! Remember to check back to see if you’ve won, I will post winners here, and attempt to locate you. If I can’t contact you, or don’t hear back within a week, I will pick another name.


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  2. Oh Stephanie! Unicorn HuntersOf the world unite. I have a great story but it is really long. I will return and post the Readers Digest version.

  3. LaDonna - Long is good. I don't mind MSWord it and copy and paste. Looking forward to it! You know what? We should have a convention.

  4. That's great- Emergency Unicorn Hunter! My wife would be the premier household hunter, but I'm usually the Hunter at work. A good friend was leaving and we had to find a unique parting gift. Call Rob, the EmeUniHunter! I found the perfect gift- a custom made monk sockey (yes, that's what they're called, not just a typo, www.monksockeys.com), a blame monkey really, with matching hair and outfit, as well as an applique on the monk sockey's shirt that said "My Fault". Because as everyone knows when someone leaves, within hours, all things that have ever gone awry become that person's fault.

  5. There was this one time a friend really needed (wanted) a book from this super-scandalous book series and I'm the only one with a vehicle so off I went hunting for this book (which was really good btw) at 1AM when I had to be up for boot camp class at 6

  6. Rob - Monk sockey? <3 it! Though have to say, I hang with The Brothers up at the Monastery sometimes and Monk sockey has a whole different meaning up there. Just sayin'. Luv the whole "My Fault" shirt. You are an excellent EmeUniHunter. Noticed how you made it all macho sounding, don't blame you. Luv when you swing by TGG ;)

  7. Dear Jill,
    Was it...Harry Potter?

  8. hahahaha we can call it that.

  9. My son had Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, so we went shopping. We stopped into one of my favorite stores and my son walked past a sale table and screeched to a halt. Sitting there on that table was a nutcracker. Not just any nutcracker, mind you. This was a baseball player in a kelly green and white pin stripe uniform. My son in all of his 8 year old wisdom said, “Momma! This would be perfect for me. I collect nutcrackers, my room is green, and baseball is my favorite sport!”

    I checked the price tag. It was 50% off, but it still would use up all of his money. I told him he could afford it, but it would take everything. He stood in front of that sale table for eons, trying to decide whether or not to give it all up for that nutcracker. Finally, dejectedly, he decided he couldn’t let go of all the money and we left the store without the nutcracker. We assured him it was always better to wait if you weren’t sure about a purchase.

    For weeks, he talked about the nutcracker-that-got-away. I couldn’t believe he was so attached to it. Months later I tucked him into bed and his face was extremely sad.

    “What is wrong, Bailey?”

    “I was just thinking about that nutcracker.”

    After all this time, it still weighed heavily on his mind? I was sure he would have forgotten about it by now.

    “I made the wrong decision. I should have bought it.” His lip quivered and a tear slid down his cheek.

    “Well,” I asked. “Are you going to be able to stop thinking about it and get some rest?”

    “Probably not.” His voice cracked.

    My heart broke, just wrenched right out of my chest and shattered to see him so miserable.

    Little did he know, I had gone back and purchased the nutcracker with intentions of giving it to him on his birthday.

    “Well, do you want me to get you something to sleep with?”


    I walked to my closet and pulled out the hidden gift, unwrapped the tissue and held it behind my back. I took it to him and said. “Will this do?”

    I revealed the Little Green Baseball Nutcracker to him and his face lit like a bonfire, joy exploded onto his features. He reached for the nutcracker, then swerved and grabbed me around the neck and sobbed into my hair. “Thank you, Momma.” His little voice was broken, weeping tears of joy.

    We both hugged and cried as he stroked with reverent awe, the gift. Finally, he settled down, we wiped our tears with gulps and shudders and laughter of relief.

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  11. When it comes to Hunting Unicorns I am morally opposed. The very thought of you carrying around a stuffed Unicorn has Hal's haunches up and his horn dangerously reeling.

    But aside from that...I can toot my own horn when it comes to my A) Autograph Winning on Ebay and B) My thoughtful Christmas gift getting. These things are what make me a...ahem...Emergency Unicorn Hunter.

    I'm a wiz at sniping (who's surprised) on Ebay. For a friend of mine's graduation, I got him a signed (original) picture of Kiefer Sutherland, because Jack Bauer is all things cool. My brother saw this gift and both raged and envied (they graduated the same year). Turns out HE was the one who introduced Blair to 24 and he couldn't BELIEVE that Blair got the gift and he, Tim, didn't. I told him he'd have one - that I wouldn't let him down.

    So I immediately went hunting. I stalked Ebay, learned its habits, and waited to make the kill. Every time I came across my goal I was shut down. Time was running out, and I had nothing to show for it (my brother's birthday was within spitting distance). Everything in me wanted to panic, but the instincts of the hunter knew to remain calm.

    Truth is...I didn't get the Kiefer Sutherland autographed photo. I managed to make my kill on something else and get it shipped to me the day of his birthday.

    I went to my brother with what I did have, holding it behind my back as I simultaneously held my breath.
    "Tim, I'm so sorry. I couldn't get another Kiefer Sutherland autograph."
    My brother frowned, but I could tell he was A) Trying to save face in the disappointment and B) Wondering what the heck I DID get him.
    "But," I said, holding the framed picture to my chest so he couldn't see it. "I did manage to find this."

    I handed my brother the original in perfect condition framed picture of...
    Denzel. Washington. (Now, if this doesn't impact you by the basic knowledge that Denzel is WAY more famous than Kiefer...then maybe the fact that he is my brother's ALL TIME FAVORITE ACTOR might get you).

    My brother hasn't cried when receiving a gift since my dad told him we were going to a Bronco's playoff game when he was 13...but his 18th birthday was pretty stinkin' close. I rendered him speechless and secured my spot as the favorite sister (he has two).

  12. I come from a heritage of emergency Unicorn Hunters. My dearest Mother, in all her passive/aggressive/depressed/Hallmark channel addict self was a premier EUH of pop culture. If you said to her, "Who was that guy on that show we watched that one time?" She would respond, "Mark Harmon" and the answer would be absolutely perfect. I carry on the tradition. I was asked to make cookies for a bake sale for school. I ended up making several dozen pink sparkly cookie sandwhiches until 2 a.m. My son lost his back pack for school. Supposedly absolutely EVERYONE had searched EVERYWHERE and couldn't find it. As the bus pulled up, voila! the resident EUH (Me) found it in the bottom of the toy box (it was left there in the midst of a 5 year old led post playdate cleaning frenzy).

  13. LaDonna - Emergency Unicorn hunters are psychic too. You have to be to find the mates for all the Barbie shoes. Does Bailey still have his treasure? I hope so, bet you know exactly where it is too.
    Moms rock.

  14. Kelsey P&S, It sounds like that might be your favorite brother too. Don't worry, we won't tell. I am way impressed at the thoughtful-sister gift, but possibly more impressed with your awesome eBay skills. You are awarded the eBay Emergency Unicorn Hunter title. EEUH. Pronouced like "ear" if you were from Brooklyn say, and dropped the "r".
    (PS - So Hal doesn't like to be carried around in airports? How does he feel about being draped in mardi-gras beads and American flag bandanas?)

  15. Kimberly, Can I just say how much I love your Mom based entirely on that description of her? Mothers are totally psychic in that "get out of my head" way, aren't they? They suck the information you don't have the time or inclination to provide, straight out of your head. Be afraid.
    You are an awesome Mom with those cookies, especially because I know you've made cookies more than once. I did the Kindergarten heart shaped cookies for the class, complete with icing names. Every time that kid mentioned cookies again, I reminded him about it. I used it all up in one fell swoop. Nothing left to give in the cookie department. I'm still tired from it. For his birthday this year he got his own cookie pans and all the ingredients. Go to it. Sometimes Unicorn Hunters won't cooperate with you. You send them out for tacks from Home Depot and they come back with a book from Barnes & Nobles and a tall caramel frappucino, but that is another blog.

  16. Stephanie, it's the whole "hunted" and "stuffed" thing that bothers Hal, though I believe being covered in beads and wearing American Flags would probably suit him just fine.
    You know what an attention-hog he is. Bit part taking over the book.

  17. Rob & Kimberly get Slinky Dogs btw! Be sure to Private Message me addresses!