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Part Three, of “ A Grandchild Odyssey

Waiting For “Roo”

Monday, June 12, 2017

There are more people living in the State of California than there are in the entire country of Canada.  That’s right: in 2016, Canada, from sea to sea to sea, had a population of just over thirty-five million, while that same year California had over thirty-nine million.  Meanwhile, Canada’s landmass is twenty-one times bigger 1 than that of the “Golden State.”  There is, you may say, elbow-room in Canada.

San Francisco airport is a case in point. 
When we landed last Wednesday, it was jammed with humanity.  I had to wait more than forty-five minutes in line just to get my previously-booked rental car.  The clerks worked efficiently and steadily, but the people just kept on coming.  Every ten minutes the airport skytrain would pull in, and disgorge hundreds more, who would rush to the car rental counters... well, to the back of several lines snaking back and forth in front of those counters.

When we finally drove out onto the highway, the human hordes were there as well – in a myriad of cars, driving at high speed, bumper to bumper, until some construction slowed the thing to a crawl, turning the Interstate into an enormous, miles-long parking lot.

But eventually, we arrived safely at Rachael and Michael’s in Sacramento.

That was five days ago.

Friends have come and gone; we’ve eaten in various restaurants; we’ve gone to church; we’ve had a goodbye party for a member of their church group (the party was all the way down in the Napa Valley!)... the only thing we haven’t done is welcome a baby into the world.  It would seem that Baby “Roo” 2  is quite unwilling to be born.

And so we wait.  Wait for Roo.

The most unique event of this waiting game, so far, came on Friday, when we went to Skipolini’s restaurant to sample their “Prego” pizza.  This pizza has a unique reputation: it is said to induce labour.  Here’s what the restaurant says on its website:

In the spring of 1981, a woman desperate to give birth after a trying pregnancy, wandered into Skipolini’s Pizza in downtown Clayton. Jokingly, the woman demanded that the manager give her a pizza that would make her have the baby soon. Seeing her desperation, the manager concocted a pizza with just about every known topping in the restaurant.

The masterpiece had thirteen different toppings including extra onions and extra garlic. The pizza was loaded with fresh vegetables and six types of meat. The creation weighed over four pounds and could have cured the hunger of several small countries. The results were amazing. The woman left the restaurant after eating the “Prego” pizza and went into labor that same evening. So began the amazing history of the first ever, the original, “Prego” pizza.

After years of success, the “Prego” pizza has been growing in popularity. It has been recommended by doctors and OBGYNs everywhere. The pizza gives hope to pregnant mothers who are just ready to put a happy ending to a long nine months.

The website continues in this vein, but you get the idea.

A family sitting in the booth across from us – a man, a woman, and a little one-year old boy – attested to the efficacy of the pizza.  The mom told us that their little guy arrived within twenty-four hours of her eating a “Prego.”

In due course we left the restaurant, full to the brim of food... and of very high hopes.

But it is now Monday, and still no baby has come.

Rachael, exceedingly ready to have her pregnancy come to an end, this morning posted a link on FaceBook, which reads: “”  If you click on it, your screen will display a single word in large letters: NOPE.

Maybe there are just too many people in California, and some invisible mechanism is preventing my family from adding even one more.

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1  According to Wikipedia, Canada’s landmass is 9,093,507 km2, while California’s is 423,970 km2.  Meanwhile, the population in Canada, from the same source, was 35,151,728 in 2016, while that of California was 39,250,017.
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2  Rachael and Michael have chosen a name for their new baby, but they will not tell anyone what it is until she is born.  So Heather, last December, thinking of the beloved characters in A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series, began calling the unborn child, “ Roo,” and the name stuck.
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