It's not about the house.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More or Less Bunk, Part I: I Beg Your Pardon

Yes, yes. The more astute among you may have already gleaned that I intend for this to be another multi-part series. It won't go on for two months, though, I swear to god. And I might just see fit to interrupt myself if something happens in our lives that I deem worth writing. Like for example if Johnny's diverticulitis develops into full-blown peritonitis and while we're at his Urgent Care appointment the dog rips his stitches and bleeds all over the house and winds up with an infected foot so that Nursie Me has to tend to two very sick and sad-looking patients who will both be just fine in a week or so, but who for now are taking a grand total of seventeen pills at nine different intervals throughout the day. 

If anything like that happens, I'll let you know.

Now then, shall we begin?

All right, let's see if I can bring you up to date: the last time I mentioned anything concrete about a motor-vehicle in my possession, I believe I said that Chuck (TFT) was dead-dead-dead. This isn’t true. I thought he was demised because he up and spewed every last drop of transmission fluid all over the nice parking-garage floor. And, since I’d been waiting for the transmission to crap out on us for months – years, even – I chalked it up to the at-long-last-real-Big-One-Elizabeth, and took the bus.

Turned out to be a bad axle. I don’t know how an axle connects to the transmission to result in pink goo all over the ground, but George said it had something to do with temperature. He fixed it for around $150, and Chuck (TFT) was as good as new. Well, not new, but as good as — eh, you know what? He’s a Plymouth. He probably was just about as good as new.

But by that point I’d resolved myself to his ex-ness, and I had mixed feelings about him being fixed. See, we thought all along we were too poor to get a new car. The plan was that when Chuck (TFT) shat the bed (or the parking-garage, as it were), that would be it. We would join the indigent ranks of the great un-wheeled. But as I rode the bus for the few weeks before Chuck was miraculously revived, I realized that wheel-less-ness was not an option.

It takes twice as long to get anywhere on the bus, and I still had a Project to finish in my already-sparse spare time! Plus we had 50-pound bags of dog food to buy, for crying out loud! And not-as-big-bags-but-lots-more-of-them cat litter! We had mothers in the hospital to see! Dog parks to go to! Vet appointments to keep! And once in a while Johnny even had to go to work! Not to mention that a round-trip to New Haven on the train costs $90, and for my sanity I have to do that once a month! A year’s worth of that expense alone would more than pay for a replacement – even if you subtract out the cost of gas!

(Oh, and for you shrubby-types who might be out there: I want you to know that I did look into ZipCar. In fact, I got right up to the final stage of signing up, and I justified the monthly expense by telling myself I’d use it to take the Beast to the dog park twice a week. But at the last minute I read that you can’t bring pets in ZipCars without carriers – and something tells me any crate that holds a Great Dane/Black Lab cross ain’t fittin’ in the back seat of no pansy-ass Prius. Dad suggested I could put him in the back seat anyway, and just clean it out before I brought it back. As if! I’ve never cleaned the inside of my own car; I'll be damned if I’m detailing a freaking rental twice a week.)

So I’d gotten used to the idea of getting ... something ... when lo and behold Chuck (TFT) was suddenly, miraculously, back on his bald and permanently-misaligned feet. And then I found myself resenting the 150 bucks it cost to fix him. And the other 50 it cost in September. And the $100 in July. And the $90 battery we bought in June…

I may have all those numbers and dates slightly off -- y’all are free to peruse my archives and call me on them if you wish -- but the point is that we could’ve bought a new car (at least the kind of shitbox “new-to-us” car that we buy) with the amount of money we’d sunk into Chuck (TFT) in the last six months alone. Dammit! No more spending money on The Fucking Truck, then! We'd keep him for as long as he was running, but we needed to find the old bastard a suitable heir before he tried again to abdicate his throne.

So I got back behind the wheel of rickety old Chuck (TFT), albeit trepidatiously, while Johnny put the word out among our faithful Car Guy friends that we were in need of... something. Something big enough to hold the dog and me and Johnny, plus maybe a cooler and a case of beer. Something available right now. Something neither too swish nor too Jed Clampett.

And preferably something close to free.

To be continued! 
Aw, go on, you know you love it.
Fine, then, shall I tell you about Johnny's colon?
Then suck it up.


Poppo said...

THE CONE OF SHAME!!!!!! Poor Charlie.
Hey just realized that CFT and Charlie have the same name and Charlie is starting to need repairs. Too much of a coincidence???

LadyCiani said...

your photo reminds me of my Boston Terrier (Mugsy) wearing a cone. My sister's German Shepard seemed to be antagonizing my dog, so my sister stuck a cone on him too. Wow, did those ears go back and he sulked. Frickin' hilarious to watch.

ege said...

Poppo -- OH NO!!! Living in the AssVac (don't forget where the name comes from) and being this close to Destructo is taking it's toll!

LadyC -- Hm. Maybe I should put a cone on Johnny...

Ladyscot said...

I was thinking that maybe you got Su's Jeep.

Charlie said...

@Poppo: as a Charlie I say bite your tongue!

Anonymous said...

Well I sure hope Johnny's ass is feeling better.

ege said...

LadyS -- Ooh, I hadn't realized people were going to think that. Sorry.

Charlie -- I don't know. I've been meaning to tell you you're starting to look a bit run-down.

12 -- It's not really, yet. But I'll tell it you said so.