It's not about the house.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mother? Mother? Where Are You, Mother?




I was going to say it was a turkey...


I was going to say it was a turkey that I swerved to miss the other night when I went off the road at Mousam Lake and cracked Mom’s car, because a turkey is just funnier than a deer, and they do tend to dart out in the middle of the road. But I knew you wouldn’t have believed me, because what is a turkey doing up and about at 11:00 at night? And if it was one of them nocturnal turkeys, well, how would I see it? Plus I already told two people in real life about the deer, and I don’t want real-life people to think I’m telling lies. Lying to real people is not the same as fictioning the blog a bit for ha-has. Lying to real people is Very Bad. And anyway, if it had been a turkey, I wouldn't have swerved to miss.

So yeah, I was coming home from Big Daddy’s the other night -- and, despite the intentions I may have declared in this space, I was not hammered. Fiction, see. Ha-has. Are you with me? I don’t know how many beers I had, but I was there for six hours and spent $40, so let’s do the math together, shall we?

The pool table was $1.25 a go. If I fed it every half-hour, that’s twelve goes for $15 (I probably fed it more than that, but the bikers paid for some games, so we’ll leave it at that). Minus another $5 for a half-pound of peel-and-eats -- that's $20. So at $3.50 each, plus a dollar tip, the most beers I could have had was four (and yes, I know that sentence sounds a little drunk its own self, but you figure out a better way to put it down). Or five, if you count the pint the one-eyed biker bought me (my policy on accepting drinks from strange men has always been to say no thank you, but if it’s already pulled and put in front of me then it seems just downright rude to send it back). But that was in six hours, remember, plus that night I actually ate. And they were light beers. My policy on light beers has also always been to say no thank you, but that was when I didn’t have to drive a hundred miles to get home. The last thing I wanted to do was crash Mom’s car. Or, you know, die.

Yeah, so anyway, Mom’s car. I’m driving it – or, rather, was driving it – so I can take shit to the dump. To take shit to the dump you need a sticker, and to get a sticker you’re supposed to have to live here, so we assumed they wouldn’t give me one for Rose. As it turns out they probably would have, seeing as how they gave me one for Mom’s car even though it’s registered in Massachusetts, under her name, and I’m not so much her. They didn’t even charge me any money for it. Seriously, next time you find yourself fighting city hall, try telling the Town Clerk you’re up here cleaning out your mother's cabin ’cause she died. All of the red tape just falls away…

Mom’s car is a PT Cruiser, and if you’ve never driven one, then don’t. It sucks. Mom bought it because she thought it was cute, which I suppose it sort of is, and since that’s all she ever used it for, it served its purpose very well. Last summer, when she wanted so badly to buy it, Dad had the dealer bring the papers to the hospital for her to sign, but after that she didn't really get out of bed again. She never got inside the car, not even once. But she did get to see it sitting in the driveway, looking cute. And like I say, that’s about all the damn thing’s good for.

When I tell you that absolutely everything about this car is bad, you have to remember that you’re talking to a girl who knows from bad. I used to own a Diplomat, for crying out loud. Well, as much as anyone can ever really own a Diplomat. It’s more like you pick it up and then spend the next few years paying some guy to board it for you at his garage. But with the Cruiser, I’m not talking about the engine. Yet. It doesn’t quite have enough mileage under its belt for that. So I guess the one good thing I’ll say about it is that it’s managed to go 15,000 miles without engine failure. So far. Knock on wood.

Everything else in it, though, just friggin’ sucks. S-U-C-K-S. It’s basically one giant blind spot except for right straight ahead through the windshield. For a small car, it drives like a dang truck. It has no turning radius. No power. It only gets 20 miles to the gallon, and when I have to step on the brakes all of a sudden, I can feel myself bracing for it to roll. The buttons that open the electric windows are on the dashboard, for fuck's sake, and not the door. They even loused up the cupholders – put ‘em way down by your feet so you have to bend at the waist to get your coffee while you drive. The air conditioner vents are easy to aim around, I will say that. But I don’t really use A/C that much.

Anyway, my point was going to be what, now? Oh, the deer…

So I was coming home from Big Daddy’s (which I’ve decided I don’t like that much, by the way; I found another place called Wild Willy's -- it is sans chickens, but I met nice people there), and when I took that left at Mousam Lake there was a deer! It all happened really fast, and really scary. How I thought it went – what I told those real-life people that I mentioned – was I took the left, the deer was there, and I just kind of kept on turning left. I went off the road and it was like that shot we’ve seen a thousand times in movies, where all you can process is two feet of close-up, high-speed, headlight-illuminated hell. I remember thinking, in those endless moments while the car careered around, that I was really not in control here, so I might as well stop trying. I eased up on the brake a bit, I quit trying to steer, and when I came to a stop I was on the other side of the road.

But I say “how I thought it went” because Dad happened to be coming up the next day anyway, and he drove me down and we had a look at the spot. Turns out it couldn’t have been right at the corner after all – which makes sense, now that I think about it, because if it was I couldn’t have been going fast enough to lose control. The only place around there with anything that could break the axle and knock the rear wheel off suspension on the left side like it did, are these boulders just a little farther up.

I guess I’ll never know what really happened, but I’m pretty sure I’m lucky to be alive. If a car had been coming in either direction I’d be brown bread. If I’d been a few more feet along I’d hit a tree. A few feet less and I’m in Mousam. Or of course the Cruiser could’ve rolled.

I was all trying to figure out how I was going to pay to fix it, but it turns out Dad has the grown-up kind of insurance. You know, the kind that pays to fix your own car when you smash it? Unlike my Destructo kind, which only pays to fix the other guy. Although if you ask me I think the deer should pay for this one, but I’ve never been a lawsuit kind of girl.

So we spent our visit on Friday dealing with insurance rigamarolies, then I drove three hours down with him to Oxford, picked up good old Rose, turned around and drove right back to Maine. At rush hour. On a summer Friday. In 97-degree heat. It would have been nice to stick around a while in Massachusetts, put my feet up, maybe call a local friend and go shoot pool…

But of course I had to give the cat his fucking shot.



You see what I did there? That punchline is from, like, three days ago! I used to think each post had to stand alone, but now I’ve come to terms with the fact that, while there may be only twelve of you out there, you all love me very, very much. And if you love me, then you obviously have a taste for jokes that are a little old and stale, but that are at least trying to be good.

5 comments:

Janice said...

yay dad!

oldgreymare said...

There are 22 who love you- somehow in my early blogdom days I got on there twice..You should remove one, and I'm sure you have many more lurkers. You need Google Analytical. It's free, it's easy to set up. That way you know how many people see your blog every day. 75% of the people who read my blog are not followers. Go figure?
You will know the country, city, and state they reside in...so if you have someone you hate who lives in Beatlesville, LA, you'll know if they read your blog...

z

oldgreymare said...

oh and I clicked before I was done...

and when you know and they don't know you know it's kinda fun!
z

can't seem to stop this double thing...

12ontheinside said...

Ah that punchline made me laugh, so it's still a good one. And I swear I was only looking to see what other 'stories' you might have written that were out there. It's just too far to stalk properly from over here. Not that I'd do that anyway :)

Cake said...

I'm Canadian, I count for three people, dangit!

p.s.
Very glad your car accident wasn't worse...really, really, really very glad. Yikes.