So I was just settled in for a long winter's read when my telephone rang Sunday morning.
It was Linda. She had been on her way out to the lake to see her mother and she'd taken Skipper the Bouncy along. First she stopped at Kroger's to get her prescription filled and rolled the windows down so Skipper could get some air. But she rolled them down too far and he hopped out and tried to follow her inside.
So she got back in the car and tried to start it. Her brand-new 2007 Camry refused to even turn over.
Could I come get her dog while she waited at AAA? Well, certainly.
So I put my shoes on and I get in my car and I turn the key.
Oh, come on now! So I turn the key again.
Hail Eris, the engine turns over. From this point on, my car's running reliably. So I drive down to Kroger's and I park next to Linda's car. She's standing near it, holding Skipper on a leash. I take custody of the canine and she goes inside to get her prescription. She takes about ten minutes. In the meantime, I'm standing near the cars, sometimes between our two cars to stay out of traffic, and I find in the next space over a Lego motorcycle and two Lego men, both of whom are painted red with decals that suggest motorcycle jumpsuits, but their heads are white and painted up like skulls.
So finally Linda comes out and Skipper recognizes her from thirty feet away, and starts wagging his four-inch tail stub against my leg. I think I'm still bruised.
So Linda tries to start the car again -- nothing -- and she asks me please to take the dog home while she waits for the AAA man.
So I coax Skipper into my back seat and take him to Linda's house. While I'm trying to make sure he's got food and water, the phone rings. It's Linda. I took Skipper back to her place? She meant me to take him home with me for the nonce. Anyway, the AAA man says it's a dead battery, and she's not to turn her car off again because it won't ever start until they get a new battery.
So it being a Sunday, nothing's open, but Linda decides she needs me to escort her into Clinton so she can drop it off at Fox Toyota. So, fine. We drive into Clinton, minding the speed limit because the MIL is watching, and find that our favorite Toyota dealership has an awful lot of Chevy pickups parked in its lot. Then we notice the great big blue CHEVROLET sign hung over where it still says TOYOTA in illuminated letters. So our Toyota place isn't there anymore.
There's a man checking out the Chevy pickups, and we ask him where the Toyota place is. It's over across the Interstate, he says, about ten minutes from the Chevy dealership.
So Linda decides that we've already driven into Clinton, we might as well get to the Toyota place, so off we set again. It's not long before we cross the Interstate and I spot the Toyota place off to the left.
I think I can get there from this turning. Okay, I'm in a Shoney's parking lot, fine. I just need to go left and between the Shoney's and whatever is next to it. Crap, there's a chain-link fence and a gate and now I see that the road back to Fox Toyota is on the other side of the Shoney's. So I turn around, minding that RV that's parked there, and I drive through the Shoney's lot and find myself at a turn onto one of those divided drives where it's one way on either side of a small median, and I'm on the side running away from Fox.
So I look left, towards Fox. And I look right, towards the road. And I turn the wrong way on this drive, just long enough to cut across to the proper lane. This road is still under construction. It runs past Fox, but then there's a bunch of heavy equipment and yellow construction vehicles and things. That's all right, I can turn into Fox's parking lot. We drive around the front of Fox and find space to park, and that's when we notice that there's an awful lot of plywood on the front of this building.
Are they even open?
But Linda's spotted some people inside. We go up and try the door (it's locked) and then we bang on the glass to get their attention. One of the men comes out, a small boy in tow, and talks to Linda. Meanwhile, I'm distracted by this awesome sword the boy has. He's no more than six, but his sword has a yellow plastic blade that springs from the chromed jaws of some sort of plastic skull. I think the hilt is red. Anyway, that's an awesome sword, and the kid can barely fit his hands around it.
The man is assuring Linda that they'll be open Monday morning, that technicians will be here, and there is a key drop. So Linda fills out the information on the key drop and we discuss what we're going to do. She still wants to go out to the lake, and then on Monday she's going to drive her spare car to work. She doesn't know how we're going to get her Camry back. I suggest that either Isabel or I could come out here when the work is done, pay the people and get the spare key back. Then she or I could drive Linda out here after she's back from work so Linda could pick up her car. That way we've got everyone and everyone has her car.
So that's agreed on. We're done for now, and I drive Linda back to her house. She's worried that Hillary is being awfully negative towards Obama. I point out that the Clintons are playing the game. The Republicans aren't going to treat our candidate with kid gloves. I try to remember how Obama has been negative toward Clinton, but for the life of me I can't, so I can't make a very good case. Anyway, the conversation turns towards other things and soon enough I've dropped her off at home. By now it's after 1, and I need to go home and get lunch so Isabel and I can drive out to Bill's place and return the electronics she borrowed so she could earn a buck or two.
It's been a long morning, and if you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with me.