So. I’ve been absent from these pages for a couple weeks while involved with a personal matter too complicated to share here, and having said that, I should state that it is my concern for the sensibilities of another human that kept me quiet, not any concern for myself. As I have moved on from the unmentioned complications, I have some good and bad news to share.
As a salesperson, I have always known that you deliver bad news first—get that negative shit out the way so you can focus on the positive. However, as a human being, I wish to share the good first because l have been promising you I would inform as soon as I could, and then I’ll deal with the not-so-good news.
Friday was settlement day between Mini USA and me. Myself, mayhaps, but Mini and I settled our differences on my beloved little hotrod Countryman. While I absolutely loved my tiny car when it was running right, it, simply put, did not run right enough of the time. It would routinely misfire (my words) in what Mini mechanics call a “Hard Knock,” and several times did so in heavy traffic. Once it did so and I was almost rammed from behind by a too-close driver.
As too-close driving is a Santa Fe method of employed roadway matriculating, this near-stalling dealio was disconcerting. Watching a Lexus SUV rock forward in a tire-squealing nosedive at your rear bumper while doing 65 MPH can disconcert the best of us, and me as well. To make a long story short, in two years of ownership and more than two months inside their shop, Mini could not make the repairs necessary to fix my car. I became frustrated after being quite patient, and finally told them to either honor New Mexico’s Lemon Law—a law that requires them to choose to give me all my money back, or give me a new car of matching accoutrements—or, as I so eloquently said when I told them of my demand, I said to the Mini Reps, “Or fix my fucking car!”
OK, so as to not over simplify, I understand that everyone in business sometimes builds a bad seed product—that bastard electric toothbrush that scrubs your gums bloody rather than remove half-a-day’s food particles, the Roman Candle that sends flaming projectiles out from both ends of the stick, or that car that has an issue that you just can’t fix. So I never held Mini culpable as a builder of bad cars, just a typical car maker who made one bad Countryman. But my frustrations with not getting it right got to me. Mini built a bad car…
And sold it to me. Anyway, after ginning me through their corporate structure in an effort to make me give-in to their initial, totally unacceptable offers, they finally gave me a settlement I found acceptable. Not what I wanted, because as I said I loved my Mini. I wanted a replacement—one that worked as promised. They must have decided that I was not so desirable as a Mini owner and bought the car back. I agreed to not discuss the financial terms with anyone so I won’t.
As a replacement, I purchased a Subaru WRX hot rod that in my early days of ownership is found to be as much fun as the Mini, and maybe even a somewhat more. It’s a little bigger, a whole lot faster, and has the all-wheel drive needed for our snowy winters. I’ll let you know if my happiness remains.
Which brings up the not happy part of this entire thingy. I came home a week ago, and as usual the goat dog met me at the door jumping and circling and woofing his slit-throat bark. What didn’t happen, as usual, was that the Squirt was missing from my greeting. Her usual is to greet me with disdain, or pleasure, should I return with, or without, her requests.
“You forgot, didn’t you, shithead? You are such a numbskull!” or, “Fuck you, Mooner, I’ll have the goat dog shit on the couch next time,” would be a typical Squirt greeting. But this return trip she was nowhere to be found. After his greeting, Yoda woofed at me and raced to the back of the house, stopped and woofed over his shoulder at me, and took off again.
“Squirty girl, where are you?” I hollered to no reply. I walked farther to the back and raised my voice, “Squirt, answer me young lady and do it now!”
“Fuck you,” her weak reply. “I’m on the bed and I can get down.”
I found the adorable bundle of brown fur and spunk shaking at the foot of our bed, looking up at me with a scared look in her eyes. This was the same look she had when her tooter was so messed up that she couldn’t walk.
“I can’t walk, Mooner. It’s time to put me down. I won’t live like this.”
I freaked. “You, young lady, are headed to the emergency room.”
“I’ll bite you, shithead, and I mean it. I won’t live a cripple. You’ll not be wiping my ass or my drool! Get me the bottle of pain pills and a beer. I’m putting an end to this.”
Instead, I grabbed a towel to wrap her and she did snap at me. She missed and she moaned when I lifted her. “It’s my back. I think I broke it.”
Again to make a long story short, her back isn’t broken but it is suffering the damages that Time takes on a Doxie body. Her long spine finally gave notice to cease her rambunctiousness, and she was in pain and what turned out to be temporary paralysis. Time and some meds have fixed the paralysis, but I’m now required to lift her up, and down, when she needs it. And I think she is taking advantage of me. She seems to need lifting way too often.
“You need to be more attentive, shithead. What if I forget and try to jump off my chair?” she said to me the other day. “Maybe you should hire a live-in nurse.”
“Don’t be taking advantage, Squirty girl, you’re close to the line on the Cost/Benefit scale.”
But me, I don’t give a shit. I’ll become her full-time nurse if need be. I was talking to Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson about it in this morning’s phone therapy session and I broke all the way down. Cried like a baby and blabbered on, and on. “What will I do without her? Who will I talk to? Who will keep me on the straight and narrow? Who can ever replace her?”
“Good questions, one and all, Mooner. Maybe you need some extra sessions.”
“Maybe I need some sexing and maybe you could prescribe it for therapeutic purposes. I just changed the sheets and you can be on a noon flight that arrives here before five. I’ve got a bottle of your favorite chardonnay…”
“You need to worry about your real issues, dear man. Take care of that puppy and make her happy and comfortable. Or else!”
I just finished watching 101 Dalmatians and All Dogs Go To Heaven three times each. Next, I’m headed out to the butcher shop to get some big beef leg bones and then some vanilla ice cream, her favies, and now my eyes have watered up in the telling.
Why is this tiny dog so important to me? Why am I so terribly shaken with the thought of losing her? Why am I more concerned for the Squirt than for my mother, and why would I put this question in print? And why does it hurt more to have concerns for another’s health than it is my own? I didn’t suffer finding I have cancer like I am with my dog.
I know I’m crazy and that my priorities are totally fucked. Do others operate the same way? Have I asked enough silly questions for the day?
Ugh. Total and complete ugh.
Fuck Walmart for the Squirt.