Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two ninedy eight

My car was stuck in an impound lot. And I blame this on the dog.

Not on my dog. I don’t have a dog.
I blame this on Blake’s dog.

Blake is a fellow intern. He is my favorite fellow intern. He reminds me of me. Except, prettier. And bitchier. And better at parallel parking. Plagiarizing hotdogsladies brilliant twitter, we only wish all the other idiots were as tolerant, self-aware, and intellectually nuanced as we are.

Blake and I sort of met before the intern year started. I emailed the intern class asking (begging) for a place to stay for two weeks while I waited for my apartment to be ready. Blake was the only one who responded. He said that he and his boyfriend, Evan, had a spare room and wouldn’t mind a temporary boarder. This was the third time a gay person offered me a place to stay when I was in a bind. When my sister heard about it, she said, “I’m beginning to think that being a homosexual has less to do with orientation and more to do with a person’s willingness to lodge your perennially homeless ass.”

“Could be worse,” I said. “I could still be living with my parents.” Then, she flipped me off—a sure sign that I’d won that round.

In the end, I didn’t end up staying with Blake. My apartment was available earlier than expected. In spite of having my own place, though, I have spent quite a few nights in Blake’s guest room. And I blame this on the boyfriend.

Not on my boyfriend. I don’t have a boyfriend.
I blame this on Blake’s boyfriend.

The dude makes killer martinis. Literally. These drinks suppress your drive to breath. A couple of sips, and suddenly, you can imagine what it might feel like to have those floating olives for brains. A couple more, and you’re convinced that you do.

In all of the time I’ve spent at Blake’s, trying not to let his boyfriend drown me in vodka, I’ve bonded with his dog. She’s an old, overweight, grumpy, long-haired (except for those few patches without hair) dachshund. She has terrible breath, and she bites. Sitting next to her on the couch, suddenly I seem both attractive and sweet. She's the best kind of friend—the kind that makes you look good by comparison

Blake and Evan left town this weekend for a friend’s birthday party. They didn’t go for the friend. They went for the party. They needed someone to watch the dog, and I happily volunteered. I’ve missed having a dog, and, like I said, she and I enjoy each other’s company.

The boys left Saturday morning. I spent most of the day at the mall—an unusual Saturday for me, to be sure, as there are few places on the planet I hate more than the mall. Gas station bathrooms. McDonald's that serve powered cream with their coffee. Crowded elevators. Airplanes that sit at the gate with the air conditioning turned off. The Pennsylvania turnpike… That’s it. The five places on the planet I hate more than the mall.

But, I decided that a tee shirt and jeans girl like myself could really use more than two pairs of jeans. Online shopping is difficult when you’re never at home to accept packages. I sucked it up and went to the damn mall.

I ended up with Levis 501s. Button fly boyfriend jeans—so named because you’re only supposed to wear these if you already have a boyfriend. If you’re a single girl, you’re supposed to shoehorn your ass into skinny jeans and then walk around pretending like you enjoy that painted on denim feeling, resisting the almost overwhelming urge to wrap your car around a pole just so paramedics will show up with trauma shears and cut you out of your pants.

I briefly considered buying said jeans, but I was concerned that they would turn me into a slut. They’d make good on their sexy promise—I’d attract the aforementioned boyfriend. And then, I’d put out on the first date simply because I could not wait ONE MORE SECOND to get out of those damn pants.

So, because I’d like to maintain some standards—like not putting out until the third date—and because I don’t have the kind of car or health insurance you can comfortably wrap around a pole, I bought the boyfriend jeans. I know I’m unlikely to attract a boyfriend with them, but that’s where the scrubs come in. Nothing says sexy quite like those drawstring floods washed in the same hospital load as shit-soaked bed linens. (Something to think about next time you’re watching the cast of Grey’s Anatomy peel them off of each other in some hot and steamy soiled utility closet.)

When I got back from the mall, there were no open visitor spaces outside Blake and Evan’s apartment. There were, however, a couple hundred open resident spots. I parked in the one Evan’s car normally occupies. I made dinner. I took the dog out to pee. I looked for a visitor spot for my car. There was not one. I watched a movie. I had a glass of Malbec. I took the dog out to poop. I looked for a visitor spot for my car. There was not one. I set my alarm for 7 am. I went to bed. I woke up to move my car. There was not one.

I made a phone call. A woman answered, and it was clear from her voice that I had just woken her up. “Uh…hold on,” she said before, I can only assume from the amount of time I spent holding on, she rolled over, finished her good night’s sleep, woke at her usual hour, made herself a cup of coffee, put on her face, and then returned with, “Yeah, we towed yo car. Is goin be two ninedy eight. Cash. Ezact change only. We open tweny fo sevin.”

And then I commenced to pacing. If pacing paid, I would have earned that two ninedy eight in about eight minutes. I paced and muttered to myself… It’s only money. This is not worth getting upset about. It’s only money. This is not that big a deal. It’s only money. I just won’t buy those shoes I wanted. Or that armchair. It’s only money…

And then, because that made me feel not one ounce better, I paced and muttered to the dog… “You know, I blame this on you. You and that sappy look you shot me last night when I suggested that maybe I should just leave and come back this morning to let you out. Damn that sappy look. Go get your leash. We’re walking to the ATM. Half of this two ninedy eight is coming out of your account.”

We walked the several blocks to the nearest ATM. A few blocks in, the dog gave me a sappy look that begged me to carry her the rest of the way. “Nice try,” I said, “but I’ve got two nindey eight reasons to ignore that face. Keep walking.”

Every third or fourth person we passed stooped to pet her. “She bites,” I warned. There’s always one, though...some douchebag who fancies himself a real dog person, the white Cesar Millan. He shook his head a little and reached his hand towards her head, smiling and cooing. This dog has no patience for smiling and cooing. She bit him.

“She bites!” he yelled, as he whipped his slightly mangled hand out of her jaw.

“Who knew?” I deadpanned. And we walked on.

Two ninedy eight later, I had my car back.

Except, it was actually three hundred. And a near death experience at a West Baltimore impound lot at 9:45 at night.

That’s another story for another day. I’m on vacation, so that day may come sooner rather than later.


.j.william. said...

there's nothing worse than getting your car towed because--really--it's more expensive than speeding or reckless driving or any of that shit and YOU WERE PARKED.

My tow was for love. In that, it was worth it.

ps--the bit about the trauma shears killed me. KILLED. Like a very dry martini. Of which I've had one.

Eric said...

T, this is one of the funniest things I've read in a long, long time, I'm glad you're back.
I hope you enjoy your vacation, you deserve it.

Susanlee said...

Damnit now I feel dirty in my scrubs, and no one has even leaked on me yet tonight. Fahh!!

dive said...

Sheesh! That trulay sucks, T!
Having your car towed AND hanging out at the mall both in one day?

I wear 501 button-fly jeans, too, and I don't have a boyfriend either.
Hey ho.

Maria said...

I was just going to stop by to make sure that you were alive and then your brilliant little post pulled me in and now I will probably be late for work and Liv late for school and it is all your fucking fault.

jenny said...

Great post, I like it when you write a good long story post.

What reason did they give you for being towed, if you were parked in the space of the guys flat you were sitting?

If I wear skinny jeans my legs look like two turnips, i love boyfriend fit jeans.

My dog is the same, he looks like a cute teddy bear but hates everyone except me and the kids, and yes some person who thinks they 'know' dogs always refuses to believe me and gets bitten!

Blazer said...

I am sorry you had to experience the mall and the impound...but happy you had to experience the mall and the impound because this post just made my day.

MmeBenaut said...

Oh Terroni - its so good that a tiny bit of vacation can bring your brilliant sense of humour and ascerbic wit bubbling to the surface. What a riot. You are a circus! Or perhaps I should say you make your wonderful life sound like a circus.
I can't believe how incredibly much they charge for towing your car and why the hell they didn't accept your story about babysitting your new best friend :)
BTW A pair of jeans can turn any woman into a slut almost immediately ... I'm on my way to the mall ...