Sunday, January 5, 2014

Are jumper cables made of licorice?

                I realize that expecting someone wearing cranberry chinos and paisley button down, baking brie en croute to resolve your automotive dilemma is typically far-fetched but if you know me, you know that I’ve got plenty of tricks up my color-coordinated sleeve.

                I’m standing in the kitchen by the oven waiting for my brie to finish so I can drizzle raspberry preserves in preparation for the return of Downton Abbey.  A fabulous British TV show is an excuse for fancy snacks, n'est ce pas?  I was removing them from the oven when my father walks in and at the end of a string of profanities asks if Greg was in town.  Greg, as you may remember, is one of the few of my friends (and on my management team at work) to rate a passing grade from my father.  Granted The Dad likes most of my friends but prefers Greg based mostly on the fact that he looks as if he is a Hell’s Angel on his way to court when he’s dressed for work.  Dustin’s corner of the federal government is a well-dressed corner, people.  I’m making the world more attractive one pocket square at a time. Your tax dollars at work. He is one of the nicest people I know but his size and girth are intimidating to say the least.

                When I ask why, I am met with an exasperated, “Just find out if he’s busy.”

                When I insist on knowing the reason to bother someone on a Sunday, The Dad says, “My truck won’t crank.  The batt-rys dead.”

                My response, “Well I can fix that” was met with a look similar to the one Lulu the dog has when she sees herself in the mirror: confusion followed by amusement.

                I ignore the look and state, “Give me a minute to drizzle the preserves and I’ll get your jumper cables”.  He stares and asks what brie is. 

                My response was “Fancy cheese you don’t like so put it down”, as he tried to pretend he hadn’t just burned his fingers trying to grab a piece before I could stop him.

                Now I realize that you may be skeptical that someone who owns as many pairs of colored chinos as I (with a propensity to say “cranberry” instead of “red”) would have, at their disposal, the skills or tools to perform such a task.  However, as we have discussed previously, I am a unique animal; one who didn’t necessarily enjoy the absorption or demonstration of said knowledge. 
               A life spent in the boonies with cars of questionable age and quality will very quickly familiarize you with the information on how to "jump off" a car, how to push a standard shift truck down a hill to get it going, how to convince someone that 'bondo' and 'primer' really are color options and that prayer can sometimes work as an alternative fuel.

                Once he saw that I wasn’t kidding about the jumper cables or the brie, he followed me outside and I proceeded to take control of the situation, gathering the necessary tools and assigning tasks.  Like Vanilla Ice said, ‘give me a problem;  yo, I’ll solve it.”  Yes, I am more than slightly embarrassed how quickly that reference came tip-tap-typing out of my fingers.  Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen, shall we, and get back to the issue at hand.  My reputation was at stake, people.  Focus!

                When I told him to stop trying to push his truck out of the garage until I moved my car, he groused, ‘This is ‘xactly why I wanted Greg.  You're too bossy.”

                I replied, “I’m trying to fix this with the least amount of dirt and sweat.  You’re decrepit and I’m over-dressed.   Humor the preppy, okay?”

                Once we had situated the vehicles, excavated the jumper cables from the deep recesses of his “king cab” (along with contraband Mt. Dew bottles and Wendy’s wrappers, which earned him a condescending head shake from me and my mother in heaven, I feel sure) we hooked up the cables, he cranked his truck and it awoke from its slumber.  I did a small victory dance…in my head.

                As he prepared to move his truck back into the garage, I suggested he go ahead and get gas tonight so the battery would have time to  get a little workout and he wouldn’t have to fight traffic in the morning.  He is scheduled to blatantly lie to several medical professionals tomorrow about his diet, glucose readings and bowel movements.  In layman’s terms he has a doctor’s appointment but as I have attended with him in the past, I can assure you my previous statement is accurate.

                When he returned from “gittin’ gas”, he walked past me to his bedroom.  I followed him and said, “You’re welcome.”

                He laughed and said, “For what?”

                “I fixed your truck, old man.  While wearing chocolate suede wingtips.”

                “Hmpf.  You think you’re sumthin’ else, dontcha?”

                “Yes, yes I do.”

                “And why cain’t you just say brown ‘stead of choc-lit?”

                “Chocolate is more descriptive; like saying raspberry instead of pink or eggnog instead of winter white.”

                “I know you think you’re fancy, but it sounds to me like you’re just hungry.”

                “Touche, pater, touché.”
                 And that is all I'm saying.

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