Tag Archives: Cars

Ode to Zack

Cars… I’m notorious for keeping mine until it gives up the ghost and the truck comes to tow it away. I purchased my little Toyota in 2005 and named him Zack. He has been the best car. Okay, he grumbles on occasions, his brakes are not the quietest, and my passengers are basically horizontal thanks to the dodgy mechanism on the passenger seat. And he has more knocks and scratches than I can count. But never once has he let me down, and we’ve travelled some miles together over the years, I can tell you.

Zack has suffered my rants, my woeful singing as I joined in with Bruce Springsteen’s anthems, he’s learned some pretty colourful language during those times when I encountered less than mindful drivers, and he’s listened to me rabbiting on about plot points and characters who refuse to do what I want them to do. He’s heard all about my worries, and my hopes and dreams.

Sadly it’s now time to say goodbye to my trusty four-wheeled friend. I’m needing to do quite a lot of long-distance travel and AJ was worried about the toll on old Zack. Oh my, it was hard letting him go, but I know it’s for the best and I already LOVE my new four-wheeled baby. Not that I didn’t initially put up a fight and voice all kind of objections: he’s easy to park, he’s SO reliable, he nips in and out of traffic like a little mechanical ninja. But eventually, my head won out over my heart.

So it was with a heavy, but grateful heart that I bid farewell to my trusty steed. All that’s left for me to do is thank him for all those incredible years of safe and reliable driving, wish him well, and bid Godspeed to those who are lucky enough to travel with him in the future.

How about you? Do you get attached to your cars? Do you find it hard to let them go? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in this. It would help to know there are other crazy car lovers out there.

An Unwanted Passenger

I was happily chatting to Kit at our writers’ meeting on Wednesday, when she reminded me it was my turn to blog today. Yikes. Where did November go? I didn’t have a clue what to write about. It’s been a mish-mash sort of month – happy things and some not so happy – but I thought I’d blog about an incident that happened on my way to the writers meeting and which I’m still having nightmares about, well perhaps not nightmares, but pretty close.

It was foggy here that morning, but with the radio playing, the heat booming out, and my trusty little car running like a dream, all well with my world. Until I happened to glance across to the passenger dashboard. A huge spider was happily crawling its way across the board and heading in my direction. My scream was likely heard by the occupants of the cars travelling behind me, but luckily I held it together long enough to safely find a convenient place to stop.

Keeping a weather-eye on my unwanted travelling companion, I found a slip road ahead and pulled off the main road. I popped the hazard lights on and escaped from the hellish confines of my car. By which time the spider, of course, was nowhere to be seen. Five panicked minutes later, I still hadn’t located the offender. I pictured him tucked safely away somewhere, buggy little eyes eyeing me with devious delight as I continued the search.

There was no way I could get back in that car until I’d found him, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I virtually had the passenger door off its bracket and all manner of paraphernalia lying on the road, but all to no avail. Of course, AJ was away for the day, and friends who live locally were at work, so it was just little old me left alone to face what for me has been a lifelong demon. I thought to simply abandon my car and walk to the nearest bus stop, but as we live in the country the buses aren’t exactly frequent.

I gave myself a strong talking too. All the usual cliches came to mind. You’re bigger than he is, what harm can a little spider do a big girl like you? (likely nothing more than heart attack), He’s more frightened of you, than you are of him (something I seriously doubt), they are very useful insects and do a lot of good (not while terrorising unsuspecting scaredy-cat motorists, they don’t). Nothing worked, and as I stood there deliberating, I caught a movement along the central panel…and there he was. Brazen as you like, happily heading toward the driver’s seat. I grabbed the rolled up newspaper I had at the ready, scooped him onto the mat, and seconds later he was airborne, winging his way across the ether in the direction of a neighbouring village.

After putting the inside of my car back together, I was on my way. Not entirely happily, as I kept remembering someone once telling me that where there’s one spider there’s always another. Apparently they always travel in pairs, although I’m not sure if that’s true. When I told my hubby about my ordeal, all he said was, “I hope you didn’t hurt him by throwing him like that”. Men!

True Confessions of A Dizzy Blonde by Valerie J. Patterson

It’s okay—and some would even say healthy—to take a serious look at one’s self and see the humor in your own life or even in your own behavior.  So, that being said, I thought this month’s blog should be about poking fun at myself.  I am—after all—a natural blonde who has a tendency to do funny things.

First, it’s true.  I am a dizzy blonde.  I suffer from bouts of vertigo that render me completely motionless because my surroundings are spinning at a high rate of speed.  This is not anything meant to humor you.  I just wanted to explain why I am a dizzy blonde.  <smile>

But, you came here to laugh.  Hopefully, after reading some of my, erm, happenings, you will have laughed out loud.

Let’s start with high school since this is as far back as I can remember having what my husband affectionately calls “blonde moments”.  All through high school I worked for a florist.  It was a way to stay out of trouble and earn a few bucks.  Every Christmas season, the florist would hold a giant open house at its corporate offices, and I was usually one of the hostesses wherein I worked in a certain room selling products, packaging them up, etc.  After working one of the open houses, I left the florist and went to my regular Friday night babysitting job.  I got the kids tucked in bed and went downstairs to watch a movie.  All of a sudden there was a loud crash behind the house.  I called 911 and they offered to send a patrolman to my address to take a look around.  Minutes later I saw the flashing red lights in the driveway and saw an officer with a flashlight go around back while his partner checked the front.  They came to the door and rang the bell.  I opened it and ushered them inside.  They proceeded to tell me that the wind had knocked over the metal trashcans and thrown them against the house, which was brick, thus explaining the crash I’d heard.  One of the officers was younger than the other and he leaned in and asked, “Is there anything else we can do for you, Valerie?”

Okay, I’ve seen enough horror flicks to know if a policeman you’ve never met knows your name, he’s not a policeman, he’s a serial killer.  Right?  I mean, isn’t that the most logical explanation for why he knows your name?  So, I began to slowly back away, turning my head to gage the distance from the front door to certain safety.  I was all prepared to flee when he cleared his throat and pointed at the name tag I was still wearing from my shift at the open house!  Color my face red!  But surely this has happened to you, too, right?

Should I wait for you to stop laughing before I continue?

Next up would be entertaining some friends at my house.  I was trying to impress a certain guy, and my close friend (also a guy) knew that I was nervous about this little party I was having.  Everyone arrives and I pass out some food and beverages and then decide to take the seat across from the guy I wanted to impress.  I’m positive I’m graceful as I sit down.  Next thing I know, I’m sprawled out on the floor because not only do I lack grace, but I also missed the chair completely!  Thankfully, my friend throws himself on the floor beside me and says, “You’re quite right, Valerie, it is much cozier down here on the floor!”

By the way, that story won me first place in a radio contest for most embarrassing moment.

Everyone’s heard the joke about the blonde who goes into an auto parts store and asks the clerk for a 710.  Turns out, she was looking at her oil cap upside down.  While I’ve never done anything that, well, dumb, I have had some memorable car moments.  Most recently, my husband and I purchased a new car.  I was in a parking lot one day and when I used the remote to lock the car, the trunk lid of the car parked beside me popped open.  I looked around expecting to see the car’s owner approaching ready to place some packages in the trunk.  Nope.  No shoppers in sight.  I looked around and discretely closed the trunk lid.  Apparently, I had opened it with my remote.  Either that or someone from Candid Camera was playing a trick on me.

One day, I got on the elevator and pressed the button.  Nothing happened.  The doors didn’t even close.  I pressed the button again and waited.  Nothing.  Doors still open.  I stuck my head out of the elevator and looked around.  No one else there.  No one pushing the elevator’s call button.  I go back inside and press the button again.  Nothing happens.  Getting frustrated, I virtually pound the button into submission.  That’s when I realized I was pushing the button for the 3rd floor, and I was actually on the 3rd floor.

Lastly—because I’m out of time and not because I have no other blonde moments to share—I’ll tell you about a home remedy that probably works for everyone but me.  I was feeling poorly, doing battle with a horrible cold.  I hadn’t had any sleep in a couple of days because I could barely breathe.  A friend of mine told me about rubbing Vicks-Vapo-Rub on the bottom of her children’s feet when they had a cold because it somehow allowed them to breathe easier and cough less.  She instructed me to rub some on my feet and then put on a pair of white cotton socks and lay down covered up.  So I go home, change into my pajamas, and scoop out some Vicks, give each foot a solid rubdown, put on a pair of socks and hobble to the sofa with my favorite blanket and cuddle up expecting to be able to breathe and nod off for some much needed sleep.

About ten minutes later my feet started to tingle.  I snuggle deeper into my blanket and think, “Wow, this is really going to work for me.”

Another ten minutes later it’s like my feet were in a sauna and the temperature gage was set to boil!  I threw off the blanket, shot off the sofa and blew past my husband yelling, “My feet are on fire!  My feet are on fire!”

He’s following me down the hallway as I am shedding clothing left and right all the while yelling, “My feet are on fire!  My feet are on fire!”

I make it to the bathroom, turn on the shower and jump in—because by now I haven’t a stitch of clothing on—and scrub my poor little feet in hopes of removing every last trace of the Vicks.  By the time I emerge from the bathroom clean, dry, and clothed, my poor husband asks what in the world got into me.  I explain my friend’s home remedy and he suggests that one of two things happened:  I’m either allergic to Vapo-Rub or perhaps I should not use half a jar next time.

Either way, I slept like a baby, but I tend to think it was due to sheer exhaustion from hobble-running down the hallway while doing the striptease and throwing myself into the shower and scrubbing vigorously at my feet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s blog, and I hope my little anecdotes provided you with some humor.  I apologize for being late this month, but I thought today was Thursday!

Until next time, may there always be laughter in your days, and may you have compassion for the blondes in your life!