First, let’s make sure no one ever accuses me of burying the lead:
Honey… Darling… Dearest… ’twas I that scraped the car’s fender.
That’s right, it was me, me and only me. No other cars were damaged in the scraping event. It was the 2011 Mazda vs. the 1982 Ford encased in cast iron and some weird white crime scene looking dust.
It was not, as I allowed my loving spouse to believe when he went into auto-rant upon viewing aforementioned scrape, the result of a malicious parking lot serial scraper. Keep in mind, I know my politics, I never actually said someone hit the car. I simply said the scrape happened in a parking lot.*
What can I say? I omitted. Okay I lied. Just like a kid in a sitcom caught with comics in bed, or candy wrappers in the pillowcase or trying to run away from home because the math homework was too hard.
It was the auto-rant (amusingly over an automobile). Once it was clear nothing worse than a scrape to my own fender had occurred, I pretty much forgot about it, because my brain was filled with other issues — like rats, which I’ll get into later — and kids and doctor appointments and Dolphin Tales and writing workshops for Dolphin Tales and the man coming home after nine. But he did eventually get home and first thing barks (his term) over the fender and I went into auto-ommission, just like that kid in the sitcom (or myself, age nine faced by my stepfather [a whole other series of stories]).
Now, had this been a 5o’s sitcom, the kid in question would have eventually Learned a Valuable Lesson after a series of hijinks and a heartfelt “we’ll never stop loving you,” from central casting’s Mom and Dad. But even in the heightened (or lowerend) fiction of Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver, the damage would have been localized and the humiliation kept in the house.
Not so much in the days of the internet (or as I like to call it, the worldwidewhingfest). Nowadays, the humiliation can circle the globe before Eddie Haskell could compliment Mrs. Cleaver’s hairstyle. Less than five minutes after my panicked
omission bald-faced lie, a photo of the fender and the rant have hit FB, with sympathy replies and curses for the fictional serial scraper.
Holy expletive deleted.
Of course you understand, I’m the only one at fault here — well, me and the rats. (See, I told you I’d get to them).
Not the metaphorical rodents running too many directions in my brain all the time, but the live, flesh and fur critters running rampant in my back yard. These little
fuckers examples of wildlife made their first known appearance last Friday. I immediately contacted our pest control service but the email must have gone astray because it wasn’t until my second email this morning I received a positive response.
In the meantime, I’ve been attempting to convince the frisky flea hotels they don’t really want to hang in our
weed and twig infested rich and inviting yard. I did this by pulling as many weeds as I dared get my hands into, and using a completely inadequate rake where I was too chicken to grab.
I banged every object they might consider home, removed the leaf bag left by half full by my son and then, because there is no such thing as rat repellant to be found in the pest control sections of Lowe’s or Home Depot (and I hope you both know you’re dead to me, now), took to spreading mothballs all about the house.
This left me feeling a bit high but the yard no less attractive to Rattus norvegicus.
Long story not much shorter, it was these rats, and possibly the naphthalene from the mothballs, running through my head when the aforementioned scraping occurred.
It was also these rats, along with my son’s psych appointment and bass practice and my daughter’s obsession with Harry Potter keeping her up nights that promptly knocked the scraping from my forebrain until the return of the prodigal spouse, and the ensuing rant.
Still, all in all, I was Wrong.
Yes, I panicked in the face of masculine disapproval. Yes, I’m in a state of near constant pre-occupation but, like the Beaver or the perpetually perky Kathy of Father Knows Best, I did a Bad Thing by Not Speaking the Truth.
However, wrong as I am — and I am — I would like to point out to everyone, from the understandably grumpy spouse (it had been a day for him, too) to the FB sympathizers — it’s a car. An object. As much as I enjoy it and appreciate it, I don’t think, even if it had been an act of seditious scraping, it’s worth even the minor uproar it caused in the internets.
Life is filled with bumps and scrapes and far, far worse. The car got an owie, but it’ll be fine.
My grasp of adulthood on the other hand, that may take a few weeks to recover.
*I may have hit overkill when I declared the car never had sexual relations with that other fender.