You wouldn’t think to look at him that he’s left automobile carcasses all over southern Arkansas. Or maybe you would think it. How the hell should I know what a car killer looks like? I’d never seen one (that I know of) until I married one.
I can’t even claim ignorance. Everyone in his family warned me. He’d already killed all their cars. But, you know, you always think, “Oh, he’s different now. He’ll change once we’re married.” Well, it’s been as true for this unfortunate trait as it is for anything else: THEY ONLY GET WORSE AFTER YOU MARRY THEM, LADIES.
Week before last he killed my car. The transmission in my three-year-old Jeep Liberty mysteriously just blew up. It was running fine the last time I drove it. Then he took off in it and I never saw it again.
Then last Thursday I received this text message:
“What are you doing?”
which in itself might not seem odd, but this is the rest of the conversation:
Me: Sewing, of course. [Remember the Great Quilt Making Marathon of 2012?]
He: Is Alice there?
Me: No. She’s keeping [her friend from work]’s kids today.
He: Oh. Is [Younger Son] home?
Me: Of course not. [This was the morning after the bachelor party, which if you follow me on twitter, you know was themed “No Titties in Tennessee,” and the boys were still passed out in some hotel room in Memphis at this time, I’m sure.]
. . .
. . .
Me: ARE YOU BROKE DOWN AGAIN??? [Italics added, because, you know, you can’t italicize stuff in texts, and ohmygod Apple needs to get on that right away]
He: Yes, about 5 miles from home.
Me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THE CARS???
He: I don’t know. I’ll see you in an hour or so. I’m walking.
Me: Good luck with that. [Yeah, it was only 104 degrees that day.]
He: And now a dog just tried to bite me.
Me: Fuck. We gotta start going to church or something.
So we’ve been driving Elder Son’s car that he was quick to inform us that we couldn’t get attached to because he was going to sell in a day or so (of COURSE he is, even though it has sat on his apartment’s parking lot unmoved for THE PAST DAMN YEAR), ha ha, like I would get attached to a car THAT DOESN’T HAVE A DRIVER’S SEAT THAT I CAN ADJUST SO THAT I CAN EVEN SEE OVER THE DASHBOARD and ROARS LIKE I’M ON THE STARTING LINE AT NASCAR. And this evening–this evening–I–I–can hardly bring myself to tell it. I got in the car with the Car Killer (aka my HUSBAND) and we went, like, two blocks to the Dollar General Store to get some laundry detergent. LAUNDRY DETERGENT. How innocent is that? I don’t even know why I went with him, except I’ve been in the house all day and if nothing else, that car does have some refreshingly cold air conditioning. And we made our purchase, and returned to the car, and he put the key in the ignition and the car ROARED its terrible roar, and he depressed the brake pedal and put his hand on the gear shift and pushed that button-thingy in on the side and pulled the gear shift back to put it at “R” for reverse, so, you know, we could back out of the parking lot, EXCEPT THE GEAR SHIFT WOULD NOT MOVE. At all.
And I might have screamed, “WHAT DID YOU DO THIS TIME???” and he might have screamed back “I DON’T KNOW!!!” and I might have said somewhat huffily, “Well, I am NOT walking home,” and maybe got out of the car and went back in the store where I possibly discovered they have a disappointing selection of magazines, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from a Dollar General Store. And Husband perhaps walked home and borrowed Younger Son’s car, which how stupid is he for letting a now confirmed-without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt Car Killer touch his car? Husband came back with TOOLS, HAHAHAHAHAHA, like that was going to help anything, and I took the other car and went home. He arrived twenty or so minutes later. I don’t know what he did to the gear shift. All I know is Elder Son was not helpful at all when I texted him, which you would think he would be, seeing how he’s on his honeymoon and should be in a good mood. Right? Wrong.
Me: Joe [my husband’s name; there, now you can protect yourself and your automobiles from the Car Killer] broke your car and I had absolutely nothing to do with it the end.
Elder Son: I hope this is a joke or things are not going to go well. Dad was going to buy that car from me. [His other dad. Who is not a Car Killer. Who, in fact, still has the truck he was driving when we were married a million years ago and it runs with no problems whatsoever.]
Me: Nope. Not a joke.
Elder Son: There’s going to be a lot of mad people.
Me: Yeah, they can get in line behind me.
Elder Son: But lucky for you guys, I’ll cut you a deal and set it to y’all for a discount and save everyone the headache of telling them I let y’all borrow the car and it’s broken now.
Me: IF WE HAD MONEY TO BUY A CAR WE WOULD HAVE JUST FIXED MY JEEP INSTEAD OF LETTING IT GET REPOED.
Elder Son: So you’re not planning on fixing my car, I’m guessing.
Me: Maybe it’s not broke. Maybe there’s some secret to getting the gear shift to move that you’ve failed to mention?
Elder Son: No, I did not feel I needed to mention anything about anything wrong with my car because there was nothing wrong with it when I let you borrow it.
Me: I don’t like how you say “you.” It wasn’t ME. It was JOE.
And I call foul on that whole last part of the conversation, anyway, because when I asked him about that car last Thursday, he said, “I don’t even know if that car still runs.” Does THAT sound like a car that doesn’t have anything wrong with it to you? But I’m still pretty sure my husband broke it.