Frightened Pups and Sticky Nuts
You may recall that I was supposed to go to New Jersey over the weekend. Again.
But I didn’t!
Instead, I stayed home with the dog.
I begged M to tell his relatives that I was sick. I could imagine the talk, the rolling eyes and the “Do they know that dog is not a REAL CHILD?” But the man cannot tell a lie. Within hours, people up and down the East coast knew that Liz was skipping the event because she was going to stay home and baby-sit a dog.
I didn’t have second thoughts about our decision, not at all. Thunderstorms were expected to continue all weekend, and in our minds, leaving our storm-phobic dog alone in the house (with periodic walks and feedings with the girls next door) would be downright cruel. So I volunteered to stay home, comfort, and administer sedatives.
Which I did.
Saturday morning I woke up, saw M off, and jumped in the car to head to the gym. My old school hip-hop compilation CD was playing, and my personal fave, Bust a Move, was on.
It was on my favorite part (She’s dressed in yellow, she says hello, ‘Come sit next to me, you fine fellow!’) when I heard something funny going on with my car. I pulled off and got out to take a look.
Since my house was nearby, I turned the car around and drove back.
I was feeling quite capable. With the emergency brake in position and the car in park, I got out the extra tire, the jack, and the lug wrench. I even got the gloves out of the 50-pound roadside emergency kit that M bought me. My dad would have been so proud! (this is the man who regularly requested 200-count boxes of lightly powdered latex gloves for Christmas. Apparently wearing gloves is a sign that you are SERIOUS about fixing stuff. Which I am. Obviously.)
I briefly considered lighting a flare, since I’ve always wanted to light a flare. But that might have been overkill. Instead, I pulled out the miniature orange cones and placed them strategically on the driveway. WATCH OUT, they screamed, PROFESSIONAL TIRE-CHANGER AT WORK!
I put on my gloves, grabbed my lug wrench, and positioned it on one of the lug nuts. Yep! I’ll just pop these babies off and we’ll be on our way.
I strained and grunted. The nut did not move.
I tried again.
It wouldn’t budge. Okay. I moved on to the next one, singing You’re the Best from the Karate Kid soundtrack.
The second one didn’t move, either. Neither did the third, or the fourth. As I grunted and strained my face turned a very plummy shade of purple. Singing quickly gave way to “You little fucking fuckers... get the fuck OFF!”
Twenty minutes later, I had to admit defeat. I collapsed on the driveway and stared up at my car. I wasn’t Daniel-san. I was just a person who didn’t have enough upper body strength to remove a few measly lug nuts. I scowled at my inadequate biceps.
My eyes scanned the car and came to rest on a clear sticker on the window.
SUBARU ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE: 1-800-261-2155
Oh, for Pete’s sake.
They sent someone to my house within 30 minutes. I ran out to meet him when he arrived. He was a nice, fatherly sort named Ed. He took one look at the spread on the driveway and drawled, “Honey! Yew didn’t trah to chaynge that tahr yoself, did yew?"
I nodded feebly. “I couldn’t get the lug nuts off.”
Ed glanced at my lug wrench. “Well, that’s because they give yew that tiny wreynch! You can’t get no lev’rage with that. Look, here’s what yew need!”
He pulled out his big, man-sized wrench and had those nuts off in one minute flat. Just in time, as the thunder was booming once again.
“Yew could do it, I can tell,” he said. “Yew jus need the right tool, is all.”
I wanted to hug Ed, but he was kind of sweaty. Instead, I scowled at my inadequate lug wrench.
After the new tire was on, I said goodbye to Ed and went inside. By that time I was too tired to go to the gym.
There was also the small matter of coaxing my dog out from his hiding spot, which took twice as long as the whole tire ordeal.
PHOBIC DOG ASSISTANCE: 1-800-SEDATIV
Hello, you've reached the Phobic Dog Assistance hotline! Press one if your dog is hiding behind the washing machine.
Your dog is behind the washing machine! Please listen to the following instructions!
Take one vet-prescribed sedative from the pill bottle. Stick the pill in a little peanut butter on the end of a long wooden spoon. Extend spoon behind washing machine and get a little peanut butter on the dog's nose. When he starts licking, gently insert the spoon handle into his mouth. Make sure he doesn't spit the pill out.
Wait 30 minutes. Remove dog from behind washing machine. Promise to kick the thunder's ass if necessary.
(Don't tell your dog you couldn't get your lug nuts off, or he might not believe that last part)