The Rain Dance

I can make it rain. Oh, the power.

Let’s start at the beginning…

I own a Volkswagen Thing, which I love with a passion that disappoints my mother, angers my father, and makes those who know me make certain references to the Deadheads and Woodstock. That’s all ok; it makes me happy to drive it. But (why does there ALWAYS have to be a but?) it has rust eating away at its tender underbelly. More like feasting, really. If this car were a person nurses would be looking through their paperwork for its DNR (Do Not Resusitate).

I have tried to find someone who can or will fix it, but no one wants to touch it. The guy at Classic Camber said he would do it for at least $10,000, which I do not possess, and even if I did I would not spend it on a car. So I’m going to have to sell it or find a chassis in much better shape. Meanwhile, it had a hard top (note the tense there, “had” opposed to “has”) that I’ve been trying to sell on The Samba for several months. Initially I wanted to replace it with a convertible top, but now I just want to get some money out of the car so I can get another one (I can actually hear my parents cringing as they read this, wouldn’t I be much happier in an old Bug or my mom’s Horizon?) in better shape.

When it became apparent I could no longer safely drive this car with any frequency (I have a real aversion to getting ass-burn on the highway when the pans drop out of the floor), I decided that I needed alternate transportation. So I got myself a little scooter (that sound you hear is my mother’s head exploding). I’ve had it for about a week, and I love it. It gets over 100 miles per gallon and will get me almost anywhere I need to go (they don’t really go fast enough to take ’em on highways and things like that). I’ve been taking it around town and trying not to drive the Thing so much, so when someone called me and offered me a good chunk of change for the hard top, I didn’t worry too much. As they drove away with the hard top Sunday afternoon, I actually made the comment, “Well, that should get it to rain soon.” I believe Mardi made some comment about me being too negative. If she didn’t, it’s just because she didn’t hear me.

Heeding my father’s advice (for once) that “that Thing cannot stand to get one more drop of water in it”, yesterday morning I got out my tarp and covered the car. I then hopped on my very Dr. Seuss-looking scooter and went about my merry day. When I got home and finished working, Mad Dog was looking at me like I hated her because I had left her for more than two seconds. I succumb to the guilt (this dog channels my mother) and took the tarp off the car and brought her down to the beach. When we returned, she had temporarily forgiven me and I just wanted a shower and hot dinner. I went inside and worked on those two things.

It is important to note that I did NOT cover the Thing back up.

At 7 am this morning, I awaken from a wonderfully pleasant dream to thunder, a sound that always makes me smile. For a tenth of a nanosecond, I lie there, smiling. Then I remember the tarp, lying next to my unprotected car. I race outside, cover it up, and start to head back inside when I see…

The scooter. Under a tree and NOT on my porch. The ONLY time since I have owned it (ok, so it’s only been a week or so) that I haven’t wheeled it somewhere dry and secure. Well, at least it didn’t get swiped overnight. We (Beth and I) get it up the makeshift ramp onto my porch, and as I’m there, dripping in my Eeyore jammies, my neighbor comes over and wants to chat about school zones and such. All I want is to go back to bed or get coffee (which, of course, I didn’t set up last night), but I don’t want to be rude.

Beth says something about having to check on what might be getting wet in the back of the truck, and I follow her. So does my very nice neighbor, who is clearly much more a morning person than I am. Once we get stuff out of the truck and onto my front porch (which, between the scooter, plywood, hammock chair, wet box of books, a basket of laundry, and a cow skull, looks like some bizarro tropical Beverly Hillbillies. I swear I hear a banjo.) Beth suddenly becomes convinced that the two plastic bottles of Arizona Iced Tea MUST go inside because they can’t get wet and disappears, leaving me with Chatty McChatterson.

Now, since Mardi, Beth, and their kids are staying with me until the Money Pit is ready for them, their dogs (two supersized boxers) have taken up residence in my backyard (Madison has a personality much like mine- it takes a while for others to warm up to her). They spent most of these endeavors whining and being miserable (“Don’t you looooove us anymore? We’re all alone out here, cold, and wet…”), so when Beth decides to make them a little tarp covered area, I offer to help… after all, she helped with the scooter. Plus, I like her and know how much it sucks to try and hurry and get something done in the rain before coffee. Mardi, bright eyed and bushy tailed (sure, SHE got a shower and clean clothes), hops out to help, too. Soon, we’re all wet, the tarp is up (and right now my mom’s reading this and muttering to herself that she TOLD us to put a little covering up for the dogs. She’ll call tonight and offer Mad Dog a place to stay so those dogs can come inside. Ya, ma, you’re that predictable, it’s part of your charm), and…

…and the damn dogs won’t even go under it.

I’m going back to bed. Here’s a picture of the new scooter.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.