It was two weeks before the end of the year when Sharon called me and said that she had had enough of the constant sunshine, fabulous parties and jet set friends that had become the norm for her down in San Diego.
“I’m sending you a one way ticket to fly down here and get me. We’ll drive back in my Aston Martin and catch up on old times,” she said.
There was a time in my youth when a plane ticket and the promise of driving a photo perfect blonde 1000-1300 miles in a brand new luxury sports car was all I needed to cause the planet to stop revolving for two weeks while I went off to indulge myself in the promise of the finer things in life.
You noticed that I said “promise”, didn’t you? Of course you did. Did you, my learned and most venerable readership also give a chuckle and a collective sigh and murmur under your unusually fresh breath, “Silly, silly youth…?”
Were I to receive such a summons today, it would cause me to launch into a bout of laughter such that I would certainly not be able to even compose myself long enough to tell the picture perfect blonde which pier in the San Diego area would be best for her to jump off.
No, at the time that Sharon called me, beckoned to me, summoned me to come hither to her in sunny southern California, it had been a few years since we had seen each other. I was still living in the drizzle capitol of the western hemisphere, Portland, Oregon, and I had just parted ways with a female companion that had turned out to be the actual, factual spawn of an ancient demonic presence that had glommed on to me one night in my college library as I read texts that had nothing to do with the recommended reading list for my macroeconomics class.
It didn’t take more than the phrase “one way ticket” for me to say, “G’bye” and make a beeline for Portland International Airport. And so, I did.
I arrived in sunny San Diego in the sun drenched and blissful morning hours of the sunny blissful morning amidst sun and bliss. 10:00 a.m. to be exact. I stepped off of the plane and into the sunny sunshine of sun filled San sunny Diego. I was ever so blissful. Sharon had a sunny sun tanned chauffer standing in the sun at the end of the gate, in the sun, no less, waiting for me with a cardboard sign that had my name on it with little suns dotting the “i’s” in my name. There are two.
As I was floating from the time we landed, I simply floated into the back seat of a brand new double cut Cadillac Limousine, poured myself a miraculous tequila sunrise and let the driver, let’s call him “Sunny”, traverse the sun baked blacktop roadways to the La Costa area where Sharon, my picture perfect blonde oasis of femininity awaited my arrival with baited breath.
Sunny and I pulled up in front of a million dollar luxury condo some 20 minutes later. We had been joking around so much on the way that I had to wipe the sun soaked tears of joy and laughter from my eyes in order to take in the vista and make an initial assessment of the situation. I saw the “digs”, generous and opulent, to say the least. Sharon had done well for herself. I saw the Aston Martin parked conspicuously in the driveway awaiting my assertive yet gentle guiding hand. I saw Sharon, picture perfect with the addition of some financial pampering that she had adorned herself with and which caressed her perfect picturesque form in ways that I could never have imagined. I saw her rotund and attitudinal Siamese tomcat purring as he circled her chiseled porcelain ankle? I saw a 30 foot moving truck backed up to what used to be her front door, and about 300 really heavy looking boxes stacked in, on, and about the front entrance to what had first appeared to be Shangri-la. I saw a really pissed looking overweight, wealthy, middle aged, sugar daddy throwing what appeared to be feather boas and lingerie out of every window, door, and opening of the afore mentioned Shangri-la. I saw Sharon mouthing what appeared to be a line of obscenities that would have made Camp Pendleton blush back at the rich middle aged lingerie pitching dude. I saw the cat responding to both of the argumentative participants by stepping just inside the door of Shangri-la and spraying what appeared to be an insanely expensive fainting couch located in the foyer of Shangri-la. I saw rich dude take a running kick at tomcat, miss, and draw an insanely expensive putter like a saber which he then proceeded to wield against the feline offender like a round table knight. I saw Sharon wrap a feather boa around rich dudes neck in an effort to keep him from discombobulating the tomcat. I saw the sun plummet from it’s perch in the noonday sky, and the dark black clouds symbolic of the curse of the Oregonians waft into place with a mocking waft.
Hard to believe?
Well, that is what I saw. Deal with it. The story ain’t over yet kiddies.
The light inebriation I had managed to achieve turned in an instant to a hard full on buzz as Sonny popped the locks and said, “Sucks to be you, Dude! I’m outa here.”
I exited the shuttle coach and dragged my now travel weary frame up the drive toward Shangri-la which now resembled something more along the lines of Shingy-blah.
I swear the cat gave me a smirk as I passed him on the way.
“Sharon, darling. It’s so good to see you, Sweetheart,” I said.
“Is this a bad time?” I continued.
“No!” Sharon jeered. “It is the last time! The last time I shjhg dhgo sdiu sdjb blah blah blah…”
I guess I sort of tuned out the elaborative dissertation Sharon began to disseminate because it seems that my memory simply fast forwards to the part of her spewing that entailed the fact that there was going to be a change of plans. Namely, instead of piloting the picture perfect blond up Hwy. 101 in James Bond’s envy of a ride, I would now be towing it behind the wonkiness of a 15 yearold cube van. That is, of course, after I had finished loading the above mentioned 300 heavy looking boxes into the butt end of that same wonk hauler.
It gets better. Hang in there with me.
After being ordered to be off of the property, meaning the condo commons, within just enough time to get the wonk hauler loaded and our unusually unwanted glutei into the seats thereof and on a wayward course, I began blindly loading, as prescribed by my picture perfect blonde, the 300 heavy looking boxes I have already delineated thrice herein. It was at some obvious point in the loading thereof that I realized that I was being instructed to load the cube van in an odd yet very deliberate manner. I stopped to inquire of my mistress as to why I was loading in such a precarious fashion and was informed that I needed to keep with the plan so that she would be able to put her exercise bike and a few other pieces of workout gear in what would become the center aisle of the cargo area so as to afford her the opportunity to workout as we drove.
“How odd,” I thought to myself. “For if she is to be working out throughout the duration of our journey, how, prey tell, will this fair lass endeavor to commiserate with me, my own fair self ,” thought I.
Furthermore, my maiden instructed me to leave a space at the head of the load, i.e., at the front of the cube, i.e., where the cargo container meets the little doorway that leads to the cab – where I would be sitting as I drove – she instructed me to leave an ample space for the pet carrier that would contain his royal majestic kitty-ness Sir Thomas the Siamese cat.
“Sharon, my Petunia of sunshine, tell me, does Thomas travel quite well?” I inquired.
“Oh, yes.” Replied my sultry, suntanned sol sister.
We were 5 miles outside the city limits of San Diego, when I caught the first wave of the scent made by a car sick feline after it’s initial blast of liquid excrement. Sharon was sitting regally astride her exercise bike pedaling like the wind and mumbling things about being displaced by 20 year old gold digging, shall we say, lady of the evening.
“Hey! Let start doing some of that catching up we were going to do, Pooky Wooky,” said me.
OK, I didn’t say Pooky Wooky, or even Pooky, or Wooky.
“Just drive!” Said she. “I’m pedaling ’till we get to Shasta!”
The cat, supplied with more food than a frigging traveling cat should ever have access to, consumed, and in turn, produced the aftereffects of food consumed by a car sick cat locked in a pet carrier, time and time again.
That is until Sharon decided that the best thing to do would be to let the liquefier loose from the confines of his traveling penitentiary so that he could move and produce freely throughout the expanse of the entire cube proper, the cab, and anywhere else he managed to position his unusually productive cat butt.
We were about 50 miles north of Los Angeles when the vomiting started. The cat, filled with volumes of the enhanced air, which he, the cat, had produced, began releasing all that he had eaten plus some amount of the most vile substance you might ever try to imagine, and the origins of which could only be attributable to a beast of revelation’s proportions via the opening I had come to consider to be his mouth. Of course, this caused the picture perfect blonde who had been freakishly, if not maniacally, pedaling like her fragile financial existence depended upon it to start spewing projectile upheavals of lobster and escargot based puke in every direction, at all times, everywhere.
She and the cat became sullen.
The truck’s engine had a governor on it that wouldn’t allow me to go any faster than 55 theoretically. In actuality the piece of crap wouldn’t beat 50 mph going downhill. As I drove, so did the smell of liquid kitty wrongings become embedded in my attire and my very own personal person.
The snow started falling somewhere about 50 miles outside of Redland. Sharon climbed off of the bike and found her cat somewhat awash in a puddle of his own making and demanded that we stop immediately at the very nearest urgent care vet facility to have the cat professionally bathed.
I swear, at that point again, the cat gave me a wry and wily smirk.
I continued to press ahead.
Sharon demanded that I stop and allow her to purchase fresh lobster and a hearts o’ palm salad.
Ever still did I continue to forge ahead through the frozen veil of what was becoming an impossible winter’s storm.
The cat demanded that I come to an immediate stop and cleanse myself in the interest of animal cruelty and the prevention thereof.
I swear, I smirked at the cat and pressed onward.
But the snow came harder and the truck went slower, and the cat went everywhere, and Sharon went awry in an unusual, insane, and ever so wrong and picture perfect way.
The rotten ba%^&turds of the California Highway Patrol closed the G-d forsaken Interstate on me at Redland.
It was there that the cube van filled with spew, and poo, and goo, and the lizard that had costumed itself within the skin of a picture perfect blonde, along with it’s familiar- the cat of liquid scat and phrrraaaattttt came to a complete and utter halt.
We were holed up, the cat, the tramp and me, in a 12′ x 15′ misery chamber for the better part of 6 days while the Creator took out his vengeance upon my forsaken and unworthy soul. I thought the snow would never melt. I thought the smell would never dissipate, I thought the broad would never shut the hell up. I was right on all accounts. Then I remembered something. Behind the seats of the muck truck I had seen a small plastic box that looked like it might contain blessed and wondrous snow chains. Upon this realization I raced to the vehicle in my somewhat un-enchanted undergarments, threw forward the seats and rejoiced in the discovery that, indeed, some angelic provisioner had endowed this unholy cargo chariot with the chains of frigid impedimentation (there is no such word as impedimetation, but for all of our sakes, just go with it for now. After all, you just bought into the word “phrrraaaattttt”.) Once securely affixed to each of the rear tires I announced that the convoy was about to “hit the gate, doing 98, this truck’s about to roll, 10-4!”
Sure it was cheesy, but it was also a hit song, and appropriate to the instance, I assure you.
Half festooned in spandex and chinchilla with a formerly platinum white kitty now stained and the worse for wear, the picture perfect blonde came-a-running, leaving her alter of fitness, her exercise bike to be pillaged by the kind and magnanimous Hindu hosts who had welcomed our stench into a room at one of the western’s best.
I drove toward home like a man who had traveled 1000 miles with a gold digging female gigolo fitness freak and a feline excretion machine. Fast and hard and fast.
Five miles out of Portland, the cat took a piss in the cab of the truck, gave me another knowing smirk and came to realize that the whole fairy tale theory of cat’s having nine lives was about to be proven very undeniably wrong. I pulled into a rest area and as soon as she opened the passenger side door, the cat was as gone as a, well, as a cat that about to be bludgeoned to death with a 2 day old burrito from 7-11. After 3 hours, and my assurances that he had probably been scooped up by some hungry raptor, the search was called off.
When we reached the city limits of Portland, I pulled into the first motor hotel I could find. I managed to get a buddy of mine to pull away from the warm and homey festivities of his family’s holiday celebration long enough to pick my sorry, tired, worn, and torn excuse for a human form up and take me far, far away from the perfect picture of a tawdry bleach bottle blonde and what now appeared to be a lackluster Mazda RX7 that I had been abusing over the course of a 1000 mile tow.
As we pulled from the driveway of the no tell motel my friend looked at me and smirked. Then he said, “Dude! You stink!”
It was the worst holiday travel experience I have ever had.