Monday, November 1, 2010


It was a very long week. Disaster after disaster after disaster at work, late for everything, complications and annoyances at every turn. Remember the old Calgon commercial? Take me away. It was the kind of week that begged such a reprieve.

Driving the kids to school on Wednesday, we were all just wallowing in your basic funk. Another tardy was on its way, I had been trying to print photos of my dad for the kids to use in their Dia de los Muertos altar at school, but the piece of shit computer was all jacked up and I finally gave up. Then we drove right into the traffic caused by a crash on the freeway. When we passed the accident site, I recognized one of the cars. (She's okay). So yeah, a funk.

A couple of blocks from school, we saw this:

And we all let ourselves drift off into fantasy land.

"We should just buy it", I said.

"We should totally buy it and just take off."

The kids agreed, but being accustomed to mom's crazy talk and big ideas, they were able to bring themselves back down to reality by the time I dropped them off at school.


Not so much.
I found myself on Craig's list that day, just looking. Maybe I sent out a few emails.

We told Bill about the Westy that night. He and I have often toyed with the idea of buying a camper or tent trailer for weekend excursions. Spending time with Ellie and Bill during their travels only served to tempt our  wanderlust. But we're used to each other's crazy talk and big ideas, so the conversation never went much farther than an agreement that yeah, that would be cool. Westy-lust seems to course through our family genes. Everyone knows that Ellie and Bill have one, but do they know that Julie has one too? Why wouldn't she? When you see a flash of brilliance, you can't help but want a little slice for yourself. Why  wouldn't *I*?   

On Friday when we left the house, I looked forward to making the turn that would once again reveal this family fantasy mobile. I thought that if it was there, I'd write down the phone number. Just to see.

It was there, I wrote it down. What was the harm?

On Friday afternoon, I looked at some of the Craig's list ads. I wrote to Ellie with some hypothetical questions that someone in the market for a Westy might want to ask. I talked to the owner of that Westy we saw on the street, and I struck up an email conversation with one of the other sellers. She was both eager and sad to sell. She lived pretty close to the kids' school, she was going to be home around the time I picked them up.   

I picked up the kids and asked: "Should we go straight to dinner, or look at a Westy first?"


Then we went to dinner, during which I emailed my new buddy and said: "Could you send me the rest of the photos you have of your Westy? My husband said while he appreciates that 'it feels right', he'd like a few more details."

Of all the details, this one was my favorite

She sent a whole boatload, which Bill and I devoured and then sent straight to Ellie. Ellie was great, she checked out every bit of every ad and photo, looked at the detailed service records that had been posted, consulted with Mistah Uncle Schlekah, and finally said the words that sealed the deal for us: "She's a cream-puff, sistah!"  We started referring to it as "our Westy."

In the meantime, we kept ourselves busy with seasonal distractions

We made plans to go  back and take a closer look in the light of day on Saturday, and have ourselves a test drive. Naturally, it was pouring down rain on Saturday morning. The kids had a Halloween thing at karate, and I thought that if it was rained out we could go see our the Westy early... while the bank was still open.

But then the sun came out, and that is always good news. We went to the Halloween thing, and when I called to say that we would soon be on our way to check out the rig, I was told that it was having an oil change! Awwww, nice fresh oil! slurp, slurp.

the nerd approves

winnah! most original. thankyouverymuch

We met later at the arranged location, took a lovely joyride (what FUN to drive!), checked out every inch of our girl, and did some negotiating before agreeing on a mutually acceptable selling price.

And then we looked at our watches, because we are SO not into delayed gratification. But my bank was closed, so we called hers to see if we could access my money. They said no. I said please? They said no. I asked if they could retrieve cash from my credit card. They said yes, but only half as much as I wanted. I said Yay!

We agreed that I'd pay a deposit, and she would spend a couple of days getting our girl all spiffed up and make a few minor cosmetic repairs. I'd get the rest of the money on Monday and we'd bring the our Westy-girl home!

We had 30 minutes to get to the bank. The kids piled into the Westy, Bill and I followed in my car. Shit eating grins abounded. Bill and I were happily planning our first camping trip as our Westy led the way onto the freeway with our smiling selves close behind.

We were so close behind that when our the Westy's back end erupted into a noisy, noxious, black cloud of horror, we were completely engulfed.

As we both pulled over into the breakdown lane, Bill said: "We are NOT buying that thing."

to be continued......


Pickles and Dimes said...

Oh no! I am hoping this story has a happy ending!

LOVE the Twister costume!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I'm reading every word as if I was *not* part of every second of the weekend. Which I was. Well, in my mind I was. Me and Mistah both.

And when you called me from the side of the Insterstate, after you were enjulfed in that noisy, noxious, black cloud of horror, what did I say?

to be continued.....


Me, You, or Ellie said...

What a flipping cliff hanger! I was completely rivited! I need more. I can hardly wait until Thursday's post....

And, no, I did not know that Julie had a Westy. I think you know my brother had one for years and years, so if you want any additional advice....

And, regarding the costume? very, very cute, she rocks the twister set, but I saw a friend in the exact same costume last night. Weird, no?


need me a Westy in PA said...

For a moment I thought this was a lovely, fictional short story...until I go to the end. That is SO real life that it couldn't be fiction.

Can't wait to for the final chapter...

unmitigated me said...

THURSDAY??? I have to wait until THURSDAY??? Woman. That. Is. Cruel. I am wanting a Westy myself.

Pat said...

This is really eerie...a woman on my cruise who has one has almost talked me into getting one.Can't wait to hear what happened.