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  • Kim Idol

Dog Vomit and the Way My Grandmother Drives



My dog, Jesse, is sitting in front of me gakking up grass. She eats it, as far as I can tell, so that she can choke on the blades that stick in her throat and eventually vomit up a big ole wad of fibrous yuck at three in the morning onto my favorite shirt that I throw onto the floor because it is easier to clean my shirt than the carpet or the couch.


These are the topics of my days now at the I don’t know what day of sheltering we are in. I just spent 35.00 on a six pack of spinach. I feel like my grandmother who would only shop at Costco because she only bought in bulk. I always had to accompany her so that I could muscle her purchases out of the carts and into the trunk and so that I could drive while she composed enormous grocery lists.


Even before she lost her sight my father’s mother was a terrible driver. She pumped the gas pedal, braked sharply and backed the car up without looking over her shoulder which actually made sense. She couldn’t see, so what was the point of trying. Her idea of a safe stop was easing across the limit line and leaning on the horn as she drifted into the intersection, and then stomping on the accelerator and racing into traffic. She only had vision in part of one eye at the end and even then, was unwilling to admit that it was time to hand over the keys until she broke her hip. She figured that it was everybody else’s responsibility to watch out for her on the road.


She’d warn you. That car had a horn that sounded like a rutting moose. She’d lay into it and then, assuming that every other drive had gotten the message, make whatever Indy 500 maneuver she needed to make. I learned to think of life as a gift driving with my grandmother.


She paid for her accidents on the spot with a check to keep the points off her record. Once she t-boned a car in an intersection, paid the man and a week later ran into his wife’s car. They were so polite to me when they called to suggest that I take her car keys. But if you’ve never tried to stop your parents or grandparents from driving, you haven’t really lived.


My mother’s mother drove a bright blue thunderbird and was so short that even if she was sober, (rarely), she had trouble seeing over the dash. Every time someone took the car from her, for the protection of the species, she called the cops and reported it stolen. Sure, the cops learned after a while, but we had a hell of a time retaining caretakers and only got the car keys from her for good when we moved her to a residential facility.


My dog Jesse can’t drive, but she likes to chew on all that’s plastic if I leave her in the car for any length of time which is longer now that I have to stand in line just to get through the front door at Smith’s. Depreciate. Depreciate. Depreciate. It’s lucky I love her more than the car.

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