Thursday, May 26, 2005

"When He Sits Around the House..."

So my buddy Ego (a.k.a. IX) took the wife and kids to Florida, and asked me to do some housesitting while they're gone.

I should mention that, as I rule, I don't housesit because of something very traumatic that happened to me years ago. But I remember it as if it were yesterday... yesterday... yesterday... yesterday...


Back in the summer of 1998, my aunt and uncle flew to Jordan and left their car in my care. They were gone for two weeks, and during that time, every goddamn thing that could have possibly gone wrong with their car went wrong.

I accidentally left the lights on one night, which drained the battery. No big deal in and of itself, but merely a portent of things to come. (I was used to my car, which cut off the headlights automatically.)

Anyway, later that day, as I was driving to the store, I noticed the driver's side window was down about an inch. I tried to raise it (stupid power windows) but it wasn't working. It lowered fine, but wouldn't go back up. And while I was distracted by that, I plowed into one of those big orange and white barrels that they put up to block lanes. It bounced into the air and nailed the hood of the car, putting a big-ass crease in it.

Well, I was pretty poverty stricken at the time, but was hoping to scrape together enough cash to get the hood fixed before they returned. I drove the car from place to place over the next week, and they all told me the same thing... they couldn't fix the dent, they'd have to replace the hood.

It was somewhere around this time that the air conditioner stopped working.

In the meantime, I was parking the car in the parking garage at my office, because I was worried about rain with the window halfway down. And given my train of bad luck with the car, I was pretty sure it would happen.

So two days before they were set to arrive home, I went down to check on the car and I saw it had been broken into. Fortunately, there wasn't anything in there worth stealing. The hooligans didn't much care for my aunt and uncle's taste in music, so their CDs were scattered on the concrete outside the car. The trunk had been popped open, but nothing was taken.

Finally, the day arrived. And to tell you the truth, I was feeling horrible about the whole thing because I hadn't been able to get the damage fixed. Plus, it was 103 outside and their air conditioning wasn't working. But, at least their window was rolled down...

My sister and her husband agreed to meet me at the airport and be with me when I explained to my aunt and uncle what a shambles I had made of their car. And fortunately, when we helped them carry their luggage out, the car hadn't burst into flames or rolled backwards over a bunch of babies and puppies.

To their credit, they took it in stride. My uncle found somebody a few weeks later to repair the damage, and I paid for it. It's all good. They still love me, and trust me. Nobody harbors any grudges or hard feelings.

But I'm still scarred by the memories of the goddamn evil voodoo car. And every time somebody asks me to be responsible for something that belongs to them, I get all anxious and worried that I'm somehow going to fuck it up. You should've seen me the first time my sister asked me to babysit...

So anyway, back to IX. His family has a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback named Daisy who can't bear to be alone. (For those of you who don't know doggies, a Rhodesian Ridgeback is basically Marmaduke with a mohawk.) His usual housesitters/dogsitters bailed on him, so he asked me if I could spend my evenings at his place and make sure Daisy would be okay.

Anytime I need a favor, this guy is always there for me. So despite my neurotic misgivings and irrational fear that I would somehow burn down his house and/or dog, I agreed.

So far, my fears have been for nothing. Daisy's been an absolute angel. (She's lying on the floor next to my chair, noisily working over a Milkbone.) No crises, no explosions, no fires, no gas leaks, no rabid animal attacks, no boils, no rivers of blood, no death of the firstborn...

Only nine more nights to go. Keep your fingers crossed.


SJ said...

You gotta watch those ridgebacks though. I hear that while their masters sleep, they call dial-a-porn and get nasty with the remote. (just what I hear)

Olive Oil said...

Gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it. Good luck to you and Daisy. One of ya is gonna need it.. (Kidding...relax)

Amanda said...

Fingers crossed for you!