“Tell me again,” he says. “What’s wrong with your car?”
“Besides the leprosy?”
Jon stares at me. I sigh. “Well, it sounds like a two-seater airplane.”
“One of those kinds with a woman strapped to a wing,” Mary prompts.
“Yes,” I say. “One of those.”
“And the pilot wears one of those leather caps,” she says.
Jon gives us a cockeyed look, shakes his head slightly. “Let’s go ahead and drive it around the back,” he says.
And so we’ve come to another Saturday, another day given over to the care and feeding of the car Maryna charmingly refers to as my “piece of sheet”, as in “Pearl! Ees not right, beautiful woman in piece of sheet car! You’re not ashamed?”
I laugh at her, of course. It’s a one-payment car that runs and has heat, not to mention the luxury of sporting a look that guarantees it will never be stolen.
Jon moves around to the rear of the car where he is hoping that a bit of carpeting maneuvered under the back end will entice the two of us to crawl under it, the better to see how truly damaged it is.
Not surprisingly, we are less than enthusiastic about an up-close view of the exhaust system.
“Hey, Mare,” he says, “remember when I was telling you about glasspac mufflers?”
Mary comes around to the dual exhaust and lets out a yelp. “Holy Hannah!” she cries. “You’ve got a wig stuck in your muffler!”
“That’s the fiberglass in the muffler I was telling you about,” Jon says.
Mary is not to be educated at this point, however, and alternates between crouching to look closer and jumping back. “You’ve killed Mrs. Whiggins’ boss!” she howls.
Jon stares at me.
“Carol Burnett Show,” I say.
He nods, lights a Black and Mild (Original Plastic Tip).
“So can you fix it?”
He frowns at me, purses his lips in a look that says, “Woman, please.”
We turn to where Mary is still hunkered down. Laughing to herself, she looks up. “Pearl! You’ve got a wig in your tailpipe!” She shakes her head, laughs until tears roll down her face.
I look at Jon. He nods and grins, digs an elbow into my ribs. “I’m going to need you to distract Mary for a while,” he says.
Eight in Some: Sunday, February 18
13 hours ago