In the spirit of my favorite holiday, I found the scariest thing I’ve ever written. The only thing that scares me more is Tailypo. Originally written in October 2012.
I had to take my dogs to the vet for their annual shots. Josh went with me for crowd control. Whenever, Max and Harley are together they like to drag me around. Individually, they are great, and mostly mind their manners. The moment they are together both dogs loose all control and act like a bunch of dodos. It’s a wonder we haven’t been banned from every dog park in Nashville.
The vet visit went well. They got their annual shots, new tags, and lots of treats. We were told that there was a chance the shots could make them lethargic or possibly feel bad, but it should only last a few hours. Just a side note: neither dog has ever had any side effects from the shots, so I was not worried. We pay our bill and leave.
We gave the dogs a chance use the restroom before we left the vets. Of course, the dogs are not interested in inspecting the bushes or the outside of the building. They are ready for another car ride. They each go to their side of the car and are ready to go. I ask Josh to drive; I’m not in the mood.
We get a couple of miles down the road, when I see a weird motion out of the corner of my eye. Harley is squatting. He has assumed the position and is about to poop in my backseat!
“Josh, pull over! Pull over!”
“Harley is about to shit in the back seat! Pull over!”
“Taking a shit! Pull! Over! Dammit Oh… he’s shitting.” Diarrhea spews out of Harley. It hits the seat, showers down back on Harley, and it is pooling in the car seat. The smell hits us, and Josh starts to dry heave.
“Oh my gosh, uggghhhh. Ugghhh!” The car weaves in and out of the next lane.
“Josh pull over!” I roll down my window.
“Don’t you dare puke in my car! Pull over at the car wash.” I look in the back seat. Harley’s tail and hind legs are covered in crap. He still has that panicked look on his face. Our eyes meet, and he interprets the look as an invitation into the front seat. He bounds into my lap. On the way up he brushes the sleeve of Josh’s jacket. This sends Josh into a whole new wave of retching.
“What the fuck is he doing?”
“Josh, he’s scared.”
“uggghhhh, I don’t care what he is, get him out of the car!” The car slams to a halt. Josh throws himself out of the car. I open the car door and shove Harley out. I’m resisting the urge to gag. I’ve lost any and all concerns for the leash laws. My main concern is that my brand new shirt and back seat are now covered in shit.
“I can’t ride in that car.” Josh yells. “In fact, I’m not ever going to ride in that car again. Nope. No way. That dog is never getting a car ride again! You hear that Harley! You are walking home.” Harley is strategically circling the car. He can’t decide if he should get back in the car, sit near me, or stay far away.
“Josh, he got sick…” I stop short because I realize that I can hear crying and whimpering. I’ve left Max in the car. He is in the car right there in the middle of the scene of the accident. He has pressed his entire body against the door and is crying. Not that I blame him. The car reeks. I can barely keep myself from gagging. I open the door and Max flies out. I start to look for something to clean up with. I just cleaned out my car and threw out all the half empty water bottles. I don’t have any wipes and not a single damn napkin in the entire car. I look up and realize that I have two loose gigantic German Shepherds roaming about the car wash, a gagging husband that will not stop ranting, and nothing to clean anyone or anything up. I need to call my sister. Rachel knows what to do with poop. She’s works in the gastrointestinal unit at the hospital. Why didn’t I think of this before! I scramble around for my phone and am careful not to touch my screen with the soiled part of my hand.
“Hey! I was just about to call you…”
“Umm….Rachel, could you please come to Rojo Reds car wash and meet us. Harley shit in the car. It got on Harley, and Josh, and me! And I have nothing to clean it up with!”
“Rachel, I’m serious. Could you please just get here? I need you to drive Josh back to the house. I don’t think Josh can ride anywhere in this car without puking.”
“Oh, no worries, I’m on my way.”
“Okay thanks.” I’m feeling better already. Rachel will be able to help me clean it up. She will know what to do. Everything will be okay. I corral the dogs, and get them back on leashes. Not even five minutes later Rachel pulls in. She gets out of the car obviously amused.
“Oh thank God you are here! I’m so happy I could hug you!”
“No! No! No hugs!”
“What did you bring?”
“Yeah, what cleaning stuff did you bring?”
“Do you have any wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer… anything? She shrugs her shoulders and holds out the bottle of water she’s been drinking. “Are you kidding me?”
“Uh… no. You said that you needed me to take Josh home.”
“Oh crap.” I take the bottle of water and make a sad attempt to wash my hands off. Josh has already tried scraping off his sleeve in the grass.
“Well, Harley and I are still a mess. Max and Josh are pretty much clean. Do you think you could take Josh and Max home?”
“Sure, but isn’t Harley just going to make a bigger mess getting back in the car?”
“The interior is already covered with shit. How much worse could it get?”
“Well…” She peers into the car. “uugghhh… You….uugghhh… need to …. Uugghhh… scrape it out. That’s a lot of shit… uugghh.”
“Ehh, maybe you are right.”
“With What?” Josh chimes in.
“Here use this.” Rachel rips up a cardboard box in her trunk.
“What else would you use, your hands?”
“Oh fine!” I take the cardboard and start to scrape gobs of crap out of the car and onto the grass. All the time I’m thinking, “How will the car ever be the same? Why didn’t I get leather? Don’t puke. Don’t puke. Don’t puke.”
“Here, I have this.” Rachel puts down a bed sheet down on the ground. She normally carries it in her car whenever she has to take the dogs somewhere, unlike myself. I’ll just open the doors and let any old dog in.
“Okay thanks.” I’m still carefully scooping out my back seat. I can tell it has soaked into the cushions. I scrape out as much as I can. My car smells awful. Rachel is busy getting Max in the car. I don’t want to be left here alone with a poopy dog and car. I grab the sheet. As I’m walking back to the car, I slip and fall onto my back. I almost slide into the car. “What in the world… Oh… Oh no! No! No!” I stand up. My eyes meet Josh’s across the car. I start to laugh.
“You didn’t!” I nod my head. I’m still laughing. I walk over to Josh and Rachel.
“Did I get it on me?” I turn around.
“Umm, yep, you sure did.” I’m laughing harder. Rachel notices.
“I slipped and fell in it! I turn around so she can get the full effect of crap all over my back. Rachel snickers. I’m laughing way too hard by this point. That’s when it happened. I went from laughing to hysterically crying in about two seconds. I’m shaking all over. “I think I should take my clothes off. I’m covered in crap.” I’m sobbing.
“Oh, no, don’t cry! Keep your clothes on. It’s going to be okay.” Josh carefully pats me on the back, careful to not touch any mess. Rachel takes action, “Oh… kay. I knew this was going to happen. You were laughing too much. Let’s get this show on the road.” She gets the sheet situated, careful not to fall into anything. She finds a second sheet for me to sit on. All the while, reminding me to keep my clothes on. I’m still sniffling when she gets me in the car. “You okay to drive?” I nod. “Okay, be careful. I have stop by my house first and then I’m bringing Max and Josh to your house. You go straight home. I nod in humble understanding.
There’s nothing quite like involuntarily playing in a poop slip and slide to bring you down a few notches. I pull out, windows are down, and Harley is looking delighted in the back seat. I’m sure he’s just beyond happy that we didn’t leave him at the car wash. I keep crying even though I’m trying to get myself back together again. I keep telling myself, “Just run the car off the road. Wreck it. Insurance will cover the damages and I can say that Harley got scared and soiled the car. Yes, that will work. I won’t even have to clean. Now just tilt your wrists to the right and brace for impact.” I can’t do it. I’m too chicken. I’m too much of a worry wart. I don’t want to get hurt and I keep picturing Harley flying out a window and dying.
We pull off the exit safe, stinky, and sound. I see the homeless man selling papers. I haven’t seen him in weeks and I’ve been saving a dollar in my console just to buy a paper from him. He is always so nice and dependable. I know this isn’t really an opportune time, seeing as my car is full of shit, but he’s here and I have a dollar. I hold out my dollar to him at the stop light and he runs over.
“Thank you so much ma’am.” He spies Harley in the back seat. “Ya been a good boy? Santa goin’ ta bring ya some bones fur Christmas?” I can’t help but laugh out loud.
“I think this pup maybe getting coal for Christmas. He just crapped all over the backseat of the car. Sorry, if it smells.”
“Oh my, that is a bad dog!”
“Excuse me, do you have any change…” Another homeless man shows up out of nowhere. I guess he saw that I was just handing out cash and he decided to waltz on up. The breeze must have been just right because he starts gagging. “Oh my gosh! What do you have in there lady? It smells like shit.”
“It is shit.” He starts to gag and backs away from the car. My light turns green, and I drive off laughing to myself. My car smells so bad I ran a homeless person off. That has got to be a first.
For the next five hours I clean the car. I can’t get it out. I also discover that it has soaked through the upholstery and into the seat foam. If that wasn’t bad enough, crap has soaked through to the trunk. Josh is in the house calling every car detailing place known to man. None of them will do it. I can’t say I blame them. After many calls, Josh finds a place that will attempt it across town.
We drop it off with high hopes. I ask the attendant, “Should I leave the windows up or down?”
“Oh, they are big boys, just roll them up. I guarantee they have seen worse.”
“Well, let’s hope so.”
They call back fairly early the next day. Josh calls me at work.
“Well, they quoted us $900 with no guarantee to get either the stain or the smell out.”
“That’s a big no.”
“Yeah I know.”
“They were really nice and recommend that we just replace the seat.”
“I just called every junk yard and Pull-A-Part in Tennessee and none of them have any Versas, they are too new.”
“Well, I guess I could just take out the back seat and have a home made El Camino. What about getting a new seat?”
“I called and priced it. They start around $3000.”
“Yeah, a little out of our price range.”
“I’m going to call Dad. Maybe insurance covers it or something.”
I called Dad, he wasn’t very positive about insurance covering it, but he did have a great idea. This was after laughing about Harley pooping in the car for a solid five minutes. The man that reupholstered his seats might do it. He gave us the number, and Josh called the guy. The upholstery man said he would take on our mess for a hundred dollars. It was like a dream come true!
I was thinking that I was taking the car to a shop. Oh no, nothing can be that simple. This man is located off some back roads in the woods. Apparently, he does this as a side job out of his home. At this point, it doesn’t matter how far he is. I’m just stoked at the possibility of being able to drive my car with the windows up.
The road that leads to his house is a little wider than my car. I don’t meet anyone on these hills. I’d hate to hit anyone head on, but then again totalling my car at this point wouldn’t be so bad. We drive up a long driveway in the dark. I’m really hoping this is the right house. Only one way to find out, I walk up to the front door and knock. The door flies open and I’m greeted by a little yippy dog, a Doberman and a teenager.
“Uh, Hi. I’m Lauren. I’m here for Dan.”
“Oh, he’s expecting you. Just pull down to the garage. I’ll have him meet you down there.”
Oh thank God, I have the right house. Josh pulls the car around back. I have the little dog following me and jumping at my heals. Dan meets us around back, as promised. His daughter joins us downstairs with a plate of vegetables.
“Hey Dad, do you think he can eat an onion.”
“Oh, come on now, don’t go givin’ him an onion. It’ll upset his stomach.”
“It’s a vegetable.”
“Just give em some corn cobs, no onions.” His daughter walks out the side door of the garage, and a deer greets her. Just seeing a domesticated deer piques my interest to the point that I have completely forgotten why I am here. I have to touch. No matter what, I need to pet this animal.
In general, I’m convinced that my quality of life would drastically increase, if only I was allowed to interact with one new animal a day. I have a list. First and foremost, I’d really like to spend the day with a raccoon and a purse full of coins. They are just amazing! I would also like to spend a day with an elephant, bear cub, a squirrel, a dolphin, a monkey, and the list goes on. Just the idea of feeding an elephant gives me butterflies. There are so many cool animals. I don’t think I can handle playing with baby versions of them. It’s entirely too much for my lady brain.
“Uh, is he your pet?”
“Who? Oh, you mean Bambi. Well, yes.”
“May I pet him?” I’m trying to keep my excitement from showing. I can feel it bubbling up in me.
“Sure.” He grabs a box of vanilla wafers. “Let me show you his tricks.”
Oh my gosh! Not only am I about to pet a baby deer, but he’s so domesticated that he does tricks! I’ve died and gone to heaven! My excitement is to the point that I could jump up and down.
“He only really has one trick.” Bambi is by no means afraid of humans. He is all in our faces and lipping our hands for some cookies. “Shake. Bambi, shake.” The deer eagerly raises one hoof into Dave’s hand, and stretches his neck to get the cookie faster. My heart melts. “Well, there ya go. Bambi’s one and only real trick.
“Does he ever come inside?”
“Oh yeah, got that lil’ booger house trained. He uses his own dog door and everythin’. I’d have to say he’s better trained than my dogs.
“Will you keep him forever?”
“Nah, got to introduce em into the wild eventually. That’s why he’s livin’ mostly outside right now.”
“Will you let him back in when it gets really cold?”
“Oh yeah, he’ll get to come inside. Of course he’ll get to come inside fur Christmas. I already bought em some presents.”
“Ohhh…” This is news to me. Christmas presents for a deer! What does a deer get for Christmas? I’m just going to go ahead and assume Vanilla Wafers.
“What made you bring him home?”
“Can’t say. I’ve been doin’ it my ole life. I got a license and everything. If an animal needs my help, I help em. When they are all healed I let em go.”
“Do they hang around?”
“Maybe for awhile, but eventually they all go on. I just released a squirrel last week. he comes down every now and then just to say hi.” He tries to call the squirrel but nothing happens. I’m super disappointed. Interacting with a squirrel is pretty high up on my list of cool animals.
“Okay, well lets take a look at that seat.” Dave and Josh walk off towards the car. I can’t move. Who cares about a ruined back seat when there’s a baby deer to pet.
“Lauren are you coming?”
“Umm…. I’ll be there in a minute.” I cant pull myself away. I’ve never had the opportunity to pet a live deer. Sure, I spent lots of time petting the stuffed deer on our living room wall as a child. It’s just not the same.
I hung out with Bambi till he got tired of me and walked off. I think it was my lack of cookies that bored him. I went to check on the guys.
Josh and Dave manage to completely rip out my back seat. For the very first time in my life I legitimately have a two seater, and I’m not as happy about it as I thought I would be. Dave starts explaining the cleaning process to us. I’m only half listening to him. I really don’t care about the details, I’m just grateful that he is willing to take it on. A word catches my attention and all of a sudden I’m back in the conversation.
“What was that?”
“Oh, I’m goin’ to try out my new drying room fur yur seats.”
“Oh no, for drying skins and such.”
“Skins?” I’m sure the skeptical look on my face is giving me away.
“Well, I do some taxidermy in my free time.”
“Do you have any here?” Josh shoots me a look that says, ‘you sure are nosey’
“Oh yeah. I got uh few. You’re more than welcome to look if ya’d like.”
“Oh yes please!” I’m in shock. Could this man get any more interesting? Then it hits me; Is this what he’s going to do to Bambi? Oh gross. We follow him into the back of the garage. Behind the cars is an office. The room is covered wall to wall with animals. Most of the pieces are deer. I keep wondering if he raised these deer himself. I can’t keep my mouth shut.
“So, what does Bambi think of all this?”
“Ehh, he don’t mind cause he don’t know he’s uh deer. He’s a bona fide member of our family.”
“How many do you think you’ve stuffed?” Josh tries to steer the conversation before I start asking questions about stuffing Bambi.
Ehh, maybe a couple uh hundred.” There are fish, squirrels, raccoons, a opossum, and even a plastic dinosaur head hung up on the walls. (I have to say, that dinosaur was my favorite.)
“What’s your favorite?”
“I guess I’d have to say my little band here.” He points to a miniature two squirrel band. “The hardest part is finding instruments the right size.” The mini band is indeed impressive. One rodent on the banjo and the other on an airbrushed rainbow guitar. He even has the miniature drum set for the next member of the band all set up and ready.
“One of our friends wanted to taxidermy for awhile. He bought a couple of mice to start off. He planned on freezing them and stuffing them, but he got too attached. He couldn’t do it.”
“I think the main problem was he named them and then carried them everywhere in his pocket.”
“You tell your friend, that’s it’s a good thing he didn’t try and stuff em. Mice are the hardest, too small. I’d much rather work on a deer any day.
“Good to know. We’ll pass that along.” Dave shows us a few more animals, his new drying room, and gives us a wealth of advice regarding taxidermy. Seeing as Josh and I are mostly vegetarians. (Well, Josh is a vegetarian. He calls me a puss-a-tarian, because I eat fish about twice a year.) I don’t know about Josh but I didn’t retain much of the information. After many “thank yous” and one last good bye to Bambi we were on our way home.
Dave was faster than I had ever imagined. I got my seat back in less than three days. It looks great! Honestly, it’s probably cleaner than it was to begin with. Most of the dog hair was gone, and the stain is hardly noticeable. Only one very tiny spot remains. I have taken Harley and Max on car rides since the incident. I have wised up; I now put down two sheets before the dogs get to go for a ride. I’m still interested in getting some legit car covers, but I’m too cheap to shell out the money.