Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Case of the Furry Car Demon

There are a couple things you would never want to happen while driving at 80 miles an hour.

  • For example, as a motorcyclist, you would never want to hit gravel while going 80 miles an hour.
  • As a driver in Atlanta, you would never want to pass a cop on I-285 while going 80 miles an hour.
  • And in case in the nightmare hearts of your wildest feverish fears you could never even conceive of this situation, let me fucking tell you that you do NOT want an irate snarling weasel to burst out of a cardboard box and fling itself onto you while you're driving at 80 fucking miles per hour.

Pish posh THIS you people, IT DID HAPPEN. And it was awful. And I'm going to relate to you this horrific tale.
It was a thousand degrees that weekend.

I remember because when it got hot enough, all the tourists would start to smell like baby powder. It is an odd thing to walk behind some gigantic beastly man and realize that he permeates the air with BABY AROMA.

Somehow, through the heat, I had loaded everything into my car. When you move between home and college over the years, lugging around all the SHIT you've accumulated and all the 'nice stuff you want to keep' which is actually just SHIT also, packing your vehicle becomes a lot like a high stakes game of Tetris; whatever you can't fit into your car, you have to leave behind.

I know this for a fact (Jen will probably start laughing) because my Mom and her strange friend Linda were pretty pissed BEFORE we even started packing the car sophomore year (after a parking ticket fiasco, angry Nazi 'traffic monitors' and the typical why-didn't-you-pack-all-this-up-BEFORE-I-got-here and what-the-hell-even-IS-all-this-stuff-and-how-did-you-fit-it-into-a-dorm room-the-size-of-a-coffin arguments).

My three book shelves, printer, flameless candelabras, and art supplies were doomed from the start.
  • They were not something Mom would get arrested for if she didn't let me keep (like clothes, medication, bedding, shoes).
  • They were not something she had INSISTED I own (a flat screen TV and DVD set, 400 dollars worth of my classes' textbooks, and a 6x8 fabric wall tapestry).
  • Lastly, they were not something I had pilfered out of her very own closet there for she did not WANT to throw away (beach chairs, Ralph Lauren pillows, a space mattress topper).
Here's a pie digram to help you understand how things are categorized to fit into the car: 

I heard a lot of swearing when she looked over at the last stragglers of belongings. They weren't going to fit. Not with her 10 dollar 80's beach chairs in the car, anyway. Sentimentally speaking, they may as well have been 10,000 dollar beach chairs, judging by the way she has held onto them over the years. I'VE JUST HAD THEM FOR A LONG TIME, OKAY? People could say the same thing about a half formed twin jutting out of their neck. That is NOT an excuse. WELL I'VE HAD A LOT OF GOOD TIMES WITH THOSE CHAIRS, NICOLE.

 this is always what I picture:

I mock the chairs mercilessly. I probably shouldn't. I was probably, like, conceived in one of those chairs. So I drop the issue, and let her convince me that she'll buy me a new printer next year (never happened, Jen will attest to that. 

5:30 in the morning: "Jen can I borrow your printer?"

Three years ago, that was the story.  NOT THIS TIME. I was determined to pack EVERYTHING amazingly. People who passed by on the sidewalks would write BOOKS on how well this car was packed.

But a new task this year, was fitting my ferret, Archer into the car comfortably. 

I had allotted precious space for him in the passenger seat. Now, needless to say, his gigantic victorian mansion of a cage would not fit next to me up front, so I disassembled it into the back and had found a suitable medium sized cardboard box for my furry partner in crime.

This was to be his home for six hours!

I was so worried that he wouldn't like it. I remember carefully cutting out triangle shaped air holes and port holes and seeing holes fantasizing that he would curiously watch the clouds pass across the sun shiny windows .. and sit there and... drink cognac or whatever. I put food and water in some little dishes, and even an ice pack to keep him cool in the  100 degree heat if I had to turn the A/C off to get gas.

This thing was the fucking Ritz Carlton of boxes.

I gently taped the box shut with a small strip of duct tape, knowing that he would be asleep for most of the ride but nonetheless eager to be able to check on him / refill his water at rest stops.

I turned down the speaker on his side of the car -- I didn't want to disturb my poor ferret with my crazy techno rave tunes I listen to on road trips.

And then I was off to fill up my gas tank.

If only. I. Had known. What would happen.

The first sign of trouble -- probably a WARNING FROM THE GODS that I should have taken more seriously -- was when I was paying for my fuel at the Hess station right next to my apartment.

Though he had sat calmly in the duct-taped box for the first 10 minutes, I casually looked out the window while at the cashier across the station, and saw a certain weasel-ish face poking up out of the top of the box in my car, staring at me through the windows.

My eyes bugged and I muttered something about my ferret getting loose (to which I'm sure she did not give a shit, there pretty much has to be blood shed in order to get a rise out of a gas station cashier) and then I quickly ran to my car.

My car was filled with half of everything I'd ever owned. Things that I didn't want a ferret to get into. Toxic painting supplies, electronics, sharp things, heavy books sliding around, and lastly, a few articles of clothing that were EACH worth more than the SUV I was driving.

Weasel teeth shredding into a designer lamb skin jacket ain't no joke, y'all. I was not about to let that happen.

 After taping it shut, again, I placed a heavy text book on top of the box. No worries now, I thought.

And then we off to Atlanta, six hours away.

The tunes were good, the skies were sunny. I was in a good mood. I didn't even get phased when the people behind me wanted to go 90 instead of 80 like all the rest of us. I just moved on over, let 'em pass.
I smiled at the old guys on motorcycles. I love doing it becuase A) They ALWAYS look in to be sure SOMEONE sees how 'cool' they look on a motocycle B) They all have their little gestures, like a salute, a nod, or a grin, they give to women that smile at --

Suddenly, there was a ripping noise and then --

AIYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! HOLYFUCKINGSHITOHMYHOLYFUCKINGCHRIST! I swerved into the other lane which was thank GOD empty.


Archer, unbeknownst to ME, had been meticulously slashing his razor sharp claws at one of the 'air holes' I had cut for him on the other side of the box. He had a crazed fiery look in his beady black eyes.

He did not like this car. He did not like this music. He did not like this swaying and bumping.

And he did not like that box. One. Fucking. BIT.

My sweet innocent ferret was now a device specifically engineered to make me crash my car; he ripped at the seats with his claws, tried to crawl on top of my head, and then lunged between my feet, curling like a viper around the brakes and gas pedal.

I was screaming at him, I couldn't open the box to because of the tape. I wrenched it onto it's side, with one hand, holding him in the other, to expose the hole he'd ripped into the box. I tried to shove him back into the box.

He wasn't having that. Like some type of furry Rambo ninja, he tore a new escape in SECONDS and burst through the cardboard like the alien from the man's chest in a sci-fy movie.

Cars were surrounding me, I couldn't brake because I was being tailgated! I had already slowed down to about 65 and people were pissed.

I have never been so stressed out in my life. I stopped twice during the trip, desperately trying to fix up the box with anything I could to keep him enclosed.

I even stopped at a gas station looking frantically for duct tape, but found none. After flirting shamelessly with the attendant behind the counter, one of the largest men I've ever seen, I convinced him to give me his manager's roll of packing tape.

I taped it up, for twenty minutes. Nothing worked. I was screaming at him, tempted to strangle his little furry neck. I was in the middle of NOWHERE, only an hour and a half in to a six hour trip and I was already hyper ventilating. I had tried letting him just roam free, but he was moving like an angry electron, circulating the whole truck, screeching and ripping at what ever he could.

At one point, though I do not remember this in the blindness of my fury, I called mom, who was supposed to meet me an hour later in some weird little town, and screamed at her to bring a gun an a bullet for his "fucking little brain which I would splatter on the windows at point blank"

Y'all know I love my ferret more than anything. He's my baby boy.

BUT AT 80 MPH, HE WAS A FURRY CAR DEMON STRAIGHT FROM WEASEL HELL. He tore apart some CASH, pissed on my 100 dollar suede laptop cover, tore a hole in the carpeting, and shit on my leather Gucci satchel. After nearly crashing the car about three more times, running off the road TWICE, I made it -- nerves fried -- to civilization where my Mom waited. I had survived, somehow, without killing myself or anyone or anyTHING else.

We went to a dollar store, purchased industry strength duct tape and some plastic-mesh laundry bins, and taped them together, with the ferret inside. He was freaked out, de-hydrated, and exhausted, but otherwise fine.
I had refilled the water dish he knocked over and fluffed up his little fleece blanket, and he immediately went right to sleep, peacefully.

My baby boy, Archer was an angel for the remaining three hours of the trip.

Being attacked by a frantic weasel in an enclosed space is not something I would EVER want to endure again.

And certainly not while going 80 mph.

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