Delivering a Scary Altimatum

Who needs air conditioning?

I’ve always believed there are some really wussy ultimatums (ultimata?) flying around out there. “Marry me or we break up”…”Pee in this cup or you’re fired”…”Get that possum off your head or I’m not taking you to the store with me.” Kid stuff.

I like ultimatums (ultimatae?) that end with, “or you’re gonna die slowly.”

But that kind of ultimatum isn’t always conducive to furthering the conversation and engaging in dialogue and crap like that. Once the person realizes his life is in actual for-real danger, he either just gives in (which is no fun) or he fights you on it. Once the guy calls your bluff, then you have to kill him or you risk losing every argument forever after.

So I’ve been trying really hard not to deliver any ultimatums (oh, hell, go look up the plural of a Latin word yourself!) about my car. This poor vehicle had an ugly beginning anyway once the tornado dropped the entire roof of my house on it and squashed it. Luckily, God has great insurance against all the stuff He does so the “act of God clause” repaired the whole car. Or at least made it pretty again.

As with most cars, the problems began slowly. Water began pouring into the front passenger floorboard any time I ran the air conditioner. Got that fixed. The brakes began making a horrible grinding noise. Got that fixed. My daughter held up some curvy plastic hose she found under her seat and smoke came out from under the hood. Got that fixed. And so on.

Now, the air compressor is making a noise, it’s leaking enough oil to fund a small Middle Eastern economy, and the headliner is coming down. (I swear on all things holy if anyone puts, “Just staple it back up there,” in the comments section, I will email you a virus.) So I’ve been campaigning for a car.

It’s not that I NEED a car, I just need to stop having to drive this one. If my husband would like to invest in servants to carry me around in a litter, that would be fine as well as long as it has trunk space and cup holders. Since I don’t think he’s going to do that and we would have to feed the litter bearers, we went to look at cars last night. We strolled through the darkness after all the salesmen had gone home, running our fingers lovingly on the shiny Altimas and Maximas at the Nissan dealership, leaving smudgy finger prints everywhere. It was exactly like watching porn except you actually got to touch stuff.

Then he announced we would see how much it cost to get my car fixed. What the hell? Why did he drag me down to the dealership only to rip away all hope of the pretty cars? Even better, he announced we would start with repairing the oil leak because that was necessary, but that the air conditioner and the headliner were just extra stuff that I don’t really need.

Now I need to have the car reupholstered to get the blood stains and that weird rotting flesh smell out of my trunk.