If you follow my blog, you know that my husband was diagnosed with tongue cancer this year and he underwent surgery and radiation therapy. The side effects were… not enjoyable. In addition to Mark’s mouth feeling like it was constantly being bathed in lighter fluid and then ignited over and over with a blow torch, he also suffered from memory loss, fatigue, confusion and some hair loss. That being said, he is feeling MUCH improved since radiation treatment ceased and he returns to the oncology center in September for further testing (to make sure the cancer has been eradicated).
In the meantime, his thought processes kind of kick out every once in a while and he isn’t quite his regular self. If you know him, then you know when it comes to strangers he is one of the most cynical, untrusting dudes on the planet. Which is why I was shocked that the following happened the other day…
We had pulled up to the Costco fuel lanes to fill up his car (which is a grey, rectangular four door jobber that looks like a refrigerator on wheels. He refers to it as ‘X Box’).
So he’s filling up X Box and from where I’m sitting in the passenger seat I see a giant, battered truck stop next to Mark and the driver shouted something at him. After a few minutes the truck pulled forward and parked several feet away.
Mark climbed inside X Box and said to me, “Those people want to fix my back bumper dent.”
(side note: Mark and some other guy backed into each other at a post office a year ago, their car derrieres not-so-gently bouncing off one another like awkward drunk girls twerking. Both insurance companies are still playing the blame game and no one has been compensated as yet.)
I said, “Well, let’s get their business card and we’ll think about it.”
Mark: Oh! But they have all their stuff with them and they’ll just fix the bumper while we’re shopping inside Costco. They said it won’t take long and they even have grey paint with them that matches X Box.
Me: Well, it’s up to you.
So they follow us into the front Costco parking lot, jump out of their truck (it’s like a whole family) and they start hammering away at our bumper before we’ve even turned off our engine.
I turned to Mark, my eyes huge. “So they’re just… gonna work on it RIGHT NOW?”
Mark nodded. “Yeah. And only $500.00.” He seemed pretty happy about the whole thing, even leaving the car unlocked so they could rifle around in the hatchback.
I popped open the glove box and pulled all of our insurance information out and stuffed the papers into my purse. Then I grabbed the garage door opener and tucked that away as well.
When Mark and I got inside Costco I said, “You know, they could have hotwired X Box, found our address on the insurance papers and used the garage door opener to rob us blind while we shop.”
Mark: Oh. Huh. I didn’t think about that…
And I’m like, “So you have $500 in cash on you?”
Mark: No. They are going to go to Bank of America with me so I can withdraw the cash from an ATM.
Me: SO THEY CAN WATCH YOU TYPE IN YOUR PIN NUMBER???
Mark: Oh. Huh. I didn’t think about that. Maybe I should just jump in their truck with them and they can take me to B of A.”
Me: SO THEY CAN KIDNAP YOU AND HAVE YOUR PIN AND ALL YOUR CREDIT CARDS AND YOUR ID???
Mark: Oh. Huh. I didn’t think of that. I just thought if I went with them they wouldn’t have access to X Box anymore.
Me: Ok. This is what we’ll do. Let’s withdraw the $500 from the Costco ATM by the registers.
Mark: No way!!! I’m not paying that $6 fee for a non-Bank of America ATM!
Me: Would you rather lose $6 or our life savings?
We pocket the $500 after much complication (turns out the Costco ATM limit is $400 so we had to use the debit card for some cash and the credit card for the rest), and Mark says, “Well, I guess I should go check on them.”
I translate: You mean ‘see if our car is still there’?
And Mark says, “Oh! I told them I’d bring them some cold water. I have to stop at the refrigerated vending machine first…”
Ten minutes later he comes back and says the family has fixed our bumper, but he doesn’t like the way some of it didn’t match up so he gave them $440 instead of $500.
Oh- and water. They got $440 and water.
In the meantime, I’d messaged Aggie and Christina to let them know what was transpiring in case me or Mark turned up dead or missing. Then Mark and I got our groceries (and ate samples) and we go out to X Box and I critically examine the bumper, but I can’t really tell what the family has done to it because the dent(s) are all covered in thick, green wax.
Mark informed me that the new paint under the turtle wax should be the same color as the X Box grey.
BUT WE DO NOT KNOW IF IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE WAX TO DRY.
Cut to this morning…
Mark goes into the garage and starts scrubbing the green squishy stuff off. Underneath… are weird smoothed out bumpy dips- like X Box had had a bad collagen injection in its left butt cheek.
I wish I could say there was a fun or heart-warming moral to this story, but I fear the only thing we got in return for our $441.25 (I added in the buck twenty-five for Kirkland bottled waters) is this blog post. So if reading this has amused you in any way, then I consider the cheddar well spent.
PS- Hug your loved ones who have gone through cancer treatment. They might still be sorting themselves out. Let them know you love them… and that sometimes they’re damn entertaining. You gotta find humor where you can. Much love to you all.