Some passengers sort of become part of the cab family too. Such was the case with a Persian lady named Pari. Duane and I both worked on her house in Middleton one summer, and that was a nightmare.
She wanted the outside of this house painted. Ok, I'll do it for you, you rent the equipment and pay me so much for labor. It looked pretty shaggy, the paint was peeling off that house real bad. So we got a power washer and I scaled the paint with that. Her siding was shot, so I told her she needed to replace the siding, paint wasn't going to do the job. No, she wanted to sand the house. Clap board siding? Sand the house? Ah, no way. She figgured if she asked me to sand it enough times; and I said that my first no was final, second was final, and third was too. Ok I don't talk to you again and figgure you're ripping me off for not paying me. Sand the house, she says again.
Duane finally looked at it and I don't recall if the previous owner had painted oil over latex or latex over oil, but it was a fatal mistake and the siding was indeed shot. So she finally paid me, thanks Duane.
Then she got a learners permit and wanted people to go practice driving with her. Again, it was Duane and I. He and I had (he's dead, the wake is a previous post) distinctly different styles of taking her for practice driving. I said that if we went she had to actually learn how to drive. Ah, what does that mean? Well, it meant doing 55 on narrow county highways, up and down steep hills, and she was terrified most of the time. Why can't we just drive 25 in the residential neighborhood near both her apartment and the DOT test site? Does that constitute learning how to drive? Ah, no, so you do that with Duane, when you and I go, you will actually learn how to drive, which is what a learners permit is for.
So one Sunday she want's to take a break, we're out by East Town, let's get an orange juice at McDonalds, she says. Ok, park the car behind McDonalds. In the grass median that seperates the parking behind Mcdonalds is one of those big green utility enclosures that says do not touch. She hit it hard enough to move it 6". We're sitting there, and she says, "What shall I do?!?"
I said, "Put one foot on the break. Put the car in reverse. Let off on the break enough for the car to move back 1 foot, then press the break and stop."
She did this, and I reached over and shoved the shifter into park. "Now", I said, "we're going to go inside and have our orange juice just like nothing happened. Don't worry, it'll be fine, either the store will have no electricity in which case we complain and leave, or nothing happened, got it?"
We did this, and it was ok. Durring our orange juice break she asked me in that high sweet voice of her's, "What means goddammit?" I nearly fell off the seat laughing.
Last time I saw Pari was at a Bar Mitzva, just before she left town. She was so greatful that she could drive, she loved driving on the county highway through Westport every morning to go to work, rather than to fight the traffic through town. Where is she now? Los Angles, now she REALLY needs to know how to drive.