Only a few people know this story, (Ellen, Chrissie, Donnie, Hazel)—you know who you are. It’s very hard to tell, pathetic and embarrassing and brilliant. I smoked in a rental car, no smoking signs all over the place. I was the nasty who had the car before you and stunk it up. Not quite. I didn’t smoke in the car to be a scofflaw or rebel or disrespectful. I too, believe it or not, have an aversion to cigarette smelling cars. I understand how not courteous it is. I smoked in the rental car because I’m a cigarette junkie, and car smoking was my last stronghold. I loved/love smoking in a car—there’s no one to scold me, a comfortable seat, music, wind in your hair, ahh, freedom.
I tried to smoke respectfully in this car—windows open, fans blowing, my arm with smoke dangling far outside the car at most all times. But in a move of awkwardness, probably because I was trying so hard not to be awkward, and correct, even though I wasn’t anywhere close to correct, I hit the end of the cigarette on the window that was down but sticking up that annoying, inch or so. The burning tobacco fell to floor and made a nice little hole in the carpet before I could get to it. Fuck me. Fuck me royally. What the hell do I do now? Car jar, remember him? He would have a stroke.
I had no choice but to figure out how to repair it. It was my “make it work” (thank you, Tim Gunn) moment, combined with the ingenuity of mentor, Martha Stewart. I shaved rug with some backing from underneath the front seat with an exacto knife–right at one of those rug folds that are around the seat track. I trimmed the burnt fibers from the hole, put in a bit of crazy glue, added the rug cutting, secured, trimmed, brushed clean, awesome. But don’t think for one moment that I wasn’t scared shitless when that car went back to the dealer. They found nothing. Whew.
I apologize to anyone who ever got a smelly rental car. I promise, I will not smoke in a rental again. But addicts are so clever, don’t you think, so good at covering their tracks. Or so they think. Or so they know, said the junkie to herself.
photo credit: autoevolution.com