So much for being the heart and hands of Jesus (see previous post). You’ve all heard tales of the drunk neighbor I take shopping. Well, since she moved last January, technically she is only my neighbor in the biblical sense, but I have still been taking her shopping once each week on Saturdays.
Usually, I try to pick her up immediately after Sidewalk, so she hasn’t had a chance to drink much. Today she had an appointment with the dog groomer — who comes to her — so I couldn’t pick her up until 1:30. She stepped into my car smelling so strongly of alcohol that my eyes burned and I had to open my windows. Then she started to rant.
Her dog groomer won’t be coming to groom her dogs anymore. It is just too expensive for her to maintain the dog van now that she has her own store — on the other side of town — and J is the only dog owner she still travels to see. J was going on about how inconsiderate and ungrateful the woman is (despite the fact that she has been traveling for only J since last October). After all, J. has been her faithful customer for the last 5 years, and it doesn’t seem like such a big thing to drive across town for a couple of hours every three weeks …..
I point out that the van is an expensive piece of equipment, and the insurance, gas, maintenance, etc. is probably more then what she makes from J’s business. J said, “That’s besides the point.” I asked, “What is the point?” J says, “She should keep coming as long as I need her!” Then she starts crying — great drunken wails — and goes on about how she is the only dog groomer her dogs have ever known, and how they were crying and begging the woman to keep coming back …
That’s where I abandoned Jesus. I snapped, “Oh, please! Like the dogs know she won’t be back!” J flipped. She screamed at me that they did know. That they were hysterical (yes, if she was hysterical, they likely were). And that poor little Buddy was sobbing and pleading.
At that point I flipped into the right turn lane. There was no way I was going shopping with this woman. As I started to turn the corner she screamed, “That’s it. You’re going to take me back home aren’t you? Well that’s just fine with me. I’ve had it with you! Let me out here, I’ll walk.” I said, “I’m not going to let you walk.” Then I stupidly stated the obvious, “You’re drunk. ”
She started screaming about how she was not drunk and how she hadn’t even had a drink yet. I snapped, “Right. You reek of Jack Daniels.” Then she really flipped. “I don’t drink Jack Daniels! I have never had a drink of Jack Daniels in my life!”
I said, despite the little voice in the back of my head now insisting that I shut up, “Well, whatever the hell it is you buy a fifth of every week — it stinks!” Then she screamed at me that it’s Jim Beam, and I am a fucking idiot of I can’t tell the difference between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. That’s when I pulled the car over to the curb and suggested she go ahead and walk the last half block.
As she stepped from the car she said that she was finished doing me favors and I wasn’t to call her the next time I wanted somebody to go grocery shopping with. Oh gee. It’ll be hard, but I’m sure I’ll struggle by.