Madame Tishka on Love & Cars
Dear Madame Tishka,
Pookie, my girlfriend’s big standard poodle, goes everywhere she goes. It’s a drag. I’ve got this small Audi, very cool, black with saddle-stitched gray interior, super-loaded. I have to take the dog in the back seat. Those Audi convertible back seats are small. The dog’s got allergies. It can’t take wind. It can’t take pollen. Trees make its eyes turn red. You see what I’m saying? I gotta keep the top up. I could’ve bought a hard top for all this trouble. I tell Melissa the dog has to stay home and she throws a fit. She says decide. Decide what? What am I supposed to do? Once you drive a car out of the showroom it goes down 50 percent in value. Everybody knows that.
signed Sick of Pookie
Dear Sick of ,
Sometimes Tishka wishes for the old horse & buggy days again. It was delightful moving along to the clop-clop-clop. In that incarnation I could really take in the scenery. Today it’s all about speed, speed, speed. But to your Pookie dilemma. It seems Melissa cannot make up her mind between you and Pookie. This is not uncommon. From the time they are little, girls love their cats and dogs. Pookie gives Melissa unconditional love. Whereas you, I’m sure, have a number of conditions. You have the convertible top condition. You have the allergic dog condition. You have the dog in back seat condition. Perhaps you are a bit jealous of the love between Melissa and Pookie? Has the green-eyed monster of jealousy reared its ugly head? Tisha advises that you take Pookie out alone for a spin. Start with the top up. Bond with Pookie. Play music (poodles like Brahms) and give Pookie a few dog treats. In no time you will be close friends with Pookie, and all will be well between you and Melissa. Though she may be seeing a guy named Scott on the side.
Dear Madame Tishka,
I have the most terrible fear of automobiles. You notice I don’t say the C word. That word will not pass through my lips. C-c-c- is all I can get out. Then I feel nauseated. My shrink Dr. Blekenbrax says it all stems from my childhood in the C-c-c-. I was an avid reader. I read the entire Nancy Drew mystery series and went on to read Cherry Ames Girl Nurse. Well, said Dr. Blekenbrax, everyone knows that reading in the (you know what) causes nausea. He says it’s an old leftover from my childhood in the C-c-c. But despite his great knowledge as a world famous psychoanalyst, Dr. Blekenbrax hasn’t been able to cure me. Oh, Madame Tishka, what will I do? I have no dates, nothing. Guys think I’m crazy.
signed, Afraid of C-c-c’s
Because you have been so traumatized, I will not address you fully. I don’t want to bring in any unnecessary fear. I know the reputation of the famous Dr. Blekenbrax, as does everyone else in this century. Yes, he is famous. He has rivaled Freud for fame. But is he any good? For you? It seems that Blekenbrax doesn’t have his finger on the pulse. Though I’m sure he has it on your checkbook. It’s good you have sought out Tishka’s advice. Here is a most simple cure. Find a trusted friend who will blindfold you (without kinky words or actions). Have that friend assist you getting into the C. Place your head back against the headrest. Imagine you are safe in the arms of a cloud. Breathe… Breathe again… Again… Keep breathing as your friend drives you slowly around town. Picture the softness of the Cumulus clouds holding you like a baby. Do this every day for a week. On the eighth day remove the blindfold. You will be cured of all fear and any residual nausea. The crystal ball sees you dating a smart, handsome man with a good bank account in Switzerland or maybe the Caymans. Someone who will keep you in Jaguars, and Blekenbrax at bay.
Dear Madame Tishka,
What do you think of my Grand-sonny-boy Harold wanting a car for high school graduation? Harold, I told him, you’ve got some chutzpah! He just laughs and says: Buy it Gramma or I’ll steal myself a car. Can you imagine this? I live in mortal terror of Harold stealing a car and getting caught. Then the cops come to the house, the neighbors see, they talk, they talk more, and Harold ends up in jail. You know what happens to young men in jail, Madame? Very bad things I will tell you. Very bad. It could turn my Harold’s life around so he’s the “other way” when he comes out. If you know what I’m getting at! Then the neighbors will really talk. I have lived in this neighborhood for going on thirty-five years. Harold’s father inherited the house from his parents. Sure it’s run down a bit. But what isn’t?
signed Harold is a hand full
Dear Harold is,
Indeed you do have your hands full. You sound like a caring (if somewhat scattered) Grandmother. But what Grandmother isn’t, these days, what with young men making such demands. It has all gone crazy. Frankly, Tishka blames The Beatles. If it weren’t for their little revolution, the world would still be happy with tiny yards and picket fences. But, alas! It became a huge revolution, and now boys like Harold demand the moon. You are right to be afraid. Prison is not a healthy place. Even Martha Stewart had to eat from the candy machine some nights. God only knows what would happen to an unsophisticated young man like Harold. He would become the meat and potatoes of hardened convicts. The crystal ball advises that you enroll Harold in a farm-work program. He can spend the summer learning about sheep and other farm animals. So if he does end up in prison, at least he will have learned the joys of shepherding.
Yours in Spirited Action,
When not dispensing advice about Love & Other Storms, Madame Tishka (aka Susan Tepper) is co-author of the new novel What May Have Been: Letters of Jackson Pollock & Dori G, author of Deer & Other Stories and the poetry chapbook Blue Edge. She also writes the MONDAY CHAT on Fictionaut. www.susantepper.com.