Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Backseat


It was 101° on the cooler, Hollywood side of the hill. I was headed deep into the always 10° warmer San Fernando Valley for an attempt to interview The Rock Star Legend who had canceled on me three times already that week. The Rock Legend’s people were in the habit of waiting until a few hours after I had been sitting around with a camera crew before they would cancel.

I was driving my old Volvo sedan. The air conditioning in the car hadn’t worked in years. I drove with the windows open, hoping the white hot breeze would dry out my sweat-damp business casual get up.

My first stop in the big valley was at the veterinarian. My elderly dog Stella had been at the vet getting a tune up and was being released that afternoon. The way the scheduling worked out, if I wanted to have her back home for the evening, I would have to pick her up on the way to the interview and bring her with me to the recording studio. She was a big, friendly gal. I knew she'd be welcome.

With Stella planted in the backseat, we merged onto the 405 freeway. I immediately smelled something bad coming from behind me and chalked it up to canine farts and kept driving. Soon the sulfury-burning-hair-dead-stuff odor was overwhelming my little oven on wheels. I glanced into the backseat and saw that poor Stella had liquid-pooped up the back of the car. She then had apparently walked around in it and then sat down in it. I tried desperately to get off of the freeway but was trapped in my lane.

I could see her in the rear view mirror getting hit with another round of poops and rolling around the seat in her attempt to clean herself off. Stella panted up at me with her dog smile. My backseat and its passenger were now blanketed in excrement. I was already running late to my meeting with The Rock Legend. Gagging and laughing uncontrollably (something I tend to do at inopportune moments), I called my dear friend Karen who lived close by. Through my gasps I explained the situation. She told me to meet her in her driveway.

I pulled up and Karen met us, armed with towels and a hose. She quickly opened the rear door, took Stella by the collar and lead her out. She wiped out the backseat as best she could. Then my poop pit-crew of one, closed the car door and with a knock on the trunk yelled for me to keep going. I raced to Sun Valley and made it to the studio only a few minutes behind schedule. I sat with the camera and sound guys and waited for the interview as the crap baked into the interior of my car.

Forty minutes later the call came from The Rock Legend’s management. He would have to re-schedule. Again.

I released the crew and got directions to a nearby car wash. It was closing time but I managed to talk the guys into detailing my backseat by cleaning out my wallet and handing them the contents. I drove back to Karen’s where she met me in the driveway and presented my freshly washed dog.

This reaffirmed three things that I already knew: Karen is an amazing friend, my career in television was fun but not glamorous, and I loved that crazy dog with all my heart.

18 comments:

  1. Plus, it only prepared you for life with Mr. "I'm backing a cake for Darth Vader".

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  2. Poop Pit Crew! I love it! I can relate to the laughing at inopportune momements.

    Great post!

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  3. i love karen. LOVE. what a great friend.

    i love her almost as much as i love reading about poop.

    great post.

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  4. That's what friends do.
    I miss Stella.

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  5. what a story. i can't imagine the smell. i love the image of stella smiling at you. hilarious as usual.

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  6. You are a wonderful pet owner. I'm so happy you didn't get mad at your sweet dog- most people would!

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  7. i too love Karen and miss Miss Stella. I hope they are chasing squirrels and mailmen together in Heaven.

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  8. But Lora? Karen's not in heaven yet... How does that work? Maybe Stella's with Sophie...

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  9. I'm sitting at the DMV, hour number 2 & day number 2, next to someone who is coughing & sneezing on one side, & an aspiring actress behind me who is talking loudly on cell phone as she is kicking my chair---I was not a happy camper but just read this post & realized it's all good..at least there's no poop in my car! :) xo Hillary

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  10. Great post. I could smell the poop from here in Hollywood.

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  11. I admit, laughing would probably not have been my first reaction!

    I mostly get frustrated with my crazy dog. But man, I know I will miss him terribly when he goes to doggy heaven.

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  12. Awesome writing Lisa! I really enjoyed it...

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  13. Stella for star... she of the velvet ears.

    I remember her and that day well.

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  14. I can totally relate to how you love that (older) pup of yours. Ahh, the moments we'll never forget, and even miss when they're gone. And the part about a great friend - that was heartwarming too. An all-around hilarious and sweet post. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I love Stella. I love Stella stories. I love Stella's cat. I love Stella's owner.

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  16. Why does everything (ncluding this) remind me of a scene from Pulp Fiction? I need to see a shrink AND I need an awesome friend like Karen. Not many people will chisel baked poo off their pal's dog, wash and wax her. A good friend indeed.

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  17. Great story...dogs are awesome, even when they make our lives miserable sometimes.

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  18. Gosh, I'm not sure why but this story really got to me. I'm all teary-eyed. I think it's about Karen. The friend you can drop a dog covered in poop off with, is there anything better in all the world? I have a Karen in my life and she recently drove me to get a big shot in my butt when I had a migraine so bad I couldn't function. Then I threw up on her car when we reached my driveway. We'd be nowhere without our Karens.

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