It was a good idea. I had a plan. The plan required precision timing. I was picking up my dog Stella at the vet before they closed at 4:30pm. I wouldn't have time to take the dog home, so I would drop Stella off with my friend Karen in Burbank. I would then immediately drive to Sound City Studios in deepest Van Nuys to interview Ozzy Osbourne for a show I was working on. I had been to this studio twice before for the interview and Ozzy had cancelled both times. It was a tenuous situation. I needed to be there by 5:15pm. I could not be late.
I headed over the hill from Hollywood. It was 104° in the valley and my '79 Volvo had no air conditioning. In an effort to look more professional than I was feeling, I was wearing a suit and heels. I was dripping sweat through my wool blend and sooty furnace-like wind blew through the open windows and tangled my sticky ponytail. I picked up Stella at the veterinarian in Studio City. Fifteen years-old and battling cancer, she was a frequent flier at the animal hospital.
Stella and I were right on time and making our way down Ventura Boulevard when I smelled something akin to burning diapers coming from the backseat. I glanced into the rearview mirror and saw that my dear dog had unexpectedly relieved herself in the backseat and was slipping in liquid brown, resulting in a backseat and dog covered in awful.
I held my hand to my face, trying to block the smell as we crawled down through the rush hour traffic on Cahuenga. The heat was causing the terribleness to bake into the car. I gagged as I drove. There was no time to stop.
When I got to Karen's she handed me an armload of towels and took Stella away to hose her off. They say dog is man's best friend. I would like to add that woman's best friend is the one who will wash the crap off of said dog.
Gagging, I got onto the freeway and headed to the recording studio. When I arrived, I waved off the valet and parked the car myself because I was kind and also mortified. When I finally made it inside the building, I met my camera crew. We spent about 45 minutes setting up the lights and equipment, just in time for Ozzy's publicist to call and let us know that the interview would have to be postponed again.
Back in the Little Volvo of Horrors, I returned to Burbank and drove into a car wash at closing time. I tried in my best Spanish, to explain to the guys that I needed and emergency interior detail. I backed it up by trying to explain, "No mi popó, esta popó de pero." I'm not sure they believed me but they heroically shampooed the back of the car and I handed them the entire contents of my wallet.
I picked up my gal and drove my damp self and my damp dog in my damp car back home. I finally interviewed Ozzy three days later. He was charming. I left the dog at home.
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