Some men will do anything for their wives. If it involves car parts. Mine made me a rocker cover racer. Do you know what a rocker cover is? If not, we could be BFFs because I was once like you, and oblivious to the theory of natural selection, to wit, that Austin Healeys are a superior species as evidenced by their survival. And their enablers’ ability to ensnare unwitting accomplices into spending large amounts of money that said accomplice would rather put toward, say, a bathroom remodel.
It begins innocently enough:
MyHusbandTheEngineer: “So, I saw you smile at the rocker cover contest at the last car show.”
Me: “You did?”
MHTE: “Big, broad smile. You even laughed. You were clearly having a good time.” That was not my most vivid memory of the meet.
Me: “Oh, I must have been laughing inappropriately.”
Intuiting that my husband was about to spend money, and to keep his attention diverted from that thing I saw on his computer screen that costs more than an Infinity shower tray, I bit. “OK, you can make me a pink poodle rocker cover, studded with Swarovski crystals. You know, like that little Limoges poodle box on the mantel.” Fait accompli—it involved car parts. “Ms. Sparkle” was born.
Money is no object…anymore. I am the pit crew. And anyway, this was something we could do together involving car parts and poodles and pink. I became Swarovski’s Customer of the Month. I also researched the “10 Essential Tools of NASCAR Pit Crew Members,” which are: satellite weather monitor, performance computer, electrical generator, car jack, duct tape, Bear Bond (for repairs resistant to duct tape), and a baseball bat to hammer out dents that might slow the car’s velocity. I purchased replacement crystals and Elmer’s glue.
Ms. Sparkle debuted before an audience of predominantly men. How else to explain all those Swarovski crystals and second place?! OK, the Aussie’s racer was a feat of engineering, a stunning marvel of 3-D imaging. And Adrian and Lorraine Neuman were such gracious winners. Plus, America needs to maintain good relations with Australia for obvious political reasons that begin with, oh, never mind. But Ms. Sparkle does want to thank Debbie and Tony (Salmon) Trentacost’s “Barn Find Racer” for ceding the best of three races to her in the speed trials. Such a gentleman, that Barn Find.
As her pit boss, I take issue with the gossip about bribery. There was nothing spelled out in the rules that specifically excluded bribes. Also missing were the words “graft” and “payola.” At the worst, those Hershey’s Kisses were quid pro quos. And they didn’t work. End of story!
Ms. Sparkle is back at Chez Poodle licking her wounds or something. And MyHusbandTheEngineer and I are reminiscing about how you meet the nicest people when you bring your dog—and how bribery doesn’t work when you’re only negotiating with Hershey’s Kisses.