This Nightmare Drive from Hell Actually Happened

The plan for Friday morning was simple.

  1. Leave New Jersey at 6:30.
  2. Hit up my dental spa in Connecticut for an 8:00 a.m. teeth cleaning.
  3. Get back on the highway and continue driving north up to my hometown.

But this plan was disrupted early on, because some shit got in the way. Literally! Literal, actual shit got in the way. Rain, traffic, and vomit were also involved. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just start from that first bullet point and work our way down.

It was gross and rainy outside. Graig (boyfriend), Tank (dog), and I left our apartment about 10 minutes late. Not off to a great start — but! We had scheduled a 30-minute traffic buffer anyway, and Waze still promised us an 8:05 arrival time. So I was only mildly stressed out. People are five minutes late to dentist appointments all the time.

From the moment we merged onto the slick highway, traffic was a problem. By the time we approached the George Washington Bridge, we were moving at the pace of a large tree. (Which is to say that we were in fact not moving.) By the time we finally crossed the bridge and traffic cleared up, it was 7:45. Our Waze ETA had updated itself three times by then and had seemed to stabilize at around 8:25. I called my dental spa to let them know I’d be late. They were actually pretty chill about it.

But the rain! The rain was not chill. Even though we were no longer stuck in traffic, the relentless spraying from other cars made it difficult for Graig to see clearly enough to speed. Meanwhile, Tank — a dog — was getting restless. He paced around the back seat and jumped on the center armrest every few miles to check in on us.


“Remind me again,” Graig eventually said, “why you won’t just find a dentist in Jersey?”

“Because it’s a dental spa,” I replied, as if that explained everything. (Which it actually kind of does; dental spas are rare and delightful.)

We finally crossed into Connecticut at about 8:20, which meant we had just a few short exits to go. It looked like I might actually make it by 8:30 — not ideal, but not wildly egregious given the circumstance.

And then the car suddenly filled up with a putrid odor. A most putrid odor. I knew it had to be a Tank-fart, but it smelled worse than his usual variety — more aggressive, with top notes of dead flesh and rotting garlic. I turned around to yell at him and saw that he was squatting over the seat, assuming his full I’m-about-to-take-a-shit position.

“TANK!” I screamed, hitting him and Graig at the same time. “NO!”

“Don’t shit in my car!” Graig howled, trying to use his free hand to intervene without crashing into a guardrail in the process. The smell was getting stronger. It created a thick fog of pure chaos in the vehicle. “DO NOT SHIT IN MY CAR, TANK!”

We successfully snapped him out of his about-to-take-a-shit stance, but now he was huffing and puffing and kind of foaming at the mouth. I mean, I guess I would be too if I suddenly had to hold in a shit that I had already mentally greenlit for departure. Still, we were concerned. Was he sick? He’s not a shitting-in-the-car kind of dog! He’s a good boy!

As we kept trying to get him to hold it in, he jumped over the armrest into my lap — which I then immediately envisioned covered in dog shit because my mind loves to envision worst-case scenarios against my will.

We knew that making him wait 10 more minutes would be literal animal abuse, so we got off at the very next exit to let him go. Right as we pulled into an empty parking lot, the dental spa called me to see how much longer I would be.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, a carsick bulldog still shaking on top of me as Graig parked. “Probably about ten more min…”


Tank projectile vomited directly onto my legs. It was a macabre scene, but I managed to only let out the quietest little gasp so as not to alarm the dental spa receptionist on the other end of the phone.

“…utes. Would ten more minutes be okay?” I glanced downward, stunned that I had evaded being shat on only to get puked on instead, and finally just admitted defeat. “Actually, I’m sorry. Can we just reschedule?”

Graig looked over at the mess of foamy vomit — most of which ended up on my jeans and not his car — and just started laughing. Fair. I opened the door; Tank jumped out into the rain and peed on a nearby patch of grass. I stepped out and tried to figure out how I’d clean off my jeans without any paper towels or napkins or even tissues. I recalled that Graig keeps Armor All wipes in his backseat.

And then. I opened the back door, looked down, and saw that Tank had somehow ALREADY COVERTLY TAKEN A GIANT fucking DUMP all over the FLOOR when we weren’t looking. No wonder the smell was so repugnant! It wasn’t the smell of a shit that was aborted in the eleventh hour — it was the smell of a shit, period! And it wasn’t solid or neat, either. It was mushy and took up a lot of surface area.

So this was actual hell. I had taken a whole day off just to wake up early and sit in rainy traffic for two hours and miss my dentist appointment and then  get vomited on and then stand outside in the pouring rain while a backseat full of dog shit stared me in the face. It was not spa-like at all.

WHY, GOD? I wondered. WHY?

I called Graig over to show him the crime scene, and he just started cracking up again.

“We actually couldn’t have invented a worse morning if we tried,” he said. “This is incredible.”

He used poop baggies and Armor All wipes to eliminate the waste as best he could until we’d have access to real cleaning tools and chemicals. Meanwhile, I used a combination of rain and a single Armor All wipe to deal with the puke on my jeans. Watching Graig find so much humor in the situation helped me calm down a bit, even though I was still mourning the vision of the harmonious Friday morning I had previously dreamt of for myself.

The three of us finally piled back into the car, soaking wet and making even more of a mess but not caring at all by then. As Graig was about to pull out of the parking lot, Tank puked again — this time all over his backpack in the backseat. We didn’t have any Armor All left, so Graig pulled out a sacrificial pair of boxers from his luggage and used them as an impromptu rag. It was like we were on Survivor.


As we got further and further into Connecticut, Tank returned to his normal self. He eventually even mellowed out and went to sleep. And then the rain stopped! The storm seemed to have passed. We laughed about it for the rest of the ride home. Even I had to appreciate that the universe wasn’t lazy in its quest to fuck up our morning; it really went all out. I can respect that! But I was also grateful that it wasn’t even worse.

“Imagine if Tank had, like, stepped in his shit while we were still driving?” I asked Graig as we continued our post-debacle discussion. “Imagine Tank’s paws just completely covered in shit, pacing around and jumping all over the car. That would not have been funny at all. That would have just been mean.”

“True,” he said. “We’re very lucky.”

My Recent Emotional Meltdown

Now that I’m staying in Connecticut for two weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time staring at my mom’s dog with intense jealousy (and a splash of resentment) over the fact that he can live without having to worry about human problems.

It’s just not fair.

                                       Hi — I’m adorable and totally spoiled!

As you read this post, please feel free to judge me as if I’m one of those first-world white girls with no concept of the fact that things like poverty and hunger actually exist.

Speaking of hunger/malnourishment — there is a moment in my all-time favorite television series, Ally McBeal, when Billy asks Ally, “What makes your problems so much bigger than everyone else’s?”

She responds, “They’re mine.”

In case you couldn’t already tell that I’m self-absorbed from the abundance of “I” statements in any given blog post of mine, I totally relate to Ally on this one.

The problem I’m having now is that my current apartment search is making me hate everything about New York (except for the bagels).  Basically, I want my old place back.  But I can’t have it back, and it’s not fair, and I hate life because it’s a bitch, and I just keep eating brownies to deal with the stress, and the whole world sucks for doing this to me!

Do you love my grammar?

Here’s why I can’t return to the awesome luxury apartment that I used to call home:

  • The rent hike
  • The rent hike
  • Did I mention the thousand-dollar rent hike?

It’s just silly.  And to think that other people can afford it!  Whoever is now living at _____ and  ________ in Apartment 703: I despise you.

I have been feverishly looking for deals similar to the one I had last year, but it’s proving to be impossible.  The fact that I’m basically restricting my search to the same block shouldn’t matter.

A friend recently called me out on being a Manhattan snob, which I will gladly own.  The thought of switching neighborhoods freaks me out enough — let alone moving to another borough.  I have no interest in increasing my chances of getting mugged, raped, beaten, and/or poached.

Not sure where “poached” came from… but I’m now craving eggs Benedict.

In any case, this whole apartment-hunting situation has turned into something of a dark cloud over my daily routine.  I’m having easily-triggered mental breakdowns on a frequent basis.

For example, yesterday I sneezed three times in a row.  This made me want to cry as I concluded that not only was I homeless, but I was catching a cold as well.  Then I realized it was just allergies.

I recalled that I had a stash of Zyrtec somewhere in my bathroom, but I couldn’t find it.  Again, I almost started bawling.  I was able to keep it together once I remembered that the Zyrtec was probably under the sink.


As I rummaged through my plethora of toiletries, I stumbled upon an emotional landmine.  Somewhere between a tube of Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask and a half-gallon jug of cocoa butter lotion — I found a small box.  When I looked inside, I barely recognized its contents.  Then a series of bittersweet memories washed over me in a tsunami of emotion.

You might be thinking that I found some old photographs or an ex-boyfriend’s personal effects, but no.

It was a box of condoms.  Half full.  (Or half empty, if you’d like to come join me over here on Team Negative.)

Game over!  I immediately burst into tears.

An innocent box of prophylactics probably shouldn’t have the power to single-handedly unravel me, but this one crossed the line.  It served as a cruel reminder that I haven’t had sex in months —

  • which in turn was a reminder that I’ve gained twenty pounds,
  • which in turn was a reminder that I’m unlovable,
  • which in turn was a reminder that I will die alone with nothing to show for my life other than an extensive TV-on-DVD collection and a double chin.

Did I mention the condoms were expired?  “Hi Injury, I’m Insult — Mind if I join you?”  I disposed of them and will not be purchasing replacements until I have a new boyfriend.  And a coupon.

Anyways.  After getting a decent night’s sleep and allowing the dust from the Condom Debacle of 2011 to settle, I’m feeling better.  I watched Titanic, which never fails to put my life back into perspective.  I have realized that my problems are miniscule and life’s not the bitch — I am!  As per usual.

I have also realized that my mom’s dog doesn’t have it all that great himself.  He can’t even pee until it’s convenient for someone else to escort him outside.  Can you imagine?  That super-uncomfortable pee-holding feeling is a normal part of his every waking moment.

                                   I only nap so I don’t have to think about peeing

Also, he’s precious — so I guess I no longer resent him.

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