Archive for April, 2011

#13 – THE bait and switch…PART I

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, thrillers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

Okay, after my 19TH road block in trying to sell Dad’s car, I dropped Nana off at the beauty shop the next day for her weekly “wash and set”.  And I headed out again to confiscate the BMW, preferably without any bullets, bloodshed or bull dozers dropping from the sky. About 15 minutes later, I arrived at the intersection where the Chevron was supposed to be, and, of course, the light turned red.

I look over, and on the corner IS a SHELL station, NOT a Chevron…  Why is it the ONLY thing my brother Danny is consistent about is fucking up?

For the 411 on Danny, check out: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/the-tome-of-insanity/

I started to call the Shell station when I suddenly see the BMW parked in the grass, partially hidden by a tree. SCORE one for the Skywalkers… Darth Vader – zippo!

I parked beside Dad’s car. My hands were shaking as I shut the door of my rental bucket (a Nissan, courtesy of Hertz), and I strode into the Shell station’s convenience store. I guess I was wearing an ugly game face because the Hispanic Guy behind the counter immediately seemed unnerved at the sight of me. I glanced at his name tag: JORGE JAVA…

In a heavy Spanish accent, Jorge said, “Can I help you, Ma’am?”

Okay, we’ll let the MA’AM insult go this time. “Yeah, you can tell me where the guy is who’s been driving that stolen BMW there,” I said in my best MEGA-bitch voice while pointing to Dad’s car…

Jorge definitely had that, Oh, shit, hide the coffee can look (you know… the coffee can with his illegal SMOKES)…not to be confused with the oh, shit, the wife’s here…

“What? It’s stolen?”

“Where is he? Danny? About six-foot tall, dark hair? He said he works here?”

“Yeah, he work here. In the back, smoke break,” Jorge pointed behind him.

“Thank you,” and just as I turned around, I see Danny walking into the store, without a CARE in the world…in a gray SHELL uniform shirt and dirty jeans.

“What’re you doing here?” Danny asked, looking puzzled.

Okay, never mind the fact you never RETURNED the car,” I said, glancing back at Jorge, who looked away. “I got the BMW registered, and Everett is ready to buy it,” I said as we walked outside.

And the OMG really look was PRICELESS. No, it’s not rocket science. You kill a bunch of trees filling out forms, and then open your checkbook and let it bleed for awhile…

“But it has to be inspected,” I said.

Why?” Whereupon, Danny, Mr. Responsible, starts ARGUING with me about the rules of the DMV because, you know, the laws that apply to man, beast, and the universe don’t apply to my brother, King Danny.

“Look, Danny, feel free to call the DMV. I don’t know why, something about the VIN numbers matching to make sure it’s not stolen.”

He frowned, but he seemed to believe me. “So, can you follow me back to Nana’s because it can’t be sold until it’s inspected. I’ll bring you back to work.”

Yeah, okay. Just let me tell Jorge I’m going to lunch.” And he disappeared inside the store.

I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! I’m sure at that moment, it was snowing in hell….because Danny actually did something RIGHT!

But things don’t go as well back to the house. After he removed what looked like half his wardrobe (in big black trash bags) from the BMW as well as a couple bags of groceries and enough fast food trash to fill a small dumpster, he turns to me and says, “So, when’re you getting it inspected?”

And, of course, like a dumb ass, I said, “On Monday.” It was Saturday. I really need to do some work on learning Darth’s ability to LIE.

“Then, you don’t need it today.”

Oh, God, YES, I DO… because you’ll be guzzling crack all weekend and forget that Monday exists, and I’ll be sitting there crying in SQUARE ONE…

“Yes, I do. It’s not insured. If you have an accident, Dad’s estate will be liable.”

“I’m not gonna have an accident,” he scoffed.

Yeah, okay, someone who drinks 6-10 beers a day while consuming God knows how much crack on a given weekend is NOT likely to have an accident…instead, I replied, “Oh, carrying a crystal ball these days, are you?”

“I have to get to work!” he screamed.

“Well, you know, if we’d been able to sell Mom and Dad’s house, you could’ve bought yourself a really nice Mustang or something with that twenty grand-”

“Fuck you, Princess!”

“Don’t call me Princess, you fucking crackhead!” Yeah, that was awesome. He charged past me and practically bounced into the BMW.

Flat-eyed glares exchanged between us as he started the car…”You can ride the bus.”

“No, I can’t. It doesn’t run early enough. Bullshit, like he EVER checked a bus schedule in his life. NOT MY PROBLEM, asshole! Jump start brain, KENNEDY. Instead, I let PANIC do the talking. “Look, just… TAKE my rental car.” WTF? Did I just say that? Jesus, H, what the HELL am I doing?

“Okay.”

And, then, I remembered- Danny’s laptop is in the trunk.  Why? Well, he said it wasn’t “working”, that he was going to buy a new one. Uhm, no, it had more viruses than your average toy box at a day care… only his were from PORN sites… ugh…one look at his browser, and, yeah….

I knew my husband, Charlie, the IT guy, could fix it. We could then sell it and pay down some of the astronomical credit card debt I’d racked up because of DANNY.

I put his Vaio, which he’d bought on Nana’s dime, of course, in the trunk in case Danny dropped by before we changed the locks… and left it there for fear he’d break in and so… I said, “Just let me get a few things out of the car.”

I grabbed a bag of groceries from the backseat that I’d just bought that were in a reusable bag. With Danny on my heels, I actually managed to open the trunk and slink his laptop carefully into the canvas Publix bag before he got to the back of the car.  I could NOT believe he didn’t notice!!! Just call me BOND, TENACIOUS BOND..but no olives in that shaken martini, please. They make me BURP…:)

However, he was blathering on about this ’97 Bronco he wants to buy. He was way too involved in his OWN monologue to notice what I was doing! 🙂

I was only given about 30 seconds to bask in the glow of pride for my STEALTH as I headed into the house to put the “groceries” away when Danny said, “Let me borrow your phone.”

“No, use the house phone. I’m almost outta minutes-”

“Then, give me Everette’s number.”

“Look, I’ve gotta go pick up Nana at the beauty shop, and you know how she freaks if you’re a minute late,” I said walking over to the BMW and opening the driver’s side door. But just as I sat down, he grabbed the door and got in my face.

“Give me Everett’s number, Kennedy. Right now,” in his best BAD ASS BULLY will rearrange your face GROWL.

“Fine. Back off, Cujo,” I said, grabbing my phone from my pocket. I knew if he talked to Everett, he would so KILL the sale.  “Hold on,” I said, as I furiously deleted Everett from my contacts. “Hmm…, oh fuck.” And I was getting THE LOOK… he knew what I was doing….

“What?”

“I can’t find it,” I mumbled as I erased the last text from Everett when…

“Bullshit.” And he snatched the phone from me.

“Give me that! It cost me $300.”

The death glare from Danny…then, his face tightened in a very tell-tale sign of temper. “What the fuck is wrong with this phone?”

My Guardian Angel must’ve been assisting because my phone suddenly decided to implode.

“It’s all white. What’d you do to it?” Danny showed me the screen, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

“I dropped it last winter onto an asphalt parking lot, and occasionally, it locks up for no reason,” I said… and then, judging from Danny’s SCOWL, I assumed it was now reconfiguring itself (which lasts about 45 seconds)  another side effect of its smack down with the pavement.

With a PISSED OFF sigh, he handed me the phone, as an avalanche of numbers crossed the screen.  SCORE TWO –  Skywalkers… DARTH VADER… zippo!

“Call him and ask him if he could front me the $1200,” he said,  “I could use it to buy that Bronco.”

What an inappropriate and unreasonable request! “He’s not gonna do that, Danny. He barely knows you, and he probably doesn’t have that much cash to spare.”

“OH, yes, he does. He’s loaded.”

I shrugged. “Okay, I’ll text him.”

“You better, you fucking bitch.”

I rolled my eyes and started texting knowing the laughable NO that question would receive.

Yeah, whatever…like Danny is now privy to the intimate details of Everett’s finances after 3 phone calls. I wish I could live in HIS world some days! And why would ANYONE fork out that much cash when they don’t have possession of the vehicle yet? Jesus, H…

My heart was GRINDING in an unhappy rhythm as Danny drove away. However, I was VERY glad I’d bought the renter’s insurance, which I usually DON’T do. But after wrecking my SUV, I felt investing in as much insurance as POSSIBLE was BEST.

I also texted Everett that, by no means, did I EXPECT Everett to loan Danny ANY cash…that I wouldn’t give Danny cab fare, much less $1200. When I didn’t hear back from him, I feared he was backing out.

To my surprise, he left a message on my cell on Sunday saying he still wanted the BMW and to let him know as soon as the car was officially registered.

Huh…again, WHAT A GREAT GUY….

“You know, you’ll probably never see that rental car again,” my friend, Calista said when I called her to give her an update.

“I know that’s entirely possible. But if he doesn’t bring it back, I’ll report it stolen.”

“Man, I hope all this shit is over soon, you’re starting to think like him,” Calista said, laughing.

“Yeah, tell me about it….”

After the inspection, it cost $500+ to register Dad’s car because we needed an expedited registration. Apparently, the state of Georgia usually MAILS it to you, which would’ve only cost $278…In Ohio, they give you your new tags registration right there at the BMV. Additionally, I had to write a bad check (technically) for said fees, btw, because Georgia ‘s DMV doesn’t accept credit cards (egad), but I’ve heard they WILL accept goats and livestock as alternate currency….THANK YOU, TO THE GODZ of banking, however, for the $2,000 overdraft on my checking account.

With that, I will bid you, adieu…. hold on though, boys and GIRLS, there’s more mischief and bullshit a foot! 🙂

Peace out from the Geriatric SWAMP…

~Kennedy

Kennedy Smith lives in the Midwest with her husband, 1.5 children, two dogs, 2 cats, two garages, and a partridge that refuses to live in its pear tree.


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# 12 – The near …TAKEDOWN in Georgia

Posted in Family, humor, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After the DEVASTATING news about getting Dad’s car inspected*, I sat in my putt-putt (my rented Nissan) thinking. HOW can I motivate Danny to return the beamer without any cash? Hmmm…. I have to think like Danny…so, how does the dark side win? Of course. HE LIES…I could tell him that Everett has the cash in hand, and…. as soon as the car is inspected, I’ll bring him the $1200.

That seemed too simple. But then, again, Danny is always desperate for cash, and that much money would buy a boatload of crack, I’ll bet…assuming CRACK won the battle of WHAT to spend the money on…

Oh, and btw, for the 411 on the nightmare about Dad’s car, check out:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/14/to-sell-the-bmw-or-not/

All right…time to MAN up…I dial Danny’s cell, and I hear that EARSPLITTING sound like the fax machines of yore, and then that blasted computerized voice: “I’m sorry, the number you’re trying to reach has been temporarily disconnected.”

FUCK! FUCK AND DOUBLE FUCK!

The ONLY other number I had for Danny was Connie, the Crack-ho, and he was supposedly living with one of her friends. But I had no CLUE where her CRACK den was except that Connie and all her buddies lived in Rocky Fork. I’ve heard they camouflage their hideouts with branches over the mouth of their caves. But that could just be urban legend.

I took out my I-Phone and clicked on the browser. I tried using reverse look-up to get Connie’s address, but, of course, the reply was in Oxy-Ho-Speak:  ERROR 402358877769 FU*K oFf…

I sighed and turned on my Valium-music, Relapse by Eminem. Yes, I like rap… GET OVER IT…

The last time I texted Connie asking Danny to call me, there was NOT a shout nor a whisper from him until I threatened to call the police and report the beamer stolen. AND we had telephone magic in 67.5 seconds. However, all he did was SCREAM at me in extremely rapid Coke-speak. And, yeah, you guessed it, I don’t speak nor can I translate Coke-speak… skipped that class in high school, opting to solve quadratic equations instead.

Then, he called me a fucking bitch followed by a LOUD, metallic squall of DIAL TONE. Very productive. I never thought it would be possible to actually have a conversation with CRACK cocaine itself…but now I can ADD that experience to my resume as long as I DON’T have to translate for those of us who are not a member of the CRACKHEAD CLUB MED.

I needed to call Everett, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him I’d FAILED again. So, I texted him.

Surprise. Surprise… Everett called me immediately.

“Would you like ME to call Danny about all this?” Everett asked. Maybe, he’d bring the car back, you know… if I talked to him… man-to-man, you know?”

“That would be great, but I don’t have a current phone number for him. But I’m not giving up. I’ll figure this out.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Everett asked.

WHAT A GREAT GUY.

“No, but thanks… I really appreciate your patience,” I replied since at this point, he’d been waiting/trying to buy this damned car for about three weeks. We said our goodbyes as I pulled into Nana’s driveway. Then, it hit me like a METEOR shower on a Tuesday!

“The gas station,” I said running into the living room.

“What? Why are you smiling? Oh, God, you didn’t started drinking the Crack too, did you?” Nana’s watery blue eyes held wavers of concern.

“No, Nana,” I said repressing a GIGGLE. “I just figured out how to get a hold of Danny.”

“Yeah, how’s that?” she asked.

“Remember last week when Danny told us that he’s working at a gas station?” She nodded. “He wrote down the phone number for you.”

“Yeah, and I threw it away yesterday. I don’t wanna call that piece of shit, Crank-head-”

“Nana,” I said trying not to laugh since I’d never heard her curse before. “I copied it down on my notebook,” I mumbled, as I started ransacking my PRADA knockoff, “in my purse.”

“He’s not gonna call you back, Kenny-”

“No, I’ll go there,” I replied sitting down cross-legged on the floor. I dumped my wallet, keys, lipstick, Scotch tape, rusty nails, glue gun (don’t ask) out of my purse and onto the floor.

“You’re making a big mess. Why’re you doing that? And what if he got fired already?”

Oh, Nana, PLEASE don’t piss on our ONLY GRAIN of hope!

When I finally laid hands on my bible, THE NOTEPAD that I had used to write down EVERY phone # in the last year AND the sacred phone number, I SHUFFLED, more SHUFFLING, and SCORE! “Here it is, Nana. It’s a Chevron!! I was so afraid I’d thrown it away.”

I began dancing around. I grabbed my I-Phone, clicked on the browser … found the number by the name – and the town, and furiously dialed while promising God that I’ll try to stop swearing so much if HE would just…

“What’re you doing, Kenny? Please tell me you ain’t drinking the crack?” Nana asked so concerned, and just SO WE’RE CLEAR… she’s the ONLY person in the universe who can CALL ME KENNY.

“Reverse look-up. You type in – it’s in Rocky Fork.”

“You’re not making a lick of sense. That’s a bad neighborhood,” Nana said scowling. “You aren’t going there, are you?”

“Nana?”

“Yeah,” she said rather puzzled. “What?”

“Will you be okay if I go to the gas station?”

“Get your carcass outta here. I’m not a child, for heaven’s sake,” she replied waving me out of the room. “Go on, now, and get me a bucket of Pralines and Cream while you’re out and maybe some cashews-”

“Okay.” And with a GOOEY smile, I was out the door.

I was a MILE from the Chevron. I was sitting at a stoplight two BLOCKS from Washington when I SAW DANNY. He walked out of a McDonald’s in this GOD AWFUL orange and green hockey jersey, his dark hair perfectly quaffed. He got in the BMW and sped off down ROUTE 3 in front of me. NEW JOB, MY ASS. I couldn’t move through the intersection. The light was still red.

“God dammit, TURN, LIGHT TURN!” My heart RAGED savagely in my chest as the BMW became smaller and smaller on my horizon, and I began beating my hands against the steering wheel… “Please, GOD, make it GREEN!” I ranted, feeling my face get hot… god, my blood pressure must be… THE LIGHT changed, and I WAS OFF….

I whisked around the Mini-Van in front of me and SLAMMED on the accelerator. An angry HONK from the Van, which I ignored as I sped up past it to around 85MPH… VICTORY! I spotted Danny about 50 feet in front of me when he turned onto REDHAWK DRIVE. The YELLOW light in front of me at the corner of ROUTE THREE and Red Hawk TURNED RED.  SHIT FIRE AND A HOLE IN THE GROUND! Why does EVERYTHING have to be so FUCKING HARD?! But I’m not going to cry! And I’m NOT going to PANIC. I’m TOO fucking pissed to cry! You piece of shit, CRANK-HEAD!

I slammed on my brakes, which SQUEALED into submission an INCH from a motorcycle’s ass in front of me. The driver (on the motorcycle), turned around and gave me a black-gloved MIDDLE finger. I shrugged and mouthed the word SORRY…. he turned back around and revved his engine. Yes, thank you, I needed a reminder that you must be an ALPHA MALE to own a Harley….

And this part sounds like a BULLSHIT story from a tabloid, but I SWEAR to God, this is EXACTLY what happened that fateful day in January 2011. The light turned GREEN. I pounced on the accelerator, in a weak attempt to make the rental POS make AUTOBAHN time when I –

I glanced down Red Hawk Drive, and Danny had DISAPPEARED from view. SHIT! NO…. No, God, please! While digging around in my purse for a Tic-Tac, I tried to remember HOW many streets were off Red Hawk. I popped a Tic-Tac in my mouth and…

I heard a horrible, metallic CRASH from above. I looked up at the I-98 bridge which goes OVER Route three, and a utility truck had slammed into a blue semi-tractor trailer on the bridge.

AND EVERYTHING STOPPED… all traffic, bicycles reeling by… children holding onto their mother’s hands in nearby parking lots…

The blue Semi then crashed through the guard rail and belly flopped off the OVERPASS landing upside DOWN on Route Three about 3/4 of a mile ahead of where I sat…whereupon the cab separated from the tanker and began skidding sideways….it slid across the parking lot of a grade school where it CRASHED into a BRICK wall/window of a small classroom on the end of the long school building. I watched in paralyzed horror as the roof/walls of the classroom collapsed in large tar and cement/drywall CHUNKS onto the (semi) truck in a dusty heap.

Five seconds later, the utility truck WRECKED into a mini-van just beyond the overpass of I-98, and the mini-van collision begot an altercation into a Volkswagen and so on… a TWELVE-CAR pile-up, and I had a FRONT ROW seat…

After my lungs learned how to breathe again a minute later, I started LAUGHING, followed by serious sobbing, my split personality impersonation.  At this point, I felt like ripping the gear shift out of the rental beast and slitting my wrists with its shredded metal shaft…and then… I realized… the kids in the school? I looked at my watch and sighed. It was almost five o’clock…unless the semi just bludgeoned/destroyed a gymnasium during a basketball game or something… perish the thought…

New tears began to fall when my brain re-booted…. that even though, most likely no one in the school had died, I had probably just witnessed the death of two human beings, maybe more. And what painful deaths.

THANK GOD… I found out later, the school was empty except for the wrestling team who WERE in the gym in the BACK of the school.  Save for several computers and a Zenith television purchased in 1978…nothing was damaged that couldn’t be repaired at the school anyway! However, later I saw on the news that unfortunately, I believe, both the truck drivers died…

Sorry, kids, MORE later…. this dog don’t hunt when his/her bladder is full, and the GROUCHY Nana wants GRUB….

Soon, I promise, you will be fed the details of the final FATE of Daddy’s BMW….

Peace out from the Geriatric SWAMP…

With love and cookies,

~Kennedy Smith

Kennedy lives in the Midwest with her husband, 1.5 children, two dogs, 2 garages and a Partridge that REFUSES to live in its Pear tree..Photo by T Logan, circa before the gallon of hooch…

* DISCLAIMER:  Welcome to BLOG 12 where the DOGS do hunt but with dull MACHETES and new hockey jerseys, and the SHEEP are dead… otherwise known as BLOG eleven, and you know that CAN’T be good…

** THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who plundered Nana Maude’s life savings (Nana Maude = 96-year-old grandmother).  After our Dad died in 2009, Danny started driving his BMW, but he didn’t register it in his name nor did he insure it. And IF he had an accident/ killed someone, Dad’s estate would be liable.  I had about 48 hours to sell this car before the lights/heat/water at Nana’s house would be shut off… in the MIDDLE of January.  However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?).

© Tenacious Bitch 2013

# 11 – About Mary K’s CRACK…

Posted in Family, fashion, humor, nonfiction, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

SO, TODAY, I’m side-stepping the INTENSE discourse of my Stop and Smell the Crazy Life for a bit in order to SEGUE into a much needed installment of respite prose about a somewhat serious matter (but nowhere as somber as dealing with the Shitehead CRACKHEAD and crew), but not to worry… the fat lady wants to sing, so tomorrow, I’ll get back on the horse and continue with to sell the BMW dilemma, etc.

Below is a note to my cousin when I sent her some MK crack…. 🙂

HEY, Shauna/CHICKADEE, how ya doin’??

The enclosed MK skin care samples, including the INCREDIBLE hand softener, etc.,  are proof positive that ALL Mary K Ladies/Sales reps are drug LORDS. Why you ask? Well, PENELOPE, my MK lady, includes at least a DOZEN samples with every purchase in an auspicious attempt to increase her bottom line while, of course, tempting me to FALL OFF the MK wagon between paydays and/or when I’m CRACK-BUSTED broke.

However, she knows that skin care products are my gateway APPETIZER/stepping stone to more expensive ITEMS, so being the true VIXEN that she is, Penelope incorporates these luscious FREEBIES in with my paid-for cosmetic staples more often than her other samples of CHOCOLATE crack CREAM for every woman’s AESTHETICS’ addiction.

Therefore, please ENJOY the Mary K products or give them to Addie or someone else who WILL give them a good home….I cannot keep them b/c not only do they push me toward the Neverland of charge and spend when there’s no CASH in the KITTY, but if I used ALL of her potions/lotions/libations, etc., every day (which is likely if I KEPT them all), I would simply NEVER leave my bathroom. And that doesn’t do much for MY bottom line…

However, you’ll note that I removed the SUPER SOFT HAND CREAM. This, of course, is my most treasured FIX, so it is hiding on the dusty shelf in the loo in PLAIN SIGHT, mind you, lying in wait for the HORRENDOUS moment when I wake up with the DT’S b/c the BIG tube is EMPTY…at which point, I will need to apply the cream from the SAMPLE tube as a temporary lotion du jour/band-aid until I can obtain my next big SCORE in the 10 oz. tube…..

That said, I’m sure that you can utilize whatever hand cream is residing in your bathroom cabinet as a substitute for the beloved SATIN HANDS cream as the THIRD step in MK’s magic cycle of potions to rejuvenate the moisture in one’s hands.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

PEACE OUT/Over and out from the land of MK ADDICTS/and/or….the Geriatric SWAMP! ☺

Your Partner in Crime/EZ-Bake Oven ho/Ice Cream Stealing BFF

~Kennedy

P.S. Be careful what you say in reply to this INCREDIBLE gift b/c the MK spies are everywhere, and they will report us to FACEBOOK should anyone discover that I smuggled some MK goodies across enemy lines…. ☺

Kennedy Smith lives in Ohio, with her husband, 2 BOYS/men, 2 dogs, 2 garages, 2 cats, and a Partridge that REFUSES to live in its PEAR tree…Photo by Sparky BEFORE the gallon of hooch…. 🙂

© Tenacious Bitch 2013


#10 – To SELL or NOT to sell the BMW…

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

When Dad died, his BMW was ten years old, but he’d refinanced it to pay all the legal fees for Danny’s divorce in 2006.  Are you starting to wonder how Danny sleeps at night? Yeah… I do…I’m sure he sleeps in a coffin, but I haven’t been brave enough to check… 🙂

As mentioned previously, a couple of days after I arrived in Georgia THIS time, (Jan. 2011), a guy named Everett called Nana’s house in response to an ad on Craig’s list about Dad’s BMW that Danny had been driving. Danny hadn’t bothered to transfer into his own name, and Everett’s bank wouldn’t approve the loan until the title was current.

Responsibility has always been an untenable CONCEPT for Danny his entire life. Right after he took possession of the beamer, he gave his beat-up 12-year-old Honda to my son, Tim, who is in college. GREAT… what a NICE thing to do, except it wasn’t registered or insured either. And we got a ticket driving it home from Dad’s house in WV… cost us $175… whatever… it was a FREE car after all…

At that point in my conversation with Everett, I told him that I’d be glad to title the car in my name and sell it to him.  He hesitated, of course, thinking I was trying rip off my own brother… if he ONLY knew…

“Well, uhm, I’d feel better about it if I could talk to Danny.”

“I don’t know when and if he can take phone calls in rehab. But I can leave a message at the front desk for him to call you.”

This is the part where things get more complicated than a BEVERLY HILLS divorce, and I can’t divulge the particulars for legal reasons, but suffice to say THE BITCH (yes, me, Tenacious I BITCH) won the battle between several sets of freakish loopholes, and my sister-in-law emailed me all the docs I needed to sell the beamer (i.e. Dad’s death certificate and all that).

AND she deposited $500  in Nana’s checking account, thank God, so Nana and I didn’t have to go to McDonald’s and swipe ketchup packets and Sweet n Low for dinner!

Then, I took the plunge. I called Danny saying I’d give him $1200 out of whatever we sold the BMW for, so he could buy himself another car, which he seemed amenable to. Then, I called the Everett and told him the deal was on…

Nana had gotten out of the rehab hospital the day before. So, I asked a neighbor to stay with her, and I set out for that gray-walled government HUB, known as the DMV. However, of course, there was A GLITCH. I couldn’t find the title.

My heart CLANGED in my chest so hard, I thought for certain, I’d see a bruise on my chest when I took a shower later that night. I was CRUSHED beyond reason. I frantically searched EVERYWHERE…. even in the couch cushions… no title. I was ready to cry when….

An EPIPHANY struck me… and I drove as fast as my go-cart could rumble down the road (a.k.a. my rented Nissan) to the UPS Store, a mile away.  Sure enough, I’d left THE TITLE in their copier the day before. I thanked the NICE clerk PROFUSELY who had found it and put it in a drawer!

Seventy-five MINUTES later, my number was finally called at the DMV. I was gliding through the process like a pro… until the dutiful government worker said:

“Okay, you’ve got all the paperwork except the insurance certificate.”

I handed the well-dressed woman…my Allstate insurance card.

“Uhm, no, you have to insure it here in Georgia.”

“I don’t understand. I called my agent yesterday, and he added it to our policy-”

“Yes, but this card,” she said, holding it up for me to look at, “is for a car in Ohio, not here. You MUST have documentation that it’s actually insured HERE in Georgia. Anybody can wave around an out-of-state card.”

You could’ve knocked me over with that little blue card right then. “Oh, my God, are you serious? I have to have them MAIL me a card verifying it’s registered HERE?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so. Next….”

I called Everett, and he said, “Well, that’s government red tape for you-”

“Wait, a minute. Maybe, I can call an agent down here, and, maybe, just maybe, I can download a temporary card from their website or go pick one up at a local office.”

“Yeah, that’s a great idea.”

POOF! An hour later and a wallet that was $70 lighter, I printed out a temporary insurance card AND OFF TO THE DMV again!THIS IS IT! I’ll be depositing that GREAT big check into Nana’s account in 24 hours… so I thought…

“Okay, you’re all set. I just have to inspect the car,” said the very same clerk who’d sent me packing TWO hours ago for a GEORGIA insurance card.

“I didn’t drive it here. It’s… it’s not registered, so I didn’t think I should DRIVE it anywhere.”

“Well, you can have a policeman inspect it. Here’s the form. Next,” said, handing me a slip of paper.

WTF? You don’t have to have your car inspected in Ohio, so I wasn’t expecting this. What was I saying?? I’ve bought new cars since we moved to Ohio in 1999, so I have NO CLUE what is required to title a used vehicle…OMG… and it wasn’t on the DMV’S website..

WAAAAAAAAAAA…. yeah, GO AHEAD and call me a spoiled little Diva, but my dream of eating 3 meals a day for is GONE since almost ALL of Nana’s Social Security Check was spent as was the $150 from Ben/Alicia, and, NO, the credit card fairy didn’t RAISE my limit when I asked ever so nicely…

HOWEVER ~

STAY TUNED, BOYS AND GIRLS…. the fat lady ain’t SINGING just yet…

PEACE OUT…

~TENACIOUS frustrated BITCH and then some…

*

# 9 – NOT arriving at my destination…

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After the fiasco with Hamilton Bank, you’d think it would be SMOOTH sailing, right? WRONG. Nana was still in the nursing home because she still needed to build up her strength with daily physical therapy, which she HATED. She had been really weak when she was first admitted, which was partly because of Danny.

I created an online account for Nana on CVS pharmacy’s website, so that I could transfer her prescriptions up to Ohio a little easier once she was well enough to travel. And when I reviewed her prescription history, I discovered that Danny hadn’t bought one of her heart medications since August and her blood pressure pills since November.

No wonder she was admitted to the hospital in December for CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE! Can you say, bottom-feeding, LAZY-assed SCUM bag (as in Danny)!?

However, I digress… immediately after I realized that Danny had gone AWOL from rehab, my biggest concern was my safety. I put a golf club under my bed, which helped me feel more secure just in case the crackhead (Danny) decided to break in and try to kill me.

And I immediately started calling locksmiths,who were ALL going to charge between $80-$90 to change the locks. Sadly, that wasn’t in her price range.

Then, Nana called Leo, one of her neighbors. And, he, THANK GOD, changed the locks for $50. But Leo worked two jobs, a bread truck by day, and he moonlights at his uncle’s hardware store too…. So, I was at Nana’s house by myself for FOUR days before Leo had time to replace the locks.

I would hide out from Danny during the day, lugging my laptop to Barnes & Noble or to Starbucks where he’d NEVER think to look because I don’t drink coffee. I’d work on my editing projects. I kind of felt like Jason Bourne, trying to figure out Danny’s next move because the main drag in Blue Barn, Route 16, was the ONLY way to get anywhere in town, basically. And I was terrified he’d see my car, but it was easy to keep an eye out for him since, of course, the BMW STILL hadn’t been returned – though he’d told Nana on the phone that he’d “bring it back in a couple of days and park it in the yard with a for sale sign on it….”

Yeah, right… that was SEVEN days ago… still no sign of the blue beamer… then, when he stopped by to see her one day AFTER the suicide attempt he promised he’d bring it back on the weekend. He sat by her bed bawling, begging for forgiveness. I don’t know what she said, but I KNOW she hasn’t forgiven him. In fact, I’m pretty sure she HATES HIM, and every time he called or stopped by, she’d get nauseous and wouldn’t be able to eat the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, the nuance of the whole underground/Bourne thing started to wear on me. So, once I was caught up on my editing work, I set out to file a Restraining Order against Danny.

I typed in the address for the courthouse in Savannah on my GPS, and 30 minutes or so later, my GPS claimed, “You have arrived at your destination.” I look over, and there’s no big stone, officious-looking gov’t building. It was a FOOD LION grocery store! Less than FIVE second later, I look back at the road, and the Chevy Tahoe in front of me had come to a DEAD STOP! I slammed on my brakes and veered my car toward the side of the road – BUT FUCK if there wasn’t a fire hydrant! I jerked the car back toward the road again, and…

I crashed into the Chevy. I couldn’t stop staring at the the SUV in front of me that I had pushed off the road about an INCH from the fire hydrant. THIS wasn’t REALLY happening! Oh, SHIT… I knew my car, my Escalade, THE DREAM CAR was crumpled without even looking. Yeah, ended up being like $8K in damage…

I looked at the bumper of the Chevy. It had a deep, metal-on-metal GASH in the middle of a CONCAVE indention, probably from my bumper, I’m sure. I felt the seams of my SANITY stretching, cracking and BEGGING TO BURST. But I took a deep breath and clamored out of my crumpled Escalade just as the other driver exited the Chevy. She was a tiny little blonde in overalls. And she was not wearing a HAPPY, gee, LET’S DO LUNCH expression.

“I am so sorry. Are you okay?” I asked the tiny blonde.

“It’s okay. I’m fine,” she replied as her husband/boyfriend/very LARGE man also in overalls got out of the passenger side of the truck, swaggering toward the back of her Tahoe.

“Man, you hit it good,” he said in a very thick SOUTHERN accent. Then, he turned and spit out a thick GLOB of tobacco-soaked SALIVA. GROSS! Ugh…and OMG… have I mentioned there are certain things I HATE about the South? Yeah, GUYS WHO CHEW TOBACCO and spit in public is NUMBER ONE… he didn’t even have a cup. He just hocked it up, and it spattered on the pavement a millimeter from my shoe.

I shook my head and glanced at Blonde Girl, whose name I found out later was Kendra. She called the Sheriff’s office. And after pulling our cars to the side of the road, Kendra, her boyfriend, “Bubba,” I kid you NOT… his name was BUBBA, and I wandered around in circles, each of us talking on our phones until BUBBA’S mother arrived in an older Chevy pickup that was also black.

And she was straight from the BAYOU.  She parked beside the Tahoe, and ALL 400 pounds of her made a beeline for me in her circa 1977 paisley brown culottes and white-ish, yellow-stained t-shirt. I assume the stains were from tobacco because you guessed it, she had a lump of CHAW in her jaw as well – UGH AND DOUBLE UGH….however, thank the GODZ above, she did not SPAT anywhere near me.

“You the one done hit my son?” squawked Bubba’s Tobacco-sucking, culotte-wearing HILL JACK.

“Yes, I am, and I’m really sorry,” I replied, really hoping she didn’t have an .38 special in her ginormous purse.

“That’s all right, honey,” she said smiling BIG AS CHRISTMAS, which now totally frightened me… OMG, she not only has BAD HABITS, but she’s bat-shit crazy as well. “That truck just done hit 100,00 miles, ya know?” Bubba’s mother said nodding as I noticed that her mustache could rival Tom Selleck’s should it get much thicker. “You hit it pretty hard, maybe, we’ll get lucky, and they’ll total it. Could’ve bent an axel.” The damage didn’t look that bad to me, but… I’m not a mechanic, and I don’t play on on TV either. But, maybe, Bubba’s mama was HOPING the axel was bent…

“It’s time to trade her in, but, you know, Bubba, done gone over his mileage since it’s a lease and all. Every got a lease?”

I shook my head.

“Well, listen to me, I tell you what, don’t never do that, cuz, they’ll really ream you on that mileage and charge you all kinna extra fees and everything, and Bubba works over in Henry, you know, at the rubber band factory, so he runs the road a bit, you know.”

Oh, boy… and she’s a chatty hill MOMMA, but AT LEAST she was nice since we were stuck there for more than an hour waiting on the cops to come and write me a ticket for “careless” driving. I think the cop felt really sorry for me when I told him that I was looking for the courthouse and WHY…because, mysteriously, about a month after I returned home, I received a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles in Ohio stating that I had been cited in an accident but that NO POINTS would count against me! I have a hard time believing that would happen for NO reason… I always thought when you rear-ended someone… you were just SHIT OUT OF LUCK!

But anyway, after the cop finally did all the paperwork and after MANY CALLS to Allstate, my insurance company…Two almost THREE HOURS later, I was in a rental car heading for Bobby Bickham’s Body Shop. Yeah… I do so love SOUTHERN NAMES….where I was told it would take TWO WEEKS to repair my car. January 31, 2011… might as well have been 2015… SIGH….

It doesn’t sound like it would be that bad to be almost 1000 miles south of all the lovely, frigid SNOW and ICE in Ohio and about an hour from Jacksonville beaches where it was frequently in the 70s, but I was surrounded by OLD PEOPLE and rednecks! And I missed my family… and my dogs… and there are no decent salons in Blue Barn and very few nice restaurants. You have go to to Savannah for anything of note, and because it’s an area that tourists FREQUENT, everything costs more… just to get my hair cut… $40 at HAPPY HAIR where you don’t need an appointment (not the best salon in town either)… and I could go on and on about why I didn’t want to be in GEORGIA for two more weeks since I’d already been there more than FOURTEEN days, but I’ll save that for ANOTHER TIME…

PEACE OUT~

Cinderella and company…

a.k.a. Kennedy Smith

# 8 HAMILTON NATIONAL BANK UNLEASHED…

Posted in nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

A couple hours AFTER Danny left (my coo coo for crack brother if you’re new to Crazytown)… I sat down with the Citibank envelope that Danny had returned with the intention of reviewing Nana’s bank statements to see how he’d spent over $40K of Grandma’s money, and guess what? There were NO BANK STATEMENTS in the envelope.

I started laughing. Like I couldn’t ask the very nice account manager at Citibank to print out another copy? And why BOTHER with the ruse of returning them? So, his fictional version of reality might have a microdot of truth when talking to his friends?

However, my jovial bubble burst when I realized the only thing in the envelope was info about the new BANK ACCOUNTS, including account numbers! I forgot what ALL was in that envelope.

“You goddamned piece of SHIT!” I hollered at the empty room as I sashayed into the kitchen and picked up the phone. I called Lisa, the account rep and explained the situation and asked her to close the new accounts before Danny could get his kleptomaniac claws on Nana’s next Social Security check, which would be deposited in THREE DAYS.

Lisa was very accommodating.  However, when I told her that we were going to open an account at another bank, she changed her tune. When I texted my husband while on hold for Lisa on the house phone, he reminded me about the checks by phone incidents.

Yeah, Danny had called Dad’s bank and impersonated him, requesting checks by-phone to pay Danny’s alimony and his credit cards at least 4-5 times. And since he knows Nana’s social security number, he could get his girlfriend or someone else to impersonate Nana. After all, the CSR’s at Citibank are not going to know that Nana is 90-something Southerner and not from New York like the stripper Danny dated recently.

Anyway, I thanked Lisa again for her assistance, heaving a huge sigh of relief as I hung up. NOW, we had to open another account for Nana and then call the Social Security Office AGAIN and give them the new account information before her check BOUNCED back to the government cyber hole known as the Social Security office.

I hated the idea of having to drag Nana to yet another bank again. At this point, going anywhere but the bathroom really LAID her out, physically. After talking to Nana and Ben, we decided to open an account with Hamilton National Bank* online. Ben does all his banking with Hamilton and had no complaints about them. Plus, if Nana ever needed money in a pinch, Ben could deposit money in her account, and it would be credited instantly.

THAT, unfortunately, was a really bad idea. First of all, Nana asked that the account be in my name and hers, so I could pay her bills, which is fine. But when I deposited a check from one of my clients a few days later, I was told that I couldn’t get any cash back at the drive-thru, but I could go into any Hamilton branch and get a temporary ATM card…

Not so!

“I’m sorry, but I can’t verify that YOU were the one who opened the account online without the signature card, which we sent in the mail,” said Jan Horton, a very motherly-looking customer service rep at the Hamilton Branch near Nana’s. She was very apologetic, but I stared at her slack-jawed.

“What do you mean? I opened this account TEN days ago, and I still haven’t gotten the signature cards, but I have this letter welcoming me to the bank,” I said, enthusiastically waving the letter.  “I have my driver’s license. My brother went through ALL of my Grandmother’s money. She has NOTHING except her social security check, which will be deposited tomorrow, “I wailed. “I don’t understand. Is there anything else I can do?”

“Not without the signature cards,” she repeated.

Knowing that the arrival of said check would alleviate the bludgeoning of my credit card, which had now crested around $1,600 on top of the $4,000 we already owed prior to my trip to Georgia…( so the new total was staggering around $6K, the LIMIT on that card)….

I started to imagine eating dinner at Nana’s with no ELECTRIC. No TV to drown out her endless whining about how pinto beans aren’t the same anymore. “The hulls are tough,” Nana had said recently, “Everyone says so,” and that’s just the BEGINNING of her grousing about food, much less how ugly her room was at the nursing home, etc., etc. The verbal cataloging of her unhappiness is ENDLESS.

So, at this point, my patience was nonexistent, pretty much…

“I see. So, could I possibly have a few starter checks since-”

“I wish I could help you, but I’m afraid not,” Jan replied, and since I had already mentioned my Grandmother’s destitute situation, I thought dear Jan might start to cry. “But let me… let me talk to my Manager,” she said wistfully. She disappeared and consulted with a tall, very unattractive man and came back with a polite smile and said, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing else I can do.”

I was trying REALLY hard not to crack and break down bawling. I’ve always prided myself in being able to keep my shit together regardless of the VOLUME of the SHIT in question OR WHAT KIND of shit I am forced to muddle through.

So, I thought… what the hell, TRY calling the number for customer service for ONLINE customers. Maybe, they can help.

“I am sorry, Mrs. Smith, but you’ll have to go into a branch.”

“FIRST of all, SMITH is my maiden name, k? And why would… oh, never mind, so how the hell am I supposed to pay my Grandmother’s co-pay at the doctor tomorrow? Or buy her more DEPENDS? Do you know how much that shit costs?” I spouted off to the CSR who actually sounded American. A man, I’m sure, was wishing he’d enlisted in the Army and was serving in IRAQ right now, or in the Amazon… basically anything other than dealing with me today…

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith, but you will have to go to one of the branches-” said the online CSR, who had a very thick Indian accent.

“I just told you it’s MS. SMITH, you kindergarten flunky!”

“I see. Would you like me to look up the nearest branch?!” he asked in a SICKLY sweet tone that made me want to ask, which BRANCH he wanted me to SHOVE up his fucking ass! Sorry, dude, Joe-Bob Jones, whatever. “Look,” I said, “Killing me with KINDNESS will NOT work with me today, CAPICHE, because I’m FLAT-BUSTED double DOG DARE YOU BROKE, you brainless MORON!”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith. Can I look up your balance, or-?”

“No!” I screamed and hung up the phone.  And if I didn’t LOVE my I-Phone, it would’ve become a big, black shard mural upon the drywall in Nana’s living room.

THREE days later, after charging more groceries and other shit on my Visa, which was now just a scant $78.13 shy of the horrendous LIMIT, I was THRILLED to know that the debit cards for the Hamilton account had arrived, and Charlie had Fed Ex’d them to me.

According to the info accompanying the cards, you can also activate new debit cards at any Hamilton ATM. Well, when I called to get the account number after opening the account online initially, the CSR asked me to designate a 4-digit pin. I gave him the one I ALWAYS use for banking, so I thought FINALLY we’d have access to my cash and Nana’s.

But I go to the ATM, and I get the error message that the pin was invalid. WHAT THE HELL? I saw dinosaurs descending from the sky, and plants that begin TALKING in Latin… after all, at this point, FREAKISH events that defy all laws of science and logic are completely possible in the rabbit hole of my life!!

So, I go in the same branch, and though I was READY TO SCREAM, I didn’t. I smiled at dear JAN who smiled back and said, “Did you get your signature cards, Ms. Smith?” Yes, she knew me since I’d been in there THREE times trying to access this god-damned account.

“No, but I have the ATM cards and the letter that accompanied the ATM cards with the ENVELOPES addressed to MY HOUSE in Ohio, so that-”

And Jan’s slightly flabby face seemed to deflate. “I’m sorry, but without the signature cards, I can’t-”

“You’ve gotta be SHITTING ME?” I screamed, which drew the attention of a rather dumpy-looking, sweaty-faced man in his late 40s, who most definitely had that I so wanna be the branch manager look about him, but he just as obviously ain’t the BM.

“Is there anything I can help you with, Ma’am?” asked SWEATY, DUMPY MAN, whose name tag read: “George Wisnix, CSM”, which I assume meant Customer Service Manager.. And I really HATE being called Ma’am, so I really wanted to knock this sweaty WEEBLE on his ass…

Sensing my hostility, Jan stood up and said, “Maybe, George could help you. Hold on a minute,” …which she polished off with a very winning smile. George and Jan walked over to George’s desk, and began a discourse in OFFICE SPEAK… you know that urgent, but polite conversation in HUSHED tones, punctuated by FAKE smiles in my direction, on occasion, from BOTH George and JAN…

SHIT FIRE AND A HOLE IN THE GROUND.. to quote my beloved and dearly departed mother!! :)… I sat there totally dazed trying to figure out how WOULD I possibly have gotten the signature cards sent to MY HOUSE IN OHIO if I were NOT the Kennedy Smith from Ohio who opened the account… and GOOD GOD… it’s not like my name is JOHN SMITH OR ANNE, for chrissakes!

And if they tell me, once AGAIN that I must wait for the mystical signature card, the unicorn of banking LORE… I might just have to poke George’s eye out with one of their 20 cent INK PENS! 🙂

George shook his head and shuffled over toward the tellers.  That’s not good… the whole shaking his head thing, and now he’s avoiding eye contact. Sigh… Jan waddled back over smiling, which gave me hope. But, then, she sat down and said, “Ms. Smith, could you verify your email address for me?”

To-wit, I replied with a laugh, “What? Why? Are you going to scan and email a signature card to that address?”…

“No,” she said, “I would just like to make sure that you will be able to receive our corporate communications-”

NOW, I WAS READY TO KILL THIS BITCH! JUNKMAIL? That’s going to solve my cashflow problem? Surely I wouldn’t get MURDER I for killing someone who was so DAMNED STUPID!

“Are you serious?”

Jan smiled again, a good bit of fear shimmering in her colorless eyes. “Yes, our corporate communications might-”

Totally at a loss, I said, “Whatever,” and I scribbled down my email address on a post-it note and handed it to her.

“Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

“Yeah, you can give me a starter check or let me make a withdrawal, so that my Grandmother and I won’t have to eat ketchup packets from McDonald’s for dinner.”

“I’m sorry, Ms. Smith, I”

“Yes, YOU ARE…” I said rather loudly… whereupon I stormed out. I wanted to say, “Fuck you and the fucking TYPEWRITER you rode in on…” Yeah, eloquent, but it might’ve made me feel better.

So, I go home, and lo and behold, there was an email from CUSTOMER SERVICE at HAMILTON BANK marked urgent. It contained one, very short sentence:

Your pin is a 7-digit code.

…. and nothing else. Very cryptic.  I stared at it blinking… OH, MY GOD.. it couldn’t have been set to my usual PIN… b/c it’s only FOUR DIGITS… I took the blue pill? I thought I’d taken the red pill? Shit… where’s the nearest phone booth! 🙂

Charlie had also overnighted ALL my mail from the last two weeks, even the junkmail. I hadn’t looked at ANY of it except to snatch the envelopes with the debit cards. I dumped everything out of the FED EX envelope onto my bed at Nana’s (formerly known as Danny’s bed)…in the very BOTTOM of the mound of mail were two other COMMUNICATIONS from Hamilton in those stupid fracked up envelopes that are perforated a dozen TIMES…I ripped mine open, and there was indeed a SEVEN, YES, SEVEN digit PIN that HAMILTON BANK had assigned to MY card and another envelope with 7=digit for Nana’s as well. Hell’s bells…

After dinner that night, I SPED my ass over to Hamilton bank and punched in the 7-digit code, and LIKE magic this mystical automated TELLER gave ME FIVE crisp NEW 20-dollar bills. At that moment, I was BILL GATES/DONALD TRUMP/and/or the kid in BLANK CHECK…though I had this intense fear the cash might turn to dust when I handed the clerk at Walmart a 20 to pay for some milk, a frozen apple pie for Nana and a large bottle of MERLOT (for me) to celebrate no longer being completely PISS poor…but THANK the GODZ… it did not…

Apparently, the four-digit code I gave them when I opened the account was for PHONE BANKING only… which Jan told me when I apologized the next day for being SUCH an ass… she smiled and said, “If my brother had taken my grandmother for all that loot, I would’ve done a lot worse than being rude to a bank employee.”

“Thanks, Jan,” I said, smiling, “You’re a peach,” I said as I walked out of Hamilton SMILING for the first time… out of the SEVEN times I’d walked in ready to level the place with an AK-47…

I firmly believed as I stared at the remaining cash in my hand that night, that the elusive UNICORN of signature cards would never appear… :), and now almost FOUR months later… he/the signature cards have yet to show his ethereal cardboard/paper head…

All that aside… HURRAY! THERE IS A GOD!!

PEACE OUT FROM one who survived…THE LAND OF SUN, FUN AND OLD FUCKS WHO CAN’T DRIVE, and I’m living to tell about it!

KENNEDY SMITH

*NO… I DID NOT open an account with HAMILTON NATIONAL BANK. It is entirely FICTITIOUS. And it has no relation to ANY bank with a SIMILAR name, both living or dead. The bank that I opened accounts with online was a national bank.