I just bought a taxi

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I bought Charles a car. Happened a bit more abruptly than I'd intended. One of the cab drivers that have been taking me to the shop since Charles' Ford Escort died told me that he wanted to sell is old taxi.

This driver has always struck me as an exceptionally kind and honest man. He spelled out the car's problems. But he only wanted $400. Here in the sparkly 21st century cars cost as much as houses did when I was a kid (admittedly gasoline cost about fifteen cents). And they aren't even aircars that let you zoom over the city.

We took the car on trial. Charles would use it for a few days, we'd show it to a mechanic and if were satisfied I'd pay for the car on Friday.

Within an hour of taking the car Charles hit something and shattered the passenger window. I've been waiting for that accident for years, thankfully I wasn't in the car. But I figure I've bought an old taxi.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not mad at Charles. He's bright but he's ditzy. I've been watching a DVD of an early Jim Backus sitcom, I Married Joan. It is an early situation comedy from the 1950s. As you can imagine in every episode Joan does something goofy and 'hilarity' ensues.

Easily I can imagine myself appearing in I Married Charles wherein each week would bring the latest in my spouse's hijinks. I, ever the straight man in life's own sitcom would handle it all with a deadpan. George Burns used to stand outside the "fourth wall" smoking a cigar and commenting on the show. I'd be at camera left, incinerating a steady flow of Carlton Menthol 100s.

If there's one reason Charles shouldn't risk losing me is I've accepted every damnfool thing he's done. I'd rather he hadn't run over the obstruction placed in the parking lot with the intent of keeping him from driving a certain way and ripping out another car's gas tank.

I won't humiliate my beloved by expanding on the catalog of his exploits in carelessness and wastefulness. As long as I can dig out the nickels and dimes to pay for his foibles I can just shrug and say that's Charles.

It is when the fundamentals in our life together aren't working I'm faced with the prospect of leaving him to cope with his own messes without me.

So the quotidian soap opera-cum-sitcom continues.


I thought my life with charles was being released in ths u.s. under the title “edifying spectacle.”

I Married Joan and The Burns & Allen shows were two of my favorites as a kid, along with December Bride with Spring Byington.

Whenever I’d do something dumb and exasperating, my partner would say, “I love you because that’s the way you are.” Sweet, huh?

I’d never have heard of I Married Joan if it weren’t for Pat Robertson’s old Christian Broadcasting Network. He used to run it in the wee hours.

Burns & Allen is one of the earliest TV shows I remember (the other is Michael Rennie as the Third Man). I’m a bigger fan as an adult than I was as a kid. If there were a complete on DVD series I’d buy it.

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