Ben… A Recovering Idiot (who often relapses) Friend of many (or so he thinks) Foe of one, two or maybe a few (hundred) Grandfather of twelve (and not a bad one in the bunch) Father of six (that he's been notified of) Married for 38 long, arduous and worthwhile years (readers of The Book all agree it’s a miracle) Husband of one (which is fairly unusual for a Mormon) Jack of no trades (and master of none) Inventor (who’s not that successful but keeps the bills paid) Dodged certain death at least 5 (00 times) Broke 27 bones (and wondering which one will fail next) Missing only two fingers (and had just one lobotomy up to this point) Over the hill (and can’t remember if he was ever really on top) Legal owner of Michele and this blog (his favorite?...depends on the day)


After surviving yesterday’s incident, I woke up feeling pretty darn good this morning. I knew my wife was now without a rig since I totaled hers. I also knew I had a matter of hours, no…better make that minutes to get some more wheels under her rump or the Casper household would turn into Stalag 13.

So I took the high road and announced at daybreak that I had located a van in Yakima so we were heading west as soon as she was ready. She got ready in less than 30 seconds. As I turned the ignition on, I got a text from another salesman who had caught wind on the internet of my quest.

I changed the flight plan and headed south, thinking we would go to Yakima after hitting the Kennewick dealer.

We arrived and like always, I had a van bought for my bride in less than 5 minutes. I think I drove a pretty hard bargain. It was a brand-spanking new 2012 Honda mini-van, just in case we have some more kids. I didn’t have to put any money down and got unbelievably low payments of $179 a month on a 24-month installment plan.

I had planned on buying a used one but this little beauty was too good to pass up.

It must have been that salesman’s first day on the job. Michele looked a little concerned but I reassured her that if I had gone to college longer than when I dropped out, I would have majored in finance.

She whispered that she thought we should talk about it. I got a little offended. I’m buying the girl a brand-spanking new van with no money down! I quickly signed on the dotted line and ushered her out the door. I went back and got the keys, threw them to her and told her to check that the hood was latched.

After I got in my rig, I called her and told her to meet at Red Robin for a Celebratory lunch. I wanted to celebrate my excellent bargaining skills for as long as possible and since a Whiskey Burger was going to be about the wildest substance I dared imbibe around my wife, Red Robin was the ticket.


Doesn’t she look happy? I should have wrecked the other one years ago.


Here I’m directing Michele into the parking slot. Notice the plate where we picked it up at.


After Michele parked, I looked across the lane and noticed another rig that someone had just purchased from the same dealer. The only difference was this unit was a little more crinkled up and had a bungee cord holding the trunk closed. This gave me a little pause until I thought of the sweet deal I had gotten that would be paid off in 24 months.

I informed Michele, now that we away from the car dealer and could openly talk, that our rig was in better shape than that rig. I hadn’t seen one bungee cord on our new rig although I hadn’t looked that close.

I also mentioned how we were going to have our rig paid off in 2 years while the guy with the bungee attachment was probably on the hook for 4 or 5 years.

She said “What do you mean, 24 months? You signed a contract for 24 years! You’re going to be paying for that long after you’re dead and buried.”

I started feeling nauseous,  just like at the dentist last Friday. I turned and bolted for my car and the paperwork, just like I did for the sink last Friday. Sure enough, I was on the hook for 24 years, not 24 months. Unlike last Friday, I was able to keep my cookies in the cookie jar.

I guess my only option is to make sure I get the insurance premium paid, unlatch the hood and send Michele to town for groceries. This hard-bargaining new car deal won’t turn out like I originally thought it would but I just paid her life insurance bill last week so maybe things will still work out.


Take one look while it’s still running.

(Usually, I’m 100% factual with my accounts. Admittedly, on this one, there’s a 2%-3% chance of error. (Pretty much just like the pollsters who mapped out Trump’s ’16 election results before the fact)