Gma’s Got Beer in the Back

Sundays remind me of church with Gma, lunch after, and driving her car. Gma always has a cool car. Cool like this: in seventh grade she picked me up after school one day. She was in her brand new, shiny, money green two-door mustang. I still remember the wave of voices whispering the same question- that’s her grandma? It’s great to feel like a badass in seventh grade, Gma sure upped my badassness.

Side note: when I totaled my first car and was told by the cop I had to get the car towed somewhere IMMEDIATELY! Gma was the only person to answer my desperate phone calls, and was there to get me within ten minutes. The first thing she said to me was, “Well you look okay, Em Bem. I think you’ll need a new car. Why don’t you drive it back?” tossing me the keys to her mustang. I know everyone is thinking this is the nicest Gma ever! Note our conversation to her house as I drive:

Gma: I’ve been thinking it’s time for a new car. I can’t drive this one with the key scratches all over it. I think I’ll get a camaro.

Me: Key scratches?

Gma: Oh, yeah didn’t I tell you? I started going with a new guy at the dances. His old steady doesn’t like it much and keyed my car last week in the parking lot at the dance. I can’t drive this thing anymore!

I instantly got the vision of an elderly lady using a walker, the kind with tennis balls on the end pegs. She has blueish purple hair. It looks like cotton candy. She’s sneakily shuffling as fast as her four walker pegs can take her to the mustang. The mustang belonging to the new floozy, which stole her man! She takes out the key to her Lincoln Towne Car, and lays one long shaky deep line down each side of the once pristinely money green Mustang.

I grin at the ridiculous sight in my head.

Gma: So I was going to get a new car, they won’t give me much for this scratched up thing. So you can just have it, Emmie.

Me: Some old lady keyed your car? (I’m still trying to process this information).

Gma: Ethel’s not old she’s a younger one. Hope she doesn’t key my new one. I’ll get a camaro next. Do you like camaros?

Me: Yeah, I guess. How old is Ethel?

Gma: Oh, good! Let’s go look at some today! Ethel? Hmm, 72, I think.


Back to the other story:


It’s after lunch one Sunday and I’m driving Gma and I back to her house. I’m driving her new camaro. I hate the car. It’s way too small, my head pretty much touches the top (and I’m not that tall), and somehow even with like seven windows I can’t see out of any clearly.

This hesitation of sight while driving brings out the accelerator in my soul. I feel like each turn I make has to be super fast, quick, and then I must smash my foot through the gas pedal as hard as I can. You know, just so, in case I pulled out in front of someone I couldn’t see – at least I would be fast about it. The acceleration in my soul has nothing to do with the fact I am driving a new camaro, with my 88 year old Gma in it, nothing to do with it.

Each time I make a turn I hear this weird thud, clank, and tumbling going on in the trunk. At first I just ignore it and go on with my soulful driving. Finally, I get too curious, the speed enthusiasm has worn off, and I ask Grandma what the noise is.

Me: Hey, what’s in the trunk?

Gma: Hmmm? You drive like me, not like those pokey drivers. I hate getting behind those Jack Rabbits!

Me: The trunk. Every time I turn there’s something moving around back there and it sounds like it’s heavy. What’s in there?

Gma: Ohhh, hahhaaha! It’s beer.

Me: Beer?! Grandma, why do you have beer in your trunk?

Gma: Well, I buy the big one. Then the little guys at Wal-Mart take it to my trunk. It’s too heavy for me to get it out and in the house.

Me: Oh, okay. I’ll just take it in for you.

Gma: No, it’s all loose in there now. When I want a beer I just pop my trunk and get one.



When we finally get home I look. In the trunk was a half drunk 30 pack of Keystone Ice.