She didn’t express it out loud, but she might as well have.  Her first impression was not favorable.  Did I mention that never plays out well for me, especially when I can read her mind and know what she’s thinking?  We could not have been farther apart in our perception of reality. I saw it one way and she conversely saw it differently. I thought it was the perfect solution.  She saw it as a perpetual nightmare. Like I said, “She didn’t articulate the word, but it was on the tip of her tongue. The word was “deathtrap”.


I didn’t see the Broadway Play by the same name, but Deathtrap is a play written by Ira Levin. The play holds the record for the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway. Aren’t those two words linked together a contradiction as well?  Who knows? What I do know is that the General had a high opinion of the “Murder She Wrote” series on television. Perhaps lurking beneath her pleasant demeanor is a dark side that she protectively keeps hidden. Obviously if that’s the case, it has worked well in my best interest. Otherwise, I could be a memory rather than a reality.


The play Deathtrap was subsequently adapted for a movie in 1982.  I didn’t see the movie either. Robert Ebert gave it a three-star rating.  He referred to it as: “A wonderful windup fiction with a few modest ambitions: It wants to mislead us at every turn, confound all our expectations, and provide at least one moment when we levitate from our seats and come down screaming.”


Around 11:00 a.m. yesterday, I suggested to the General that we leave early to attend the wedding of the daughter of a close friend. We needed to arrive about 5:15. The wedding was scheduled to begin at 5:30.  Consequently, it seemed like a good opportunity for me to solicit the General’s opinion of the car I wanted to purchase.  She concurred with my plan but added: “Weren’t you going to grill steak for lunch today?” 


“Why not” was my immediate thought? It wouldn’t take that long and there is nothing I like better than a New York strip cooked medium rare. Consequently, I started the charcoal. We could still carry out my plan if we hurried, but if not, “There would be another day”. Actually, that is not what I thought at all.  They say that delayed gratification is a sign of maturity. Maybe that explains why I wanted to get her feedback soon. I didn’t want to wait.


I got the fire started.  When the coals were just right, I put the two steaks on the grill. I came back into the house for the broccoli and bell peppers.  She said, “I’m doing them in the oven. I also have leftovers from a potato casserole”.  It was going to be a really good lunch. I was grateful she mentioned to need for lunch before we left the house.


I subsequently noticed after I turned the two steaks over on the grill and came back into the house that she was cooking something else on the stove.  “What’s that I asked?” She responded: “I don’t want steak. I’m having this?”  I don’t know if “this” was chicken or something else, but I was grateful for the two steaks on the grill.


Like I’ve often said, “The General and I don’t always look at the world through the same lenses.”  It is not that infrequent that I see it one-way and through her “perfectly accurate vision” she sees it another. 


When we subsquently stopped by the car dealer for me to show her the Mazda Miata, it would have been an embarrassing moment had the salesperson overheard her candid assessment.  “You want that?!”  It was not a favorable review.  The next words out of her mouth were equally unfavorable: “It looks like a toy car.  There is no way you can possible get in and out of that.”


I had test-driven that car two-days before and was still “feeling my Cheerios” from the thrill and exhilaration of the experience.  She on the other hand was looking at the vehicle and reinforcing her belief that only a mentally deranged individual would even consider having one, much less shelling out the cash to get it.


Her review wasn’t totally negative. She liked the color.  Okay, so now we were making some progress.  The car I had looked at in Houston was that color.  It wasn’t the hard-top convertible, but the soft-top is still a classy look.  For the most part, when I think Miata convertible, I don’t envision a hard-top. You drive a convertible because you want the top down.


Okay, so part of my decision-making relates to cost. There is absolutely no difference between the 2017 soft top and the 2016 soft top. In fact, in 2016, the hardtop option wasn’t available.  Depending on where I choose to purchase, I can save $1,000, $3,000 or $5,000 off of the purchase price if I opt for the soft-top. I bet you can safely guess which option I will choose.


The General doesn’t think the way I think.  First she retorted: “I didn’t get anything when I retired”. I opted not  to say, “You didn’t retire. You just quick working.” See, I’m smarter than some of you give me credit for being. The unspoken question behind the General’s sad story about not getting anything when she was retired is: “How fair does that seem?” Now I want to celebrate my retirement by purchasing a car she is firmly convinced that I cannot get out of without assistance. Did I mention she doesn’t plan to offer me a helping hand? Secondly, if I’m going to do it anyway (and she’s convinced I will), it has to be the hard-top version.  Like I said, she liked the color of the car.  The hardtop is that same color.  Otherwise, with the soft-top we are back the standard black canvass cover.


We hadn’t driven a mile from the dealership before she said: “That car does not have a safety rating.”  “How do you know that I asked?”  She replied: “I read it on the sticker”. I didn’t look directly at her. I didn’t want to see her smirk.  Like I said, she thinks it is a deathtrap. I see it as hours and hours of fun driving. Only time will tell, but …. I’ll let you come up with what you anticipate will be the outcome.  I have an opinion. What is yours?


All My Best!




2 thoughts on “DEATHTRAP”

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