When I was a little kid, I used to love Gidget movies. I was the cool surfer girl who didn’t know she was gorgeous, bewitched all the guys, had an amazing wardrobe and never wore the same outfit twice.
Moondoggy, her cool, foxy surfer boyfriend, gave her the nickname Gidget. It was a combination of girl and midget.
On my 21st birthday, Petey gave me two presents.
The first was a beautiful Chow puppy we named Harry. This was back in the day of pet stores that sold actual warm-blooded pets. We were in a mall one day and went into a pet store. In the largest cage was a black fluffy little pooch. But this pooch had grown so large that the crate was way too small. So this poor guy spent his days hunched over, barely able to take a step, being tormented by every angry school kid that came in.
We knew, if we went home, we never would forgive ourselves for leaving that poor dog in that horrible situation.
So we bought him.
He was obviously a puppy mill dog and we think his mother drank while she was pregnant. He wasn’t quite right.
When we brought him home, he hid under the bed for three days. Finally, he came out and we all got acquainted. He loved us and we loved him fiercely. But he was thoroughly terrified of just about everything around him.
Honestly, he was scared of ice cream.
The other gift was a car. It was a car I’d loved since I was a kid, and set the tone for cars of my dreams to this day. It was a 1964 MG Midget. It was the size of a Matchbox car. Honestly, it could have fit on a keychain. It was a two-seater (actually so small it was about a seat and a half) convertible in Italian racing green. It looked like something Mrs. Peel from the Avengers would drive.
I loved it.
But … it was problematic.
The day we took it on a test drive, it broke down. We called the owner and he came and got us. But he asked, and we paid him his original asking price.
No one under 30 should be able to purchase a car without adult supervision.
One day I was coming home from my classes at college and my brakes went out. I came to an intersection near the Coast Guard base where people normally drove at 60 or 70 mph. I stepped on the brake, my foot went to the floor, and nothing happened. It was like somebody had completely removed them. I didn’t even slow down. I spent the rest of the ride home sweating and praying. When I got home, I opened the car door and stopped the car Fred Flintstone-style, with my foot.
We once went to the Outer Banks in it. We packed the car, grabbed the dog, and headed east. We were driving up to the Bodie Island lighthouse when Harry decided he wanted to explore.
With me holding the leash, he jumped out of the car. I started screaming, “Stop the car!”.
Simultaneously, Petey was yelling, “Let go of the leash!”
Luckily, on this day, the car had working brakes.
So, I’m guessing, Gentle Reader, you may have figured out the connection between a sunny sitcom California girl and the tales of my tiny little car.
Every inanimate object needs a name; it helps them work better. So I named my MG.
It was this girl’s Midget.
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