Our family had some genuinely strange relatives who were sometimes very funny
and sometimes, a little scary. We had family members with bizarre behaviors;
several who qualified as odd or peculiar; and a few who were—well, just plain crazy.
In the case of my mother’s first cousin I prefer to call her “unusual.” The cousin was less than five feet tall so friends
called her “Shorty.”
From the time Shorty
began driving, she had a problem seeing over the steering wheel. The cousin tried boxes, pillows, a child’s car seat—but nothing worked to her satisfaction.
When she spotted an extra- small car on a used car lot,
it only took fifteen minutes to trade her regular-sized car for the teeny-tiny one.
Unfortunately, the small car’s driver seat still didn’t raise her high enough to solve the steering wheel problem.
Of course she didn’t ask my opinion but I thought the small car looked and sounded like a clown-car—something you’d see a jokester/clown drive in a parade.
Unconcerned about what others thought (this is where the word “unusual”
comes into play), the time came when Shorty unscrewed the wooden toilet seat in her bathroom and placed it in the driver’s seat of her new car. She raised the toilet seat’s lid, climbed on the open toilet seat and—swishing her tail around like she was ready to lay an egg—commented:
my butt feels right at home!” Best or Worst of all, the toilet seat raised her to the perfect height to see above the steering wheel.
I cringed every time I saw her driving the clown car around Pine Bluff, knowing she was sitting on an open toilet seat. Most mortifying, Shorty insisted on keeping a
roll of toilet paper over the back seat, just in case.