Mr. Velcro and The Butcher

Early this morning, I made my way to the dealership to have some routine minor service done on my car. The service advisor I’ve been paired up with a number of times before is now the one I request each time I go. I figure that if I have to get up at such an early hour on a weekend, there’d better be a pleasant individual ready for me on the other end. And there always is.

We chatted a bit, and somehow we got on the topic of pets. He told me about the ones that he and his wife have now that their kids have moved out of the house. One dog is a rescue, one cat is a rescue, and another dog is one of those “designer” types that they purchased — a “Poochon,” if you will: part Bichon, part Poodle. Given the dog’s genetic composition, apparently everything sticks to its fur: food, leaves, grass, fur which has been shed, flowers, etc. As such, they’ve dubbed the dog Mr. Velcro. Good comedy.

After covering the pets territory, we transitioned into discussing our weekend plans. I explained that my flowerbed has been neglected for a few weeks, and that I needed to try to do some weeding. He was telling me that he needed to do the same, but that he also needed to trim a tree.

“I’m really not supposed to,” he said, “but I enjoy doing it, and I do a good job.”

He said his brother is a city employee and scolded him for trimming something that the city was supposed to be maintaining, but promised not to tattle. It reminded me of a tree situation my parents had earlier this year.

Their tree was getting out of hand, and was in desperate need of some cleaning up. But when the crew came out, it was obvious — based on their work — that they had no idea how to deal with it. So now my parents are left with a tree that, after decades of living a peaceful, neatly-groomed existence, was attacked by city employees wielding landscaping weaponry. It now has a conehead-like appearance, not to mention stands out from the other trees which weren’t accosted in a similar manner. Still, though, we love the tree and are learning to embrace its new look.

My service advisor snickered, and recalled doing something similar to an unsuspecting tree once upon a time.

“They still call me The Butcher, even though I do a great job now.”

I told him that between Mr. Velcro and The Butcher, it sounded like quite the cast of characters at his house. I didn’t ask about any other nicknames — and especially not his wife’s, since that would be terribly awkward — but I’m sure they exist.

Tonight I am thankful for yet another fun (who knew?) service appointment at my favorite dealership. I’m not a fan of waking up during the 6am hour on a weekend, or at any hour if there’s an alarm clock involved. But when I meet with my advisor who can introduce me to terms like Poochon and with whom I can share tales of weeding and stories of tree butchery, I fully realize that the dealership’s offerings extend far beyond vehicle maintenance — they also include human kindness and pleasantries, at no additional charge. Such a treat in today’s world.

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