Preferred Customer

It all began one quiet, cold morning. I walked out to my car with my glass half full and my stomach half empty. Everything was looking like every other day, except for a little orange ticket that was wedged under my wiper blade and frozen onto my windshield. I studied it for a bit and noticed that “Alternate Parking” was checked. I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but I went and paid the ticket like a good little boy.

A while later, and a little farther into the winter season, I found another slip attached to my car. This wasn’t a ticket, but a notice explaining the alternate parking city ordinance. Basically, in the winter you park on the even numbered side of the street on the even days. So I began following this as well as I understood it. I soon discovered the wisdom in parking on the side where most of the cars were parked. Genius.

Needless to say, I ended up with another ticket. That was it. I was now determined to never get another parking ticket. From then on, I always checked the date and the house numbers to make sure I was on the right side of the road. This worked until I moved into a new apartment with a parking lot. Pretty sweet, until all the parking spots are taken and you’re left out on the street again. This time I drove up and down the street squinting in the dark to find which was the odd side. I compulsively checked the date several times. No worries this time.

To make a short story long, I got another ticket, was totally confused, drove up and down the street again just to check, was going to call the police to dispute, found on their website they changed the effective date without notice from before midnight to after 2am, emptied my glass to halfway, and paid the ticket like a good little boy.

I’ve now accepted that parking tickets are just a source of income for the police. They pick out random cars to ticket and reap the profits. I am merely a preferred customer.

The miracle of takeout

I’m not very good at making trivial decisions. If it wasn’t for my fiance, I’d still be thinking about what I should have for dinner last Tuesday. So when you stink at making decisions and you’re going to order takeout food, how do you decide whether you should go through the drive thru or walk in and takeout? I pondered this for a while. I was by myself, so there was no one I could ask to make the decision for me. It was cold outside, and I would have to face the weather either by walking out in the cold, or by rolling down my window in the drive thru. I asked my car what I should do, and luckily he answered and my debate was solved. My window was frozen shut.

The creepy car

I’m no fan of Halloween, so it’s merely a coincidence that I’m sharing a scary story at this time of the year. Brace yourself and prepare to be frightened.

I had just exited walmart and walked up to my car. No sooner had I gotten inside and turned on the engine than I noticed the small red car in front of me creeping forward. It kept creeping and creeping slowly forward until it was so close to my car that there was no chance that I could get out of there without at least a poke at my bumper. This “creepy car” as we’ll call it, wasn’t exactly the shiniest car in the lot, to say the least. This made me fear that they maybe didn’t have the greatest insurance plan, which is kind of a scary thought. Inevitably the two cars made contact. An interesting note is that since both cars were red, any exchange of paint would be unnoticeable, which could be a good or bad thing. Luckily though, my license plate sticks out far enough that no layers of paint were laid. Well none that I noticed anyway.

You might be thinking that’s not so scary. But that’s not the scary story. The scary part is that as I watched the creepy car creep towards me, my life flashed before my eyes. And that’s a scary story. (If your idea of scary is unbearably boring.) To give you an idea, most people would shriek and run away if my life was flashed before their eyes.

Which leads me to my newest invention, the Flashlife ™. It’s a simple device like a flashlight that projects a series of images at undesirable life forms, flashing my life before their eyes. It’s more effective than pepper spray, and more convenient than explosives (and less illegal). I might use it tomorrow night to keep away any zombies or Frankensteins that wander up to my door. And to get back at that creepy car.

Fame and misfortune

I always wanted to be famous, but I never thought it would hit me quite this hard. As I walked into the hospital, I thought I would have some fun with the receptionist, so I was like, “Um…I kind of…got hit by a car.” I was sort of expecting the usual wide-eyed, dropped-jaw response, but instead what I got was, “Hey, you’re the guy that got hit by that midget car in the parade, aren’t you?” Apparently news travels faster than a guy limping to the hospital.

Update: 6-15-06
“What really happened”

I was watching the Butterfest parade, and when the guys driving the little midget cars came by I was like, “ooo, I want one!” Little did I know that one would indeed end up in my lap.

Apparently the steering column broke, pointing the car full speed in my direction. I was left with little more than a bruised foot, but you shoulda seen the divot he left in the ground. The head dude of the organization called me later to make sure that I was okay. He was like, “Those things are bound to happen,” and he didn’t even offer to pay for my x-ray.

In baseball, if somebody gets hit by the ball they get to keep the ball. The way I see it, that car should be mine.

Mixed emotions

I was driving along minding my own business when this maniac kamikaze skunk wedged himself under my front tire. It brought back memories of the squirrel (rest his soul) until I realized, “Oh stink, I just killed a skunk.” I was filled with mixed emotions of grief (my beautiful car smells like T-Rex poo) and joy (finally something to cover up the smoke smell in my garage). And obviously my little sister didn’t know what to think either when she said later that day, “Mmm, your car smells nice.”

Disturbation of the peace

Sitting at a stoplight the other day, I was startled by this loud, clangy bang sound followed by a continuous scraping noise. I looked in the direction and saw a rusted through car fleeing the scene. It looked like a pretty ordinary car, except that it had one distinguishing feature. The exhaust system was dragging on the ground. Well at least the parts that were still attached anyway. It’s things like this that make me feel good about my car.


…blup-blup-blup …that’s the lovely sound my car made last night when my tire decided to go flat. I was so excited that I was going to get to change a flat tire…until I opened up the spare tire compartment in my car and found that there was no car jack. One other small detail was that the spare tire itself was also flat with a big gouge in it. Well after getting a ride from a friend, I found out how helpful Wal-Mart is, seeing as they don’t carry any sort of spare tire replacement. Today’s lesson: replace your tires before they get completely bald.

My pretty red car

Driving my car in to work this morning, I noticed that something was different. Something just wasn’t right. It didn’t seem like the same old, rusty car that I’ve grown used to. For some reason, it actually goes when I push the gas pedal, and it actually stops when I push the brake. All those rattling, squeaking, and grinding noises that I’m used to hearing are all gone. And strangely, when I got out of my car and pushed the door shut, there wasn’t a massive pile of rust settling to the ground. And for some reason, where it used to say 1991 Chevy Cavalier, it now reads 2003 Dodge Neon. All of these things lead me to an intense longing for my old car. But don’t worry, I think I’ll be able to manage.

Simon says

This weekend we tried starting the old church van, but it wouldn’t even make a sound. We tried calling a mechanic who told us to tap on the starter with a hammer while turning the ignition and it should start right up. But it didn’t. We then called my dad who’s had quite a history with old church vans. He told us to put the van into gear, rock it back and forth, and then start it. Sure, what a joke. Well we tried it and, what do ya know, it worked. My guess would have been to rub your tummy, pat your nose, jump up and down, and spin in a circle, but I guess that wasn’t necessary.

You know you need a new car when:

You rub against your fender and a huge pile of rust settles on the ground.

Your passengers have to get out and walk because you can’t make it up the hill.

You accelerate and brake really hard when you drive somebody’s new car because you’re used to sticky pedals.

You hold a contest to see who can make the biggest dent on your hood.

You can’t tell if the road is bumpy, or if the duct tape just needs to be replaced.

Changing your oil and putting air in your tires is a weekly habit.

You can’t hear the stereo over the rattling noises.

You’ve paid more for repairs than you originally paid for your car and the repairman knows you by name.

You no longer lock your car doors. Not only because you haven’t the slightest worry of your car being stolen, but because you’re afraid that you might not be able to get it open again if you do.

The only time your cruise works is when you are being towed.