Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heyyyyyyyyyyy Bubba

Because I wrote and rewrote the first line to this post about eighteen times in an effort to strike an inspiration mine, I finally decided to give up and just open with a joke that ended, "I hate chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

My deepest apologies. I remain uninspired, but I refuse to punish you for my deficiencies. Instead, I'm pulling from the archives something that I wrote around this time last year, something I wrote before I had a blog. Here's a tidbit that you might find fascinating: I learned in school that people used to write without publishing their pieces in a public forum. They called it "journaling." Can you believe it?

I wrote this particular piece after an incident that occurred on December 30, 2007. It was a horrific experience. Try not to scream.

Allow me, if you will, to tell you a purely fictional story. It involves a pale, frazzled young, attractive woman who agrees to go shopping with a bride-to-be and the bride-to-be’s mother the Sunday before the bride-to-be’s wedding. Our heroine has just met the mother and is desirous of making a good first impression. They set out on their journey and reach Hobby Lobby when the woman begins to smell something strange coming from her car. In fact, it has a distinctly burned odor. The heroine checks her fluid levels like the experienced Ford owner is prone to do, and even looks for radiator fluid in the oil, knowing her vehicle’s penchant for blown gaskets and cracked heads. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, she closes the lid and decides to ignore the problem, reciting the child’s adage, “If I can’t see you then you can’t see me.” She continues shopping, knowing that she’s already in the city and that going home isn’t going to solve anything.

When she and her two friends return to the car and head off toward the mall, she notices excessive exhaust. Again she says to herself, “The mechanic just checked the car. I didn’t see any antifreeze in the oil. Surely it’s not the heads.” She begins to be embarrassed and apologizes profusely to her guests. They arrive at the mall, and our heroine calls her friend who is good with such things. He agrees to look at the vehicle when she gets home, but he doesn’t think it needs a tow at this point.

She and her guests continue to Target and and a bookstore. Now, she leaves clouds of both exhaust and curses behind her as she travels on. Full embarrassment, worry, and anger set in, and she again apologizes profusely to her guests. When she arrives at the bookstore she drops her friends off at the door so that they can escape the frigid temperatures, but she simultaneously fills the entire entrance with smog. People begin to point; others drop dead from asphyxiation before they can lift their arms. Our heroine has gone through denial and anger; now she begins to bargain with the vehicle. “Look, if you can just get me home without causing a fuss, I promise I’ll sell you to some unsuspecting nice people instead of scrapping you.” The young, attractive woman has also failed to eat all day, so she is put out, but she can’t put up much of an argument.

After a few hours of dinner and browsing, she returns to the vehicle with renewed hope and vigor. Surely, the car has simply fixed itself in her absence and is now eager to reestablish her faith in automobiles.

Not so.

The guests request a short stopover at Meijer for some ice cream. While she would rather get her blankety blank car home, she could really use the ice cream. At Meijer, passersby knock on her window and ask if she knows that her car is fuming.

“What!?!” she responds. “Do you mean to tell me that my car doesn’t look normal to you? Away with you, vile liars!

“Yes,” she actually responds. “I’m just testing a new stunt car for the next Hollywood blockbuster. It’s supposed to create fumes that cover an entire city. The movie is called 'Taurus-o-Death;' you should see it.”

“Yes, it’ll be fine,” she actually actually responds. “I’m taking it to a mechanic right away.”

On the way home from Meijer, our heroine hits every single red light that she could hit. Lights simply are not green in the city on this night. People in adjacent cars wave the air in front of their precious nostrils, seeming also to wave away their disgust at this petty excuse for a driving apparatus. Vehicles behind the Taurus stay back a good half-mile, afraid to come closer lest the vehicle should explode. Our heroine is now embarrassed and depressed, yet she journeys on, chanting, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” She is now convinced that the problem has to do with cracked heads. Meanwhile, her own head cracks.

When she gets home, our heroine begins to feel a bit lighter in spirit. “You know what?” she says. “Who cares if it’s completely dead forever and ever amen. I was looking for a new car anyway; why not just speed up the process? A Camry is starting to sound like a great idea, and since the Taurus didn’t agree to our bargain I can just scrap it and forget about it for the rest of my days. Better yet, who needs a car anyway? My trusty mountain bike will do me no harm.” And so, our heroine finally reaches the acceptance stage, and her bike is already reminding her of muscles that she forgot she had.

The End.

And today, our heroine gave thanks for her trusty Camry, Pat, and its perfectly functioning engine.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I had something new to read!!!

Six in the Mix said...

You're funny, Woo.

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

What a far-off memory, hearkening from a week I barely remember! What distant echoes of days long past; next thing I know, you'll be asking if I've seen ent-wives anywhere!

I had completely forgotten about that day, though I vaguely remember Hobby Lobby, and fondly remember the bookstore.

What one must understand in these situations is that loads of exhaust fumes and smells are nothing new to people who've had to depend on used cars in parish ministry situations. Fumes? What are fumes, compared to the time that the pastoral chariot broke down its exhaust system and sounded like so many German bombers blitzing London?

I see your exhaust and raise you a tailpipe.