New Automobile

December 31, 2009

So, it’s been a little while, but I might as well post the saga of my automobile.

I went home to Philadelphia for a weekend for a traditional gingerbread house making party my friends through. Last year at this party I filled myself to my very eyebrows with strong beer and generally, in the words of Yahtzee Croshaw, acted like a tit. Of all the times I’ve filled myself to my very eyebrows with beer, it’s the only time I’ve been embarassed about. Anyway, this year, all went well. I didn’t have any beers at all, our house came out nicely, and I got along with everyone there.

On the way home to my buddy’s house, where I was to pass the night, I was stopped at a red light. It turns green, and I start to roll forward. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a blur coming towards me, so I stand on the brakes. In a split second, I think “He’s going to miss us by a mile” then, of course, he misses missing us by about a foot. The airbags come out, and the front of my car is scattered in bitty pieces across the intersection. The blur continues down market street, purused by eight police cars.

Not a single damn police car stopped to see if we were all right.

I pull over to the side of the road and wait. 15 minutes later, a policeman stops by asks if we’re all right, and when I say probably, he just sort of takes it for granted. He asks where the accident occured, and when I say the east side of 63rd street, he says he’s from Upper Darby, and technically that side of 63rd is in Philadelphia Police territory. SO HE LEFT.

Eventually, Philadelphia Police show up and say since I was on the south side of Market St. I’m in 19th district territory, and he’s from 18th district. SO HE LEAVES. Eventually 19th district shows up, and the dude doesn’t even get out of his car. Just writes some paperwork. When I look at it, it’s an incident report, but he’s just put 2 big X marks through the information parts and in the ‘comments’ section wrote his name and an incident number. Then he leaves too.

Now, I wouldn’t mind the police leaving, except 63rd and Market at 1am is shit territory. I’m talking real nevernever country. Fortunately, a tow truck driver that was listening to the police scanner, or something, had showed up. The dude was possibly 6’6″ and built like a flying fortress. Dude was enormous. He mentions we shouldn’t worry about muggers, since he has his gun. That did not make me worry less, as it turned out.

Anyway, my buddy, to whom I am deeply in debt (morally, not financially) called AAA and had the car towed to a car shop. Since this was saturday night, I had to take a day off work and return on monday, since shops are closed on sunday.

It turns out I needn’t have bothered. That shop was closed for the holiday, and when I got there, the man next door told me if my wreck was still there in 2 days he’d start charging me storage. So again my buddy called AAA and we got it towed to a (open) garage.

If not for my buddy, the estimable Mr. Wetzel, I would be up a shit creek.

And if I had been another 5 feet into the intersection, I’d really be up a shit creek. It would have been the worst diet in the world – I would have lost 220 pounds in one eighth of a second. Out of morbid curiosity, I did some looking at crash statistics, and it’s pretty cut and dried. Another 5 feet, and I’d be very, thoroughly dead. Another 2 or 3 feet and walking ever again wouldn’t be high on my list of shit to do. Honestly, it has me a little spooked. Things have turned out all right, but the idea that I could be dead right now is a little disconcerting, to say the least.

Anyway, it turns out the police were chasing a stolen minivan. So the driver won’t pay; the police won’t pay; the car’s owner’s insurance won’t pay; and I didn’t have collision because the car was so old. I’m out a car, and it’s no one in the world’s fault.

I managed to get a loan despite zero credit history, and got a 2010 Toyota Tacoma. I’ve always wanted a pickup truck. It’s sweet, to be entirely honest. I hate the waste of losing my old car for no damn reason, but this new one… oh man. The ride is smooth as butter, and I can get it past 70 mph without it shaking and shimmying. Nice. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get in it without thinking about how close I came to be scattered in itty bitty pieces all over some shit neighborhood because some punk stole a minivan worth $500.


I gotta stop going to fast food

December 8, 2009

Saturday, after I did all my christmas shopping on the internets, I went thrift shopping. A few months ago when I was waiting to defend my thesis something in brain flipped over and now I love going to thrift stores. Again. Anyway, I decided I was going to go to the Kroger’s. That’s a grocery store here. Growing up, “Kroger” was as slur for Mexicans. It’s disorienting here. The point is, I had to buy a cupcake. I bought like 30 of them.

Anyway. I left the Kroger’s, and I drove west. I drove too far west. It turns out that the road with all the thrift stores on it is the one right outside the Kroger’s. So I went west an extra half hour more than I needed to. Let’s face it: there’s some nevernever country outside Ann Arbor. It’s like the area surrounding Point Lookout. Hell.

I stop at a Taco Bell on the way back to wherever I was supposed to be. I walk in, and the attractive young lady behind the counter says into her headset “quit talking to me, I have to go wait on my wonderful customer.”  I, a tall handsome doctor (you say) blushed like all hell. I think she understood what I was getting at: I was flattered, and I’d like to do things to her. I’ll spare you the details. As I recall, I mumbled “We’ve only just met! I think you are wonderful also, you flatterer!” To put it in context, I said this wearing a Tyrolean and a monocle. You know. My taco eating outfit.

Anyway. The young lady gave me my three tacos, my medium soda, and the ol’ eye, if you know what I mean. Later, as I am devouring those tacos with my mouth in as messy a manner as possible, you know, to impress her, she’s cleaning the tables. She’s wiping them off with antiseptic her way into my heart. Then she gets a cell phone call. For the record, she takes it by sticking the phone between her headset and her head. Like the hijabphone… but at a Taco Bell.

Anyway, she starts talking about how she got kicked out of her place two nights ago and if you (whoever was on the phone with her) can’t let her stay at your (their) place, she’s going to have to go back to her parent’s place and we don’t wnat that. I mean, she spent $78 on a hotel last night and that’s all gone now, what was the point? Anyway, her boyfriend’s not getting his security deposit back either, so they’re screwed.

When she said boyfriend, I was reminded of a certain young lady at a New Years Eve convert, who wished she’d been dancing with me instead of the meatsack with whom circumstance dictated she should attend the event. When she said she’d been kicked out, it was a reminder that no matter what you do, there’s going to be shit that’s not right. Pretty girl that calls you wonderful out on the streets? I’ve heard this song before. I know how it ends.

Boom de ah dah, boom de ah dah.