One of the joys of sharing a single vehicle is we get to discuss our mutual hatred of local radio. If I had time to Google, I could confirm that all radio stations are really just run by one single horrible algorithm (I’m talking to you, I Heart Radio, I think?) that plays the shittiest songs all at the same time and all go to commercial at exactly the same time, too. So we constantly find ourselves bopping from one preset to the next trying to find something less awful than Don Henley or Eddie Vedder or Van Hagar or…whatever. By the way: it’s a terrible day when you find that the classic rock station’s playlist is actually stuff from your own adolescence rather than tunes from before your time. Related: June 2003, you still haunt me. Anyway, as we were driving around tonight, I lunged for the off button in 0.06 seconds when Rod Stewart came on.
My Better Half: “Have you ever wondered if, instead of everyone else having bad taste, YOU’RE the one with bad taste, just unable to appreciate that Rod Stewart is actually good?”
Me: “Uh, no! Have you?”
My Better Half: “God no!”
What a ridiculous question.
For the past week, my family has been here visiting. In order to accommodate everyone, we had to rent a vehicle, and when it came time to select what to rent, the only two vehicles that would fit everyone were a minivan and an SUV. I was not looking forward to driving a minivan but we thought it would be easier for my dad to get in & out of (he has physical difficulties) than the SUV, and probably more spacious for everyone crammed inside. So I reluctantly hit reserve.
Turns out it is awesome. With one notable exception of black leather seats – a bad idea anywhere in the summer but most especially so in Phoenix- it was undoubtedly the right choice. Comfy seats, enough room for everyone, cup holders galore, and…an entertainment system that allows us to play movies. Okay, yeah yeah, those have been around awhile, I guess, but not for those of us driving a 2001 vehicle. So we decided that Dawdler Toddler would get to ride in the “special vacation van” to take advantage of watching Cars…in a car. Her little mind was blown. The very first thing she said to me after getting in the van & me showing her that it played movies was “Mommy? How come our truck doesn’t play movies?!?” And she cried when we told her we had to take the van back last night.
I always knew our kids would eventually judge us for driving a piece of crap car. I just never thought that would happen before one was even 3 years old.
Today is my lucky day. I came thiiiiiiiis close to somebody T-boning me on my way to work. I had just pulled out of my driveway and started driving to work past my neighbors’ and was just starting to look for something to listen to when
This car comes backing out (at great speed, mind you) with no regard whatsoever to me being RIGHT. THERE. Like RIGHT THERE. I was so busy swerving that I didn’t have time to react and find the horn.
Wait a minute.
You mean I came thiiiiiiiis close to getting my car totaled? My piece of shit car that I have come to despise and pray for it to die peacefully in its sleep (as opposed to violently on the side of the interstate)? And it would have happened in an accident that would’ve left me completely unharmed and been 100% somebody else’s fault? And I would’ve gotten an insurance check (cha-ching!) for someone to take the piece of shit* off my hands?
This is not my lucky day.
* Full disclosure: I realize that in the grand scheme of things this would not actually have solved any problems. a) My car is not entirely a piece of shit. It has, after all, loyally and unquestioningly given me 13 solid years, 177,000+ miles, and at least two epic cross-country road trips from AZ to TN & back. But it passed its prime long ago for sure. It has been overheating daily for at least three weeks. It is too small to hold the Toddler’s Dawdler’s carseat because the power seat, long ago broken, will not move forward enough to accommodate it. In fact it *barely* accommodates Baby’s carseat. And then there’s cosmetic issues, not the least of which is that its coat, once a lustrous jet black, is now speckled gray metal molting tiny threads of black paint that get stripped off daily thanks to 13 years in Arizona. Basically it looks like it walked off the set of Mad Max. In 1980.
But also b) then I would have no car as we cannot afford a new one. Where new = new to me only. Especially because insurance writes you a check for the value of the car as it is today, not the price of a new (even new to me) car. Which in my case is about $1400, give or take. In other words, I could buy a sweet ass bike for that! Which would be delightful in 120 degrees. Between daycare for two children under the age of 3 and My Better Half™’s being chronically underemployed and woefully underpaid…there’s just no way.
So I’ll reluctantly call it a lucky day.
My Better Half™: “Your car reigstration has expired, so be sure not to let a cop get too close on the way home.”
Me: “So I should speed away?”
My Better Half™: “Well, sure, but only if you can determine if that’s Smokey or the Bandit behind you first.”
Me: “Which one’s the chimp?”
My Better Half™: “You’re thinking of Every Which Way But Loose.”
My Better Half™: “…And that’s Clint Eastwood, not Burt Reynolds.”
My Better Half™: “…And it’s an orangutan, not a chimp.”
Me: “Alright. But to be fair, it’s easy to confuse Burt Reynolds and an orangutan.”
Every once in a while my car radio does something really annoying. When you go to turn the volume down, it actually cranks it up. WAY up. Eardrum splittingly up. This has never had consequences (other than to my own hearing loss) until today.
On the way to work, I was listening to the radio (my deadPod is useless, so I’m stuck with actual radio broadcasts), and, sick of my usual NPR, I was listening to my guilty pleasure pop station’s morning radio jocks. Their banter alternates bewteen stupid and hilarious, but is funny and braindead enough to keep me entertained. The station plays Top 40 tunes, so every once in awhile during their morning show, they play some god-awful tune (and, admittedly, sometimes ones that I find catchy for about a day). Just as I approached my building, they were playing LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” as I slowed to a crawl to go over the epic speed humps that are outside my building. I already had my windows down because it was nice out, and I saw my boss’ boss approaching. So I went to turn down the radio to say hello, except my car decided it was time to jam. So instead of saying hello, I slowed to a crawl in front of my boss’ boss to proclaim I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT.
Now, my coworkers and the whole neighborhood know it too.