Do you remember the Stephen King novel, Christine, about the car that falls in love with its owner and then gets jealous when he gets a girlfriend so the car tries to kill him? Well, I’m not saying my car tried to kill me, but on Tuesday it did everything in its power to inconvenience me. And as far as I’m concerned, this level of inconvenience is a passive-aggressive form of murder.
In between the kids, the husband, the cats, and the dog, my car has ended up at the low end of the totem pole. As in, not on the totem pole. As in, the wood shavings from the dead tree that was used to carve said totem pole. I think it has been feeling neglected, and Tuesday was the day it cracked. That is the only explanation I can come up with for this kind of behavior.
This is how I see our conversation that day. I am Michael Douglas, and my car is the great Glenn Close.
It began like any other day, by which I mean that a light went off on my dashboard that I couldn’t identify. Huh, I thought, it has an exclamation point and everything, but the car is still running. Guess I’ll check it later! And off I went, head up my ass, as is my custom.
I dropped the kids off at school, and on the way back home I got pulled over. By a real live cop! I haven’t been pulled over since the year 2000 at 5am after Halloween (I think we can put together the story there), so I couldn’t imagine what responsible old me had done wrong.
So there’s a $124 ticket. Excellent. I grumbled my way home and assumed the worst was over.
I left the house a few hours later to pick up the kids, deciding I’d figure out that light thing on the way home. This was where I made my mistake. By ignoring the strange light once that day and then trying to ignore it again, I tested the automotive gods. In response, the automotive gods said, “Touché, my friend. How about we take things up a notch?”
Turns out that little exclamation point light means “low tire pressure,” which is my car’s funny little way of saying, “Hey asshole! I totally ran over a screw and blew a tire! Suck on my exhaust pipe, ya schmuck!” Yup, when I finally looked at my tire (after buckling the kids into their car seats and getting them all revved up about buying cupcakes for their school party) it was completely flat. My friend Amy — who I roped into helping me assess the situation — and I just stared at it silently for a few minutes, saying, “Huh.”
It was a troubled time.
Did I mention that it was at this point that my “low gas” light went on, too?
HA! Oh, Car. What a prankster you are. Remind me to give my dog lots of cheese and then take him on a road trip, you son of a bitch.
In the end, I drove my car (with the flat) to the gas station, filled the tire up with air, filled the tank up with gas, drove to Les Schwab and got the tire fixed (while the kids watched The Lion King II in the corner of the shop), went to Target for party supplies, and then finally went home to pay my ticket and renew my tabs.
I can only assume that my car has now gotten all of the attention it had been needing so desperately, and will stay off my goddamn back for a little while.
By the way, I feel like this episode has earned my car a name. It is important to name your enemies, so that you can scream their name to the heavens during a thunderstorm. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
Weekly wrap up!
Imperfect parent: Did you know that every time you click on one of my articles at Imperfect Parent, an angel gets its wings? and I make about 1/8th of penny? But, you know, do it for the angels. Disclaimer — there are some disturbing stories on this site. You might not want to be sober.
Reckless Video — Read my review of Flight!
Loop Letters — In case you missed it, here is my story about the time I was accidentally racist (you’ll need to scroll down — mine is the second story.)