A Meandering, Self-Centered Rant in the Style of my Mentor, Nacho Sasha
Why do people always say they’re having “car trouble” when something goes wrong with their automobile? It’s not like when you’re sick you say you’re having “stomach trouble.” You have a fucking disease or infection and things are dire. I don’t have car trouble. I have the fucking Car Flu.
I have a car I paid cash for 4 years ago almost to the month. A ten-year-old Corolla. I thought I was keeping it in great shape up until last fall when the battery died, and in it’s dying Death Star-like explosion, surged through and destroyed my starter. Then my power steering hoses started leaking and my spark plugs got ruined. I felt like since I’d never had any problems with my car or any of the three Corollas I’d owned before, ever, that I could just fix these small things as they came along. No biggie. This thing’s got another 100,000 miles on it, right? So what’s 0 here and there. One of the symptoms of Car Flu is a deluded sense of confidence in your vehicle. It’s like a relationship filled with the constant threat of physical abuse. Some people tolerate it because they fear change or, worse, fear their own empowerment.
The exterior door handles on both front doors snapped off within two months of each other. Then the interior one on the passenger side. The stereo has been stuck at one volume for two years. The only relief for that is to hope the cassette deck will hold down the adapter to my mp3 player, which it only does within +/- ten degrees of room temperature. The alignment is bad. Even right after it’s fixed, like a dog returning to its own vomit, my car will veer into a pothole of its own volition and knock itself out again.
I ignored these warning signs. I felt confident that all Toyotas were like little buzzing David Bowies, excused from being confined to a single decade.
Then, over the weekend, my Corolla lost the ability to drive in first gear. You can push it up to second and be fine after that, but when you come back down, the thing just drops into neutral. Right now in stop and go traffic you will lose a quarter of a tank of gas in twenty minutes. The only thing that can save it is a transmission rebuild. Your cash prize total: 00.
Finally the fever broke. Even with the 12 month warranty the mechanic could give me on the work, I realized that something else could, nay, must go wrong at any moment. What was next? Timing belt, for sure. I still have the original at 140,000 miles. That thing could snap like a boomerang any second. The AC could start to peter out whenever it wants to, and, brother, no one wants to live in New Orleans without AC. The brakes are soft. They’ll need to be addressed within 12 months for sure.
So the only sane thing to do is get something new. And by new I mean used. But when you don’t have collateral, money saved up for a down payment, or something to trade in, things get a little dicey at the car dealership. As in, you start looking like one of those big, walking ham hocks like in Looney Toons.
So I’m racking my brain, fearing for my asshole. It’s going to hurt. Someone’s going to tear right through the anal condom of my wallet and shoot evil right into a tender place of my person.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten all that catharsis onto the page, it’s time for a complete de-rail, right? That’s what Nacho does, and people seem to like him. I know I like him.
All of this reminds me how I’ve never seen Repo Man. Apparently Repo Man is some kind of cult classic. Emilio Estevez is a repo man who fights crime or something. This would never happen in today’s Hollywood. It could, however, happen on today’s USA Network, or possibly the CW. Because the CW has this show, now in it’s second season, called Reaper, that my girlfriend likes. It’s bizzare. I get that the CW crowd likes it because it has the devil and demons vs. a group of funny just graduated high school age kids. But what I don’t understand is that there’s no drama at all. But it’s not campy either. But at the same time, even though Ray Motherfucking Wise, who played Laura Palmer’s dad in Twin Peaks, stars as a tail-chasing, gambling, stuffed-shirt Satan, it’s not really awesome either. Most of the humor comes from this friend of theirs who is basically doing Jack Black the whole time, and it works, but everyone else goes around reaping souls and solving crimes and getting through dating problems with very little adventure or passion. The whole show is about the Jack Black-alike and Satan, really. Everything else in between is filler. And there’ s a lot of filler. Which, I think, is what the Repo Man TV show would be like. tail-chasing, gambling, stuffed-shirt Emilio Estevez-alike guy getting into car chases and fist fights for 5 minutes at the beginning of the show and 5 minutes at the end and then 38 minutes of his mother-in-law busting his balls.
Hey, I think I just wrote a hit series! My money problems are over! I might as well max out my credit card right now. Dental dams, Guinness, and a 1974 Dodge Charger, here I come!