My day started off with a dead car battery. I’m driving
around in a screaming measles rash-red dodge cobalt. I really dislike the color ‘red’ in a car. It seems not just tacky, but unlucky; an
unwanted bid for bad attention. Couple
that with the fact that the car headlights need to be physically turned off, as
if ‘automatic’ never entered its lurid little makeup…
It was closing in on midnight, I’d had a few beers, and a
belly full of cheese curds, (compliments of Wisconsin Forest Service); I was
NOT intoxicated, I was tired. These are
long 12 hour work days. Plus, I had done
the hard labor of driving across town, finding parking in the University
District, carting around a passenger with the last name of Snart and the first
name of Otto (!!!) and NOT COMMENTING ON HIS GRAY SOCKS and HUGE CARGO SHORTS
WITH HOME MADE POCKETS big enough to hold…LIVE SQUIRRELS…that much self control wears me out.
By the time I got home I thought the least the little
dodge beast could do was shut its own lights down…
This morning the car was silent on the topic of starting
or operating anything in an automatic fashion, including the trunk and the
doors….soon my key was stuck in the ignition and I was 45 minutes late for
I called my rental car company and they charged me
(actually YOU, taxpayer!) 40 bucks to send their Independent Contractor
K-something Road Assistance out to jump the little motorized lesion. The dude who came out was driving, not a
truck with all sorts of tool compartments and important looking Roadside
Assistance equipment, as one might expect, were one stuck somewhere with a car
that wouldn’t start, but a rickety Cholera-shit green sedan that wheezed a listing
path across the hotel parking lot 35 minutes later than Alamo estimated. The vehicle came to a not-necessarily deliberate stop
behind and to the side of my dead car. A
huge man squeezed his way out of the driver’s seat. This process took about 5 minutes. I wiled away the time by reading his bumper
stickers — “I Brake For Gun Shows” and “America— Red WHITE and Blue”… Add
the USMC flag and a “Smith and Wesson On Board” yellow diamond….
This was exactly the kind of car I’ll be behind when it’s
left unmanned during the Great Whitey Rapture.
He left the tired emphasemic engine running while he walked around my
car looking for, I assume, where to plug his jumper cables in or where the
battery had fallen out…some clue as to why he was here, I suppose. Satisfied at last, he moved his car closer. I popped the hood of my car. It was the one
automatic feature on this catastrophe that functioned. He looked me up and down critically. Finally
he said, “Where ya from?”
“What brings you to Tucson?”
He nodded. I had
passed the test. He produced jumper cables and I started my car.
We drove off in opposite directions. Which is odd because there was only one way
out of the hotel parking lot.