From nospamum@radix.net Sun Apr 12 04:54:50 1998

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free,alt.slack

Subject: Pants Diaries: Night of the Comet

From: nospamum@radix.net (MegaLiz)

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 11:54:50 GMT

 

 

[Yet ANOTHER True Adventure]

 

I'm STILL trying to sell my first new car. A whole series of mostly

unpleasant things have sprung from this effort: a scary, swerving test 

drive with a dippy drug researcher; a call from a "Ray" who confided

that he had just wrecked his truck but would like to try to wreck my

Jeep; an unfulfilled appointment with a pair of 24-hour-shift-working

pobuckers; and an inspiring encounter with a still sane mommy of

 SEVEN.

 

 

I really want to sell it to the mommy. I dropped the price abruptly

just to get her to come back and think it over in the meantime. All

the others have that annoying mannerism of making everything a

question? The mommy, however, is sharp and funny AND employs no ear

jerking grammatical horrors. I'm not afraid to ride with HER. I may

have suceeded in talking "Ray" out of coming to my house, anyway.

"Yeah," he said, "some of my friends have Jeeps? But you know, man,

they're SLOW?" I'll bet the JEEPS don't have a lot of zip either.

 

 

Nostalgia is already setting in, and I've let it grow until it bogged

me down into remembering my FIRST car--my first OLD car. It met an

ignominious end: I killed it and gave away its carcass. The WAY I

killed it is almost as embarrassing as the way it almost killed me.

 

 

It was a 1965 Mercury Comet, which I bought for a mere $300. Its only

flaw, aside from the "Dead End" sign that was used to patch the hole

in the floor, was a mushy gear lever. It was a car with character,

roomy and heavy and possessing actual sharp, boxy corners on the front

end. That Comet was thoroughly anti-aerodynamic and it STILL went

pretty damned fast.

 

 

The wobbly automatic gear lever was its undoing, well, that and my

stupidity. I had developed a habit of popping it into neutral so that

I could coast down steep hills. There wasn't any REASON to do this,

except that I was probably itching for a clutch. That can happen

abruptly whenever I am thinking about it.

 

 

The urge to shift swallowed my last grain of good sense as I rolled

toward a red light at about thirty miles per hour. I tapped the lever

a little too enthusiastically, until it passed "N" and landed in the

"R" position. The repercussions of this were immediate and very bad.

The back end of the car leapt from side to side as the tires left big

tear-shaped skids, and even in the horror of the abrupt stop, I could

see other drivers' mouths forming tight Os of surprise. The Comet's

steel screams attracted the attention of every living thing in the

vicinity, and little birdies were heard to chirp, "What the Fuck...?"

The car didn't flip, but that was probably due to its tremendous

WEIGHT. I'm not really sure, though: I obviously have a poor grasp of

motor vehicle physics.

 

 

It limped along for a little while after that, since the drive shaft

was sturdy enough to BELONG on a '65 metal machine, but after a couple

of weeks, the shaft just sighed and clanked to the street while I was

sleeping safely in bed. We'd both had enough of each other, so I had a

friendly waterman tow it away for his collection.

 

 

I was sad to see it go. I hadn't really babied it or decorated it,

beyond TRYING to scrape off the baked on Firemen's Union stickers. It

had been my loyal companion for four long years and it had tolerated

my efforts to be a can-do kind of gal, even when I poured transmission

fluid into the engine. The Comet had been good to me until it tried to

kill me.

 

 

It made its move on a chilly Spring night, the sort of night when most

people are home, minding their own business, so that people like me

can cruise around trying to remember where home IS without

encountering a lot of traffic. Pulling into the steeply graded parking

lot, I noticed that the 7-11 was the only open store and there were no

other cars. I parked in the middle of the lot, probably in some fit of

fitness urge that persuaded me that I SHOULD walk the extra fifteen

feet to the store's entrance.

 

 

Parking the car pointing uphill, I slapped the gear lever into the "P"

position a BIT too casually. Not realizing my error, I had already

opened the door, half stood, put my foot out on the pavement, and

leaned most of my weight on that foot before I saw the lever pop back

to "R".

 

 

The first thing that happened was that I fell down. I do believe that

the door knocked me over because I was too far OUT of the car to get

back IN the car. With ME out of the way, the excessively sturdy

driver's door closed itself swiftly, catching a long swath of my

jacket and my ARM SKIN in the process and pinching it securely against

the bottom edge of the door frame. I lifted my head too late to have

it whacked by the door, but JUST in time to see the front wheels turn

toward my prone body. I tried to jerk my arm free and roll away, but

only managed to turn onto my side so that my butt was in direct line

with the wheel. The car rolled a little faster until it was stopped by

my ass. This all happened very quickly. There was no swift thinking on

my part, rather it was just dumb ass luck.

 

 

So there I was, pinned under my car and inadvertently sparing huge

panes of store front glass from being shattered by a couple of tons of

old-fashioned American vehicle. I lay there for a little while trying

to decide what to do next. I couldn't free my arm without help, so I

looked around for some. Having a cat's eye view of the lot, it was

clear that no other cars were there and I was alone in a medium-sized

commercial desert.

 

 

I tried to imagine being a human tire wedge until the sun came up, and

consequently I was consumed by a perilous case of the giggles. "Help?"

my voice sounded really weird, so I laughed harder. "Um....HELP?

HAHHAHHA...SOMEBODEEEE? FIRE! NUKES! FREE ICE CREAM!!! HERE! UNDER THE

UGLY CAR!" Nobody answered.

 

 

About the time I figured that it would be the perfect conclusion if

some drag racing teenager pulled in and parked on my HEAD too quickly

to hear my weak-but-wacky cries for help, young Abdul, the beefy 7-11

cashier, noticed that, like, WOW, there was a BODY in the parking lot.

He raced out to look me over. I had to instruct him VERY FIRMLY not to

try to pick me up off the pavement. Abdul didn't appreciate the vital

nature of my butt position or the significance of my securely pinned

arm flesh. Speaking very slowly, I talked him through the necessary

maneuvers and jumped to my feet to double check the gear AND employ

the emergency brake, since I had just finished having my emergency.

 

I wouldn't let him call 911, and explained that I wasn't hurt and only

mildly shocky. I couldn't remember what I had stopped to buy, but just

to reassure Abdul, I bought a Big Gulp of coffee and a can of cat

food.

 

 

Of course, I didn't have a cat, but I had the fuzzy epiphany that I'd

better start to get ready for ANYTHING.

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

"Is it just me...or do I have tape in my hair?" - Spunky

 

 

From e/wbear@hibernia.ca Sun Apr 12 23:54:31 1998

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free,alt.slack

Subject: Re: Pants Diaries: Night of the Comet

From: e/wbear@hibernia.ca (e/w bear)

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 06:54:31 GMT

 

In article <3530ab75.267730868@news1.radix.net>, nospamum@radix.net wrote:

 

........................................... young Abdul, the beefy 7-11

> cashier, noticed that, like, WOW, there was a BODY in the parking lot.

> He raced out to look me over.

 

 

The Abduls are the unsung heros of America.... except for Paula of course.

But the car! A comet!!! Why didn't you put it on cinder blocks and wait

for it to repair itself? They appreciate in value if you do

that...especially if you use a tarp. Sooner or later someone comes along

with the parts and motivation. Either that or you buy another comet and

cannibalize the old one. I kept several generations of Dusters and

Valients on the road that way.

 

---

 

ewb

 

 

From nospamum@radix.net Tue Apr 14 05:05:53 1998

 Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free,alt.slack

 Subject: Re: Pants Diaries: Night of the Comet

 From: nospamum@radix.net (MegaLiz)

 Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 12:05:53 GMT

 

 

e/wbear@hibernia.ca (e/w bear) wrote:

 

: cannibalize the old one. I kept several generations of Dusters and

: Valients on the road that way.

 

 

VALIANT. Oh, now THERE was a CAR for you. I had one of those and a

little thing like a mangled drive shaft wouldn't even slow it down. It

belched huge puffs of greasy smoke and dropped gears a lot toward the

end, but I found that any place I couldn't get to in SECOND GEAR was

no place I needed to go.

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

"Is it just me...or do I have tape in my hair?" - Spunky