Subject: Re: Human Highway

Date: 06 Jan 1999 00:00:00 GMT

From: atruwe@shoggoth.uoregon.edu

Organization: Krugerflaggen International

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

References: 1 , 2 , 3

 

 

Jim Vandewalker wrote:

> Glad to see you back. How was Xmas vac? Didja get DeathBug

> 2000 fixed?

 

Xmas was super. This is the third year we haven't had a tree or gotten

all worked up or anything. Everyone just had a couple of gifts for

everyone else, and Pop wrapped everything in Sunday funnies, as he

usually does.

 

I got plastic skulls! Matie got plastic skulls! Pop seems to have

gotten a really good deal on plastic skulls. Sadly, they're missing the

mandibles, but I like to tell myself that that's what REAL SKULLS would

look like, as it would fall off, eventually. I have a nice, semi-hippie

headband I wear on occasion, so I put it on one skull and brought it

back to college. It looks a lot better with a bandanna covering the

seam where the top of the skull lifts off. I also put my fake beard on

it, just for somewhere to put it, and it looks like I killed a biker.

 

Matie and I bought Pop a better trackball for the computer, and I helped

him fix a million computer problems he'd been having while I was gone.

Matie and I also bought Mom some nice slippers, made from fake fur, but

with nice soles that let one go outdoors. Her old slippers were all

icky and coming apart. These can be machine washed, however I suspect

that since they aren't real fur, the cats will not pee on them in the

first place.

 

We also found her a hairbrush. I know that sounds a typical "Mom" gift,

but this was one of those cool spherical brushes, that resembles a

mace. She already had one, but its grapefruit-sized ball was way too

big for her thin, short hair. Also, it was pink. Matie and I found one

that had a ball about the size of a plum, and was Professional Style,

which meant, as far as we could tell, that it was a nicer color.

 

I got in car accidents, kinda. Is there a word for when your car

suddenly stops working, in traffic, so that it's as scary as an accident

but you don't actually hit anyone else? That's what happened. First, I

was in Gabe's Jetta, and it died whenever we stopped. An automatic, you

had to press down on the stick to shift it, but the mechanics had broken

the knob off. Gabe had to use a piece of cardboard to depress the shard

of metal and plastic in order to shift. Anyway, we were trying to get

to his house, when it finally died for good, on a big highway during

rush hour. I helped him push it to the nearest parking lot.

 

Gabe and I had been out spending his Xmas money. He bought a light

saber, and then we went home to get batteries. "Gabe, this makes noise

and lights up. You should buy batteries." "Not to worry! I have

plenty of practice making the noises."

 

And he did.

 

Later, Gabe and Andy, who'd hurt his foot in a real car accident

earlier, picked me up in Andy's car. Gabe drove us from 7-11 to 7-11,

looking for one with a particular flavor of Slurpee. This is what Gabe

does EVERY NIGHT. He just drives around and around, wishing something

would happen. I keep telling him that if he got up before noon, he

would be awake and active at the times that things DO happen, or at

least stores are open.

 

Anyway, outside of one 7-11, I was keeping Andy company. He'd decided

to just stop going in, because by the time he'd shuffled to the Slurpee

machine, Gabe was already in the car, ready to go.* Andy and I found a

note on the ground on flower-covered stationary. It was a name -- Noah

-- a phone number, and directions to a house. Andy and I were joking

about calling the number and telling Noah that we were coming over, did

he want any weed?, when Gabe came out. Andy showed him the paper, and

Gabe got the Look in his eyes. Andy and I both knew then that we were

going to Noah's house.

 

Now and then Gabe gets an Idea, and it will be an Adventure, and he'll

be really into it. Once he called me, in Eugene, at 11 PM and told me

he was "coming over tonight."

 

"Gabe, where are you calling from? Roseburg?"

 

"Medford."

 

"Uh, okay." I decided to go to bed anyway, as I could dress quickly if

he called me at 2 PM.

 

He called me again a few minutes later, explaining he had forgotten it's

about a three hour drive up here.

 

So, we went to Ashland, and spent quite a while following the directions

on the note. The street names were poorly written and we had trouble

reading them until we were past, anyway. We found the street, but

couldn't read any of the numbers from the car, and didn't want to take

Andy out of the car and down the broken sidewalk at 11:30 PM in winter,

wearing only a sweat suit. So Andy and I convinced Gabe to drive home

again.

 

As we turned onto Main Street, Gabe misjudged the distance and clipped

the landscaped divider in the middle of the road. We heard the tinkling

clang of something IMPORTANT rolling away, and the car stopped moving.

Nobody swore or anything, which was nice. Andy said "Why isn't my car

going anymore?" and things looked black, but Gabe noticed that the

impact had somehow shifted the transmission into neutral. Still, we

turned into the nearby Safeway parking lot to assess damages.

 

"Looks fine to me," said Gabe, happily, "Andy, which side didn't have

the hubcap?"

 

Turned out that we had knocked the hubcap off, and Gabe started off to

look for it. I looked down at the wheel.

 

"Hey, guys? I'm reasonably sure it's not supposed to make the ANGRY

HISSING NOISE. And that the metal part is supposed to be circular."

 

"Oh, FUCK." Gabe put his hand where mine was, over the 3" gash in the

tire through which pressurized air was escaping. I went off and found

the hubcap, while Andy showed Gabe where the tire changing stuff was

hidden.

 

Did you know hubcaps are flat, now? The hubcaps I'm familiar with could

all be used to eat soup or oatmeal, but this was like a big flat piece

of plastic.

 

By the time I got back, Andy and Gabe had realized that although they

had a tire (one of those only-drive-60-miles-or-else space-saving yuppie

tires) and a jack, they had neither jack handle or wrench. Gabe really

didn't want to, but we realized the necessity and walked over to the

cluster of teens hanging out at Safeway.

 

At least we'd finally found people more pathetic than ourselves. I

mean, Safeway?

 

Anyway, they ignored Gabe and myself, or rather, we couldn't seem to

politely get their attention. That's when I had the brilliant idea.

 

"Guys! Let's go IN Safeway! I bet it's full of adults, and adults have

car tools!" So we did, and the manager let us use his stuff. Gabe and

I got all greasy, and Andy sat on the curb, ordering us about like a

mandarin. It was fun.

 

Then, when we were done, Safeway was closing, so we put the tools back

in the manager's Gremlin. I had a Brilliant Idea, and went to the soda

machine. I thought that if I bought bottled water, I could wash my

hands a little. Unfortunately, they were out. So I got iced tea, at

Gabe's insistence. I thought diet cola would be better, as it has no

sugar, but I think Gabe was afraid of the bubbles. I wiped my hands on

my handkerchief, and Gabe wiped his hands on Andy's upholstery when Andy

wasn't looking. We drove to my house to drop me off first, and we all

had hot chocolate and washed up with Lava soap and hot water.

 

On the other hand, the DeathBug2000 is peachy. Pop dragged it down to

Medford behind the RV, and Keith Rexius, a very nice guy and good VW

mechanic, put a new throwout bearing in. Mom drove it to Portland and

back, twice, and it's still driving okay. The heater also spontaneously

fixed itself, and it's quite pleasant to drive through the mountains.

We haven't had an auto with a working heater for quite some time. They

either don't heat, or they fill the cab with noxious fumes. The Bug is

all toasty.

 

Annnnnnnnnna

--

| <atruwe (at) gladstone.uoregon.edu> | Annna Truwe |alt.slack.devo|

| "There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, |

| morons and lunatics." -- Umberto Eco | annna (at) earthling.net |

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*Gabe also kept forgetting to hold doors open, and would often disappear

for a minute or so, then backtrack sheepishly and explain that he'd

forgotten Andy's reduced speed. He was pretty embarrassed, because he's

a really sensitive fellow, just a forgetful one as well.