Subject: Re: Human Highway
Date: 06 Jan 1999 00:00:00 GMT
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
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
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?"
"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
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
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
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
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
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
| <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 |
*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.