Monday, June 27, 2011

Ma-ma-ma-my Corolla

When I graduated from college at ACU in 2008, my parents very generously offered to buy me a car. Of course, I took them up on the offer (I ain't no dummy) and began a car search. After severeal visits to various dealerships, I settled on a Toyota Corolla for its excellent gas mileage and for Toyota's reputation for making cars that last.

As an aside--it was during this time of car shopping that many "experts" were predicting $5+/gallon gas prices for the summer, leading many people to scramble onto waiting lists for the newly-developed Smart Car.
I wonder now, with gas prices rising but still safely under $5/gallon, do people crammed like Vienna sausages in Smart Cars feel...stupid?

Anyway, while I'm incredibly grateful to my parents for this amazing gift, and I enjoy the ease of having my own car and being able to get from A to B whenever or however I need to, I occasionally hate owning a car. I hate it predictably, every 5,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

Going in to get an oil change is a horrific situation for most women. We don't know anything about cars, so we inevitably end up buying new air filters and wipers every time a mechanic suggests it. We ask silly questions in silly ways. Example from my last trip:

Me: Hi, I don't know anything about you guys do this here (pointing to one of the expired stickers on my windshield)?
Attendant: (Matter of factly) State Inspections?
Me: I don't know, is that what this is? It's expired.
Attendant: (Eyes rolling) Yes, ma'am. We do that.

We drive up to the garage and give ignorant answers to the attendant when he asks, "What kind of oil do you want?"

Ummm...whatever kind you put in last time?

Fortunately on my most recent visit, there were at least two men there who were more annoying than me to the mechanics (I hate to be last).

First was Mr. Grampa.

Attendant: (Yelling in the waiting room) Mr. Grampa? Mr. Grampa?
--No response
Attendant: (Louder) Mr. Grampa?!?
Mr. Grampa's wife: Ted. TED! They need to talk to you.
Mr. Grampa: Don't yell, Enda, I'm right here.

(At this point I knew that the octagenarian was not going to be easily handled.)

Mr. Grampa: What do you want?
Attendant: Hi, Mr. Grampa. We changed your oil for you today, sir, and everything looks good, but we wanted to let you know that your brakes are getting low, they'll probably need to be replaced the next time you come in.
Mr. Grampa: Doesn't my car have front brakes and rear brakes?
Attendant: Yes, sir.
Mr. Grampa: Well, as long as one set is good, that'll be fine.
Attendant: Sir, that's not very safe, and both sets are actually low.
Mr. Grampa: (A little miffed, at this point) Son, look at me.
Attendant: Umm...yes, sir, I am.
Mr. Grampa: How long do you think I'll be driving that car? Think the brakes will last me that long?
Attendant: (Unsure what to say) Uh...I don't know, sir. I think you should, uh, just get them replaced the next time you come in.

Then there was Mr. Identity Theft:

Talking on his cell phone in the middle of the waiting room, loudly: Yeah, so I told Bob that I'm over it, but the thing is, I just don't like it.........Right, because it's so frustrating not to be able to trust someone....Hahahahaha...........No, I'm not going to bring it up again because I'm totally over it.....Right............Sure.....I just hope it doesn't keep happening...uh huh........................That's what I told Sarah...No, but I am over it.

(At this point I was thinking two things: 1. Mr. Identity Theft is certainly not 'over it' 2. I wish he would get off the phone, or go somewhere else.)

Mr. Identity Theft, continuing his conversation on his cell phone: ...And that's why I say I'm over it, but it is frustrating................No.....Right, so anyway, I wanted to buy some............oh, today's the last day?...Well, could I give you the information and have you write up the order?...Great........ok, here it is...Steven J. Identity Theft, Jr.............It's an American Express...The number's 3918 2874 4788 you need anything else?.....Expiration date's 3/ code on the back 123.......Thanks.

If only the technology from Mission Impossible truly existed, I could have made a voice print of him and an accurate silicone mask and actually become Steven J. Identity Theft, Jr.

I tried humming the "Be careful little mouth what you say" verse from Sunday school instead, but I have a feeling that Mr. Identity Theft probably doesn't stand a chance.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet Luke

Yesterday, in a very manner very uncharacteristic to me, I took some money that I had earned and spent it immediately.

I bought a Nook eReader.

Jeffrey insists that the Nook be pronounced with a long "o" sound, because "it has two 'o's' like "spook."

I pointed out that 'book,' 'rook,' and 'took' are all pronounced without the long 'o' sound, making them all rhyme with 'look' instead of 'puke.'

Regardless of my excellent logic, when we say 'Nook' it rhymes with 'puke,' so we named my Nook Luke.

I love Luke! He has free books from Barnes and Noble and Sudoku. The free books are mostly classic novels. I think no one besides me reads the classics much anymore, so they're literally giving them away for free online. (The Twilight Series, on the other hand, continues to be sold for $20 a copy. Oh, the humanity.)