"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Posts tagged ‘Cars’

Pouring Rain

My skirt got soaked up past my knees. My feet turned to icicles inside my wet shoes. Today gave us the hardest rain–and whipping winds–that I’ve seen for a while. And I had to go out, no ifs, ands, or buts. So I got wet. I leaped from my car to start toward my goal a half block down.

See me tiptoeing, as if that would keep my soggy shoes from getting wetter, avoiding the deepest puddles. Since the street was higher than the sidewalk I walked on it, but it was like dodging landmines. Luckily no cars came by to spray me with a fountain of water. The wind tried to whip my umbrella from my hands and I wielded it like a shield, nearly perpendicular to the ground. Dripping and shaking I made it to my destination.

Wow, did that cup of tea ever feel so good!

Going back out again I reversed my progress. My still damp clothing got drenched again. I cleverly avoided being splashed by five oncoming cars. Clicking the door open, I wrestled my umbrella to close and tossed it on the floor of the passenger side. It brushed the glove compartment, blessing that with a sheet of water. I sat in my car, teeth chattering, blasting the defroster. The interior fogged up while I regained control of my limbs.

Rain Boot

New Rain Boot

I don’t have a raincoat because where I’m from you generally jump into the car, then run into your destination. I didn’t need one much. Now located in NYC, I walk places a lot more and find I need one. I have to go shopping for one. Yuck.

I hate shopping for myself. I didn’t have rain boots, either. But after this episode, I found a pair at the local Target which 1) fit (yay!) and 2) were reasonably priced (double yay!!). Of course I couldn’t use them right from the store, so my feet got wetter as I ran from store to car.

Fortunately, by the time I got home, the rain had subsided to a gentle drizzle.  I found a parking spot (triple yay!!!) only 4 blocks from home on the Friday side of the street (Alternate Side Parking rules apply). I clenched my bags, managed the umbrella on my left shoulder, walked slowly so my heels wouldn’t slip out of my overstretched wet shoes, and clumped home.

Then I crawled into bed to chase the shivers away. What a day!

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Wrecked on Broadway

Wrecked Camry in the Bronx on Broadway

Wrecked Camry in the Bronx under the 1-Train tracks on Broadway

Today’s blog comments on a scene not far from Washington Heights. I moved my car for the first time in two weeks the other day. No snow, no Alternate Side Parking. Bad news: a tire was flat. I drove slowly to the gas station and filled it with enough air to get me to the tire shop in Riverdale. Preparing for a bit of a wait, I walked down Broadway to the supermarket to get something to drink and came across this ruin.

The wreck sits under the 1-Train tracks. It has been moldering here at least since last fall, six months or so, judging from the dead leaves inside and around it. Ironically, a white police cruiser sits across the street, and two cars over is a black auxiliary police car. You would think that the police know about this eyesore and would be doing something to have it removed. I can’t fathom why it’s been here so long. The owner must be known; the front license plate is still affixed!

An intact shoe rests on the driver’s side rocker panel contrasting oddly with the condition of this wrecked Toyota Camry. How odd, I thought, my curiosity piqued. I walked around it noting the totally shattered windshield, the flayed innards, rusted metal, nightmarish wires jutting out, and the oddly unmolested back seat. I prayed that nobody was in it when it got crushed. No one could have lived through an accident that would cause this much damage.

What story could this car tell? What happened to cause this damage? And how did a lone shoe come to rest here, of all places?

A N-E-W Car!

Uhura-mobile

A new-ew-ew-ew car! (What’s an ’88 Jeep Wagoneer got to do with Star Trek?)

I’m sitting in the repair shop waiting for my car to be finished and The Price Is Right (TPIR) is on the TV. Drew Carey receives a bear hug from the petite woman who ran onto the stage. He reveals the next game and the prizes to her. The announcer’s voice rings out, “…a new-ew-ew-ew car!” and the audience cheers wildly, insanely. The contestant shimmies like jello and swoons with pleasure. “A new car” crowns the prize pyramid on TPIR. Winning the car fulfills the American Dream.

I want to go to California and be a contestant on TPIR.

I want to jump and carry on like a maniac. It wouldn’t suffice to sit in the audience; I’d have to be assured a chance in Contestant’s Row, the closest to Nirvana you can be on TPIR without actually being there.  I’d want to be in the front row wearing a t-shirt with a sappy saying like “It’s My 83rd Birthday and I’m Celebrating on TPIR,” “Waiting 40+ years to ‘Come On Down’,” or “Bid $1 More Than the Previous Contestant.” I know the shirt is the key to getting to Contestant’s Row.

My TPIR wishing features (sorry, Drew) Bob Barker (never just “Bob”) in his dark-haired years, a blast from my youth. Johnny Olson (not Rod Roddy) enthusiastically announces, “JustHavingFun, c’mon down! YOU are the next contestant on TPIR!” and I look around for JustHavingFun then give a double take when I realize he’s calling me! Jumping up from my seat at the back of the studio and climbing over four people, I stumble into the aisle.  I run to the stage and the camera hungrily emphasizes my massive bosom’s vertical motion and my monumental tummy’s sideways lurching. The shirt must have worked.

In Contestant’s Row I’m smokin’ hot! Jumping up and down, I guess the actual retail price on the price of the range, lower than everyone else’s bids. They all bid over the actual price! Ding ding ding ding! I get a cash bonus, too! Now I’m ready for the Big Time! I sprint up to the stage… next to Bob Barker!!! He greets me and I stutter my two-second intro: “I’m a writer slash environmental scientist from Pittsburgh trapped in NYC. I also like doodling, burping (thanks Soda Stream!), and detangling my hair.” “OK,” Bob will say, looking at me with his trademark interested look, “let’s play TPIR.” I grin and do the happy dance.

Toasters, cat treats, trips to Cancun, Dior sunglasses, smoker grills, and motorbikes–I know all the prices. I’m in the groove! I could really clean up. I hope for the ‘Clock Game’ (Higher! Lower!) because I don’t like games that rely on chance (except Plinko–everyone loves Plinko). I’m ready to putt in the ‘Hole in One’ game. I can select the wrong number in ‘Squeeze Play.’ I’m ready. Wonder what game it will be….

I get ‘Any Number’ with the car, a microwave, or the darned piggy bank. Of course I win the car.  I go on to the Big Wheel, win that, and then to the Showcase, winning both Showcases. Another car, a catamaran, and a trip to Belgium.  Easy peasy. Bob looks at my shirt. It says, “I came to TPIR and won two cars, a boat and a trip to Netherlands.” Close enough. Bob Barker hugs me and says, “Remember to have your pets spayed or neutered.” He could say whatever he wants at this point. I’ve won enough to boost the economy of a small country and life is g-o-o-d. Or at least, life is consumer g-o-o-d-s.

But who needs California and TPIR?

I could get that new-ew-ew car… for $1.29 at Target. A very special customized vehicle, with girl power by Lt. Uhura. That way I’ll be prepared if there’s a planetary disaster in the Sigma Quadrant.

 

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