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Thursday, January 11, 2007

RIP Green Ford Taurus

Yesterday, I finally dove in. Into the deep end. Into the churning black waters of carlessness. After months of perseveration, I finally sold my car to some guy named Keith who presented me with a fat roll of eighteen $100 bills. Later that day, I noticed that I could buy a 50" high-definition plasma TV for the same amount of money. Weird to think that I could effectively trade one for the other. Don't think that's going to happen though.

To celebrate, I took the bus with Olaiya to the U-District. During the long, slow bus ride, I fantasized about a bus that never has to stop, but instead works like a conveyor belt that you jump on to and off of as needed. Anything to avoid stopping every 3 blocks. Then I started thinking I should take cabs. I seized on this idea, but thought, cabs are too expensive. I should just buy a car so that I can drive wherever I want, as fast as I want! Oh, wait... That's exactly what I don't want to do.

My final memory of the Taurus will relate to one of the many expensive repairs it required in its final year. Each time I committed to selling the car, it seemed to suffer some malady that required hundreds of additional dollars going the wrong way. I felt like I was just digging myself in deeper and deeper.

The final straw was a water leak that turned the back seat floor into a small but surprisingly deep pond. Since it was a structural issue, I decided I needed the dealership to assess/repair this problem. I know that paying for dealership repairs is tantamount to crawling backwards into a gay leather bar wearing nothing but some chaps. But if you're going to be reamed, at least get reamed by an expert. They found $2,000 worth of suggested repairs, but told me the leak would be fixed by replacing the windshield, the pollen filter and the cowl... a mere $500. Ouch.

I went back the next evening and paid the bill. As I drove it off the lot, I started readjusting all the little things... Seat back two inches, rear view mirror tipped up slightly, side mirrors recalibrated... check, check, check. Then I looked in the storage cubby next to the driver seat and found (gasp!) an opened tri-pack of Trojan Spermicidal Lubricant condoms.

My first thought was, "Ew! WTF!" How the hell does someone "accidentally" leave an open box of condoms in my car? Is this an example of the sad state of professionalism at Ford Dealerships across the country? Or an example of the brilliant wit of Ford mechanics? Were they telling me, "Hey buddy, you just got screwed!" I couldn't decide, but I definitely wasn't going to go back and raise hell with the service window clerk.

The next day I told this story to Dingo, Walaka, Quiet Grrl, Just Jon, and others. They raised the possibility that some mechanic had used my car the previous evening on a date, perhaps having sex right there in the back seat! I had just figured it must have fallen out of some grease monkey's pocket. Someone even speculated that a technician might use condoms for some kind of repair work requiring a waterproof sleeve for his (ahem) tool.

I laughingly showed the box to Olaiya the next morning. Sleuth that she is, she immediately noticed the yellowing paper edges. We looked for expiration dates... Oct, 2003. Hmm... Seems unlikely that our friendly socket jockey would be dropping his 3 year old condoms in my car. Suddenly I got this uncomfortable feeling that I must have lost these years ago, and when the mechanic took out the seat and pulled up the carpet, he must have found them and deposited them discretely in the storage cubby. I looked at Olaiya, I looked at the condoms, I felt a sense of panic trying to remember when I would have lost a tri-pack of Trojans. I felt like an unfaithful husband, confronted with tangible evidence of my infidelity, regardless of the fact that these condoms came from a time three or more girlfriends ago. Olaiya let me off the hook with a minimum of wriggling.

A couple of days later, as I went through the paperwork I had on the car prior to selling it, I saw that I purchased the car in the Summer of 2003. If the condoms expired in '03, they were probably used and lost in '02. They must have belonged to the previous owner! Steven J., you dirty boy. You lost your condoms, and for a moment at least, I had to take the rap! If you want to reclaim them, they're in the dumpster behind my apartment.

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At 1/11/2007 03:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as someone who is married to a certified tech and S.A. for you to label mechanics as grease monkeys ... shame on you. However going to straight to Ford to get your leak fixed... Hope the techinician did put the condoms in your glove box with extra lube- cuz you got royaly screwed!!!!

At 1/11/2007 11:52:00 PM, Anonymous jimmimoose said...

Just admit to the condoms, loser. We'll like you more for using a high-quality brand. No more Mr. Happy-hats.

At 1/12/2007 12:17:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Hey, I don't mind using Trojans. But I only use the Magnum size!

At 1/12/2007 01:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn funny.


p.s. the word verification is SUVLYNVQ. I think that means you should buy an SUV in Lynnwood very quick. ly.

At 1/13/2007 08:10:00 AM, Anonymous mel said...

I second the damn funny.

And I agree, buy an SUV. You'd look great in it, whatever condoms you might use.

At 1/13/2007 03:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about your Steven J. theory...why would a gay man need spermicide?

At 1/16/2007 08:21:00 AM, Anonymous John said...

Man, with one of those old condoms and some duct tape you could have fixed your car. It is amazing, the amount of pollution you could be spreading...all due to a little ingenuity!

At 1/17/2007 08:20:00 AM, Blogger molly said...

I think your new profile picture encapsulates your feelings about the subject. I kind of like it. I name you "Petulant Man" or "Mister Petulato".

At 1/17/2007 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous steven j said...

those were not my condoms...John, you should know i buy condoms in bulk and don't waste my time with three packs...
steven j.


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