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  1. 1. There is a theory, more metaphysical than scientific, which seems to be what the people prefer these days, that postulates that the likelihood of encountering a particular situation directly correlates to the degree of preparation one has made to address that situation: • The more you prepare for war the more likely a war will ensue. • The more you trample on the people’s rights and invade their privacy to prevent terrorism, the more likely something terrible will happen. • Etc. Let me tell you about the last 24 hours. First a brief history: I hate cars, I hate their inherent use and abuse of the environment, they consume and they spew, they financially enslave and physically confine, they manipulate and mangle the american psyche in the best tradition of our government’s most psychopathic personalities. If cars are not the original, they are at least a very early, and most successful, example of inventing a product first and then creating a perceived need. To be successful at this one must be very wealthy and have an overwhelming desire to become even wealthier, without concern for consequences. You cannot have a conscience. Henry Ford was a man without a conscience and he is a hero to the Stepford men and women populating the suburban wasteland. Create a production machine, because more is always better, that dehumanizes the worker, wipe out other options for employment, adjust your pay scale to ensure that all the worker can afford to buy is the crap you sell and you my friend are a genius in America. Can you say Wal-Mart? Oh, and remember this, it’s very important, the crap you sell must indeed be crap. We mustn’t provide anything of real value or anything that fulfills an actual need. But the product must be bright and shiny and appeal to the most fundamental urges of the id. That’s right, the product must be sexual without appearing to be sexual – mustn’t upset the Stepfords. What do you think? Not bad for someone who’s never taken a marketing course? Item two in my brief history: I hate cell phones. See I Hate Cars above. Why would anybody intentionally purchase a device that makes it that much more likely to have your personal reverie disturbed? Now, back to my tale of the last 24 hours. Thursday at about 4:30 pm I bought a cell phone. Karma was pissed off. She promptly put into the works a bill for $800. The plan was this: • On the way home from work pick up a couple of cell phones and arrange a calling plan for Carol and myself. (We need the phones in case of emergencies – the Vista is going on nineteen and we are middle aged, if we live to be over 100. And the car could be getting less dependable and is definitely getting cranky. Is that enough rationalization?) • Take Friday off and drop the Vista at Leo’s Automotive for normal maintenance. Leo’s is about 30 miles away from home but he has been taking care of Vissy – isn’t that a cute name for a car – for the last 13 years. • Kick back at Stella’s with a mocha and a book and make the most of my time while waiting for work on the car to be completed.
  2. 2. • Pick up an Easter ham on the way home. Karma had another plan. At 6:30 am Friday, while sitting in the turn lane at Lincoln and Jordan waiting for the light to change, Vissy shut down. What the hell, what the hell, what the hell. We’re 10 miles from home and 20 miles from Leo’s and Vissy responds with total silence. This was quite fortunate because now I had no trouble hearing my cell ring when the tow truck guy, Tom, called back for directions to the scene. I could have told Tom, the tow truck guy, formerly of St. Louis, to ask the paramedics and firefighters in the big red trucks. I, of course, was lost in meditation – thought, daydreams, zoned out, whatever – and did not immediately register two emergency vehicles, with sirens blaring, pulled up alongside the car. Upon coming to the astute recognition of something in my general vicinity requiring my attention, however, I looked up to see a young lady, at the wheel of the shiniest emergency vehicle I have ever seen, frantically gesturing for me to roll down my window – and Vissy’s windows do indeed roll down. The ensuing conversation went something like this, starting with me. “Hey, what’s up?” “Are you OK?” “I’m fine. How are you doing?” “Somebody called and said you might be hurt or sick.” “Nope. Just reading the instruction manual for my new cell.” “You don’t need help?” “No, it’s pretty intuitive.” “I mean with the car.” “Just waiting for the tow truck guy.” “OK.” “Sorry to bother you.” I gave Tom, the tow truck guy, formerly of St. Louis and a very anti-union individual, directions without reference to the big red trucks. He arrived shortly and, again shortly, we were on our way. We get to Leo’s, dismount the car, Leo climbs in, starts her up and she runs smooth and easy like a toilet with a bad stopper – Karma, you bitch. There was of course a logical explanation. The alternator was farting with the battery and the whole car got screwed. So, about nine hours after the car, the cell and Christopher first came together in full functionality, I was on my way. Karma’s revenge had been exacted and, hopefully, all is well. Although, you never know what further repercussions may be in store when the fabric of the universe has been so carelessly disturbed.
  3. 3. For those of you more mathematically inclined: Car + Cell + Christopher = Menacing Mojo. One more thing, I believe we have now used up all of the minutes on our emergency only, fewest minutes possible, cheapest, we’re never going to use it calling plan. It had to happen. Oh, Carol picked up the ham. Until next time, this is the Lone Loon signing off from solitary confinement at the Thunderbird compound, Peas & Hominy Chris