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Friday, August 15, 2014

Suspect is Believed to be Driving a Car. Yes, a Car...

I stood on my front steps last evening, talking to my neighbor, a woman as vigilant in her park surveillance as I am.

You see, there’s a public park across the street from our properties, a lovely green spot with big trees. There’s soccer and baseball in the summer, hockey in the winter, large intra-mural colored-tee-shirt-wearing competitions between teenagers of different churches (“Current standings: Lamb of God has walloped Christ Our Lord at the three-legged race; House of Mercy has trounced Abundant Life in punt/pass/throw! Up next: The Church of the Nazarene against 34th Street Southern Baptist. You have two minutes to the starting gun! Two minutes!”)

Screaming/laughing kids, bull-horned announcements, and cars.

Sometimes there are cars.

Sometimes the cars pull up, cut their engines, make phone calls, wait for other cars. Thug-Life tattooed men move things from one trunk to another and then speed away.

And there I am, on my second-floor porch, watching, trying to get a license plate number.

Difficult to do, but the binoculars I got for my birthday help.

And no one ever looks up.

Those aren’t hotdish recipes they’re trading.

I call every time, but the cops haven’t made it in time to catch them yet.

The cars – who can describe them? That’s the problem when you can’t get the plate number.

“Ummm. It was a white car. It had four doors and tinted windows. I’m pretty sure it had tires. And there was chrome. Lots of chrome. Oh, and I believe “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” was on the DVD player in the back, but I might be wrong about that.”

Have you seen that car?

When did I stop knowing things about cars? I like to think it was when, at least in my eyes, they stopped being distinctive and interesting; but it could actually be about the time I didn’t have to know anything any more, aka after me and the Lug Nut broke up.

I think I became willfully ignorant after that, just because I could.

Ha! Take that, ex-boyfriend! I refuse to remember what you taught me!

That’ll teach him to, uh, teach.

Anyway, what I know about cars would fill a thimble, and get your thimble ready because here it is: You absolutely can flush your own radiator by following the directions on a package; if you’ve just changed your oil and yet nothing registers on the dipstick you might want to check if you put the plug back in; no matter what anyone tells you, your Van Allen Belt is not loose; and there’s not been a single recorded instance of someone being dangerously low on blinker fluid.

And when you absolutely can’t tell a Honda Accord from a Honda Civic, you keep your camera at hand.

Bring on the arms traders.

19 comments:

Delores said...

Well there you are...you know WAY more about cars than I do. What do I know, you ask? Turn the key, put it in drive, try not to have to back up....in a nut shell.

Daisy said...

My sons could talk for hours about cars. Me--I like blue ones. :-) Hope you have a zoom lens on your camera too.

vanilla said...

Reassurance: It was when cars stopped being interesting and distinctive; when they became nothing more than generic blobs of materials ala the dog turd school of design.

Simply Suthern said...

I knew something was up when the guy passenger in the car behind me in the drive thru line at Dunkin Donut jumped out and met another guy outside and moseyed together into the ladies room for a moment before emerging and he got back into the car in line and then they pulled out and left while the other dude just stood there waiting for someone else that needed assistance in the ladies room. Might have been a bit of a run on sentence.

Yep, Blinker fluid is Visine.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

I was once able to tell a car in the dark just by its headlights! Alas - no more. And you're right about Civics and Accords - and I own a Civic!

joeh said...

When they got rid of fins and big chrome bumpers, all the cars began to look alike.

jenny_o said...

And doesn't it seem that just as all cars were looking alike the remote horn button was added to key fobs?

wellfedfred said...

Car colors all blend, too. In dim light, say, dusk, a white car looks just like a silver car, and dark blue, dark red ( maroon & aliases)!all look alike, and I find myself forced to leave the parking lot and go back into the store until it's darker, and the parking lot lights are fully lit.

My favorite IM basketball report was the time Ole Lady Murphy (Our Lady of Mercy for you pagans) wiped up the floor with Precious Blood.

Geo. said...

I used to service and repair our cars --air-cooled VWs -- when we were raising kids but I don't fiddle with the Mazda from this century. We still have our '71 bus, the last possession I understand.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Jellybeans. They are all jellybeans now. YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

I share (and probably exceed) your automotive ignorance. And stand in awe at your myriad of other talents.

sage said...

Love your insight into car maintenance and am looking forward to hearing on the evening news (if I still watched...) that you've broken up a terrorist ring!

Joanne Noragon said...

A Jaguar was behind me for a while yesterday evening, and a very different Jaguar got on the turnpike right behind me this afternoon. There must be too many Jaguars in my life; I recognize them at once.

Stef said...

I am with you. I only know the type of car if it is the same one I am driving now...but I am pretty sure there are no mini-vans making those mystrious trades.

Sioux said...

Speaking of Jaguars...There is a car that used to have a distinctive look and now looks like a Ford or a Buick or some other brand.

I NOW know what the funny yellow light on my dashboard means. It means my tire is flat. (That's the extent of MY car knowledge.)

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

A car really who would have thought

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

In 2006 when my first book came out, I took some to my high school reunion. A couple of friends would mention the book to other classmates, and when somebody wanted one, we'd walk down the street to my car, they'd hand me money, and I'd hand them a book from the trunk. I felt like a dealer. But nobody ever noticed, or cared.

Diane Tolley said...

Why can't I live in an interesting neighbourhood?! We don't have a single weirdo in the bunch. Oh. Wait a minute. The neighbours all watch our house. WE'RE THE WEIRDOS! Sigh.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I love that you call him the Lug Nut.