Friday, July 30, 2004
Post Scriptum: Cars and Dogs

When I got back from my post-garage-trip shift I ran into my landlord and her guy, who is living here now-- out of his suitcase for the time being. Permanence is a concept alien to my life of late. They had heard of my morning's encounter and informed me that the dog belonged to a neighbor and had gotten loose before. The last time it had attacked a woman. If I see this dog again, I need to call the police.

So, my tale of not judging a dog by its breed has become, instead, one of surviving a dangerous situation unscathed through the sheer power of not being awake enough to give a fuck. Take that, morning people!

But the car seemed to be doing much better. After everybody told me it was probably the alternator (I never thought it was the alternator, but everybody else was unshakably convinced of it,) the maligned component did a heroic job of charging up the battery. A few days later, having been asked to park on the street for a bit -- as a favor to housemate R. who had a visitor coming in from out of town -- I was able to start the car with no problem. It was two days after that, when I wanted to get the car back into the driveway, that it refused to start.

Further vindication-- everybody had been telling me that my car's problems were due to my neglect and mistreatment of the poor, suffering automobile. I let it sit in the driveway for weeks at a time, so of course a brand new battery would go completely dead in the summer! Lies and slander all of it. The car is not the victim here, rather I am its.

So I returned inside. "Guess what?" I asked the landlady's boyfriend.

"You got your tires slashed?"

It turns out that I had chosen for my street parking experiment the same week in which no less than six cars on our block had gotten their tires slashed. Please recall that these tires are even newer than the battery, that in fact they are basically where my tax refund is stored until I can fix the car up enough to sell the damn thing to some poor sucker who can then deal with its unremitting bloodymindedness in my stead.

I rushed out to check the tires. They were fine. I got yet another jump and pulled the car around back to the driveway.

If my bike starts pulling shit like this, I'll have no choice but to use the city bus-- which use will entail throwing myself in front of one.

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