FOUR FORTY-FIVE am: Get up. Dress, piss, eat. Yada yada yada (in George’s voice, because if Johnny was a Seinfeld character, he’d be George [Actually, that’s not true at all; he’d totally be Kramer. But for this one time, he’s George.]).
5:30 am: Exit house to find lovely snow falling all around. Enter garage, then enter car in the dark. Reverse out garage. “Why does driving feel so messed up?” Gets out. “Oh…flat tire.” Completely flat. (Yes you CAN picture that Geico commercial, because I so totally knelt by the side of the car, knees instantly soaked in cold, dead snow, and shouted in a tragic voice that I had a flat tire.)
And so on the story goes…. But this isn’t a pity party. Far from it. It’s an “I’m awesome” extravaganza. And while it’s true I was at first dismayed, and I reentered the house for a time while debating what to do and singing “Woe is me!”, I did first pump up the tire, and, then, upon my return, found it holding relatively firm, with only a leaking valve. At that point, I pumped in a little more juice (air), fiddled with it for a second or two, and discovered that by tilting it tight to the right (actually to the left, but “to the right” rhymed, so for the sake of the story, it was to the right. Got it? Shut up already….). It was at the moment that I was stricken by the idea to put the hubcap on wrong, with the valve not sticking out the notch that was so nicely made for it, but instead holding the valve to the right (left). This stopped the leak, or at least all audible traces of it. And so, my tire nicely rigged like a Rocky fight (we all know they were scripted), I turned on the ignition and went forth out into the blinding snows and slush-covered roads, bracing the white wasteland so the goddamn birds could live in slightly less filth (Monday morning is bird day, when all the little avian glass prisons get swabbed).
And what was my reward, you ask, once I got off many long hours of slaving over hot bird cages later? A perfectly inflated tire. Firm. My jerry-rigging had held. Not an ounce of gas gone (ounce doesn’t seem right…how do you measure gas, again? Atms? Liters? Grams? Mooooooooools?). Long story short, this little Johnny rode all the way home. Then, after catching up on Grimm and feasting on several lunchable foodstuffs (not to be confused with actual lunchables, which I’ve never had nor ever wanted to), I eventually drove to the tire mart and got me a new air valve. A “tire plug”, if you will, for all you auto-minded, mechanically-unblinded, tail-pipe-behinded folk out there. The final time count? I’d say about nine hours and still going strong at the time of fixing. And that’s a long time to stay firm.
And speaking of fixing; that’s not all that got fixed this week….
No, Johnny didn’t get fixed. He’s still firm. That’s right; there’s still plenty potential little Johnnies to go around, much to the dismay of ladies everywhere (and also to everyone else). Nay, I’m still talking about the car. Johnny’s car. The Johnny-mobile. The Johnny love-wagon. Though I’m pretty sure no Johnny-love has ever been had inside it, nor will there be any in the future, unless Johnny both really wants you and also hates you.
But this isn’t about you. It’s about my car. It was only a few days ago that the battery died. (Though let’s face the facts: my battery was about six years and three months old. It had a good run. Truly, it lived up to its diehard name. Yippe-ki-yay, motherbattery!)
So that’s new. And my tire plug is new. Also, my engine coolant is fairly new, because it leaks into the engine and I have to pour more in every now and again. But Johnny has that under control. He’s the man when it comes to leaks and hard-starting engines. And no, I’m not talking about cars now. So let me get back to the car. Next up, fixing that bumper, which is sagging down a bit, perhaps jarred loose by being bumped on the bypass that one day, and having its rusted bolts put to the test. Just like those pesky Persian immortals. “We put their name to the test.” And also like them, the bolts failed miserably. Then there’s the rust spots all over…. One of these days I’m going to scrap them and fill them in with something. Something sticky, I’m sure. Which will then be painted with paint that doesn’t quite match the color of the car…. At this point I could go on. I could also write you a story in my car’s ceiling, because the cloth covering fell long ago, leaving the thin foam underneath exposed, a foam that can be pressed in like a stone slab ripe for the chiseling…but requiring far less work….
Anyhow, you might be saying to yourself, “But Johnny, what kind of shoes do I want next?” At least you’re probably saying that if you’re a woman. Otherwise, for those of you actually paying attention to the man writing this, you might be saying, “But Johnny, maybe it’s time to get a new car.” (My boss says this often.) But I assure you, you’d be wrong for saying it. (And I reply to my boss by asking for a raise.)
If you look closely (and ignore the smell of mildew from when my car leaked and filled with water…many inches of water…[BTW: it doesn’t actually smell, because the mildew all died])…yeah…if you look closely, you’ll see that none of these problems are systemic (with the possible exception of the leaking coolant, but like that bartender in Fightclub said, “It’s under control.”). None of these problems are car-life threatening (again…*cough*…exception…yada yada yada—and this voice is totally Elaine). Therefore, there’s no need to waste the money. Every car needs a battery once in a while. Every car needs tires. Every car rusts after a time (but not ever car really lives…sorry, I had to throw that one in).
And so it goes, that Johnny will run his car into the ground. Until it spews its final emission. Until there’s no car left. Until one day I get up…dress, piss, and eat, and yada yada yada…I find my car in ashes.