Being 32 years old, I’ve had experience with cars. Primarily driving them, occasionally riding in them, and very rarely scoring a makeout session in one (ah, Junior High, how I miss thee). And while my father made it his mission in life to both capture every fucking event 57 times with his camera, he also wanted to push a daughter out into the world who could do… erms…. stuff -n- things. Like change a tire or hammer something.
I never did learn how to fix a tire (although I can hammer like a motherfucker).
Once my father realized that I routinely fell UP the stairs, he decided “use of a car jack” may be better suited to someone like, oh, I don’t know…. my older brother? He never fell up the stairs, or if he did, he’d yell at the stairs for getting in his way (to be fair, I did too.). Being unable to properly change a flat tire was problematic, considering my form of therapy for many years was to take long rambling drives alone through the country and down dirt roads, just to see where I’d end up.
In the age before cell phones didn’t require a brief case, I’m kinda amazed that I didn’t fall victim to some serial killer in the woods or something. Just the occasional exhibitionist, but that, Pranksters, is a story for another day.
But because my meandering lead me down some interesting paths, I often had flat tires. Didn’t matter who’s car it was, I managed to get one of the tires flat.
In fact, my parents eventually deduced that I was a fugitive at large and driving over those road block things, which meant they refused to entertain the idea of “Mooooom, can I borrow your car? It has gas in it and mine doesn’t.”
My second car, a red Honda Del Sol, had problems with the battery one winter. Dutifully, I saved up for a new car battery and clutch, a pair of jumper cables riding shotgun. The problem, was (and still is) one tiny, pesky detail.
So when the directions say, “connect the red thingy to the other red thingy and connect the black thingy to the black thingy,” I still become confused. Which one is red? Which one is black? I know, from The Internet, that hooking up these cables is one of those things you don’t want to fuck up or you’ll probably die or wind up booted off The Island, so instead of simply finding another person and expertly linking the colors before happily restarting my car, I stand there.
I’ll stand, hovering over the open hood of my car, looking inside, hoping that this time THIS TIME, there are a bunch of flying gnomes that will pop out and spell, “THIS ONE IS RED” in proper flying formation. Honestly, if I can’t have the gnomes, I’ll settle for a neon arrow pointing down to the red side of the car battery (although to be honest, that seems less trustworthy).
Sunday, because I am not just annoying but stupid too, I left my lights on for upwards of two hours in my parking lot. Apparently the dingy-thing that’s supposed to be all, “TURN YOUR LIGHTS OFF BITCH,” wasn’t working or I wasn’t paying attention or something. Either way, it’d been a short enough time that I hadn’t been particularly concerned by it.
Apparently, that’s the sort of thing that makes car batteries REALLY MAD.
Which is why I found myself searching the back of my truck for jumper cables before realizing, “oh fuck, I need help with this shit.” I trotted over to the apartment office and asked after jumper cables, feeling like a total dweeb. Who doesn’t own their own jumper cables? (answer: me).
The lady told me that while SHE didn’t have any, one of the maintenance guys would, and they’d “be back” in a couple of minutes.
Now, rather than going to sit in my apartment and wait for them, I decided the best course of action was to go stand near the car and appear to be thinking about something.
Me: “Oooh, yes. Good plan. Open the hood.”
Me: “NICE! The hood’s propped open. I totally look like I got this: goes back to the lesson I learned very young – half of being competent is looking as though you know what you’re doing. HIGH FIVE, Becks, HIGH FUCKING FIVE.”
Me: “I can’t high five myself. I’d look crazy.”
Me: “Okay, craziER.”
Me: “Man, it’s cold just standing here, staring at this open hood. I bet I look smart, though.”
Me: “Woah, some critter made a nest in my hood. MAYBE IT CAN BE MY FRIIIEEENNNNDDDD!”
Eventually, the dude came by with his car and a set of jumper cables. I balanced myself on the YOU STOP HERE concrete slab, trying to look all nonchalant, like, “oh yeah, I got car trouble, but it’s because I don’t have jumper cables, not because I can’t see red.”
The maintenance guy handed me the set of cables to hook up to my dead battery and rather than confess the truth, “I can’t see red,” I simply asked, “Can you hook them up? I’m afraid.” Which, to be fair, being unable to see red properly, meant that it was the truth.
He smiled and laughed a little before expertly hooking them up to my battery, then his like it was nothing. When he was done, he said, “go ahead and start your car.”
So I did.
And it worked.
Next time, the gnomes are going to have to help me.
Back when I was a wee Aunt Becky, I loved animals. Okay, scratch that, I STILL love animals, but not with the same intense fervor I once did, mostly because picking up animal shit is gross. But back then, in the days of wine and roses, I didn’t have to think about Kitty Shitters or anything other than OMG CUDDLY SO CUTE.
So when my parents, always semi-closeted nerds, decided that what we REALLY needed to do that weekend was to go to Fermi Lab, a mere ten minutes from my home and look at all the smart people doing smart people things, I was all for it. Mostly because it meant a romp in the woods and the opportunity to see OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG. I could’ve cared less about the smart people, although I do remember being fascinated by how many of them wore socks with sandals, which I’d been told was a fashion sin times four hundred basquillian. Apparently, THEY did not get that memo.
Fermi Lab has a whole range of wild buffalo and prairies and stuff, but for some reason, since my parents wanted to look at smart people doing smart people things, they simply sat by the big pond in the front of the main building and allowed me to run amok. So I did. Artfully dodging piles of goose poo so green and white that it’d have been pretty had it not been totally gross, I ran around, looking for OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG.
What I found were not cuddly cute animals. No. They were geese. Of the aforementioned geese shit.
Oh well, I thought, I bet one of them WANTS A CUDDLE! I thought about telling my parents that the goose over there wanted me to take him home and live in my room and go to school with me like a pet goose. I wanted to name him Mr. Poopy Pants and have him cuddle me to sleep at night and go roller skating with me on the weekends. My parents were too engrossed by Smart People Watching (I’d swear they had binoculars) to pay any attention to my new pet, so I decided it was time to bring him over for a visit. Just y’know, so he could meet the fam.
It was time to grab Mr. Poopy Pants and bring him home.
The only problem was that every time I got close to him, he’d take a couple steps backward. “Oh,” I thought. “He’s playing hard to get. I CAN WIN AT THIS GAME.” Instead of backing off and feigning nonchalance, I decided that the best way to solve this problem was to march my way through it.
And so I did. For at least an hour, I chased Mr. Poopy Pants around the pond until, at long last, I’d backed Mr. Poopy Pants (who may or may not have ACTUALLY been the same Mr. Poopy Pants I’d set my star-crossed eyes upon, into a parkbench. I reached my wee arms out as far as I could so I could grab his neck and give him a big hug, when it happened.
Mr. Poopy Pants, my loving, rollerskating goose, well, he didn’t want a hug. At least, he didn’t want a hug from me. But I wasn’t going to let that deter me. No sir. I opened my arms, closed my eyes and moved forward until I was within arms reach of him.
Suddenly, my feelings of pink puffy hearts were gone and I felt a searing pain in my finger. I opened my star-crossed eyes and saw my beloved pet goose, Mr. Poopy Pants, gnawing on my finger.
I was crushed.
Tearfully, I returned back to my parents, still using their binoculars to look at Smart People, and held out my finger. “*sniff, sniff* Mom! I got bit by Mr. Poopy Pants. *sobs*”
My mom looked at my finger, then at me, then back at my finger and then finally at my dad.
“Well,” she said. “What did you expect, Rebecca? He’s a GOOSE and you’ve been chasing him for an hour and a half.”
“He was *sobs* my bestest friend,” I tearfully sputtered out.
My parents couldn’t contain their laughter.
“What?” I stomped indignantly. “HE WAS.”
“You go ahead and believe that, Rebecca, but there’s no way I’m allowing a goose into my home.”
I flung myself on the bench next to them, examining my war wound and pouted. I couldn’t BELIEVE my parents didn’t want a goose in their house.
Finally, I decided that they probably hadn’t considered that he might take me roller skating. But by that time, the geese had moved on to shit on another area of the wildlife preserve and I was left with the memories of my best friend, Mr. Poopy Pants.
While I was not left with memories of a rollerskating goose best friend, I was left with an intense hatred of geese. Cute? Sure. Cuddly-LOOKING? Sure. Things that shit every-fucking-where? Fucking SURE.
So I’ve made it my personal mission in life to give every goose I see the You’re Number One finger, in the vain hope that one day, I’ll manage to flick off Mr. Poopy Pants’ relative.
Which is why yesterday, when I stood outside basking in the 45 degree weather and debating the merits of putting on a tank top in January, when I heard a flock of geese squonking across the sky, I looked up, gave them the finger, then began to laugh.
Those motherfuckers were flying North, not South.
Fucking stupid fucking geese.
According to the website, if I ordered this “acupressure mat,” I’d be able to feel restored blood circulation and endorphins which are like the sex hormones, and WOAH, who doesn’t want more sex hormones? Also: increased blood circulation is probably good, although I admit that my back hasn’t felt particularly necrotic.
So I ordered one. I figured, “like sex but without condoms and conversation” + “increased blood circulation” would equal a whole lotta RADNESS.
When it arrived in the mail, I clapped with glee. My back blood was practically NOT circulating (lies) and I hadn’t had sex in forever. I just KNEW this mat would change my life. It’s like one of those As Seen On Television Products, where you’re all, I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A LIFE CHANGING BOOGER CLEANER, and really, it’s just a bulb syringe they give new babies at the hospital, when they should be giving their MOTHER’S more pain meds.
Alas, I digress.
Carefully, deciding to take a break from The Job Hunt, I laid the mat on my bed, ready to get my endorphin on. Being the sort of idiot who hears “don’t do this,” which somehow translates into my three remaining brain cells as “you should totally do this. All the COOL kids are,” I touched one of the spiky things figuring, “hey, if Imma lay on this, I should know what I’m up against.”
The motherfucker totally scratched my hand.
Oh well, I said to my cat who was sitting on the other half of the bed, staring at me as though I’d suddenly turned into one of the Olsen twins, let’s get my endorphin on.
I stretched and squinched, trying to figure out the best way to mount such an obstacle without scraping the skin off my back entirely, eventually deciding that log rolling onto it was probably the best course of action. I was wrong. The acupressure mat, now covered in bits of my skin that were, moments before, minding their own business, won. But because I am not only annoying, but stupid too, I decided to lay there, shirt off, on the thing for the ten minutes the instruction book suggested that newbies try.
The pain wasn’t as immense or intolerable as I’d expected, considering how damn sharp the things were, and I was pleased that I hadn’t tried acupuncture – not because I’m afraid of needles (see also: large tattoos) – but because I was afraid that the ancient acupuncturist* would be all, “OH MY STARS – YOU HAVE NO QI! GET OUT DEVIL WOMAN!” I figured that since acupuncture and acupressure SOUND the same, it was probably similar results… minus the ancient man yelling about my Qi.
I laid there on a mat of plastic nails for awhile, waiting to feel the rush of endorphins. Instead of feeling all “I just had an orgasm,” my back began to feel as though it had turned to liquid. I half-expected the blood to begin seeping onto the sheets, especially once Basementless Kitty decided that now was a mighty fine time to splay his 35 pound body atop mine, pushing me further into the plastic nails.
When I finally peeled my warm back off the mat, I was particularly shocked to discover no blood.
Cools, I thought. I gotta use this motherfucker AGAIN. My back is NICE and toasty and even though I don’t feel as though I’ve had an orgasm, I bet it’s helping with my non-existent Qi.
And so I have. During the day, I’ll take a 15 minute rest on it while I meditate about cheeseburgers and before bed, I lay on it, waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in. I’ve yet to feel endorphins, but I’m hopeful.
A couple of days ago, after a particularly long and brutal day, I set up my mat, as always, and laid down upon it, day-dreaming about a particularly delicious cheeseburger. And like BAM, I was out. Down for the count. Fast asleep. Probably the deepest sleep I’ve had in years, which = rad.
….except for the part in which I’d forgotten to remove the mat from underneath my body.
Because four hours later, I woke up, my squirrel bladder tap-tap-tapping me to empty it, and realized I was still on the thing. When I sat up in bed, the mat sat up with me, clearly affixed to my back, which was now thudding a dangerous-sounding thud. I’d clearly over-circularized my blood, which is probably not even a real word. With great pain, I peeled the mat off my back, inch my inch, like the world’s most painful band-aid, and put my shirt back on.
It was all I could do not to shriek like someone had suggested that my boobs would make an excellent table-lamp. I limped to the bathroom, the blood clearly dripping from my back, and examined my back. I had a perfect representation of the mat done in black and blue and red. I’d have been more impressed if I’d seen the Virgin Mary, but still, it was pretty awesome. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have taken a snap of it just because.
One should always attempt to capture their stupidity on camera. Or so America’s Funniest Home Videos tells me.
By now, most of the bruises have subsided, and the cuts have formed delightful looking scabs, so I look sorta like a recovering plague victim, which is why, from now on, I plan to keep my camera on and charged at all points in time. You can’t let an opportunity like that pass you by.
And I’ll continue hoping, in vain, that I’ll feel those “endorphin” thingies, because obviously.
*All acupuncturists are ancient and shriveled in my mind.
—————What was the dumbest thing YOU’VE done lately, Pranksters?