I'm not being sarcastic.
I hate places. You all know that. Places suck and people in them are even worse. But tonight, the Firestone on Ventura Blvd in North Hollywood, California is my favorite place in existence.
See, on my way to work today--yes, work today, Christmas Eve--I heard a rattling/banging coming from my truck bed. I didn't really worry about it until after work when it seemed to not go away. I parked in my complex lot (the parking lot of my apartment complex, I don't mean that the lot is very difficult) and leaned down to pretend like I know anything about cars near the rear passenger tire from whence arose all the clatter. I squinted and poked to see what was the matter. Homage to Christmas, motherfuckers! You like that? Yeah you do. Drink it all down. Mmmmmmm.
Okay, anyway, so I look and I can see that the shock, I think it's called the shock, It's one of the shocks, so it's singular--maybe it's called the suspension, I don't know--but that thing was obviously not connected the way that it should be. And I have a hell of a lot of driving to do tomorrow, so this could be very bad. After looking at it for a minute, I know what has to be done. I need to get the loopy part on top to slide on to this pole and then I need to screw a screw which I do not have into the end of that pole to keep it on.
So I call car places. Of course, they're all closed. But not the aforementioned Firestone. They're open until five and it's only 3:45. I quickly print out directions to the shop three miles away and I depart. I drive like an old lady for the first time in my life so the bed of my truck doesn't collapse down and I somehow end up on YouTube because I'd be openly weeping and stomping my feet on the side of the road while pointing at my truck.
I make it there and pull in at about 4:00. They have an hour to fix a problem which should, theoretically, take two minutes. The woman behind the counter tells me that it's going to be about ten minutes before she can get to me. I tell her I don't care, as long as they do. It's a half an hour and finally she summons a wise old Chinese man named Chen. Yes, those are accurate descriptions. He was old and Chinese and we all know that that means he's wise; it just comes with the territory, like old black guys hating all white people.
Since Chen is 150 years old, it takes him some time to do his work. He jacks my truck up and proceeds to walk over to some work area where he grabs one screw and walks back to my truck. He tries to screw that one on; it doesn't work. Then he walks back to the work area, sets that one screw down, picks up another, and walks back to my truck again. And again it doesn't fit. He does this one at a time thing probably ten times and no dice. He informs me that the tread is stripped inside the hole.
Motherfucker. It can't be stripped.
Then I ask him if he can just stick something in there so I can drive tomorrow and he disappears--this time to another part of the shop--he comes back with another screw and it screws in and fits. The tread wasn't stripped; he stripped me of my hope and that was his Ancient Chinese test. I passed.
He smiles at me and yells in excitement as he tightens it on there. It's now 4:58 and they close in two minutes. I walk inside to pay and she asks Chen how much I owe for labor. He literally waves his hand at her as if to say, "Forget about it." She charges me nothing and I get to go. On the way out, I'm fiddling through my wallet to give Chen $20 and I can't find him. I ask the woman inside where Chen is and she says, "Chen died ten years ago."
Okay, that very last part is a lie. I did give him $20 and he said Merry Christmas.
Then I hit a gong and a dragon swooped down from the sky and ate him. Okay, again, lie.
I mean, that kind of stuff doesn't happen. But it did tonight and that's why the Virgin Mary lied about having sex before she was married so she wouldn't get stoned to death and she'd pass off her son as the Lord and Savior of the world. Thanks for having pre-marital sex, Mary. You're the best.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I'm not being sarcastic.