Sorry I Hit You (I Have to Go)

I'll always remember the day Walter Soine, then 90, smashed into the back of my car.

There I was, sitting at an intersection on a stretch of road that runs straight for a mile - the only car on the road. In broad daylight, Walter somehow failed to see the red light he was nearing or notice that I was stopped. About 30 yards before the intersection, Walter slammed on his brakes before plowing into me. (Insert loud screeching noises he probably couldn't hear.)

Walter and I still haven't officially met - largely because he didn't even get out of his car after hitting me. Not only that, he didn't even break his 10-and-two grip or put his car in park.

I didn't know if this was a display of arrogance, unawareness or confidence that his Buick (surprise) was not damaged (built like a brick shit house). Even if he would have killed me, wiped the road with my brains, I don't think he would remember my name because he's completely senile.

I was pissed off. Irate. I got out and approached Walter, oblivious, still sitting in his car. I had never been in an accident, and never did I imagine I'd have to explain to the other person what happened and why I was loitering around their car on a now-busy road. It seemed to me that both parties involved would understand the events that just took place... and get out of their cars.

I was wrong.

He thought I was one of those people collecting change for charity. Sorry, Walt, but I'm collecting for damages today.

Walter should not have a driver's license. He's clearly incapable of driving safely. I couldn't even communicate with the guy.

"Can I please get your driver's license and insurance information?"

I would assume that anyone in his position would be able to process my request, let alone understand what the hell I was asking for and why.

All I got was an, "Ehhhhhh?!"

Was he human? Looked like it. Maybe he was past his expiration date or something. Alas, 15 minutes later I think he finally caught on. Throughout the entire dilemma, he never put together a coherent sentence or used any real words for that matter. At one point I thought he tried to say "card" or "brake," but when I inquired about what he was saying he just continued to moan, "Ahhhhhh!"

Senior citizens like Walter, like my own grandparents, should have their driver's licenses revoked if they do not have the capacity to drive safely. For those who complain and argue their rights, they should be given large, red styrofoam cars incapable of harming anyone, even at top speeds.


Hey, ladies. Chief Running Wolf and Pocahontas called: they want their boots back.

All over America, a confused generation of fashion-conscious females (this just in: males also) is roaming the countryside looking like they are on their way to the battle of Wounded Knee.

Footwear originally worn by Native Americans has apparently made a comeback, and at this rate the antiquated traditions of husking corn and ethnocide will be resurfacing any day now. When the Native American culture was systematically deconstructed and assimilated in 1890, little did the people know their spirit would live on...

in the form of overpriced, poorly made designer boots.

You all know UGG - the sexy, trendy name that pretty much summed up fiscal 2004 for footwear. Let me be the 75,000th person to say that if any Native Americans from the 19th century were still alive, a copyright lawsuit would be filed and UGG stock would hurl itself into an eternal abyss. The Sioux, the Apache, the Cherokee and the Iroquois are rolling over in their graves right now. Thanks to us retarded consumers, a once staple of their daily lives is now an accessory to our evenings.


Now we can choose what color we want our little booties to be. Do you think Native Americans had a choice when they were going to war or preparing for winter? Hell no. They were worried about dying and freezing to death and chose brown by default - not because the other colors were out of stock or because brown was in style, but because brown was all that existed. Alas, 117 years later, women (
this just in: men also) can choose between several colorful UGGs, ready and willing to pay an arm and a leg for the damn things.

So while we're at the height of capitalizing on the demise of other cultures, the uniforms Jews were forced to wear upon entering concentration camps were sort of cute too. I mean, I bet they had no idea at the time that the garments haunting their being would make a comeback and be worn by free people, but neither did Native Americans.

It's bad enough our ancestors killed off almost all indigenous people, the rightful proprietors of this land. But this is just insult to injury. Not only did we steal their soil, purge their culture and rape their women, but we also stole their sense of fashion.


The First Illegal Garment?

Ski masks. Perhaps the one article of clothing most associated with crime (besides pantyhose).

When you stop to think about it, the ski mask is rather incredible. Designed with the good intention of keeping a person's face from freezing and falling off, this gem is now the face of armed robbery. Crooks all over the world are doing their part to make this the first illegal garment. Then there would actually be fashion police (and they'd have guns too).

Come to think of it, how far do you think you could walk into a bank while wearing a ski mask? If you somehow made it all the way up to the teller, can you imagine the look on his/her face when you defiantly slide your deposit ticket across the counter with one finger? You'd be the hero of every man, woman and child in the building.

Can someone please try this?

Reason Not to Buy a Pontiac

There was a point in time when my car was acting up in big ways, and a series of unfortunate, unrelated events left me feeling uneasy about its reliability. Among other occurrences, I had been rear-ended and somehow my Grand Am managed to escape with no damages. I should have sold the heap immediately after this stroke of good luck, because what happened soon after, to put it mildly, made me never want to ride in a Pontiac again.

On my way home for another lame college spring break, there was a rather long traffic jam on the highway. Some background information: the Service Engine Soon light had been on for about a week, and fixing it was the focal point of my break. Riveting, I know.

What happened next was truly awesome. During the stop-and-go traffic, the ABS light came on. Seconds later, the battery light came on. I wasn't sure what all of this meant, but I knew it wasn't good. Traffic started to pick up, and I stepped on the accelerator. The airbag light came on. Next, the radio died. Then the power windows. All my gauges - speedometer, gas and the like - flatlined and fell.

At this point there was an eminent wave of destruction swelling around my car, forcing it into what appeared to be self-destruct mode. Finally, the entire car called it an early day and shut off entirely. There was no chance to pull over, so I was sitting in the middle of the left lane of the highway. Now I was the reason for the traffic jam.

I would estimate there was about two miles of traffic behind me. Low balling it. My life was put even more at risk when the jackass behind me passed me on the left shoulder while giving me the finger. Yes! He didn't choose to merge into the right lane of traffic to pass me. Wasn't having it, apparently. He was going left come hell or high water. As you might know, what the lead car does in a traffic jam can set a horrifying precedent. Traffic jams are notorious for conformity. I now had cars whizzing past me on my right, and to my left was a stream of pissed off people driving through the muddy median. Most honked their horns, and more fingers were raised. Yes, people. This was my intention: to park my car on the highway. Get over yourselves.

I couldn't get out of my car because I would've gotten run over. After taking a moment to myself, sitting in my shaking car, I elected to call 911.

"911 Emergency."

"Yeah, hi, um... god, I don't know how to say this. My car just died on the highway. I'm holding up a lot of traffic in the left lane.

"OK, sir, let me patch you through to a towing company."


"Hi, this is 911, we've got a broken-down car on the shoulder of the highway at mile marker 110."

"Um, excuse me."


"I'm not on the shoulder."

"Oh. Well that's what you said."

"No I didn't. I didn't say that."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah I'm sure! I am sitting in the left lane here, blocking a couple miles of traffic! You'd better come quick!"

"Oh my god. I am so sorry."

All I could do was wait for the tow truck. I stared out my rear-view mirror at the sea of cars behind me. Many drivers didn't notice my car sitting there or observe the stream of traffic bulging around me. I was almost rear-ended several different times.

Then a red semi truck pulled off the right shoulder. Out of the truck came a large burly man who resembled Santa Claus. I beheld my savior. Claus jumped into a small gap in traffic with both arms raised and waving. Tires screeched, and I could smell the burning rubber. That Claus.

"Stop! Stop!"

He ran over, opened the door and told me to put the car in neutral. In one effortless motion, Claus pushed my car into the median. He scampered back across traffic and got into his truck. This was all very surreal. He may as well have had a sack of toys slung over his shoulder.

Now that I was out of the car, everyone could put a face with the person who had been causing the delay. Tons of death stares. People are dicks.

Then the tow truck arrived. John. John started laughing and said he heard about me on the radio. I didn't know what this meant. He said he was listening to the radio before the 911 call came in, and a woman called the station and told the listeners on air that there was a crazy man with a death wish just sitting in his black Grand Am, blocking the left lane of the highway. This was not amusing.

For $250, we got the car hooked up to his truck. Then we drove. Fast.

I'm not sure how fast you think tow trucks go, or can go, but previously I had thought that all trucks in general stayed in the right lane and went about 50 mph. Not John. We were soon in the left lane doing 80 mph. That's 80 mph in a town truck, towing another car (my piece of crap car), passing other cars. I've never seen more confused faces in my life. Jaws dropped once they saw the truck passing them, and upon seeing we were also towing another vehicle, they blinked and shook their heads in disapproval.

I had to say something to break the ice, so I went with, "Wow, John... I've got to be honest with you. I really didn't think tow trucks went this fast." John admitted he had a proverbial lead foot that had gotten him into trouble many, many times before. He called the 50 mph truck speed limit "lame."

At our peak, we actually passed another tow truck that wasn't even towing anything. I saw the driver mouth "god damn it" as he eyed the mass of metal passing him.

Cool beans, huh? Not quite. Though we made it home in record-setting fashion, my car was seriously broken, and so was my trust in Pontiac.

Biggest Mistakes of My Life: Mistake No. 1

Let's go way back. As a teenage dishwasher at a local golf course, I accepted the fact that I alone occupied the bottom strata of a blue-collar caste system - the lowest of the low on a semi-corporate totem poll. However, what I didn't realize was that my newly awarded "slave" status would soon lead me through a two-hour escapade into the heart of Detroit while harboring a criminal in my 1999 Pontiac Grand Am.

I miss that car. Actually, scratch that.

First and foremost, it is important you understand how menial my job was. I was a peon - just another kid who was looking to make some money before college and perhaps climb the ranks of social hierarchy. Dishwashers were treated like animals at the golf course. Filthy, rabid animals. Sad but true. Anyway, on my first day I was introduced to a cook, a man of superior status, a higher life form, named Jason. Right off the bat, I could tell Jason was bad news and even worse - white trash. It could have been the barbed-wire tattoo around his wrist, the fake gold chain around his neck, or the low-life ambiance that was emitted from his many missing teeth, but it was immediately clear to me that this guy sucked.

Fast forward to two months later. One Sunday, Jason and I were the only people working in the kitchen. This is when he saw an opportunity to take advantage of me. Not in that way, dipshit. But to take advantage of my occupation as a serf and my naivety
. Up until this point, I was aware of the fact that Jason had no driver's license due to a couple of "bogus" DUIs. Sadly, I was unaware he frequently asked co-workers for rides home. As you can probably guess, Jason cornered me at work and started begging for a ride home. "It's not that far, man. Come on! Help a guy out." I agreed.

(OK, hold on a second. To help lighten the mood of this story, I'm going to start referring to Jason as "Dumbass.")

As we drove away from the golf course, Dumbass started directing me to his apartment. Upon arriving at his modest abode, he told me he was going to run inside real quick and get something he wanted to show me. I had no idea at the time, but I should have left. Dumbass came back and got into my car. "What are you doing?" I inquired. "I'm gonna need you to take me to see a friend of mine. He owes me some money, and I need to pay him a littlie visit. It's not a far trip, I'll pay you $50." Like a house on stilts in a hurricane, I crippled under pressure and followed the orders of upper management. Bad idea.

By this time in the story I was on the interstate, which is nowhere near the golf course. Turns out Dumbass lied. We neared a three-way split in the interstate: the left leading to downtown Detroit, the middle to Toledo, Ohio, and the right to Ann Arbor. I could sense this was the determining factor in where I would be spending the next hour of my life. I was praying for Ann Arbor. "Get in the left lane, we're going to Detroit," Dumbass mumbled. My heart sank.

Inner-city Detroit. Not the suburbs. Not I'm-from-Northville-yet-I-tell-people-I'm-from-Detroit-when-I'm-traveling-out-of-state Detroit. After exiting the highway, I drove down a road in what was probably a residential area, but looked more like a place where a bomb had recently gone off. Dumbass told me to slow down, and that the place we were looking for was five houses ahead. I glanced five "houses" ahead. On the left, there was a dilapidated yet quiet-looking home. On the right, there was a home with 10 black men crowded on a small lawn drinking beer and working on a Chevy Impala. I could sense what was coming. "OK, stop the car! It's the house on the right," Dumbass yelled. Fantastic news.

I received specific instructions from Dumbass to stay low and, this is still my favorite, to not draw attention to myself. Well, aren't those some comforting statements? "Stay low"? When does anyone need to stay low, save a war or a terrorist attack? "Stay low" is a bad command to give to someone - it will only make them nervous. The latter was even more impressive and easily outdid the former instrucion. "Don't draw attention to yourself." Thanks, Dumbass, I think you and I have already fucked this one up huge. After fiddling with something secured in his boot that I believed to be a knife, Dumbass set off into the sea of Detroit locals guarding the home. I was sweating profusely. Looking back on this whole bizarre scenario, I should have left him there to die. But then again, he probably would have paid me a visit next. So I waited.

What seemed like an eternity later, Dumbass came sprinting out of the house like a bat out of hell amid the confused-looking group of urbanites who started to shout, got into my car and yelled "Drive!" Again, telling someone to "Drive!" is something that should rarely, if ever, be done. If necessary, it should be used in moderation, for it implies that eminent danger is upon us and that driving very fast is the only chance we have to escape the coming certainty of death and/or injury. Nonetheless, I understood and chose to "Drive!" as fast as I could.

I didn't know what transpired in the house, but I had a better idea once we got back on the interstate. Dumbass pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, and I told him I normally don't let people smoke in my car. He replied by shaking out five crack rocks into his hand from the empty pack. I was beside myself at this point - completely dismayed as to what had happened that day. As Dumbass broke up the rocks in his hand and snorted them, he proceeded to tell me how he recently moved to Michigan from Miami, where he used to deal cocaine. "They arrested my old man on a sting," Dumbass explained. "Fucking cops," he elaborated. After Dumbass enlightened me with more of his senseless stories, I learned that not only was I harboring a drug dealer, but an ex-convict as well. What a great way to spend a Sunday. The "Lord's" day. He did pay me though - $50 like he promised.

The next week, Dumbass robbed our work. That's right. He robbed the place. But since he didn't have a car, this made his getaway much less smooth than the average criminal. Apparently Dumbass had been stealing cash from the golf course for months and decided to take off running after stealing the last amount of the beer-cart money, leaving his cooking apron on the pavement of the parking lot during his mad dash to the nearest major road. Oh yeah, Dumbass also broke into our boss' house to steal a few items and held up a local video store at knife-point. He was apprehended later that week.

Needless to say, this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I know you know this because you wasted your time reading my incredibly stupid story. I'm sorry. But I felt I owed it to you to let you know what a moron I was. I am convinced that I am a different person now, and that such horrible judgment and decision making is behind me. As for Dumbass, he's still in jail. If he dies in his cell, it's well deserved for being such a loser.

Welcome to Mundane Affair

Hello, and welcome to Mundane Affair. The good, the bad and the ugly: you'll read about it all here. Hopefully. Musings, morons, matter and milestones - this will be a look into what can happen in a given day.

Hope to see you around.