Flat Tire, Dead Battery and Monkey Rage

Ne0n Crisis #1

I had a flat tire a while back. If youíve ever gotten a flat tire while traveling at 70 mph in a ne0n down the freeway, you know how much that sucks. Personally, I wouldnít know as I was traveling 3 mph in rush hour, but I imagine the 70 mph situation would suck. I was near the interchange, which is a never ending junction of orange barrels, traffic accidents, frustration and broken dreams. If youíre in K@nsas City, picture the Gr@ndview triangle, because even though I havenít been in KC in over a year, I know that it is still and will always be under construction, forever and ever, in the end as it was in the beginning. Ok, listen up because this is in important. If anyone ever asks you to go anywhere that involves taking 1-4 - and this is vitally important information - you need to JUST SAY NO. Back to me though. I was calm, swore a lot, but calmly. I got out to see a very flat passenger side front tire, and wished I had a can of fix-a-flat. Then I opened my trunk and there was a can of fix-a-flat. It was like my ne0n knew what I needed, and provided. I should have closed the magical trunk and wished for a million dollars. I read the fix-a-flat directions, hooked up the tube to the incredibly flat tire, and pressed down on the trigger. Suddenly I was covered in white foam, not so much the desired result. Even more unpleasant because the sticky foamy, stuff smells like a cross between oven cleaner, industrial solvent and gasoline. That smell doesnít go away with bathing, oh no. All the next day I had to be extra careful to stay away from open flames, lest I combust, and listen to people say ďwhatís that smell?Ē as I walked past. Now I was covered in foam on the side of the interstate, how cool.

Itís ok I know how to change a tire. At least, Iím pretty sure I changed one over a decade ago in driverís ed. I tried to harness the power of all my brain cells working as a team to remember that day. I remembered that I smoked a lot that day, and I became fascinated by how round the tire was, and then I became fixated on the word round and how amazing that was, and then I ate a lot of donuts. Hmmm. I pulled out the ne0n ownerís manual to brush up on my skills. Now picture a girl in a skirt sitting in a dodge ne0n with a flat tire reading an ownerís manual. Did anyone stop? Noooooooooooo. Probably my Kansas license plates werenít helping, people detractors they are. Everyone probably assumed I was a tourist, and they hate tourists here, vile creatures filthing up the entire state with all their filth. (I encourage all my readers to try using filth as a verb. You can verbify anything if you just suffix it.) Or maybe they were just selfish bastards, tough call. Right, so I got the wheel cover off, and managed to loosen one of the lug nuts the one turn the ownerís manual advised before jacking the car up. One out of the five. Using all the impressive upper body strength a 100 pound girl possesses. So very tired and hot and doubting the effectiveness of my deodorant. Finally, someone stopped. About damn time.

He walks up and asked if I needed help. That guy rules! And check it, right, heís a doctor. Yes, thatís right, I have the power to make doctors pull of the interstate to help me. My mom would have been so supremely proud at that moment. Ok, just one doctor stopped, but still, how hard do I rock? I know, so hard.

After he manages to get the lug nuts off (I had loosened them, just so weíre all clear on that), I went to get the spare tire. Itís not a real tire though, is it? Apparently everyone in the world knows about these little tires, these tirelettes, the donut tire. Is everyone ok with this? Iím not. Itís not a real tire people! You canít even drive over 50 mph on it, and if youíve ever tried to drive less than 50 mph on I-4, well Iíve probably flipped you off. Sorry about that. I was all going to purchase a real tire as my spare, but I didnít for two reasons. One, turns out tires are expensive and two, a real tire wonít even fit in the tire well. Fine, I will keep the tirelette, but Iím not even going to pretend Iím happy about it.

Ne0n Crisis #2

Last week I went to see this 28 D@ys L@ter movie with my new friend M. A new friend at 29 years old, who would've thought. For some reason, she thinks I am the super genius type. Hmmmm. Ok. Stop reading if you donít want to know anymore about this movie Ė personally I donít like to see movies unless I know how they will end, but thatís me. Okay, first off, this virus/m0nkey rage/infection has killed almost all of England. Then we have these 4 survivors who are in London and have to travel to Manchester. Right, so they drive off and all the roads, with the exception of an under the river bridge, are clear. No cars, no accidents, nothing. Seriously now, if m0nkey rage was infecting the city, wouldnít there be a massive evacuation? Those never go smoothly, I mean just check how many accidents and traffic back-ups for miles occur during hurricane evacuations. Iím just saying. Then thereís the everyone in England is dead pretty much. Then where are the bodies? Save for one massive body pile up in a church, there are no bodies. Not that I wanted to see shots of dead bodies, Iím just saying. Then thereís the matter of this virus. Itís supposed to be uncontrolled rage released from an infected m0nkey. Yet the infected people that are still alive only go after the healthy people, they donít attack each other. So then itís directed, uncontrolled m0nkey rage? Iím just saying. Then later the hero, Jim, kills this dude by bashing his head against the floors and inserting his thumbs into the dudeís eyeball sockets. No, really. That was just gross, ok, ewww. It gets worse though, because immediately after he starts making out with this girl and his hands are touching her face, hands with his thumbs, thumbs that had just impaled a dudeís eyeballs all the way through to gray matter are all up on her face. Yeah, thatís hot. Lastly, the ending was lame as all hell because itís like another 28 days later and all the infected people are starving to death. Because what, they are so angry they forget to eat? The very end? A plane flies overhead, the survivors made a giant help sign out of sheets. Actually it says hello, not help, so maybe the pilot is thinking they are just wanting to say wassup, dog! In the beginning they said the virus had spread to Paris and New York. Iíll buy that maybe that was just a rumor. If it hadnít spread, if it was just in England, wouldnít the rest of the world just bombed the hell out of the entire country rather than saving a few unm0nkey rage infected people? What the fuck ever, this movie blows and I urge you to not waste your $8. Tell everyone. The critics all keep saying that itís this huge statement about society, but thatís not what I got out of it. Hereís what I got: m0nkeys suck. Now my friend and I are always incorporating the phrase ďIíve got m0nkey rageĒ into our vocabulary and laughing hysterically. I really donít know when that will stop being funny.

Then on the way home I stop to get gas and when I go to start my car, it not so much starts, as doesnít. The lights are dim, the radio isnít coming on, and the car isnít leaving the gas station anytime soon. Couldnít find anyone with jumper cables and Iím out in the suburbs, a good 20 miles from downtown. Crap. I called the dodge customer service helpline because theyíve been so helpful in the past. They sent out Jumper Cable Man who agreed to jump my car for $27. I was hoping he would waive that fee, but obviously my sex appeal was on the fritz. That often happens at around 2 in the morning.

On the way home, the battery light came on for some unknown reason. I was operating under the vague theory that the car battery is just there to start the car, not to keep it running so as long as I kept heading down the interstate at mock 8, I was good. I may be pulling that theory out of my ass, but it just sounds so very right. I checked the trusty ownerís manual when I got home to figure out exactly what the battery shaped light was trying to tell me. Here is what it said:


Rather cryptic indeed, and less than helpful. The next day the car wouldnít start again, so I start knocking on doors asking for jumper cables. Great way to meet the neighbors. Really if you drive ne0n, the dealership should give you jumper cables before you even drive off the lot. I found cables and this woman who, check it, she didnít even know how to open her hood. Stop and ponder that. Owning a vehicle that runs so well you donít even have to know how to open the hood. See, this is what life is like for those that donít drive ne0ns. I hooked up the cables, waited 5 minutes, and . . . . the ne0n did not start. It made an effort, but it was pathetic. Little puff of black smoke. I had to buy a new battery. Crap. $45. Double crap. A friend of M's installed it. He couldnít get the plastic case to go over the new battery, but he tells me that itís not necessary, that it is just decorative, kind of like bumpers or rearview mirrors.

If I have to buy one more thing for that ne0n, I am going to develop intense m0nkey rage. Hee, hee, yes, still funny to me.

2003-07-27 at 5:53 p.m.