May 19th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Know What's Scary?

Making a quick post office run where you get in the car, the starter acts a little weird, and it takes about a minute to get it to turn over. Then, you drive to the post office, wondering what that subtle clicking noise is the whole time. Then you park at the post office and turn off the ignition and take the key out, but the car is still running, and the starter is on auto-churn, going, "voomp, voomp, voomp" and grinding itself to death on an already-live engine. So you forego the post office, thinking, "Fuck, I just gotta get this car, and me, home, quick!" and you drive home and the last block before your house you smell burning car and you pull up in front of your house with thick, rubbery smoke starting to billow out from under the bonnet and you turn the car off and the engine is still running and the starter begins its spasmodic churning again and you think, "Oh fuck, I don't know how to forcibly shut off a car — I mean, you take the key out, the thing should stop." Then, after trying to turn the car off a few times, it finally dies, and you pop the bonnet and the whole street is opaque with foul-smelling smoke and you burst into the house, grab the fire extinguisher, scream up the stairs, "BEN COME DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!" and run back outside trying to figure out how to work a fire extinguishers because you've never actually had to use one before. And the smoke continues and the smell is sickening and you're sure the whole thing's going to go up in flames any second. Then you notice the smoke is a little thinner — a little thinner — yes, a little thinner still, and you think maybe it's not going to explode after all. Then it starts raining — really, really hard, and you realize you've left the window down, and all electricity is now defunct, so you strrrretch the tiny car cover from your itty bitty Ghia over the big-ass Lexus, just enough so the torrent won't get inside the window and destroy the car. Then the tow guy comes to take your car to the fix-it place and you watch the car leave your house and you look at your hands and they're still shaking because you came about this <—> close to destroying a perfectly lovely Lexus in a car fire.

THAT'S what's scary!