Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Fall is over and done with. Most people like the peak fall season when the leaves are all red, yellow and orange. I like late fall when most leaves have fallen and ball-freeze has begun. Somehow leaves look better on the ground. Plus, during this time, the sun is mostly invisible, it is misty, rainy and the rural Pennsylvanian countryside looks like something out of a Sherlock Holmes movie with the big dog.

We had a minor ice-storm the other day. I had to go change the tires on my car. I don't believe the car people when they tell me it's time to change my tires. I always feel like they are trying to fool me. That's because tire-changing time is so vague. Theoretically, any time could be tire changing time, or rather, tire-non-changing time, because the tire never runs out of rubber. Of course, there exists some rule of thumb, involving the insertion of a coin inside your tire treads and checking to see if Lincoln's face can be seen or some such nonsense. I don't follow that protocol because I think using Lincoln's face as a car maintenance tool is disrespectful to his head on the mountain. Instead, I change my tires when my car begins to hydroplane on a dry road, which I call aeroplaning because I am so clever.

So I drove to the car dealership, deposited the car and walked back home. I realized then that I have totally forgotten how to cross a road as a pedestrian (someone who walks, in case you live in America and have forgotten what it means). I kept looking in the wrong direction, kept hitting the wrong traffic buttons and the wrong vehicles kept stopping for me which wasn't even me, it was the wrong person. Finally, someone in a Honda took pity on me and waited for me, allowing me to cross the road. He probably thought that I was walking in the ice because I was a homeless person without a car and because he was a Honda owner, he had probably been a homeless person too at some point in his life, and I felt guilty that I was taking undeserved advantage of his kindness because I did actually own a car. I had a similar feeling of guilt the other day during my eye doctor's appointment when I went there to get fitted for contact lenses. The doctor was all like "Oh, you are so smart, usually people take a long time to learn how to wear and remove contacts" and I was all like yeah, thanks, but what I didn't mention to her was that I already knew how to wear contacts because years ago, I used to wear contacts. I felt like I was a bad person and I am pretty sure that Santa's gonna be shoving charred monkey corpses down my chimney this year.

But the reason I went to buy new tires is because they had a tire sale (4 tires for the price of 3) and it was the final day of the sale. Since I am an avid environmentalist, I like to conserve money just like I conserve electricity and I try not to burn it. So even though it was snowing jagged little pellets of ice, I went to change my tires, even though I knew I would have to walk back and forth from the store. When I went back to retrieve my car, I received a bill for more than 4 tires. Now I don't like to be rude to the car guys because that would probably result in someone spitting in my radiator, so I didn't gape in an amazed way at the bill in front of them. Instead, I walked out into the snow and spent the next five minutes gaping amazedly at my bill there. And through all the snow and ice, I saw something called "road hazard warranty" that had been tacked on to the bill, which was equal to the cost of one tire and a higher end Russian bride.

So then I went back inside and asked them what the hell this "road hazard warranty" business was and they replied in a nonchalant manner, Oh that, yes, if you want that 4 for 3 tires deal you also have to purchase this warranty. And so I took my notebook out and added another star to the galaxy of times that I have been conned. Seriously, I am so easy to fool that if you came up to me, walked up to me right this very minute and put a finger on my chest, telling me I have a spot on my shirt, I guarantee you that I would immediately look below and then you could smack me on my chin and steal my wallet. Yes, I am that stupid.


Anonymous said...

well, u turned from clever to stupid in a single post. Yes, I have amazing reading comprehension capability. thanks.

ggop said...

And then there are the super clever guys in grad school who always announce how they can get (insert any item) for a better deal than what you did :-)
Bah, they love to rain on your parade.

zambezi said...

all of us get conned here in some way or the other. when you buying your house, make sure you do the tax math right. or you will be fucked like me.

Anonymous said...

u should come to california

spring, summer, fall, winter

its the same throughout the year.

it should just be called weather here

gawker said...

naveen : yes i am clever about stupid things and stupid about the things that matter.

ggop : yes, which is why it is always better to walk around holding an umbrella of low expectations.

zambezi : what math is there to do? they tell you your monthly payment before you buy the house which includes the tax and everything. or do they do it some other way in jersey?

gawker said...

kp : Actually we only have two seasons here in PA : winter and road construction season.

RobRoy said...

Perhaps you should move to a warmer climate?

Out of curiosity, have you seen this story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7132124.stm

gawker said...

robroy : But i love winter. What I love the most about winter is when I run out of ice for my margaritas, I can just use some from the sidewalk. Although I do have to keep spitting out the sand.

Yes, that is a great piece of news, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I think the best part (other than the brilliant plan of using the Indian postal service to send mail to heaven) is the apparent existence of a "fast track" court used to "resolve disputes quickly" which appparently takes 20 years to render a verdict.