Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Ride


Have you ever accepted a ride from someone and regretted being so amicable? I once had a rather posh event to attend in Portland. It was going to be a late night so I booked a room in a hotel and a friend that lived in town offered to pick me up. I wasn’t all that familiar with Portland at that time so finding the place of the event and a somewhere to park would have been a problematic stressor. I thankfully agreed to her offer of transport.

I wore a suit and looked rather dapper when I was standing outside the hotel awaiting her arrival when this car pulled up that looked a lot a lot like the Belvedere that the chickens that try to pass themselves off as Foster Farm chickens drive in the commercial. It was a dirty white tank with piles of bird shit on the roof and windows. There was a mirror dangling and an non-existent muffler.

I hesitantly got in and found a place for my feet amongst soda cans, newspapers and other refuse. I could smell exhaust fumes and gasoline. As I closed my door she took off like a shot. It took me four blocks before I could find my seat belt. There were sounds of groaning coming from the alternator and the power steering unit as she drove. I was reminded of the music of the minimalist composer, La Monte Young.

When we arrived her tank took up two parking spaces, and thankfully the walk from the parking garage was sufficient enough to air the fumes from my suit. Thankfully no one at the event saw what I had arrived in. I was fortunate enough to snag a ride with someone else to the after party and at the end of the night I took a cab back to the hotel.

I think back fondly upon that night whenever I offer someone a ride in my truck. My truck isn’t quite as bad, but I’m well on my way to matching Mary’s white tank.

12 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

You created a great (and amusing!) visual with this post. Just wish you could have described the look on your face upon seeing and entering that car!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I have a neighbor down the road I pretty much refuse to ride with. It isn't the outside of the car, it's the inside. Any car she buys looks like a junk yard within a week of her owning it. It's so bad that you can't even get in until you move some stuff around.

And anywhere you sit in it, you pick up white dog hair, because she frequently lets her dog ride with her.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Great post. But the real thing I am wondering about is WTF? Guy, in a suit? At a PARTY? Where there are people that he talked to probably? And maybe even ate food in front of them and watched them do the same? And weren't you the one extolling the virtues of having a dirty truck not that long ago?

5:49 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, Eyes crossed and held breath would describe it best.

Donna, that describes my back seat, tools, note books, CDs, jackets, gloves and reusable grocery bags.

Auntie, that was back when I just arrived from the East Coast before my self imposed exile and subsequent antisocial skills. It was long before many of my quirks came out. As for the truck, though I posted that I was going to clean it, I still haven't.

7:53 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

If you hadn't said "Mary" I was going to guess you had gotten a ride from my mom. She wasn't so much dirty as cluttered. Apparently it's an inherited trait.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Uncle Walt said...

Been on the flip side of this coin ... being the one who offered a ride to a dorm mate.

He needed a ride back from visiting friends for a week, as his car broke down during the visit and was being fixed. I had been visiting family, and had to come past where he was, so offered him a ride back with me.

I had a VW Superbeetle at the time. Had to have both driver and passenger windows open after picking him up, 'cause he apparently hadn't taken a shower or changed clothes during his whole visit. When I stopped for gas halfway back, and he went into the mini-mart to get a snack, I was severely tempted to either continue without him or make him strip down and burn the clothes. But being such a great friend, I contented myself with the purchase of an airfreshener spray - which I immediately put to liberal use all over the interior of the car. Unfortunately, that solution only worked for a couple minutes before the poor 'freshening molecules were overpowered.

Like the Seinfeld episode, the smell persisted in the car for days afterwards - even with the windows constantly open and parked so as to allow maximum airflow.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I washed my truck before a recent trip to California.
Directly after unloading there, I drove straight to a car wash.
The trick is to give it a quick shot of soapy water. Then switch to bubble brush.
Don't attempt to actually wash the truck while the timer is running.
Just continually run the brush over the truck until your time runs out. By then the truck is COVERED in suds.
Then you can take your time and scrub it clean.
Then I drop in another $1.50 and run the entire time on "hot wax".
When the beeper goes off to warn you of 1/2 minute, switch it to rinse.
I'm back home now and just as soon as I log off the computer I'm going to was my truck.
HEY! I may be a gearhead, but I'm not a slob! :-O

11:13 AM  
Blogger g said...

good Lord, i don't know where to even start. i have had so many strange ride by stranger episodes i could probably devote a website to them.

got stuck once while bird hunting and the short story is me, john (now a famous chef), and cruz (my famous labrador) got a ride in a snow blizzard in the front scoop of a tractor (miles).

handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser, lost in the woods while hunting and found by a couple of stoned teachers from clatsop county, the list goes on and on.

8:04 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, and I bet you are the opposite.

Walt, oh man, isn't that an entire blog post. It's rare to find anyone that stinks so badly, but when you do they really leave an impression.

Gearhead, you are one of the most meticulous people I have ever met. I bet you've even trimmed back those fruit trees in your driveway. By the way I should do a post on you some day. People think I'm quirky...

g, I bet I could name the two stoned teachers, but I won't and no one else should either.

5:01 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Oh hell no. I'm a career clutterer.

8:09 AM  
Blogger g said...

notice i said clatsop county and not the school district!

small area we live in. gotta be careful.

i saw one of them about 5 years ago in safeway buying munchies. :-)

6:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

g, I knew who you were talking about immediately.

9:05 PM  

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