Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hit and Run, Dreams That Grind You to Dust, and Mercury

Friday wasn't fun. It wasn't particularly horrible, just not enjoyable.

Our Jeep has been breaking down ever since we bought it and we always fix it. For a long time, we have been saying "After this, we're not going to fix it anymore." So when I went in for Safety Inspection and they said it needed a $500 repair to pass we decided that was the end.

We went and found a car that we like but we are not in the best of financial situations to buy a nicer, newer car that won't leave me stranded on the highway at 3 am and doesn't have a look equivalent to walking around with your pants up to your nipples. Were are still trying to get things worked out and I spent the bulk of Friday morning dealing with car dealers. Lousy ones at that. My wife had to wait in the van with 5 kids while I wheeled and dealed and she ended up killing the battery in the van while she waited.

After that I thought I would relax by watching an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" while I ate lunch. It happened to be an episode where Albert dreams about being kidnapped by goofy stereotypical hoot-n-hollar Injuns who are trying to take over Walnut Grove and only he can stop the feathered dufuses. That didn't make me feel better about life.

Then I went outside and spent the hour and twenty minutes I had left before work, chopping down a tree in our yard with a dull, rusty axe to appease the Home Insurance Gods. You can bet our neighbor Flo was grinning from ear to ear. One regret I have in my life is that I do not own a chainsaw. I plan on telling more specific origins of my family as soon as my mother approves the story but to put things bluntly, I am an outcast on my mother's side of the family for NOT owning a chainsaw. And not just one of those wussy 12 inch blade saws. I'm talking about the 3 foot blade. I have ALWAYS thought I would own one of those by now. If not for practical purposes then just to feel like I belong to my mother's side of the family.

Anyway, I chopped down the tree until the very last minute. There is something special about your lifestyle when you regularly make statements like, "I can rest for a minute in the car while I'm driving to work." Usually while covered in sweat and gasping for breath.

At the start of the shift, I got off my mega-bumpercar and pushed a cart onto the forks of George's stock picker (he got fired from the chip job, too). I turned around and, next thing I knew, my legs were knocked out from under me, I flopped forward and ended up hugging some strange mexican dude who apparently did not see me as he was driving through. You can just call him Mofo like the rest of us.

He yelled at me, "What the Hell are you doing?" And with my arms still around his neck I said, "YOU drove into ME."

I told the details of my day to some of my coworkers and one of them said, as if it was all to be expected, "Mercury is in retrograde."

I said, "Huhhhh?"

He said, "Mercury is in retrograde. It looks like the planet is moving backwards in the Zodiac and it causes problems with money, communication, travel, business deals and all kinds of things. It's a bad time to buy a car but it's not surprising your car broke down. My good cell phone broke last week. Now I have to use this piece of crap. The retrograde lasts until November 18th."

So here I thought my financial woes all stemmed from a lifetime of improper planning and poor educational and employment decisions on MY part but it turns out the whole thing is Mercury's fault. Well screw you, you dumb planet. Though, it does feel good to know where to point the finger. Everyone pet the scapegoat. Touch him. Love him.

I don't like the idea of getting a part-time job but now I can bond with my other coworkers who do the same thing. Robbie and Seth are spending most of their income on their cars (a Neon SRT4 and a Subaru WRX). They have ad nauseum discussions about turbos and blow off valves. They talk about starting a club for guys who think they have cool cars so they can drive around together for no good reason. Maybe I can join, but I don't have a turbo so I'm probably not cool enough.

Robbie is very cool. He used to be heavy into the BMX bike riding scene but he got hurt too much so he doesn't do it anymore. Most of his teeth are fake or bridge work. I guess his shoulder is really messed up. Seth says he puts on a brave face at work but when the shift is over he goes out to his car and sits in agony. He says he can barely move his arms after work. I asked, "Did he ever go pro or do any tournaments or the X-games or anything." Seth said, "No, but he used to ride with pros."

So Robbie destroyed his body for BMX, never went pro and now drives a forklift for a (painful) living? Well, he has more to show for it than that. He has lots of face piercings, stars tattooed all over his arms, hair died like a leapord pelt. Those things aren't nothing.

You can't be scared to chase a dream, even if you're ground to dust between Earth and Mercury in the process. Bust it!


Native Minnow said...

I'm sorry to hear about your car problems. I hope things get better before Nov 18. I wonder if I can blame my general apathy towards everything on Mercury being in retrograde too. Probably not, since the apathy has been around for quite a while.

Native Minnow said...

and I still think it's funny that you guys watch Little House on the Prairie.

flieswithoutwings said...

I know plenty of guys who watch "Desparate Housewives" so I make no apologies.