Archives 'Cars'

21 July

30 June

Okay, so SCoD isn’t really a regular feature, but this one on a story at the Consumerist really stood out as inane:

@Ash78: Too bad BMW is a British Car, not German…. B-British… M-Motor….W-… im not sure what the w stands for but its probably Works?

25 April


12 March

So, as you may remember from last week’s Tuesday blog, my beloved RiflemanMobile 3.0 was carelessly damaged by an unknown douchebag and was, consequently, in the shop being repaired. Friday morning, I get a call that the RiflemanMobile was ready to be retrieved, so ‘Shank and I went to get it. We drove it all afternoon without problems, but late that night, after I’d dropped ‘Shank off at his house, I was on my way back to my Valley Ranch abode when a message flashed onto the RiflemanMobile’s computer display informing me that the left front headlight wasn’t working–the very same headlight that had been replaced by the body shop.

Fuck, I thought.

And also kind of cool that the Germans decided it’d be handy to actually be informed via the in-dash computer display when various lights were out.

The next morning, I wandered out to the RiflemanMobile to investigate the light. After figuring out how to remove it (no small task when the whole headlight mechanism seems to have been designed with African Pygmies in mind–the last people that’d probably drive a GTI), I discovered that the plastic around the base was melted. Fuck.

I weighed my options. Buy a new light and hope that I could get my large hands into the mechanism to mount it correctly (not really an option, because those HID lights are fucking pricey and there was no way that I was going to ever get my hand into that thing to mount it right). I could wait until Monday and take it back to the body shop and let them deal with it, but that’d leave me carless, or at least driving another shitty rental for a day or two. Or take it to VW and hope that they don’t realize that the headlight assembly had been replaced (luckily, it was original VW parts).

I settled on the third option, assuming that it’d be a simple fix for VW, such as just replacing the bulb or something.

After killing a couple of hours at the VW place, my service advisor declared that not only was the bulb damaged because it was improperly seated in the housing (of course, he assumed it’d worked its way loose and was their problem) but also that the control assembly that handles the self-leveling functionality of the light had been damaged by arcing.

I agreed with him that this was a misfortunate issue, but then he asked me a question I didn’t particularly like hearing. “How do you feel about driving a Beetle?”

“Is that all you have?” I replied.

“Yep…Just gave out our last Passat loaner.”

“Well, I guess I can drive the Beetle, as long as it’s not pink or lime green.”

I follow him to the loaner car corral to find a red Beetle and a blue Touareg.

“What about the Touareg?” I asked.

“Oh, sorry…the Touareg loaners are for Touareg owners.”


I signed the paperwork for the Beetle and climbed inside to head home. As soon as my ass hit the seat, I felt my genitals begin to turn inside out. It is definitely a chick car.

By the time I got home, I was pretty sure I had a full-blown vagina. It took me a while to get used to sitting to pee, but I did get to play with it a lot, even enjoying some “DJ diddles“.

So I temporarily have a vagina.

Fucking girl-cars.

I get my GTI back tomorrow, if all goes as planned…hopefully, everything pops right back out when I get into it.

6 March

Tyler. What can I say about my hometown? Not much that the local tourist bureau would be eager to quote in their newest brochure “Tyler: It’s A Bit More Fun Than Pyongyang”. I sucked it up and went over there this last weekend after getting a heaping helping of good old-fashion Catholic guilt about not visiting my family enough ladled onto my psyche by my mother. My brother and his wife had a baby a couple of months ago and, to hear my mom say it, if I don’t get over there often enough to see him while he’s still a baby, he’ll be graduating from high school in a couple of weeks. Because, you know, my prescence stifles growth. Or something like that.

I left behind the gleaming city and headed out east on I-20 early Saturday morning, sipping my Starbucks and wondering what the weekend would bring. Fortunately, I already had a good idea…every visit to Tyler means just about the same thing: 1) My mom giving me shit about being single and 2) drinking with the lovely Holly and her now-thankfully-short-haired brother Andrew (who apparently feels that “Joe” is a great nickname for someone named “Andrew”). These two people are what makes Tyler worth going to. Seriously.

Don’t get me wrong…I love my family, but our priorities are different. My brother and his wife are uber-responsible now that they have a kid, so no going out for drinks with them. And what kind of loser goes out for drinks with his mom? Not this kind of loser, that’s for certain.

So I arrived in Tyler, ready for what the weekend might bring. Having only had some nuggets to eat the night before, I was a bit on the hungry side. Apparently, so was the rest of my family. We decided to just get something small for lunch, then go out for a big dinner, so it was up to my brother and me to procure some Whataburger.

We picked the slowest Whataburger in the world. Seriously…it shouldn’t take 25 minutes to make four burgers and four orders of fries. As we waited, we watched–and this part isn’t meant to sound racist, but it probably does–a long-necked black woman bring out other people’s orders to their tables.

It was interesting.

Having, in the past, encountered a lot of black women who use peculiar pronunciation in their push to bring back Gullah as a dialect say things such as “nackins” instead of “napkins” and, most recently, “it sho’ is niced outstide”, I’ve made up a little game in my head to try to figure out how one would pronounce words in this neo-Gullah dialect. I got to play my little game at Whataburger.

As this woman brought out orders, craning her head this way and that, looking for the number tents with people’s order numbers placed on their tables, my brother and I decided that she resembled a velociraptor, as seen in Jurrasic Park. Or, as a neo-Gullah speaker might say, a “velostidtraptor”.

We finally made it home with our lunch, our highly-specialized burger orders surprisingly not fucked-up, but our french fries flaccid and un-tasty. After lunch, we busied ourselves with shopping and whatnot, followed by some good, old-fashioned TV watching. Which is painful when your mom only gets maybe forty channels and the only thing on her PVR (or Tiv-faux, as I call it) are seventeen episodes of Flip That House, which should never–I found out–be confused with the similarly-named and themed Flip This House.

Dinner time fastly approached and Mexican was decided on. Deciding on the place to eat was the big question–Tyler has more Mexican food places per capita than Mexico City, including the illiterately-named “El Mejicano” (Mexicans know that it’d be spelled “Mexicano” and still have an “h” sound in there), Mercado’s (which translates into “Market’s”–making no sense whatsoever–and is pronounced in the peculiar East Texas accent as “Mercardo’s”) and Posado’s (which is, of course, Spanish for “put’s”). Seriously, if you own a Mexican restaurant in Tyler, you’re retarded when it comes to translating things. There is also a Papacita’s, which should not to be confused with the similarly-named and themed Pappasito’s. This place is the worst of the lot, in that for years the manager was a skeevy-looking white guy that hadn’t had a change of wardrobe or hairstyle since 1979 (plaid pants, anyone?) and whose tables are festooned with ads for used car dealerships, lawyers and back pain clinics.

After dinner, I met up with the aforementioned Holly and Joe at a local Asian fusion restaurant called Julian’s. I sipped Tsingtao and conversed with Holly, Joe and Holly’s friend from NYC, Jamie. Jamie was the first person I’ve met from New York who wasn’t a douchbag about being from New York. Every single other person I’ve ever met who’s either just visiting from NYC or has moved from NYC can’t stop going on and on and on about how much better NYC is than wheever they happen to be at the present moment. Which is fucking annoying. New York City isn’t the end-all, be-all, greatest city in the world, despite what tourism campaigns, Rudolph Giuliani and every sitcom ever made would have you believe. Interestingly, this attitude isn’t unique to America…a quick, informal office poll of some of my coworkers from outside the US shows that the same attitudes are found in the UK about London, Russia about Moscow, Australia about Sydney, Philippine’s about Manila and Mumbai about India. Pretty much what this quick office study tells me is that if you’re from the biggest city in a particular country, you’re a total douchebag.

After drinks at Julian’s, we moved to Dakota’s for more imbibing before it was decided that–and I’m not sure why I agreed to this–we’d go to a party. Unfortunately, no one told me it’d be a douchebag party.

It was chock-full o’ emo kids, wannabe hipsters, people with bad, bad hair and perpetual community college student losers. Being un-pierced, un-tattoed, having well-styled hair and having never shopped at a second-hand store, I was so out of my element. Drunken fucks tried to talk to me, their slurred words sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher and their incessant stumbling about annoying me. The air was thick with cigarette smoke, burning my eyes and searing my throat. The only saving grace was the keg of Shiner, where we stationed ourselves, drinking as much of the losers’ beer as possible.

Thankfully, then end came sooner rather than later, and I made my way home, slunk into bed and awaited the morning. Unfortunately, morning came sonner rather than later as well.

Sunday, was a lazy day…I didn’t do much with my family, and eventually escaped back to Dallas, where at last I felt safe. After some late TV-watching with ‘Shank, I fell asleep, only to have to rise again at 6 in the morning.

Why six in the morning? Am I glutton for punishment? Do I hate myself? No, not that much. I had to take my GTI–the RiflemanMobile III–into the body shop because of an incident that happened last time I was in Tyler, nearly a month ago. I was at a lame-ass nightclub with Tyler people and apparently some inconsiderate fuckhead decided it would be a good idea to run into my fender and not leave a note. Thanks for the $2200 worth of damage, cocksucker.

At any rate, this means that this week I’m rolling in the shittiest car ever…a Chevy Cobalt. The doors, I am certain, are cardboard. The seats are uncomfortable. The ride feels “squishy”. And the windows have to be hand-cranked. I didn’t even know they made hand-cranked windows any more.

Bah. Bah it all to hell.

Update – 10:18 AM

As Joe pointed out in the anonymous comment below, I apparently forgot to mention “the dude with the caved in chest at the douchebag party who was laying in the kitchen floor while some chick ate cereal off of him”. How could I forget somethiung like that? Easy. Somehow, in my alcohol-fueled state, I totally missed him. I IM’d Joe and he filled me in a bit more on this weirdness:

“some chick had poured cereal AND MILK onto his scrawny, never-worked-out-because-i wasn’t-good-at-sports-and-now-i-just-write-tortured music-all-the-time chest and was eating it”

What the fuck? Damn emo kids.

Of course, I also forgot to mention the guy who panicked when the tube for his insulin pump got caught in some bushes. All I could say was “that’s what you get for being diabetic”. Because, you know, I’m an asshole like that.

27 January

Grace passes along this image with her caption “See the importance of learning to give a good BJ!”

Discuss amongst yourselves the ins and outs of using sex for material gain.

23 August

I miss her. I really do. I don’t normally admit to this kind of thing, but the longing in my heart is just too great to ignore. To great to keep locked away–I have to share it.

I miss the way she would make me smile when I’d see her in the morning.

I miss her smoothness.

I miss the way she purred under my gentle touch.

I miss her smell. Sweet and complex, it seemed to say “I’m not innocent…I’ve seen the world.”

I miss the long drives we’d take together…to Tyler…to Waco…to Houston…Sometimes we’d just drive aimlessly around North Texas, though the concrete and glass canyons of Dallas to the endless suburban sprawl of Collin County to the Cowtown glamour of Fort Worth.

I miss her after work when she’s no longer waiting for me, ready and waiting for another night of adventure.

I miss the raw sexiness she exuded. Her tight rear end. Her perfect skin.

I miss the way she’d talk to me, whispering in a language that only we shared, sharing her problems, letting me know when something was wrong.

I miss her occasional stubborness. The way she’d just sometimes not want to do what I wanted her to do. But I accepted it and let it go, forgiving her personality quirks.

I miss our hot, lazy Saturdays together. We’d fool around outside with the garden hose. She’d get soaked, then I’d take my time drying her off, taking in her smooth curves and near-perfect body.

I miss riding her. Riding her faster and faster, to the edge of reason and ecstasy. Riding her until danger and excitement merged into a blur.

Dammit. I miss her. I miss my car.

20 August

Time for a little update on last weekend’s experiments on the ability of the Mitsubishi Eclipse to go offroading. As you may have already surmised, these experiments were a failure, though I did discover that you can get some great hang time in the Eclipse (enough to almost clear a rather wide median).

If you remember, I asked for you to remember my beloved, souless, inanimate Riflemanmobile in your prayers. I’m assuming that most of you prayed to your god, whether it be Yahweh or Allah or Ganesh or Siddharta Gautama or even the Porcelain God. Thank you for your thoughts, because they’ve apparently worked. After sitting on pins and needles, waiting for that phonecall, as the last few days have been touch-and-go, my Sony Ericsson rang at 3:30 Thursday afternoon, showing a 972 number on the caller ID that I didn’t recognize. Shit, I though, it’s the insurance company. Either they have good news (it’s fixable) or bad news (it’s totalled and you’ll have to buy a new car that you can’t afford at this particular juncture in the space-time continuum). I hesitated to answer, fearing the unknown, scared of what I might hear. Would my baby be dead, like that time CPS showed up at my neighbor’s place in the College Station ghetto a few minutes too late and the cops came and arrested her boyfriend because he decided to demonstrate how the automatic paint mixer at Home Depot works using her 18-month-old daughter? I braced myself for the worst and answered the phone.
“Hello?” I asked, my stomach knotting and twisting like a dog with gastric dilatation or volvulus.
“Mr. Rifleman? I’m looking for Mr. Rifleman,” said the gruff voice on the other end of the line. A voice that screamed “I’ve wasted my life as an auto insurance adjuster when I should’ve been a hurricane insurance adjuster, as I’d be in sunny Florida right now”.
“This is him,” I replied, still girding for what could come.
“This is Robert with Geico. Your car is messed up pretty good, but we’ve already started fixing it. Total damages are in the $4000 range, but it should be ready towards the end of next week.”
Thank god. Or God. Or Allah. Or Siva. Or self-determinism.
“Great,” I replied, “What all was damaged?”
Robert proceeded to list the damages. From what I remember, the list was something like this:

1. Catalytic converter/muffler – destroyed
2. Radiator – destroyed
3. Condenser – destroyed
4. Torsion bar – torsioned a bit too much
5. Core support members – twisted like a sick dog’s stomach
6. Front bumper assembly – banged like a cheap whore
7. Suspension – not suspending too well
8. Left front wheel – shattered like Nancy Kerrigan’s knee and her dreams of gold at the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, Norway.
9. Tire on same wheel – too tired to keep driving around on
10. Transmission – knocked a nice little hole in it, but nothing that can’t be patched up
11. Cigarette lighter – missing. Since 2002. But I really think they should replace it.

So, where does that leave the Rifleman? Out a $500 deductible and probably an increase in my premium. And another week driving around a black Ford Taurus–the same kind of car that I was rented the last time the Riflemanmobile was damaged and in the shop.

Overall, I guess I’m lucky. I’ve cheated death once again and have an interesting tale to tell over drinks. And isn’t that the important thing?

18 August

For generations, Bentley has been one of the great automakers. The pinnacle of luxury. The acme of perfection. The ugly little sister of Rolls Royce. Then, a few years back, Volkswagen (German for great car with which aid in the committing of genocide), bought Bentley, rescuing it from the hands of its evil English overlords and finally allowing it to come into its own. Their latest car is the Arnage:

Stunning in its grace, sturdy in build and unparalleled in luxury, it commands the road and offers a certain “bling factor” to up-and-coming hip hop stars with questionable future earning ability. At a price tag of $256,000, it’s an automobile within the financial reach of but a select few.

So, what do you do if you have the desire for one of these fine autos but lack both the financial and social status to actually acquire one? Simple. You follow the steps outlined below and before you know it, you too will have your very own Bentley. (Or at least something close enough to fool the extremely stupid casual observer).

1. Be born here:

2. At the age of three, have your parents hire un coyote to smuggle you into the great land past El Rio Bravo del Norte–the Rio Grande–into Texas.

3. Grow up in Oak Cliff, dropping out of school at age 12 to become a drug mule, running drugs for Carlos “El Gigante” Vasquez for $5 a bundle. But watch out for those truant officers!

4. Be sure to eat plenty of your madre‘s tamales with extra manteca, because you need to grow big and fat to be a proper blackeye on society.

5. Spend a year in juvie at age 13 for pulling a knife a poor mister Maharajapuram, proprietor of the corner convenience store. Good thing the court didn’t find out about the drugs you’d been running for “El Gigante”, or you would’ve been in until you turned 18!

6. After getting out of juvie, keep running drugs for “El Gigante” and growing fat for a couple of more years until you turn 19. Then, seeing a business oppurtunity, move to Coppell or Valley Ranch, hoping to supply cocaine to the Dallas Cowboys.

7. It’s 1997. Buy a cellphone the size of a brick and never, ever get another one for at least the next seven years, even though cellphones are the one area where bigger is not necessarily better. Besides, you’ve grown to be very gordo, so it would be hard for your fat, pudgy Mexican fingers to press the buttons on anything smaller.

8. That coke dealing gig didn’t work out, so instead–for the next six years–you’re supplying skanky weed to the high school kids in Coppell, but you still have dreams of being a big time drug dealer, with your very own cartel and everything.

9. Wanting to look the part of a big time drug dealer with your very own cartel and several violations of the RICO Act under your belt, you decide you need the car of a big time drug dealer with his very own cartel.

10. You go to Barnes and Noble to peruse the magazines, looking for the newest in luxury cars. Unfortunately, you can’t read, so you get the seven-year-old at the next table in the B&N Cafe to sound out the words for you. That is until her mom notices her precious little girl talking to a fat Mexican with a leer in his eye.

11. From what the little girl read to you, you realize that you’ll never afford a Maybach or a Aston-Martin or even a Escalade. You’re really sad because that Bentley Arnage really caught your eye, but you’ll never save up $256,000 selling skanky weed to Coppell High students, even if they are whiney little rich bastards whose parents buy them everything they want and have no concept of money and hard-work so you jack up the weed prices 25% to rip them off.

12. Aha! What’s this? Is it another, smaller Bentley? It sure looks like one, right here on page 118 of Car & Driver, even if it is smaller than the Arnage. But you don’t know what it is, because you still can’t read. You find a guy who reads what it is to you. It’s a Chrysler 300 and it’s only $27,880 (as tested). You can afford that! And maybe your compadres will be gullible enough to believe that it’s really a Bentley.

13. You go to the nearby Chrysler dealer and pay cash for a new silver 300. No credit check for you!

14. You get you cousin Hector to steal one of these emblems off a real Bentley that he parks one afternoon at the country club in the Park Cities where he’s a valet.

15. You go to Walmart and buy a tube of Crazy Glue, then returning to your apartments, you pry the Chrysler emblem off the front of your 300, then glue the stolen Bentley emblem in its place. You briefly consider prying the “300” off the back of your car, but then you decide you can leave it there and tell all your muchachos that the “300” signifies how fast your new car can go.

16. Get a peckish for some burnt-tasting coffee and decide to go up to the neighborhood Starbucks at MacArthur and Beltline.

17. Sit outside, talking on your brick-sized cellphone in overly-loud Spanish, mere feet from your faux Bentley, where you can admire it and keep those damn kids from running into it with their bikes and skateboards.

18. Wonder why longershank and Rifleman are inside Starbucks laughing so hard and pointing at your “Bentley”.

17 August

They came and took my baby away this morning. I didn’t cry and scream like my neighbor did that time CPS showed up and took away her baby when I lived in the ghetto in College Station. But it was upsetting. Will I ever see her alive again? Or will she be consigned to derelict heap of society’s cast-off vehicles, joining her departed brethren–the Ford Granada, Cadillac Brougham and Chevy Vega? Or will she arise anew, like a glorious phoenix, to lead the Aztecs to their promised land?

Actually, the only time anything remotely Aztec has followed my car was the time those Mexicans followed me for a while trying to car jack me. I finally lost them, but if they had followed me to my apartment, it would’ve been far from a promised land for them, for I stock no tequila or chorizo. I have no peliculas en espanol on DVD for them to watch nor do I have a wife or young daughter for them to have their way with. Though they might enjoy a fine game of Grand Theft Auto on my PS2 in order to hone their street thuggery skills. (Or is that skillz?)

The guy that came to tow away the Riflemanmobile seemed like a decent guy. He offered some insurance fraud tips, which I quickly purged from my mind lest I accidently employ them–Rifleman’s not too big on going to prison and is especially wary of prison rape. I mean, it’s not like I’m not open to new things, it’s just I have an aversion to being violated in a communal tile shower by a large black man nicknamed “Tiny” when it’s–literally–painfully obvious that he’s anything but “tiny”. The tow truck operator asked me about Valley Ranch and the Cowboys and my opinion of them possibly moving to Arlington. I don’t really have an opinion, but forced myself to stifle a chuckle when he said “It’d be a shame if they moved to a stadium that wasn’t in Dallas,” though they technically haven’t played in a stadium in Dallas since the early Seventies–Texas Stadium is situated in Irving afterall. He asked me about my apartment complex, specifically enquiring about the “scenery” and the “furniture”. At first, I thought it was some sort of weird gay come on, and not being interested in anything involving “gay”, “come” and “on”, I didn’t know what to say. But then I realized that he meant that he wanted to know about the women in my complex. I responded that for the most part they were decent, but tended to be Arab, so you never got a good look at them behind their chadors. For some reason, he felt obligated to mention that he and his girlfriend have recently gotten into swinging and threesomes. It made me shudder, because this was a decidedly unattractive man–very much unlike those porno guys that are always involved in threesomes on the Net.

As for my car, the insurance company said it might be a few days until they get it torn down and are able to ascertain its fate. Please remember to keep my souless, inanimate object in your prayers.

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