The Insurance Schmuck recently tried to talk me into driving my Civic to San Jose and serving as his unpaid chauffeur for a couple of days on an upcoming business trip. I didn’t bite, for several reasons. First, this proposal was champion schnorring. He wanted to avoid the cost of renting a car in San Jose by having me run my car another several hundred miles into the ground as his limousine. He probably would have found it crass of me to ask for standard federal mileage reimbursement, minus an adjudstment for better-than-average fuel economy, even though my car has over 195,000 miles on the odometer and needs hundreds of dollars in repairs to look presentable and have working door keys. This means that I’d end up driving three, five, even nine hundred miles round-trip to have a bunch of Type A salesmen well into the top decile of household incomes in their own right look my gift horse in the mouth and snicker about its dentition. What? What do you mean you can’t lock the doors? Fuck that.
That’s the other thing: this proposal was one of the most regressive things I’ve ever heard from a sworn Democrat not in high office. I have straightforward financial reasons for not fully maintaining that car. The Insurance Schmuck owns a fancy-pants Audi that impresses him much more than it impresses me, but I have noticed that it is intact of body and looks pretty new. Meanwhile, it turns out that the salesmen assembled in San Jose are to include ones from Lodi and Santa Rosa, who will probably drive. I can’t imagine there will be anything wrong with their cars. They probably can’t imagine that I regularly drive a 2001 Civic with a missing door handle and a hood secured shut with duct tape, but they aren’t on-duty cops, so their feelings don’t matter.
Whenever I hear a proposal like this, I keep wondering why the fuck I would drive to San Jose. It’s one thing to drive my parents around in a rental car, as I’ve been doing for my dad, but my own car, so that I can perform a taxi mitzvah for the severely affluent at my own financial expense? Like, here’s a Superliner, and here’s a taped-together old pile of entropic, underfunded junk that I’ll have to personally pilot down the length of 680, past God knows what gauntlet of out-to-lunch Chinamen, behind-the-wheel text messaging fiends, death-wish Orange County Chopper meatheads, cholo bruisers, other assorted flatbiller trash, self-important rich girls with cell phones, Lacoste douchebags staying alive at 85 while they conduct complex business deals, busybody Chippies, and not-otherwise-specified asswipes fixing to diagonally shear off my bumper. Railroad engineers are actually qualified to operate heavy equipment. If a generation has its Casey Jones, its Robert Sanchez, or its Brandon Bostian, that’s just one guy spectacularly fucking up every once in a while. Meanwhile, it’s considered normal in this country to remain licensed for operating cars the way those three operated trains.
No. Just because I enjoy Santa Clara County doesn’t mean that the only vehicle I own must also enjoy it by way of defraying the travel expenses of some overpaid Young Turks.
Joe Dirtbag used to drive me up a wall by demanding rides around town, either disingenuously acting like it was no biggie or flat-out telling me to drive him to the repair shop now. I had not come to Oregon to be his fucking cabbie. I only do that kind of thing for people who can use the help AND are properly gracious about it, like my late grandmother. It figures that I’ve had Boomers and Millennials acting like I’m free Uber. At least the Insurance Schmuck conceded that he had tried to pull a sleazy one on me. Joe Dirtbag never acted chastened about having considered on-demand free rides his birthright. And my dad thinks I’m wrongheaded to describe him as a freeloader.
Sometimes I think about cleaning all the piles of shit out of the footwells. Other times I think about the opportunistic shitheads who will notice the empty seats. It’s probably worth not being able to pick up chicks who aren’t interested in me anyway. Seriously, the Insurance Schmuck told me that we should try picking up some California girls when he visits. To hell with that. I don’t have a chance with women when he’s around, and he knows jack shit about how the Californian ones are different. As long as I continue to have people in my life who treat their pets better than they treat me, I see nothing wrong with honoring a pile of old magazines and phone books above them as passengers. It’s easier than telling them to get fucked with their free ride requests, and it’s easier than finding a place to dispose of all that shit.
No, I wouldn’t want to marry into the joint custody of that rolling junkpile, either. For that matter, I wouldn’t want to marry into my own family. Ladies. What up.
Game high-maintenance bimbos just because they’re Californians my fat white ass. SoCal is all about manipulating vapid specimens of hypergamy for casual sex. NorCal is all about not harshing the mellow of dipshits who want you to give them free rides in the interest of family values or some shit. San Jose is central enough to be at the confluence of these streams of idiocy. No wonder my state is in trouble. Everyone’s hanging on the passenger’s side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at someone who’s shrilly hollering back at him about his hollering, and by the end of it Moonbeam V. 2.2 no longer sounds hoarsely strident about a blessed thing.
Holler at me, Dagmar. The cultural gap is just too wide. I’m surrounded by people who are too sheltered not to be clueless about the line items affecting my bottom line. This is Palo Alto. The only people who actually observe Lent in this town are the homeless, because in Soviet Franciscan Bay Area Lent observes THEM. Maybe some of the storage-unit Mexicans, too, I guess. Joe Dirtbag always finding seredipitously convenient excuses not to pay me damn fucking well doesn’t help my bottom line, either, but it’s more important for all of us to duly honor this grossly narcissistic honored citizen’s desire to engage in barter for thee but cash money for me than to, I dunno, observe the rules that are applicable to everyone else.
I’m a fucking poorie. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to secure a tourist visa to this kindgom, leave to enter for six months, employment and recourse to public funds prohibited. With occasional blessed exceptions, trying to explain these things to those around me is like a gutter drunk poorsplaining that, man, I had a big ol’ bag full o’ cans this afternoon, but then I went and bought me a handle of Jim Beam, and it’s gone, man, it’s gone. The scarcity mentality isn’t just a mental block or a poverty of spirit for the poors; it’s a protection against running flat out of money. It may be a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but one does not simply commune with Mr. Rogers at all times, even if one is domiciled in front of the Tenderloin Station. Sometimes one must instead try to commune where one has been excommunicated. I know, good fucking luck with that. Really, all I can do is hope to keep occasionally running into other people, sometimes even legit California girls of some sexual attractiveness, who are willing to listen graciously while I admit that it’s all a horrific insoluble clusterfuck that keeps wrecking my finances. I can keep the dream alive, but I can’t keep playing this game.
Elliot Rodger, pray for us in our time of loneliness. Robert Sanchez, pray for us in our time of travel. Sts. Valentine and Anthony, go back inside and don’t bother with this mess.