Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Um, I think I may not be able to hire you after all...

So today, after my fabulous lunch meeting (god bless Lula) I went for a manicure. (Don't judge me, there have to be some perks to working for yourself, and lord knows Health Insurance isn't one of them!) Upon arriving, it became clear that there was a small commotion outside the salon. Apparently, a gentleman, trying to retrieve something from inside the back of his van, became locked inside, and had to be rescued.

Poor fellow, I thought, isn't that embarrassing? My heart went out to him, since I have, on occasion, had some small car-related traumas. I'm reminded of the day I got my driver's license. My dad took me to the DMV, I took the written exam and aced it, took the driving exam and aced that, even the parallel parking part. My examiner handed me my sheet, only one point off for not stopping completely at the stop sign (had this guy never heard of the famous Chicago roll-and-go?) and he motioned to a door where I would enter to take my picture and get my license. I was so excited. I jumped out of the car, waved the sheet over my head and yelled to my dad "I passed! I've got my license!" Dad looked at me with a resigned smile.

"That's great, honey, I'm very proud of you. Um, did you? Just lock? The keys? In the car?"

I looked down at my hand, bereft of keys. I looked over at the door, firmly locked.

Dad called Mom to come over with the extra set, luckily she wasn't far, and the three of us went to Wendy's for lunch and they were both really cool about it.

They were also really cool when, three days later, I merged from the right lane of traffic into the rear passenger door of the car in the left lane.

They did not know until many years later about the night I borrowed Dad's car (1985 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, known colloquially as the Land Yacht), loaded it up with my friends and drove it to the now-defunct ice cream palace that was Zephyr. We spent a lot of time there, as it had the perfect combination of art deco decor, amazing ice cream sundae creations, and really hot waiters. (Ah, Patrick, where are you now, I wonder?)

Zephyr had a parking lot across the street with perpendicular parking. Now I might have been killer at the parallel, and any idiot can do the diagonal parking lot spaces, but perpendicular takes a little finesse. Especially in a car the size of an aircraft carrier. I somehow managed to pull the car into a space next to a Chevy Nova. And despite the fact that it seems to defy physics and logic, I parked so close that our rear bumpers were almost kissing, and my side view mirror was in front of their side view mirror, so that even if I had been brave enough to TRY to gently back out, I'd have taken off one or both mirrors.

The entire kitchen and bus-boy staff of Zephyr had to come outside, PICK UP the Nova and move it over one space, so that there was no damage to either car. Good thing those Nova's were made mostly of tin foil and spit.

I once locked my keys in the trunk. I took off my own side mirror in the parking lot of my parent's apartment building by running it into the huge cement pole next to the space. (I was looking at the pole on the other side in order to protect the other mirror and forgot to check my side)

So truly, I get it, it is so easy to have a braindead moment when vehicles are involved.

But, um, this is the truck the guy was locked in:

I took this with my cell phone, which is a great phone but not a great camera, so in case you cannot read the writing on the side, here is what it says.

Handi Co
Chicago's Premier Handiman Service
Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Painting, Maintenance

But I'm guessing not car service.


  1. I can't believe I've actually gotten in a car with you!!

  2. I love not having a car. You are a road hazard!

  3. I know this was posted over a year ago, but I had to add one my my MANY car stories. I left the keys in the lock while I was at the mall with my best friend. When we came back outside, it was gone. Some kids had taken it for a joy ride. Just so you know, this happened to me not once, but twice. Nice.