Disclaimer: All posts for “Ugly Volvo Wednesdays” are fiction. Any resemblance, in whole or in part, to any living person, group, product, or corporate entity (past or present) is wholly unintentional.
Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover In Recovery)
Chapter 15—Avenge Assholes in Your Own Car!
Once the clutch was replaced on my shiny new blue car, my dad seemed much more comfortable with our trading cars every now and again. However, I would come to realize that he would use my car to relive is Ol’Bruiser glory days of driving uninhibitedly.
There was a foreshadowing of this dynamic a few months before it really hit its full stride. There was this family wedding, and I had decided that I wanted to drive myself to both the ceremony and reception. I am a little more punctually inclined than my parents, and consequently arrived at the church before they did. As with many of the older churches in the city, parking was limited to the surrounding streets. I was fortunate to find parking reasonably close to the church. As I locked my car, I noticed, somewhat absent mindedly, that the space left behind my car was a little too small for the average person to park in. Like a damn fool, I neglected to remember my dad was no average person.
A few minutes after I was seated in the church, a couple sat down behind me. The man was agitated and saying things like “can you believe some people?!” Since churches are a hushed kind of place, it is not hard to listen discreetly to surrounding conversations. Apparently, this guy had witnessed someone doing a bona-fide asshole-esque job of parallel parking just down the street. Apparently this guy, who was driving a “fairly nice car”, kept ramming the “poor old car” in front of him. Apparently, the “ramming” seemed relentless to this observer, and it was puzzling to him how a person in such a nice car to do that another, older car, and of the same model. In my mind I considered the possibility that this guy might actually be describing my dad, and then in the blissful fashion of the truly delusional, I dismissed the notion.
Seconds later, I heard the guy behind me say “shhhhh, here he comes”. Shortly thereafter, my parents came along and sat down beside me. My mom leaned into me and whispered, “Your father parked behind you, and made a proper ass of himself in doing so!” Perhaps it was the dust in the old chapel, but I started coughing uncontrollably. My dad hardly noticed as he recounted his great parking victory. Norse legends had nothing on my dad when he regaled others with tales of his great vehicular conquests. He told me that he had to ‘nudge’ my car a few times, but he had dibs on scratching the paint seeing that he was the one responsible for the recent rust repair and repaint. Although they didn’t say anything out loud, the waves of pity coming from the couple sitting behind me were palatable.
In hindsight, I should have really seen the forest for the trees, but I was young. So, it went, and my dad and I began to trade cars every once and a while. At first, things seemed uneventful, but that was a very enchanted, yet short time. My dad never really said anything—he was very discreet all things considered. I found out about his ‘adventures’ quite incidentally: unhappily incidentally.
Now, remember, I was young, so I really was not the quickest to catch on. So I actually endured “unhappy incidental discoveries” three times before I twigged on to things. The first time I was just driving along, minding my own business, and out of nowhere this car came speeding up behind me. For a moment I wondered if it was that bullying lunatic who launched himself right into the lap of the RCMP a few months back. Perhaps he blamed me for his multiple citations—wouldn’t it be nice to see him again and catch up on old times? Fortunately for me, it was not that guy, but there was a similarity in the capacity for rage outwardly expressed. Whoever this guy was, he (and it was a male) was angry! I saw a fist shaking, and heard screams wrapped in obscenities.
This guy forced me into pulling off the road. I had heard stories like this and things never ended well for the driver who was forced off of the road: NEVER. I kept my door locked and rolled down my window just a crack. I did my best to stay and look calm as I watched what looked like a Sasquatch unfold himself from his car. This guy seemed at least seven feet tall, and he was burly and furry! He lumbered toward the car, and stooped down to give me a peace of his mind and he stopped mid-curse. His eyes grew wide, and then he squeaked, “I…uh…thought you had marker light out…sorry Miss, hope I didn’t startle you.” How…odd, yet mildly violent/good Samaritan of him. Over the course of the month, I met about three other men who were equally odd, and mildly violently motivated to tell me they thought I had a marker light out.
I mentioned this strange phenomenon to my parents over dinner one night. My mom’s face scrunched up, and my dad nearly choked on his pasta. My dad asked if I recorded any license plate numbers—which I did. He pulled out his little pocket book—the one he used to keep track of his mileage—and said, “…ah….yes I wondered if this floppy-faced-jerk-wad would come after me on this…”
“What?!” In a fashion not unlike my mother’s livid diction, I spat out the words, “you know this guy?”
“I don’t really know this guy, but I had words with him the other day when driving your car…”
It was a bit of a story, but long story-short, my dad acted like some kind of caped crusader addressing random acts of stupidity—in my car. He shared with me only three specific incidents, but I am pretty sure there were more. Now, the city and surrounding communities seemed chalked full of very large and angry men (always men) just waiting for their chance to follow up on the heated conversation my dad initiated earlier. I was a little incensed, why would he do these things in my car and not his? My dad was inspiring some kind of scary rage in these strangers, and I figured it would be just a matter of time before that rage turned to blind. When that happened, I was going to be in serious danger. I loved my dad, but I had to draw the line at my personal safety. My mom offered me her unwavering support, and together we conspired ways (and counter-reasons) to discourage further “car-trading”.