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for March 3, 2004


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Story Time
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love is a reasonably self-sufficient gal who can appreciate a fine piece of automotive engineering. When it comes to maintenance, however, she's at a loss. Her charming companion Paulie Gonzalez is not. He's built hot rods with his bare hands.
 
Paulie's a thoroughly capable manly man, one of the very manliest of manly men, except in bare feet, where he walks around with his toes curled up and not touching the floor. It's as if his feet think his toes are stranded in a bus station men's room. Your Beloved has been known to follow Paulie through the kitchen asking, "Why don't your toes touch? How is it you don't fall over backwards?"
 
Paulie owns classic cars to rebuild them. Your Delight owns a car for transportation for long periods of time, regardless of its condition, in hopes of avoiding re-registering with the Rutgers Parking Department until her eventual retirement. Paulie's ability to futz around in an engine comes in very handy in extreme cases of mechanical failure, as when smoke's pouring out from under the hood, and in everyday life, when a small oil leak permits a vehicle to change its own oil.
 
Recently, the rapidly depreciating Diva Mobile began emitting an unpleasant odor when the heat was on. It's winter. The heat's on all the time. It turns out car guys like Paulie keep track of what generally goes wrong with different makes and models at what stages. Did you know this? Your Scrumptiousness did not. It was a very exciting moment when Paulie said, "Your oil light flashes because these cars have electrical problems but you're okay. Also, your heater core's going. Ignore the battery light. The windshield wiper mechanism is almost toast. And keep checking to see if your headlights are on."
 
A malfunctioning heater core gives off an unpleasant odor. If you don't know your heater core's history, you and your passenger are left with that uncomfortable situation in which both of you wonder if the other one - shall we say? - stepped on a duck. Once you realize it's a car part causing a problem no air freshener's going to fix, you're completely free to - shall we say? - step on that duck. Step on it for all you're worth. It won't make a bit of difference to the fragrance inside your ride. Your car stinks.
 
Further, the antenna fell victim to a random bending incident, followed by a broken-in-a-fit-of-pique incident. The radio fell victim to a lack of an antenna. Thus we have story time in the car, as in, "Paulie, tell me a story." Stories are better than songs learned at Scout Camp, or in Paulie's case, reform school.
 
Paulie waxes philosophical, albeit with shallow breaths and a wide-open window. "The building on the corner of Suydam and Joyce Kilmer is being rebuilt. It's got windows and a tiny For Sale sign. Maybe that guy decided selling a building no one can live in is better than selling a smoldering empty lot."
 
"That's not a story. Tell me a story."
 
"What happens after liposuction? Do people walk around the office, going, 'Look, I had surgery' or do people walk up to their co-workers saying, 'Lucy, you were fat on Friday. Where did it go? Lucy, what happened to your fat ass?'"
 
"That's not a story, either. It's hilarious, but not a story."
 
"My dear, you need a new car. This wreck captures none of your style or flair, and your habit of leaving your cell phone at home bothers me. You need something special, possibly amphibious. Will you think about it?"
 
Perhaps it is time to think about a new car.
 

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Friday, August 23, 2019
 
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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
 
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Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
 
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