Blogging

Hoop-Dee Cars Make Us Stronger. Also Funnier.

Definition courtesy of urbandictionary.com.
Definition courtesy of urbandictionary.com.

Once upon a time, I drove a sparkly VW convertible, Aquarius blue with a gray soft top and interior. By sheer nepotism luck, I’d scored a well-paying job in Big Pharma right after I graduated college, and in May 2005, I bought her.

Nudge.

Named for her annoying ‘alert’ sound, Nudge had a habit of wailing the instant you sat down without your seatbelt, left the door open, or felt too smug for your own good.

JulieandNudge
She sure was cute, though. AND THE CAR WASN’T HALF BAD EITHER!

Now don’t misunderstand me: I hate to drive. No interest in cars. If I won the Mega Millions, the first thing I’d do is hire a chauffeur. But Nudge, well, she was special. A sign of independence, financial and otherwise.

Before Nudge, I had a series of hoop-dee cars. I never minded; I was grateful for my parents’ hand-me-downs, already used when they bought them, barely worth $1,000 combined by the time they were in my possession. I couldn’t stand the idea of high school kids getting brand new cars for their 16th birthdays. How would they ever learn the value of a dollar, or the thrill of gluing ‘NSync bobbleheads to the dash of their 1987 Chrysler Le Baron (“Toaster”) without consequence?

.
How did I have any friends?

When Peppermeister (Current Husband) and I decided to buy a house in 2010, I sold Nudge and paid cash for a used 2006 Hyundai Sonata with a buttload of miles on it. Aside from being in my price range, it handled well, had great pick-up, 4 doors, and most importantly, unlike Nudge, excellent visibility. At 28 years old, it was my grown-up car.

A while back, I asked you clever Chipmunks to vote on a name. The winner was a write-in for “Dash” (thanks, Girl on the Contrary!). The name was based on my car’s impressive engine, and also short for Kardashian (she had a lot of junk in the trunk at the time).

So it stunk like smoke for the first four months. It has a sunroof! That's almost as fun as a VW convertible... Right?
So it stunk like smoke for the first four months. It has a sunroof! That’s almost as fun as a brand new VW convertible that smells like hope and roses… Right?

Two weeks ago, I met up with a few lovely blogger friends for brunch: Rache from Rachel’s Table, Misty from Misty’s Laws, and Julie Maida from MaidaSomeArt. Julie had driven to Rache’s house in Delaware from Virginia, and Dash and I had come from New Jersey.

We traded war stories.

“So my heat knob’s not working now,” I began, as we I poured champagne and put Rache to work making delicious frittatas. “It used to work on the 1 and 4 levels, but now nothing. Which means I can’t use the defrost. Luckily, it was sleeting the whole drive here, so that was fun. I need warmer gloves,” I finished with the casual laugh of someone who knows all too well what it means to drive a car with the roof lining dangling on your head, loosely kept in place with multi-colored thumbtacks.

Julie Maida and her custom Rachel's Table champagne glass. You're welcome for my amazing photography.
Julie Maida and her custom Rachel’s Table champagne glass.

Julie replied, “Did you have a bottle of water, at least?”

I looked at her quizzically. She explained, “To thaw the ice. I took my husband’s car, and the windshield wiper fluid doesn’t work. And you know it was misting just enough where the wipers only smudge up the windshield. Luckily, I had a bottle of water in the car, so I tossed that on the windshield when I stopped to pay the tolls – which is also when I had to open the car door because the window won’t roll down.”

It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite hoop-dee stories. Peppermeister drove a real winner when we started dating in 2003: A 1987 Chevy Blazer. There was an issue with the lock, but he was able to open the doors with… a dime. A dime in the keyhole. A dime he kept hidden in the rust hole at the bottom of the driver’s side door.

Let me repeat that.

He opened his car using a dime that he stored in the rust hole of the car door.

What’s your favorite hoop-dee car story? I really can’t wait to hear.

Giveaway Junkie

Julia Maida Custom Art Giveaway Winner(s)!

Man, Chipmunks. You did my heart liver proud with your ‘drunk story’ entries, in the name of winning custom artwork from the lovely and talented Julie Maida.

My custom coasters by Julie Maida, a gift from http://rachels-table.com.
My custom coasters by Julie Maida, a gift from http://rachels-table.com.

I almost said I was too drunk to get this post up today.

But then I realized that was only funny to me. Especially because, thanks to you, this post wrote itself.

In fact, I’m a little mad at you, because I couldn’t even narrow it down to just one. So we’ve got a Winner and a Runner-up!

Thank you so much for keeping me in stitches this week, and please, keep yourself out of stitches (the other kind), you lushes. I love you.

Grand Prize Winner – $40 Julie Maida Custom Artwork

Peg-o-Leg Ramblings gravatarPeg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Peg’s Entry:

This drunk person story has served as a cautionary tale for me for 25 years. I live in a small town where the social life for those of us in the business community revolves around fundraisers for local charities and civic organizations. It was at an after-hours for one such group (Rotary, Kiwanis, I can’t remember). The adult beverages were flowing and I noticed one woman, let’s call her Judy, had imbibed perhaps a bit too freely. She was attractively dressed in a shirt, short skirt, black pantyhose and boots.

Judy staggered into the bathroom and my attention was claimed elsewhere until she reappeared some time later. She came out of the ladies room crying, mascara running down her face. She sobbed, “somebody stole my skirt!”

Judy’s skirt was tucked up in the back of her pantyhose, leaving all the territory south of the waistband open to the interested view of the entire bar.

What lesson do we take away from this? When going out drinking, ALWAYS wear pants.

Runner-Up – $25 Julie Maida Custom Artwork

Fresh Veggies in the Desert gravatarFresh Veggies in the Desert / Gingerlea Photography

Fresh Veggies/Gingerlea emailed her entry to me (and yes, she has two blogs because she’s too much awesome for just one!):

If you have ever been to the French Quarter and understand the true depth of what it means to close down a bar in New Orleans, then you know what it feels like to plop down in the back of a cab and have a Cajun cabbie yell, “It’s twenty bucks EXTRA if she pukes!”

New Orleans is a great place to visit.   There’s food, fun and folly at every street corner.   Literally.    I had the displeasure of vacationing there with Ex-Husband #2.   Let’s just call him Rectal Payne.   He was a pretty fellow, so it was no shocker to have him lead me to one of the more spectacular gay bars in the city, only to have the bartender ask me what I was doing there.    I think this was a hint that they wanted me to leave, without Mr. Pretty.

Our adventures took us from the rainbow-covered bar to a horrible dump that was blasting karaoke.    It occurred to me that I remembered a terrible rendition of Melissa Etheridge song, and now realized that Rectal Payne simply took me from one gay bar to another. …I’m so naïve sometimes.

I believe this is the bar where I decided to take up smoking cigarettes.   If you have ever met me in sober life, you would know that I do not smoke.    I vaguely remember the bartender laughing at me while I was complaining about not being about to get that damn cigarette lit.     Apparently, I was struggling to light the filter.   Marlboro Woman, I am not.

"The hat is another story."
“The hat is another story.”

The miracle of drunkenness happened much later.    I woke up on the floor under a table.   It was a carpeted floor, so I was pretty sure that I wasn’t in a bar anymore.   And, it didn’t smell that bad.   That was almost reassuring.    I was snuggled up to the base of the small table and facing a wall.   This is where I had a reality check.    Or, more like a “panties on – check.”  No pants or shoes, though.   That can’t be good.   Where the hell was I?

I tried to stay still under the table, just in case.  I could hear the loud whirr of an air-conditioner, but no other background noises.   I closed my eyes.   I decided that I was already in enough trouble, and who knows what happened to Rectal Payne. Since I wasn’t having any pain of my own, I decided I would return to my passed out state and worry about it later.

Fortunately, I awoke from my drunken stupor facing the other direction and realized that I was hugging the side table of my hotel room.    Apparently, I had been unable to maintain a horizontal position on the much more comfortable mattress.   As the story goes, I slithered from between the bed and the wall to spoon with the side table.

My sigh of relief was quickly replaced by a very quick run to the bathroom to evacuate the dozen raw oysters we had decided to have for a midnight snack.    Oh.my.gawd—bad idea. An even worse idea was Rectal Payne leaving his toothbrush out on the counter.    Yup.   I committed the sin of befouling his toothbrush.   No worries.    I was then spectacularly distracted by a spontaneous ceiling collapse in the shower.

I was just standing there trying to gather my thoughts when all of the tiles in the shower of the downtown New Orleans Ramada Inn just fell off of the ceiling. Rectal Payne jumped out of bed and screamed like a drag queen missing his favorite high heels.

The staff at the Ramada was more than accommodating and quickly gave us another room.    We just called the front desk and they switched us.    It was like that happened all of the time?   I was in no condition to ask questions, so I just packed up and moved on to the new room.

I told Rectal Payne months later that I had done my best to clean that toothbrush, but he never forgave me.    I always thought that was why we ended in divorce.    Oysters on his toothbrush.    I’m thinking now that it might have had more to do with that gay bar. But, I am certain that oysters are not an aphrodisiac.

Oh, well.   I have moved and found a new drinking buddy.    We make our own beer and try to keep our cups upright.

Congratulations you two! Julie and I will be in touch via email so you can start discussing your artwork!

Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your stories with such gusto! I owe you a drink.