Sunday, August 29, 2010

You spin me right round...

I thought I'd try a spin class for some exercise since I miss biking so much, and since I'm fighting the constant battle of not turning into an evil American twin version of myself...fat and so lazy that I'll watch the Jersey Shore with my mouth hanging open rather than get off my ass to find the remote control.

I'm still pretty well conditioned from cycling, so I figured it would be hard, but nothing too awful. Fuck, man, did I have my ass handed to me? Yes, I did.

Spin class scoffed at my Dutch biking experience. (OK, maybe I DID bike with a joint hanging out of my mouth, and occasionally with an open umbrella in one hand, but I'd like to think that coordination counts for something. I've even seen people in Holland bike while reading the newspaper. Young couples bike holding hands. Dorks.)

Here are a couple of things I realized:

-There are no hills in Holland, and "creating" a hill by turning up the bike tension is just fucking stupid.
-There is no reason to EVER bike at speeds that high (I mean, would I be getting chased by something? I'd let the fucker catch me, if biking like that were the only alternative.)
-Sitting UP on a bike is much more comfortable than hunching over one.
-When you stop pedaling on a bike in real life, you coast. Ain't no coasting in spin class. Stop pedaling and your feet fall out of the foot straps and you look like a douche.

I thought I was going to barf about 10 minutes in. To be fair, I DID pedal the entire class without cheating by turning down the bike tension, but I could NOT bounce up and down and stand and sit in the trained-seal way everyone else did. The teacher said I did "awesome" for my first class, which I'd like to think she meant, but wow, I was shocked by how hard it was.

I was so happy when it was over, and I felt that great "having-exercised" high. The trick then became not going into Dunkin' Donuts next door for a celebratory coffee roll. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

...And another thing!!

I totally had forgotten about road rage. Not other people's, my own.

My ex used to take every opportunity to screech to a halt and bounce out of his car in traffic. Sometimes he'd kick in a door, but his signature move was reaching in through the driver's window, pulling the guy out by his collar, then punching him in the face. Ah, Amsterdam. At least people don't tend to carry guns as often there.

Today, by the Boston Museum of Science - a shit traffic location any way you slice it - I got totally cut off by a woman determined to hit my car if I didn't let her into the line of traffic.

First, let me tell you about my truck. (And it IS a truck. Not some whiny little top-heavy SUV built on a car chassis.) My father bought this truck in 2000, I think, shortly before he died. It was a beautiful, top-of-the-line, all-the-options model. Twelve years ago. Now it's a hulking, rusted monster with giant bumpers, a huge engine, and completely inadequate brakes that we just don't have the heart to say goodbye to.

It screams "I don't care. Stay the fuck away - I have no insurance, no money and I'll crush your tiny, shiny piece of Asian crap into origami and use it as a hood ornament."

And it's WAY bigger than a garden variety SUV. As my friend at work said "It's just so honkin'."

So you'd really have to be a special kind of moron to jump in front of this thing.

This dumb broad had her kids in the car (which I didn't immediately realize, or I would have had a little more self-control. I'd like to think so anyways...)

Oh my God. I honestly didn't know I could swear like that. It was like an out-of-body experience and totally surreal. She had her window down - like most people - and halfheartedly waved out the window to me, so I know she heard the onslaught. I think I called her stupid. And maybe worse. I'm might have used the c-word, and I KNOW I used the f-word. Then I was really cute and said something like "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I didn't realize you had your kids with you! I'd fucking hate to see how you drive WITHOUT them in the car..!"

I swear in front of my kids. I used to try not to, but I've developed Tourette's Syndrome since becoming a parent. I'm a firm believer that kids should hear swears once in awhile in order to understand when their use is appropriate, and learn not to use them inappropriately. At least I tell myself that to justify my potty mouth.

You see kiddies...It's ok for grown-ups to use the f-word, because we're important and we know more than you do. And sophisticated, mature adults sometimes call each other names in traffic, because it's the calm, mature and level-headed thing to do. And sometimes your dumb, fat, ugly f*cking c*nt mother deserves it for endangering your little ugly bastard lives.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Funeral attendance etiquette for retards

Something awful has happened. The garage where I work is owned by a family - Father, son and daughter. Our families are very close and I am therefore subbing for the daughter while she is on maternity leave. The son (who was also the head mechanic, and a sweet young man) died this week in a motorcycle accident.

There aren't words to describe the depth of the tragedy and its impact on, well EVERYTHING relating to the lives involved, not to mention the future of the business.

As I made dozens of phone calls with the sad news, and called customers with cars still at the shop, I felt like compiling a hit list of assholes with big fat stupid mouths who shouldn't be breathing the same air as the wonderful people I work for.

Me: "I'm sorry we couldn't complete the additional work you requested, but your brakes are finished and your car is ready for pickup"

Him: "You really didn't fix the door?"

Me: "No sir. Yours was the last car (the son) worked on on Friday (the day he died) and he just didn't get to it."

Him: "I thought he said it was a quick fix that would only take a minute."

Me: PAUSE (Really? Am I ACTUALLY having this conversation?) "That may well be, but he just didn't get to it." (You know. Before he DIED.)

Him: "Well, are you going to be getting a NEW mechanic?"

Me: PAUSE. PAUSE. PAUSE. (Stay professional. This is their business. Be respectful for them.) "COME PICK UP YOUR CAR" *Click*

I'll couch this by saying that MOST people were extremely sorry, understanding and sympathetic. (One guy whose appointment I canceled said sheepishly "Geez, that sure puts my stupid air-conditioning problem in perspective") But they sure make the jerks stand out like sore, retarded asshole thumbs.

And the details. The pushing and pressing for details. "What happened? HOW did it happen?"

Why? Why, oh why? Does it matter what happened (aside from - perhaps - the concern that no one else was injured)? A 25-year-old kid has died. A friend of mine. The part owner of the business, son of the dear old man beloved to everyone who meets him. Brother of the sweet, beautiful girl who runs the shop. IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Here's a question asked to me repeatedly at the funeral home: "Why is the casket closed?"

Why the fuck do you think it is, you insensitive prick?

One person started to speculate about the circumstances of the death and just how that would affect the head, face and body of this kind, hard-working kid. And not subtly. I saw my other coworker's nostrils flare at this comment and I said to the man quickly "Stop talking. Right now."

At the very least, I hope that fielding the questions of these moronic douchebags spared the family from having to hear and answer them.

I'm not sure when the shop will open again, or even IF it will. I don't know if my boss can face working next to his son's empty garage bay every day, or if his daughter will be able to go back to work in the same place where she and her brother grew up together working on cars.

But I know one thing: I SURE AM SORRY we didn't get to fix that door for you. Prick.