Wednesday, February 22, 2012
DAY 75: FRANKENSTEIN
Someone once said to me "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". I usually want to smash this type of Gump-inspired insipid idealism in it's dopey freckled face with a pillowcase stuffed with full cans of pop and sharp-cornered reality. But when life did give me lemons, I tried to turn them into an opportunity to meet girls.
When I was 13 I received jumper cables for Christmas, which was a far cry from the science-fiction or Classic Monsters themed toys I had giddily anticipated. Not being able to drive let alone own a car for three years qualified this as a truly sucky gift, the said lemon of this particular anecdote.
Fast forward eight years: I'm single, in no small part from still purchasing science-fiction and Classic Monsters themed toys, and I am wrestling with an autonomous and completely insatiable libido. In the trunk of my 1986 Chrysler K Car (known to many as Castle Greyskull), amidst the clutter of empty beer cases and a collection of ill begotten lawn ornaments were the very same Christmas jumper cables, lying in the dark like some lonely long forgotten subterranean creature that my eighth grade english teacher would have been strangely and overly excited about. In time I came to regard this dusty tangled bundle of rubber and copper as a lothario's boon.
To some of the fairer sex, the automobile is an ugly red-headed mechanical stepchild, to be loathed and feared. To others it is as elusive and mysterious as Common Sense.
Oh untwist your panties and put down your brightly colored gardening tools...I am in no way misogynistic. There are plenty of clueless men when it comes to car repairs, but I'm not concerned with a plight I can't exploit. To be honest, when I see my fellow Man with his car hood raised and a baffled look of desperation on his face I usually just pretend I'm on my invisible phone and walk rapidly past, tearfully and loudly saying something like "I can't believe she's dead...DEAD".
No, I am not even remotely sexist. I am, however, a shallow opportunist. Having minor engine trouble is a serious problem for some gals, a mysterious world of plugs sparking, chambers combusting, and pistons pissing. The horror, oh the horror. I have no excuse other than I was 21, resourceful, and horny. Prompted by the impetus of my own glandular desperation I merely capitalized on this fear.
One day after work at whatever shitty khaki panted golf shirted banal job I was slowly liquifying my brain at 20 years ago, I stopped in the parking lot to assist a buxom coworker stranded with a dead battery. She was a real knockout, a traveler's fantasy: curves like the Nile, peaks like the Andes. So she obviously didn't know I existed up to this point. I got out of the car and strolled... no, wait...strutted, over to her car, smiled, and confidently told her to "pop the hood", as if I could immediately see the problem.
I actually could immediately see the problem because I had noticed she had left her lights on when I had come back from a lunch of Pocky Sticks and Dr. Pepper at the comic-book store.
4 hours earlier.
I treated the engine as I might have a live bomb or escaped lion. With forced trepidation and practiced flourish I rolled up my sleeves, protectively held my arms out, and advised the young lass to "Stand Back". Gingerly taking the cables in hand as though they were a two-headed cobra I sharply cried another startling caution, "Careful!", causing her to squeal and jump back, her hands clutched to her ample bosom. I adopted an exaggerated look of worry as I carefully connected the cables to my live battery, and then made sure the unattached clamps "accidentally" touched, causing visible and audible sparks to fly, to the intended shocked gasps of terror. The procedure complete, I slid behind the wheel of her car, "just in case", and turned the ignition key.
When her convertible Cabriolet squeaked to life her relief and adoration were palpable. It was only then that I introduced myself (another strategic move, in case I actually couldn't get her car to start), and offered to follow her home in the event of what I ominously dubbed an "Unexpected Electrical Relapse" that left her "stranded on a dark, lonely, back road". I just wouldn't be able to sleep at night with that weighing on my conscience.
She hesitated for a second, and then with a decisive giggle and a pleasing jiggle, agreed. I had actually not expected or anticipated this outcome, despite it being the desired one I had been working towards.
In a show of appreciation the rest of the evening went much like a letter I had drafted several years earlier to Penthouse Forum: truncated, clumsily executed, awkwardly structured, and full of mistakes.
I wish I could end this tale with something ironic that would please Rod Serling, such as in my carnal excitement I had left my own car lights on, but alas no. The embarrassing truth is that a few days later I overheard some of the other zombie/sheep hybrids I worked with comparing notes on my damsel in distress. Apparently this young lady had been very generous with her lemonade, but it was best described as a tad 'tart'.
As I sat fidgeting in the doctor's office a week later awaiting the results of some awkward and uncomfortable tests I realized that sometimes when life gives you lemons, its just better to go thirsty and dehydrate.