The following piece is the first of many extended humor pieces I wrote for my first comedy website which I never promoted years ago because, like most writers, I have an acute fear of exposing my work to the masses in the event that they may discover that I am indeed nothing but a talentless fraud.
I wrote this piece to sell a shitty car I used to own about six years ago. The ad itself was posted on Craigslist.org and Ebay. Included here is the actual ad, preceded by a foreward.
When I was a young child, my German grandmother would often put me on her knee to tell me stories.
“When I was growing up,” she would say, “my parents always told me ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
What a great attitude, I thought. Germany must have been a wonderful place to grow up.
Then she’d say “…but watch out for those fucking Jews.”
So much for that theory. She blamed Jews for everything from poor TV reception to stale soup crackers.
Life eventually did give me lemons in the form of cars. I always wondered how my Grandma would have “made lemonade” when my high school car went flying off a freeway exit and into a heavily wooded forest at 30 mph because of a bad tire.
“Maybe we’ll hit a Jew in a tree,” I could imagine her saying.
Luckily, that unfortunate episode ended with my body intact but my car destroyed. I ended up in a cow pasture, where a herd of guernseys feverishly grazed on the nettles embedded in the grill of my car like I was a fucking mobile bovine salad bar.
My luck with cars never quite improved. My next car, a Honda Prelude, snapped a timing belt at high speed, which shut off the car and sent me careening into a curb. In college, I drove my roommates Camaro, a comically constructed plastic car with a V-8 that offered fantastic views out the front window, the rear window, and through a hole the floorboards beneath the steering wheel in case you wanted identify what assortment of local pets you had just waffled-ironed into the concrete beneath you.
I even lost my virginity in my car, although that experience, like all the others involving cars, was a horrific, comedic occurrence meticulously designed to scar me for life. Commercial television in my teens had portrayed the imminent loss of my virginity as an intimate, delicate moment set in the romantic backdrop of soft lighting and a top ten hit sung by Steve Perry of Journey in his trademark ball-splitting leather pants.
Unfortunately, when I actually lost my virginity, I found myself drunk in the backseat of my 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit with an excessively Rubenesque girl whose idea of bragging about previous sexual conquests included trysts with a mentally retarded neighbor and two members of the high school Calculus Club. Nevermind the fact that you could barely fit a partially inflated basketball in the backseat of my Rabbit, trying to have sex in it was like trying to copulate inside of a dorm-room refrigerator. I was so nervous, I couldn’t maintain an erection, so I sat there, furiously pulling on my penis like I was trying to start a lawnmower someone had just yanked out of a river.
Watching a pathetic, skinny, pale boy desperately trying to breathe life into a deflated penis with the rigidity of overcooked asparagus, she eventually felt sorry enough for me that she decided to have sex with me anyway, a decision I like to term “Wounded Bird Syndrome.”
As some horrible Cyndi Lauper song bleated through my car speakers like a dying lamb, she eventually mounted me, and had barely bent her knees when I promptly ejaculated on her leg. She stopped, looked down, and then looked up at me. “Did you just pee on my leg?” Before I could answer, she stormed out of my Rabbit and up the street, walking with the confidence of a sixteen year-old girl titillated with the anticipation of telling the entire high school that I had either a:) urinated on her, or b:) came faster than a mentally retarded boy.
I had begun the night a boy in his car, and ended the night a man. Though, in retrospect, I had never imagined becoming a man involved sitting alone in the back of my Volkswagen Rabbit holding my sad, flaccid penis in my hand whilst I hastily scraped off stalactites of cold, misfired spermitizoa from the roof of my car.
Yet I digress.
Most people follow stringent guidelines when purchasing automobiles. They talk about pistons, gear timing, residual value, crash-testing, and performance ratios. Since I was 16, I have employed my own set of rigid criteria for purchasing a car:
It must have four wheels and an ashtray.
My mechanic knows this, and employing his own version of “Wounded Bird Syndrome” has always steered me towards purchasing cars made in Japan. “There’s two things Japanese men are obsessed with,” he says, “building good cars, and purchasing the soiled panties of American blondes.” He figures if I purchase an Acura or a Honda, I’ll only need three things to keep myself mobile. A car, a key, and a semi-solid theory about where I might put the gasoline.
My auto shop teacher in high school loved automobiles, and you would have hoped I would have learned something from him. He was the type of guy that would happily walk by someone brutally beating a defenseless dog with a stick and think nothing of it, but would call the police if he saw someone putting an inappropriately rated can of oil into a ’76 Chevy Chevette.
“Pennzoil 10-30 in January!” he’d scream, “What are you, some kind of fucking lunatic?”
But unlike him, I never have fell in love with the cars that I have owned. For me, a car is completely disposable, not unlike razors, tampons, a copy of Martha Stewart Living, or the bodies of my girlfriend’s parents.
I tend to acquire a car and drive it around for a couple of years until something goes drastically wrong with it. Once I realize something is drastically wrong with it, like say, it only has one wheel, I usually end up paying someone $150 to tow it to a car dealership, where I’ll try to get a trade-in for a new car.
“I’ll give you some paperclips and four Dentyne breath mints for it,’” the dealer might say.
“I’ll take it,” I’d respond, delirious with victory.
Three years ago I found myself back in the market for a commuter car. My boss at the time suggested I buy his commuter car, an old Acura Integra he had parked out back. “It’s not much to look at,” he said, “but it will get you where you want to go.”
We walked around back and found his Integra parked in the rear parking lot amidst a bunch of discarded beer cans. It looked as though the car had been back there binge drinking to cope with the drive home.
As the car looked homeless, I was afraid that when my boss started the car, the car might ask for spare change. To my relief, it started effortlessly. “I’ll give it to you for $1200,” he said, “which is $200 less than what I offered to sell it to anyone else. My son puked in the back seat over the weekend, so, you know…..it kind of stinks like milk puke.” He wasn’t kidding.
I sat in the drivers seat and made sure everything worked, which it did. I looked down on the console, and found an enormous fold-out ashtray. It met my criteria.
I bought the car.
And that was three years ago. And three years in, this car is ready to go.
Which brings us to the following advertisement, posted on Craigslist.org and eBay, designed specifically to rid me of my 1990 Acura Integra in a somewhat legal manner, rather than just driving it into a lake.
Buying it was a mistake.
Driving it was a mistake.
And selling it will be an accomplishment.
Can of Lima Beans - $1000.00 (1990 Acura Integra included)
You are gambling on a 1990 blue (“bi-polar depression blue”) Acura Integra GS with 263,000 miles on it. No, that is not a misprint. This car has travelled the equivalent of 10 times around the earth. Believe me, there’s nothing left you can do to surprise this car. If you don’t buy it now, within 3 months you’ll see 18 soldiers in this Acura rolling around in war-torn Nigeria with two machine gunmen on top and a Van Halen sticker on the door.
It comes with a can of Western Family Lima Beans. Delicious!
I purchased this car two years ago with 212,000 miles on it for $1200. I thought I’d drive it for 10,000 miles, or until it spontaneously exploded or started releasing it’s own parts onto I-5 in a pathetic plea for death. Amazingly, that has not occurred.
Acura originally marketed the Integra as a “luxury touring car”, but this particular vehicle is now a non-luxury, mobile pack-donkey designed only to take you to Circle K to buy Twizzlers and meat sticks, or take you to your miserable job and back.
In the past 40,000 miles, I’ve installed a new timing belt, radiator, some new hoses and a couple of spark plugs. The previous radiator blew at 230,000 miles with my mother in the car. The car was fine, but my mother had a heart attack. I no longer get birthday cards.
I have the oil changed every 4,000 miles or so. I used to take it to Minute Lube until some fucking inbred with a Lita Ford T-shirt figured out a way to charge me $60.00 for an oil change. I had to spend a week in a rape crisis center for that one. Minute Lube, kiss my ass.
This car will remind you of a street hooker. You look at it and you’ll be startled because it looks like it was just attacked by a pack of zebras. And like a hooker, you don’t know where it’s been or how it got here, and it’s best if you just don’t ask any questions about it’s history. I’m the fourth owner, I don’t have the answers, and I’m thankful.
Starting it up is like trying to wake up your drunk roommate for a Mother’s Day brunch. At first it’s angry and confused that you woke it up, and it tries to go back to sleep. Give it a little encouragement, and it gets up, but it gives you an attitude for about 30 seconds, like you had asked it to take out the garbage. Then it runs smooth as a man’s ass at a gay bar on a Saturday night.
Here is a COMPLETE list of the major flaws:
1. It has a cracked windshield. It has been cracked since I bought it, but you can see fine. The car also comes with a fake undated estimate I got from an auto glass store, so if you do get pulled over, you can show it to the cop and say you’re taking it in on Saturday, that was the earliest they could do it. It worked for me. Twice. I’m serious.
2. There is a slight dent on the right front fender. It is shoe-shaped, so I imagine this car has been traumatized by some sort of domestic violence, or was struck with a frying pan. Believe me, fixing this dent won’t fix this car’s appearance. That’d be like giving an 83- year old woman breast implants.
3. There is some petrified gum on the base of the emergency brake handle. I believe it is Hubba Bubba grape. It will remain there. Don’t fight it. You will lose.
4. The trunk opens from the inside, but not with the trunk lock. Either it is broken or the actual key is lost. Do not buy this car for transporting dead bodies.
5. Do you like scary noises? The antenna makes a horrifying noise when it goes up when you start the car. All squirrels within a 100 foot radius will instantly die from sheer terror. If you’re in a supermarket parking lot, people will point and laugh, especially the children. Children can be so cruel. If you have any pride, you will disconnect it.
6. You have to put water in the radiator about once a month. There are no leaks, and I don’t know where the water goes, but it gets low after a while. I believe it pees when I’m not looking.
7. The driver’s seat on the door side has lost a little material on the corner, so the foam is exposed. It looks like seat cleavage. If your wearing black, make sure you brush your ass off before tea parties.
8. The passenger front window, and the rear left window are both very slow going up and down. And by slow, I mean plant-growth slow.
Now lets see what this car offers:
It comes with an engine. If you open the hood, you will find an engine, which I believe makes the car go forward. The engine in this car is primarily composed of aluminum, hoses, screws, plugs, pipes, cams, refrigerator parts, and little lids all over the place. It may or may not contain a “valve”. I also heard that it has a “shaft”. There are lots of little containers in it for various liquids, such as oil, water, Orange Julius, brake juice, and other things my mechanic calls “fluids.” I am a huge pussy, I don’t know anything about cars. It had a small oil leak in the pan, but it was fixed, and this car leaks nothing but your sense of pride.
It comes with four round wheels and tires, and brakes, and axles in various states of use. I ran over a pigeon one night a year ago outside Ivar’s Fish n’ Chips, so the undercarriage may also contain a varying array of pigeon innards and undigested fried fish products. The steering is power steering, very nimble and quick, so you can be sure to steer clear of your neighbor’s cat if it runs out into the street. Or, if you prefer, steer into it.
Four seats, four doors, five gears, floor mats. Excellent interior, except for the hasty stereo installation job. It doesn’t look too bad, and could be fixed by purchasing a face support. No wires showing, though. The cloth on the interior passenger door is beginning to flap a little, but could be fixed with a small jug of middle-school edible child’s paste.
The CD stereo is very nice, with a retractable face that becomes invisible when the car is shut off. I believe this stereo is embarrassed to be in this car, that’s why it is able to hide itself so well, like an ostrich sticking it’s head in the sand. It doesn’t want other stereos to laugh at it. It sounds nice at mid to high level, but the front speakers need to be replaced, because at really high volume they don’t emit melodious music as much as they do violent, repetitive senior-care-facility fart noises.
The car contains $1.12 in small coins wedged in the driver’s seat by the seatbelt. I did a cost analysis, and wedging it out would only be worth $3.46 worth of my time, so you do the math. You could hire an unemployed person to do it. The change is American currency, and recovery will enable you to purchase many gumballs and plastic wagon wheels and other Chinese products at your local gumball stand.
The car comes with an original Acura handbook, which contains many comical pictures and explanations of some other car that isn’t related in any way to this car. It also has a picture of what this car looked like new, which is about as shocking as seeing that picture of your Mom in her high school year book. It also states this car was originally purchased in Oakland, California. Now I reside in a crappy apartment community along with 8,000 shitting pond birds in XXXXXX, Oregon, so this car must really feel like it’s moving up in life.
There is a dead fly on the panel behind the rear speakers. It appears to be very dry, and very dead, and I believe the car is currently absorbing the fly carcass for nutrients.
There is a spare tire in the trunk. I’ve never actually seen it, but I’ve owned Hondas and Acuras before, and there is always one there, so we’ll check when you are buying it. And it’s not one of those pussy temporary tricycle wheels that you see people driving around on, humiliating themselves. It’s a full-sized wheel.
Look, this car ain’t gonna get you chicks. It’s not a show car by any means, and the only thing it could ever win is Worst Paint. I do smoke in it, but it doesn’t stink like smoke, but how would I know, I’m a smoker. So don’t bitch about it. It’s not like it ruined the car. It was ruined already.
You may want to put a dog cone over your head when you drive it around. But it does run well, and it will get you where you need to go, probably for a long time. This car is impervious to the laws of nature, the laws of auto longevity, and the laws of physics. Like diarrhea in Mexico, you think it will stop soon, but it never does, it just keeps getting stronger.
You’re buying a car with 263,000 miles on it, so do I really need to say AS IS? You are buying it AS IS, and that means it is yours the minute you sign the title. If it breaks down, it’s not my problem, but I would more than welcome your mechanic to come look at it with you. I’ve been honest with you about all it’s problems, and right now, it runs just fine. I hope it does for a while, but I can’t guarantee anything, it’s an old car.
I will take the following as payment: US currency. No checks, no money orders, no bank checks, no personal checks, no Thai baht, no payment plans. No out-of-state shipping scammers, no Nigerian bank-account promises. You give me $1000, I give you the title.
Do not even bother to ask. CASH ONLY. And lastly, the price is as low as it’s going to go. It’s a fucking car, not a black and white television. It is $1000.00, period. It runs great. If you show up and say “Oh, I only brought $950”, you can take your $950 home with you without the car. I’m in no rush to sell it, because I’ll use it until it’s sold. I love this piece of crap.