Rodney Ohebsion

Cars

I think car commercials would be more persuasive if they showed their car stuck in stuck in traffic. "You want to know how fun the all new Ford Focus is? Just look at what a great time Khawaja is having sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You can't have that kind of fun in a crappy Corolla or a stupid Civic. Only a Ford Focus can enhance your experience of a smog-filled rush hour in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan is a shitty country--but not when you're in a Ford Focus. Once Khawaja bought his Ford Focus, he no longer felt the need to spend $100 a week on Pakistani opium. Now he's a Ford Focus addict. Look at him. Traffic just cleared up--and he's pissed off about it, and yelling in Pakistani. And now he's making a completely unnecessary u-turn into traffic."

You come across a lot of interesting characters while you're driving. Like those people who've made a thousand straight lane changes without signaling, like they're trying to break Joe Dimaggio's record. They think, "Signaling would require me to flick my wrist 14 degrees for a quarter second! Poppycock! I don't have time for a wrist-flick here, and a wrist flick there--here a flick, there a flick, everywhere a wrist flick. I'm way too busy for all of that that E-I-E-I-O stuff. After all, I'm looking for prostitutes. I don't signal before I eat a piece of cheese of wash my hands--so why should I signal before I change lanes while I'm driving 53 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone? Signaling is for people who don't have insurance. I pay Allstate $145 a month. So if someone's gonna signal, it should be that dep voiced black guy in the Allstate commercials. And let's not forget that the government is already tapping our phones--so why should I give them extra information about my lane changes and turns? But here's the main reason why I don't signal. It's because any time I change lanes in front of someone like a complete son of a bitch, my brain releases 400 milligrams of dopamine. (singing) Signaling... huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Turn again." I think if you don't signal, not only should you get a ticket, you should also get a scarlet letter. Only the A won't stand for Adulterer. It'll stand for Asshole. When you walk around town, people will look at your letter and say, "Hey asshole! Flick your freaking wrist and signal. E-I-E-I-O, motherfucker!" As you might imagine, I believe in driver's etiquette. I signal. And I don't just jump right into a signal, like some damn animal. I pre-signal first, by taking out a megaphone and announcing, "Get ready--'cause I'm about to signal. Are you ready? Are you ready? OK. Here we go. Here's your signal. Bon apetit." And then after I turn, I post-signal for ten and a half minutes. "I just turned, everyone. I turned from Oak Street to Main Street. And while I've got my megaphone out, I'm gonna go ahead and explain to you why Obama is a comunist who must be impeached." And that's when other courteous drivers follow up my post-signal by signaling to me with their middle fingers. And then I complete our automotive etiquettal procedure by giving them a courtesy five second honk and yelling, "Get out of my country, you damn Democrat!"

I think Henry Ford was a great engineer and all--but how come he only gave each car one type of honk? Don't you ever wish you had a full arsenal of 20 different honks, to let people know exactly what you mean? Like if someone hears your high pitched honk, he knows you're saying, "I really don't mean to be rude, but I'm running late for my wedding, and it would be great if you'd speed up your car to at least the speed of dripping honey, you freaking idiot." And you can use your growling honk to say, "You have five seconds to back your Porsche away from that parking space. I have a bloody car jack in my trunk, and I'm willing to use it repeatedly on your face." And of course, your low honk tells someone, "The next time you change lanes, how about you flick your wrist and signal, you asshole!"

I think some of the biggest assholes of all are the people who love cars and know everything about them. Because when they're around you, they have unreasonable standards for what you're supposed to know about cars--like they're a professor giving you a final exam on brake pads and transmission fluid. They lose their minds if if your attitude is, "I just drive this car. I don't know a damn thing about it." They're like, "You don't know how to change a tire? You don't know how to change your oil? You don't know where your jack is? You don't know what a jack is? That's it! I'm taking away your scholarship--'cause you don't know jack shit, you jackass." When you're around someone like that, just emphasize what you do know. If he says, "What's your horsepower?" just tell him, "I get 27 miles per gallon."

I like how the DMV doesn't test your navigational skills. If you know how to drive, they'll give you a license to drive. You have the 7th amendment right to have no idea where you're going. And if you're a man, you have the 8th amendment right to act like you know exactly where you're going. If you're driving to a Fourth of July party and your girlfriend starts telling you that you're lost, the patriotic thing to do is drown out her voice by playing the song "I'm Proud to be an American."

One time I had my navigation system off, but the freakin' thing started talking to me an hour into my trip. It was a real pain in the ass, too. At first, it started referring to me in the third person. "Well. Look who's navigating on his own. He's a big boy, navigating the big city, by using his supposedly big brain." And I was like, "Who the hell are you talking to?" [Navigation System:] "I heard you mention on the phone that you're driving to Pasadena. Which I find interesting, considering how you started your trip by driving for 20 minutes in an eight mile rectangle. And you made two pit stops at the exact same Dunkin Donuts. Then you settled on a direction. By the way, you're gonna need to present a passport in three miles." [Me:] "OK. Great. Now you can stop talking. Adios." [Navigation System:] "Let me just give you a suggestion, Mr. Magellan. If you want to end up at the Pasadena Playhouse instead of a Guadalajaran whorehouse, maybe you should use the damn navigation system."

Sometimes you pull up into a street parking space, and there are ten parking signs congregated together on one pole. How did one place end up with so many rules? "And the Lord said unto Moses, 'These are your ten street parking commandments.'" Here's what I really want to know: Why do you even bother reading the signs? No one in parking history has ever met all ten of those criteria. You and your Hyundai are not gonna wiggle, jump, and squeeze your way through an obstacle course like that. "Street Cleaning, Wednesday, 8:00 am to 10:00 am Pacific, 7:00 am to 11:00 am Central." "No Parking If You're White, Puerto Rican, or Ugandan, Monday Through Domingo, 1:00 pm to veinte uno hundred hours Mexican military time." "Change your sweater. It doesn't match your pants or your steering wheel." "1 ounce of tequila, 2 ounces of loading zone only, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm." "No Cheerios on Wednesday, your milk expires at 4:00 pm." "If you're a Crip, park in the blue zone; if you're a blood, park in the red zone. And if you're neither, then get the hell out of this neighborhood." Halfway into it, you got your iPhone out, you're checking to see if it's Wednesday between 8 and 10, you're converting to Mexican military time, you're being initiated into the Crips, and you're shopping for a purple sweater at BananaRepublic.com. And even if you can park in the space, you need your iPhone's calculator to do some meter math. "The rate is 25 cents per 20 minutes. I need 42 minutes of parking. I have one quarter and seven dimes. 50 Cent has sold 43 million albums. A train is travelling west at 75 cents an hour. I have one baseball bat. I'm gonna smash the meter into 173 pieces."