I'm a first class kind of person. But I can't afford to fly first class. That's why any time I go to the car wash, I pay an extra $5 for a deluxe wash. It's not about my car. I just want to feel better than all of the common people getting a standard wash. I also put on a pair of slippers, drink a mini bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and hold a curtain up in front of my face. And then I open the curtain and use a British accent to tell people, "I got the deluxe wash. What did you get?" And when someone replies, "A standard wash," I shoot him back a disgusted look, and say, "Oh dear. I just hope I don't have to share the same restroom with animals like you."
That's what makes me feel superior. For other people, it's something else.
Like driving a hybrid. Doing that makes some people think, "Every time I drive a mile in my hybrid, an angel gets his wings, a Republican sheds a tear, and an Exxon-Mobil executive drowns himself in a pool of oil. " Most hybrid owners drive around in circles for twenty miles a day, just to combat global warming and Republicans. And then they check the internet to see if they've been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
And then there are people in the carpool lane. They also have a tendency to think highly of themselves, as they fly by 90% of drivers while also doing something good for the environment.
What happens when a hybrid owner drives his car in the carpool lane? "I'm in the carpool lane, with four passengers in my hybrid. That means I'm enlightened. I'm pretty sure this is exactly what the Buddha experienced. He did it with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, and I'm doing it with a Prius and the carpool lane. I'm actually better than the Buddha. He wore cotton. But all of my clothes are made of organic hempseeds."
And then he comes across someone driving alone in a Hummer, and he thinks, "As an enlightened person, I have the duty to shoot an organic bullet into that guy's non-organic head."
Then there are the guys who are anti-hybrid. "I'm a good American. No hybrid for me. I drive a 1972 Buick Skylark Sedan. It's as non-hybrid as it gets. Instead of just letting out some smog, it fills the air with Liberty Smoke. Driving it makes me feel like I'm flying on top of a bald eagle, and having it drop its shit on George Clooney's electric vehicle."
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at his car. You can also tell a lot about someone by the way he drives.
Some people don't bother signaling. They think, "I'm very busy. I don't have the time to flick my wrist for a quarter second." If someone's like that, there's a good chance he's not very courteous in general.
I'm the opposite. Not only do I signal, I also pre-signal before I signal, just to let people know a signal is coming up. "I'm going to signal soon. Are you ready? Are you ready? OK. Now I'm signaling." I only signal after I pre-signal. Then I turn. And then I post-signal, in order to confirm that I turned. And that's when other courteous drivers confirm my post-signal by putting their hands out the window and sticking up their middle fingers. And that's when I confirm their confirmation by giving them a courtesy confirmation honk and yelling, "Go fuck yourself!" Anything less than that would be very discourteous.
I think cars should have multiple honks. One's not enough. For example, there should be a type of honk that tells someone, "You know what? Can you just hurry up a little?" And another one that says, "That's my parking space, you motherfucker!" I'd use that honk a lot. But it doesn't exist. So I have to settle for having "That's my parking space, you motherfucker!" written in big letters on my car. And then any time someone tries to take my space, I honk at him and say, "Read what it says on my car."
Why don't cars measure how often a driver honks? There should be a honk-per-hour ratio shown right next to your odometer. And if it's too high, your car should let you know about it. It should say something like, "Just so you know, you drive like an asshole. Who else but an asshole would honk 8.3 times per hour? " And if someone goes over a certain number, the car should put a letter on the front and back bumpers, in order to let everyone know about the driver. It'll be like the Scarlett Letter. Only the A won't stand for Adulterer. It'll stand for Asshole.
But it should make exceptions for people like me. I honk a lot--but I'm definitely not an asshole. I honk for the right reasons. I already mentioned a couple of those reasons. And there are others.
Whenever I'm in a traffic jam, I honk twenty times a minute in order to diagnose the problem, and let everyone know what to do. My honking tell s everyone, "You guys aren't driving fast enough. That's why there's a traffic jam." I somehow found the solution to traffic jams: driving faster. "Cars + More Speed = Fewer Traffic Jams." That equation will do more for the world than "E = MC Squared." Where's my Nobel Prize?
I have a good idea for a reality show. But not one like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Jersey Shore. Those shows are semi-scripted and heavily edited. My idea is for a realistic reality show. Each episode will show a guy stuck in traffic for three hours.
But you know Hollywood. They'll spice everything up. They'll add a lot of camera changes, music, and commentary. Plus, the driver will be a white supremacist, and the car in front of him will have a bumper sticker that says "Support Israel." The white supremacist will stare at that for about an hour, while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And then he'll yell out, "The Jews are responsible for every traffic jam in human history!"
I think car commercials should focus more on things like traffic. How come car makers never include something like that in their commercials? They never show someone waiting in a packed left turn lane during rush hour. Instead, they have someone driving on a street, highway, or track. If you really want to sell cars, you should let people know: "Our car is so fun, it'll make you enjoy waiting in a left turn lane. You'll look forward to it. Like the guy in our ads. Look at him. He's having a great time just sitting there. You need to buy this car."
They should also mention the joy of car buying. "You're going to love our car. And before you actually drive away in it, you're going to love spending three hours with a car salesman."
When you go to a store, you pay a fixed price for whatever they're selling, and that's it. You're done. As a consumer, that's your end of the deal. All you're obligated to to is walk in and say, "I want this, here's the money for it, now let me go somehwere other than this store." But in the world of cars, things are a little different. A dealership needs your help to figure out how much a new Corolla is worth. They also have salesmen who make the correct adjustments. For instance, if you're a woman, your salesman will determine that the car's worth $300 more.
Car salesmen go beyond straightforward negotiations on a car's price. Sometimes they just start throwing numbers your way. "If you pay 1.9% for three years, I'll sell you the car for $19,300. But I can only give you $3,400 for your trade in. Or I can give you $4,200 for your trade in, a 0.9% APR for six months, and 8.9% after that, as long as you buy the car for $21,300, and you let me punch you in the stomach 15 times. But I have an even better offer..." Next thing you know, you're signing over the rights to your liver in exchange for a moonroof
I don't trust car salesmen. I won't even listen to them. When I'm test driving a car and some salesman starts going on and on with his sales pitch, I say, "You know what? Stop talking. Otherwise I won't buy this car from you." I don't even go to car dealerships to buy a car. I have no intention of actually buying one. I just like test driving cars and telling salesmen to shut up. I do it at least once a week. "You're a car salesman. Everything you're saying is a lie. Shut your mouth." Doing that makes me feel really good about myself.
One thing I like about the car industry is that it gives you the option to lease. If you're not into commitment, that's OK. You don't have to actually buy a car. You can make payments for two or three years, and then move on. I think marriages should be more like car leases. "I promise to love, honor, and obey you for the next 24 months. And if you gain weight, you'll have to pay me $1,000 per pound. OK? Sign here, and initial here."
When your friend or relative gets a new car, you're supposed to congratulate him. "You bought a Mercedes? Congratulations! Let me see it." That's the custom. But car salesmen have a different custom. They say things like, "You got a Mercedes? Who sold it to you? I want to congratulate him. Especially if he made you sign over your liver for a moonroof."
Mechanics have a similar custom. If they hear about someone who got his car fixed, they call up the mechanic who fixed it, and congratulate him. "I heard you changed the timing belt on Dexter Nicholson's 2002 Camry. I'll bet he didn't even need a new timing belt. Congratulations."
I hate going to car mechanics. Because I don't know anything about cars. And I don't want the mechanic to know how little I know. Otherwise he might try to rip me off. He'll think, "I can tell this guy anything, and he'll believe it." He's an expert, and I'm not. But I have to convince him that I know a lot about what he knows a lot about. I have to bluff car knowledge to an expert. That can get a little tricky. I usually just talk about Knight Rider--the TV show where David Hasselhoff plays some guy with a talking car named Kit.
A mechanic starts off by givign me a $500 estimate, and saying, "Your fuel injector's going to need some repairs. Its 12 ZX valve has accumulated a lot of retrosassafras." It's like he's testing me, to see if I have any idea what he's talking about. And that's when I reply, "This reminds me of when David Hasselhoff got into a fight with Kit, and Kit said, 'You're being as stubborn as a fuel injector.' That was a good episode. Have you seen it?" I'm basically letting him know that I know more about Knight Rider than he does--and that he's the ignorant one. It's like we're playing a game of chess, and I'm countering his move. After I do that, he usually says something like, "Oh. Well, now that I think about it, your fuel injector doesn't have that much retrosassafras. I can fix your car for $50." Checkmate.
Some drivers have an encyclopedia's worth of car knowledge. They seem to know everything. Then they come across someone who doesn't know anything about cars. And they lose their minds. They're offended. "Wait a second. You don't know how to change your oil? You don't know how to change a tire? You don't know where your jack is? You don't even know what a jack is? You son of a bitch. I should take a jack and hit you over the head with it."
I deal with people like that the same way I deal with mechanics. I try to emphasize what I do know. Someone says, "What's your transmission's dial tone regulation limit?" And I reply, "I get 27 miles per gallon."
Most people are really into gas prices. When they pass by gas stations, they suddenly become stock traders. "Prices are low! Buy! Buy!" As for me, I take things to the next level. Someone says to me, "I heard you bought a new car." And then I say, "Yeah. I had to. Once gas got down to $3 a gallon, I had to buy a second car and fill up the tank. If it ever hits $2, I'm going to go to Costco and get a six pack of sedans." That's what I do when prices are low. And when they're high, I empty my tank and sell the gas. Like I'm scalping tickets. I stand near a gas station and say, "I got five gallons. Who needs five gallons?"
Did you know that the CEO of ExxonMobil has a yacht named "Nine-Tenths of a Cent?" Because every time an Exxon or Mobil station charges you an extra nine-tenths of a cent per gallon, that money goes to the company's CEO. He also owns a plane that he calls his "private convenience jet." He paid for it with the profits from all those Exxon and Mobil convenience stores--where everything is conveniently overpriced beyond belief. Someone should show up at his door one day for a class action refund, and say, "Give me the keys to your yacht and jet. Otherwise, I'll give you nine-tenths of a convenience ass kicking."
Does a driver's license give you the right to sail a yacht and fly a jet? Make sure you check with the DMV.
The DMV makes you tell them how much you weigh, so they can include that on your driver's license. But any time a woman fills out that form and puts down her weight, the DMV adds 10% to it. "She's claiming she weighs 140. Let's put down 154." Or sometimes they take out a scale and say to her, "Are you sure you weigh 140?"
I like how the DMV doesn't test to see if you can navigate and find your way around. As long as you know how to drive, you'll get a license. The rest is up to you. You have the legal right to not know where you're going.
But now most of us have navigation systems. So things are easier.
I refuse to use them, though. First of all, I don't like how they have such know-it-all attitudes. They act like they have it all figured out and I don't know anything. I had a navigation system for a few hours, and it never said anything like "I think you should turn left in 300 feet" or "You're about 100 feet from your destination." Instead, it said "Turn left in 300 feet" or "You're 100 feet from your destination." It always acted like it knew exactly where to go. One time, I'm pretty sure it said, "I know everything, and you don't know shit. Turn right in 200 feet."
And even when it didn't say things like that, it was very rude. It never even said please. It was just, "Turn left." Like I was its chauffer. So I had an argument with it. And it started playing games with me. Instead of giving me directions, it said things like, "You're getting colder." "You're getting warmer." So I threw it out the window. And I yelled, "Good luck finding your way home now!"
I'm the only person in the world who tips valet drivers the right way. Instead of giving them a tip straight up, I break everything down for them. When a valet driver brings my car, I start off by handing him two dollars. "Here's a $2 standard tip." Then I give him two quarters. "Here's an additional 50 cents for the fast service." And I continue from there. "I'm also going to throw in 50 cents because your outfit is clean. But I don't like your attitude--so I'm going to take back 50 cents. And I also think you're an illegal immigrant. That's going to cost you a dollar, amigo." I don't care if the guy's name tag says Billy Bob, and he looks like he's a 15th generation American. I still take the $1 illegal immigrant deduction. I take a lot of deductions. I end up getting all of my money back, and taking a few dollars out of Billy Bob's pocket.
Sometimes there's a lot of change in my car when I give it to a valet driver. I mention it to him. "If you do a good job with my car, I'll give you a $2 tip and all the change you can steal, you son of a bitch!"
Like most people, I also detach my house keys from my car keys before handing the car over. Unlike most people, I do it right as I'm about to get out of my seat, and I announce everything to the valet driver first. "Ordinarily, I don't detach these. But you seem like a really shady guy. So I'm going to go ahead and take my house keys." When I do that, I don't expect any change to stay in my car.
When there's no valet available, I valet park my own car. I just take a red vest from my backseat, put it on, grab a handful of change, pour it into my pocket, and park. And then I walk over to a homeless person, and I steal the change out of his cup.
Many people don't take parking as seriously as I do. Some of them don't park within the lines. That can lead to a serious conflict. Many decades ago, a man from Austria parked way over the line, and then someone else wanted to park next to him. "What? Son of a bitch! His Mercedes is taking up two spaces!" Then he noticed the car's Serbian license plate. One thing led to another--and pretty soon, we were in the middle of World War I.
What's it like when you park your Honda Civic, and then some guy parks next to you in his Porsche? I think that means he's challenging you to a fight. Why else would he do something like that? There's really no other reason. You just parked your Honda, and he pulled up next to you in a Porsche. He wants to fight you. He's formally issuing a challenge. That's why any time that happens to me, I tell the Porsche driver, "I accept." Sometimes I don't even wait for him to park next to me. Sometimes I find him. I drive around looking for parked Porsches, I pull up next to one and wait for the owner to get back--and as soon as he does, I ring a bell and say, "Round One."
Some street parking spaces have about five signs, each of which has five different restrictions. You have to go through all 25 items to figure out if you can park there. They make you feel like you pulled up in front of a library and started reading War and Peace. Or better yet, you're like a lawyer examining a contract. You go through the items one by one. "Two hour parking, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm." "Street Cleaning, Wednesday, 8:00 am to 9:30 am." "No Stopping on Days Beginning with a T or S, 11:00 to 18:00." "1 Hour Parking, Monday Through Saturday, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and Again at 20:00 to 22:00 Eastern Standard Time." "Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes." "Take your business expenses, and deduct them from line 14 on form 27." "In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." "No Parking If Your Name is Shawn. And That Includes All Alternate Spellings: Sean, Shonn, Shawne. Etc."
And then there are parking meters. They make you do math. "I have one quarter, three nickels, and four dimes. I need thirty two minutes of parking. The rate is $1 per hour. 5x + 2y + 7z = 127. A squared + b squared = c squared. Take the lowest common denominator, and calculate the factorial of the cube root of your tire's circumference. "
Mathematicians look forward to using parking meters. "Yes. Now I can finally put this calculus to good use. I hope my TI-83's not out of battery." But sometimes they choose not to use their graphing calculator. Because they think, "I'll have to use forty three cents worth of battery power just to calculate this."
When I'm at a meter, I go all out in order to give it as little money as possible. I don't care if I have to spend $100 consulting a mathematician. I'm going to make sure I pay the minimum. Because I don't like it when the government has money. I want to bankrupt them, five cents at a time.