Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dealership Quote of the Month - July

From a conversation between three managers, that initially was about a customer that couldn’t get what he wanted:

Manager 1: “…Well, I want Shania Twain, wearing nothing but a mink coat, but that ain’t going to happen.”
Manager 2: “Buddy, I been waiting for that forever. My wife gets mad everytime she comes on TV. She knows I’d drop her in a heartbeat.”
Manager 3: “Carmen Electra…Pamela Anderson…see, I like the whores.”
Manager 1: “What’s that big-tittied one’s name?”
Manager 3: “Pamela Anderson?”
Manager 1: “No, the other one?”
Manager 3: “Anna Nicole Smith?”
Manager 1: “Yeah, her. More power to her, for getting that old guy’s money.”

--Overheard during an unknown blues song.

Note: The satellite radio channel at the dealership has changed again, to what I would guess is called Americana. So now, I get to hear insipid comments set to the likes of Son Volt, The Jayhawks and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Somehow, having some of my favorite music playing in the background makes me question every choice I've ever made in life.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Have a Dream #6: ‘70s Exploitation Movie Edition

It started with a slight variation of the Forgot-to-Go-to-Class-All-Semester/Missed-the-Final-Exam dream. In this case, I was supposed to leave Louisville to drive back to Austin for the beginning of a semester, but I had to run a bunch of errands around Louisville before I could go and I had yet to pack and it was raining hard. The semester’s classes were to start on Tuesday, and I was still in Louisville at 3 PM on Monday. Certainly, not as catastrophic as forgetting an entire semester’s worth of classes or forgetting a final, but nonetheless, the dream left me disconcerted about my poor trip planning.

Next, I found myself in a truck stop in a remote area of Arkansas along with about twenty other patrons, all stuck in a slow moving line to pay for gas and purchase Slim Jims. As I waited, a dangerous gang of ne’re-do-wells began to file into the truck stop. The men all sported scraggly mullets, bushy untrimmed beards that extended down their necks and into their collar lines, and filthy denim outfits. All appeared high on crystal meth and agitated. The gang also had their old ladies in tow, as well as a handful of children. How tough was this gang? The children, a handful of boys, age nine to eleven, had the same thick beards as their fathers.

The other patrons and I knew the drill. Scary men show up, so now we have to be hostages. The gang didn’t actually threaten us, but they always seemed on the cusp of doing so. Through a series of grunts, glares and nods, the gang herded us to a nearby, secluded, dusty farm. Implicit in this choice of location, were beatings, fondlings, leerings and other various humiliations sure to come. My greatest concern, however, was verisimilitude. Though I knew I was in Arkansas, the location seemed too mountainous and dry. It looked more like Malibu Canyon, filming location for such shows as M.A.S.H. (That doesn’t look like Korea!), Little House on the Prairie (That doesn’t look like Minnesota!), and The Dukes of Hazard (That doesn’t look like Georgia!).

A group of hostages, including me, was instructed to go into town and purchase food for the gang and the rest of the hostages. Once we were in the grocery store, a particularly shrill and nerdy hostage suggested that we act out against our captors by only purchasing canned chicory and creamed corn. That’s the kind of passive aggressive move that will get your Poindexter-ass dragged behind their motorcycles, I thought. We ended up buying a grocery cart full of gray meat beef ribs. Yum.

Purchase this for a motorcycle gang if you want to get your ass kicked.

The gang in the dream never intimidated me, since I somehow knew that I was the unstoppable protagonist in this scenario. I bided my time trying to decide which scruffy outlaw to subdue first. I would then take his pistol and shoot the rest. But I worried that it would not look cool enough unless I shot all the gangsters in a quick, economic and meticulous fashion. If I struggled to wrest the gun away from the first tough, then the rest of the action sequence would likely be a clumsy, un-cool affair. So while the rest of the captives cowered in fear, I calmly surveyed the setting with a mind toward lighting conditions and camera angles. The dream ended before I felt sufficiently cool enough to act. Story…of…my…life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Have A Dream #5: Subterranean Pizza Delivery Edition

I attended a dinner party at a Craftsman-style home in what I knew to be Cincinnati, though no recognizable places from that city appeared in my dream. I arrived at the party as a passenger in a Honda Accord, driven through heavy rain and standing water in the streets. The driver was an indistinct female.

We were greeted by a small gathering of people, all indistinct, in the foyer. A small door in the foyer, under the stairs to the second floor, led to another set of wooden, open stairs that went down to the basement. The basement itself was a small concrete slab of foundation that then opened to a cavern lit by bare, hanging bulbs. That cavern continued to descend until it joined a larger cavern with an underground river at its center. All the older homes in this version of Cincinnati had basements connected to this system of caverns.

Pizza delivery drivers utilized the cavern system. Papa Johns was catering this dinner party, and the crowd was waiting in the foyer for the delivery person to ascend the stairs. The underground river made the caverns dangerous for the pizza delivery persons, much more so, given the heavy rain. The hosts and guests all understood that delivery boys often drowned in the caves on nights like this one. All in attendance seemed mildly embarrassed by this possibility. The pizza boy peeked into the foyer, handed over a stack of boxes and trudged back down for the return trip. He had been late, and received no tip.

“Your pizza’s here.”

At the table, I felt too shy to do anything other than listen and nod. Bill PĂ«rkins, who attended grades one through twelve with me and taught me how to cuss when we were safety patrols in the fifth grade, dominated the conversation at the table. He was now a women’s basketball coach at a small Christian college, and was embroiled in a sex scandal with several of his players. He spent the meal complaining that “the bitches are framing me and anyway, they were asking for it.”

Next came the oft-experienced Eli-In-Danger portion of the dream. Usually, this standard involves Eli, collarless, happily sniffing weeds on the median of a busy highway. When I try to wrangle him in these dreams, he usually commences his ears-pinned-back-crazy-happy-running and veers into traffic, though he never actually gets hit. This particular Eli-In-Danger moment wasn’t as harrowing, as he merely sauntered into the room, collarless, from the cavern. He dripped icy water, having swam in the underground stream, and seemed quite pleased with himself. As we were in a confined space, I didn’t feel the panicked need to corral him. However, the dream ended with me in an upstairs bedroom, rooting through closets and dressers, trying to find belts or scarves to use a makeshift leash to get Eli home. Awkward.