Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slick the Wonder Car

My Valentine’s Day began with Lover deciding to puke in lieu of taking the kids to school, so the morning school run fell to me. Distracted as I was by my imminent reveal of the FOREVER teaser, it was all I could manage to scrape together lunches and otherwise make certain my children wore pants before leaving the house. I was feeling virtuous about getting out the door on time when I discovered, in the way of most major Hollywood motion pictures, that there was a set-back at the last minute. The Valentines that Thing 2 had completed in painstaking, breathlessly slow, 5-year-old handwriting had vanished. I’m not certain who would want fourteen IronMan valentines, but if you see them, you can keep them. We did them again.

Which meant that by the time I got into the driveway, we were running a little late.

And that is when I made my first mistake.

Lover had just traded in his previous car, the Land Yacht, for something more fuel efficient. I had yet to try the new car, and in my infinite wisdom, I decided that this was the day to take it. The new car, which I named Slick the Wonder Car (without my husband’s knowledge) due to the fact that it is slick as a new-made dolphin, turned out to be more complicated than I thought.

I like to think I know as much about cars as the next person, but apparently not.

I sat in the driver’s seat, key in hand, Things 1 & 2 buckling up in the back seat, and that was when I first got a good look at the key. Normal keys have a key part, and then a fob part. Anything different from this is a perversion of nature.

Slick the Wonder Car was a perversion. There was no key and fob. There was only fob. I did not how to operate a vehicle in which there was only fob. In front of me, the clock informed me we were two minutes late. I moved the seat forward, because at least I was going somewhere then. No answer presented itself. What was I supposed to do with this keyless key? Panic, that’s what.

I stared at the fob, looking for buttons and knobs that would shoot out a key, feeling like I’d fallen into an 80s movie with Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock. USE THE SHELLS.

Three minutes late.

ME: There’s no key on the key!

CHILDREN: It just goes in! It just goes in!

ME: *frantically thinks that’s what she said, that’s what she said*

That’s when I saw a slot by the steering wheel. A curiously fob-shaped slot. I inseredt the fob with the dubious trust of someone using an unfamiliar ATM -- will I get this back later? -- and the car came to life.

Four minutes late.

ME: Drive! Drive!

My euphoria melted. Driving was a no go. Slick the Wonder Car informed me the parking brake was on. But I, for one, saw no parking brake. There was absolutely nothing useful looking in sight. There was nothing but smooth surfaces and leather as far as the eye could see. It was like a Lady Gaga photo shoot.

CHILDREN: Oh, great, we’re going to be late because Mama can’t drive!

And then I saw this.

First, I noticed that Lover had a Lego Batman as his co-pilot (that is two super heroes in one blog post! I think that’s a record!) And then I noticed a glowing red light next to a letter P. In movies, you aren’t supposed to hit the red glowing button, but Slick the Wonder Car gave me no options.

ZOOM! We careened from the driveway.

And that was when I notice the speedometer.

Now, in my normal life, when I’m not driving Loki, I drive an ordinary little Jetta. It has a speedometer that looks something like this.

But that was not what Slick the Wonder Car’s speedometer looked like. This was what it looked like.

So that was what was in front of me -- that, and the open road, and suddenly I was flashing back over every moment spent going over 72 miles per hour between the ages of 19 and 29. I could hear the riffling of the sheaves of speeding tickets. Hear once more “license and registration” in a dozen different vocal timbres.

I was Atticus Finch presented with a rifle. James Bond presented with a fashion model. I had seen this weapon and I knew how to use it.

You cannot put OMFG on a speedometer without expecting that Maggie is going to attempt OMFG at some point.

This is the part of the blog post where you all are expecting me to tell you about the ticket that I got on Valentine’s Day.

Turns out, for all the things that Slick the Wonder Car could do, it couldn’t move distracted ladies in Broncos, old men walking Pomeranians, or change the school zones to something more conducive to speeding.

I want my money back.
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